Adjacent User Privacy
UI/UX Research
Adjacent User Privacy studies how secondary stakeholders’ privacy can be conserved through experience design.
My Role
UX Researcher
UX Designer
UI Designer
Mar, 2022 – Now
James P.
This is an ongoing project.

Considerations include trustworthy interface, mobile physical bridging, and provide materials for user testing.

Catching up with previous effort on subject. I drive the development focus on mobile interface.
Privacy Mode
Speculative Design
Secondary Research
Crossplatform Prototyping
User Testing Materials
Smart camera technology brings convenience to it’s owner. However, it’s existence also affect other subjects who may concern their own privacy. 

Currently, secondary users of such technology, such as people being surveilled, have very limited control over their own privacy either deliberately or non-deliberately.
Previous Work
Identifying the current privacy exacerbating situation brought forth by the prevalence of smart cameras, the study used principles of speculative design* to address some possible scenarios.

Some speculative ideas include guest access, do not face-track, neighborly settings, camera shields, still sensing reminder...
*Speculative design is a practice of design in which exaggerated ideas are produced to call out attention to specific needs. A set of speculative design defines a new design space.
James Pierce, Claire Weizenegger, Parag Nandi, Isha Agarwal, Gwenna Gram, Jade Hurrle, Hannah Liao, Betty Lo, Aaron Park, Aivy Phan, Mark Shumskiy, and Grace Sturlaugson. 2022. Addressing Adjacent Actor Privacy: Designing for Bystanders, Co-Users, and Surveilled Subjects of Smart Home Cameras. In Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS '22). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 26–40.
With the design space defined from previous work, our main objective is to actualize some ideas to prototype and redistribute our thoughts to general public.
Speculative Design
Based on finding from previous research, we did another round of speculative design within this defined space to get used to this research mindset.

In this round of speculative design, we begin to think about possible workflows on specific features such as still sensing reminders, neighborly settings, guest modes...
Speculative Design (Neighborly Settings)
I worked on the neighborly settings as a practice on this design space. In this feature, we are targeting a scenario that the camera owner has the camera set at their backyard. However, some of the neighbors’ yard may be recorded by the camera. To preserve neighbors privacy, the owner can either create a non recording zone on the video or share the setting to neighbor so the neighbor can cross out where they don’t want to be recorded.

This feature is mainly a gesture for the users to share, “I have this camera that records my backyard, but I respect your privacy, so I block out the area on video where your yard is. This way I can surveil my property without intruding your privacy.”

With more thoughts on possible features, we begin to envision where these feature might live in a home security application.

We based our imagination on current apps on the market and worked around different scenarios where these features might be needed.

Here, I focused on what people might want to see at each step of the neighborly setting process.
How does an interface
convey security?
Privacy is a sensitive and volatile subject. We want to make sure that our interface is trustworthy and reliable enough for people to trust their privacy with us. Thus we found several principles we can follow to create the trustworthy-ness.
Approachability Mental Model Some participants were convinced of the good behavior of the system due to the verification phase. It was mentioned as a proof of their personal contribution to the elections: “Seeing that my vote is taken into account, seeing others’ votes, it lets me believe that I contribute to something” (P18) or “it is important to see that my vote has been counted” (P27).
In this contribution, we established through an empirical study a strong linkage between good HCI design principles and consumers' perception of website security in the context of e-commerce. This study contributed first by developing a framework that aimed to explore how HCI design could influence end-user perceived security.
Good UI design will help building trust with users.

Users will feel more confident when they can see/predict what they are doing.

Users tend to trust well developed brands. Branding is important for us to build long term trust among users.
As a part of branding, we want to keep our visual consistent while iterate on interface designs.

With our intuition and reference on current smart camera interfaces, we created a visual system guiding our UI development.

This visual is still subject to change and testing.
UI Drafts
Given the nature of speculative design, we focused on individual feature concept instead of the holistic app structure. We want to create a snapshot of experience that may indicate new direction or considerations.

My role is to convey the concept with app interface.
For the purpose of study, I created a flow diagram that houses features we currently work on and have room for other features.
Camera Controls
To ensure an experience of users feeling in control of their own privacy, we want to give the controls of smart cameras back to users in a succinct and meaningful way.

We iterated on some significantly different styles.
Visuals subject to change.
UX copies subject to change.
Tap to Change Button
Clean visual, no redundancy.
Single point of interaction means easy to remember, clear to signify.
Takes up less space

Only point of interaction is toggling, not as flexible.

Detailed Toggles
Redundant signifiers.
Room for detail descriptions or additional states.
For sure visual for sure confirmation.

Takes up a lot of space.
Visually chunky when multiple cameras are in one screen.
Symbol Only Button
Show, don't tell.
Focused and clean.

No other indication, textual explanations.
Not as flexible for experimental use.
Symbol Only Button
Other states could be added on the visual without changing much of the interface design.

No other indication, textual explanations.
Privacy Modes
While providing choices of privacy, we don't want to overwhelm users with the choices.

Thus we tailored modes that dictate camera behavior based on scenarios. Users can chose how private they wan the smart camera to be based on needs.
Visuals subject to change.
UX copies subject to change.
Standard Viewing
When no privacy feature is needed, the smart camera is default to the standard mode.
Medium Privacy
When users want a peace of mind while don't need to know all the details of the camera feed. Medium privacy is the choice to blur unnecessary contents and allows un-blur if needed.
Strong Privacy
When privacy is restricted, however, the viewer still needs some insights, strong privacy mode provides a list of events without saving the recordings any where.
Being a major part of experience that could explain our concepts, we focused on making informative setting screens with appropriate UX copies(Rational + Understandable, Focused + Simple, Friendly + Trustworthy).

We want the settings be a place where users can go back to when they forget about some camera behaviors and feel informed while completing a setting.
Visuals subject to change.
UX copies subject to change.
Physical Indicator In App Reference
As a holistic experience, app UI also need to connect with physical interface.
Concept Animations_01
We visualized complex feature concepts in dedicated screens.
Concept Animations_02
We visualized complex feature concepts in dedicated screens.
Direct feedback
Some behavior may be hard to convey only through text, we implemented direct visualization along with textual explanations.
Guest Access
One solution to respecting adjacent user privacy is to directly share with them what the owners can see.

The guest mode responds to situations such as Airbnb, having a babysitter, when you don't really want to turn off your camera but other people's privacy is at stake.
Visuals subject to change.
UX copies subject to change.
At a glance of who has access
Sharing can be toggled easily through a master switch or individually managed.
Sending an invitation
Instead of showing all trivial controls, we sorted out some degree of sharing that might be useful based on scenarios.
Details still subject to user testing.
Guest end
Guests can check through their phone on shared view.
Guest manual
As a guest, they cam also see how adjacent privacy works.
Experience Road Bumps
In medium privacy made, we explore different modals of un-blur action with emphasis on how hard it is to un-blur footage.

We want to make un-blurring possible but would take some effort to accomplish. Since privacy mode is chosen, users would need to put in effort to uphold their trust too.
Visuals subject to change.
UX copies subject to change.
Attention driven button
Video would only un-blur when the button is pressed. This way, un-blurring only happens when the user actively wants to view content
Unblur toggle
Most basic form of control, this is the model we want to avoid.
Secondary menu
Un-blurring is hidden from regular user and could be found if user actively look for it. This design slow down the process of un-blurring and gives users time to consider.
Hidden menu #2
Instead of subordinate menu, users access the hidden menu through swipe left. Control is closer to video feed upholding gestalt principle.
Next Step
With design materials prepared, our next step is to conduct user study aiming to determine finer details of both physical and mobile interface.

We have planned semi structured interview with sections targeting how does interface push privacy related behavior, how is the physical rendition perceived under social context, and how do people of different smart camera literacy respond to this speculative space.

As a speculative design project, our end goal is to produce high fidelity prototypes and marketing materials that invoke common thoughts of designing for adjacent users who's privacy is at stake but not widely designed for.