PrivacyTalks cross-medial campaign

UX/UI design project – Master Digital Design Client project

Project Mission

The city of Amsterdam is one that likes to innovate, but they do so as ethically correct as possible. Values such as inclusion, transparency, privacy and autonomy are very important to the municipality. However – like most cities – Amsterdam makes use of technical infrastructure that collects and processes personal data in the public space, be it for safety, commercial or research purposes. According to EU rules, citizens must be made aware of this and given the means to act on their rights as data owners. Therefore the municipality asked us to create an out-of-the-box solution for this complex challenge.


Service blueprint
We investigated both the current situation and desired situation on transparency in personal data collection. We decided to target the first half (the actual data collection).


Value-sensitive design

The key element here are values. Not just privacy and transparency but very specific values that could motivate the many stakeholders to take action or to learn. In that spirit our team used a Value Sensitive Design approach which included co-creating with the client, stakeholder & value mapping sessions, urban explorations and in-context interviews with a diverse set of citizens at Beursplein.


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In order to help start the conversation with citizens we designed several posters. The dilemma route proved to be the most effective because it talked about very personal situations.


What do citizens value?

In doing so we were able to understand what is important to citizens regarding privacy: The purpose behind data collection makes a big difference; it is considered ok for safety reasons, but not for commercial purposes. Citizens have more hostile feelings towards WIFI/Bluetooth tracking than to surveillance cameras. Citizens of all ages do value their privacy and want to tell the municipality their opinions but cannot, as it takes too much time and effort. Opinions on very specific situations are very different amongst types of citizens.


Analysing the results from 23 interviews with different citizens on theme


A Cross medial campaign on privacy dilemmas

Our solution: a cross-medial campaign around privacy dilemmas! #PrivacyTalks consists of various elements, a provocative arcade game installation in the public space to attract people into the campaign, posters and billboards that post intriguing dilemmas and provide a lead into the smartphone application, which allows the user to answer dilemmas, build up a unique profile and get help to take control over one’s privacy. There is much more, but the idea is that each element fills a need another element leaves open, and also provides leads into other elements.


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Campaign app

I focussed on the application (UX/UI), the dilemmas themselves (stakeholder research analysis/copy) and campaign ecosystem (strategy/UX). The municipality is arranging funding to realise this campaign at the time of writing. Perhaps in a year #PrivacyTalks will be all over Amsterdam.

The application has a unique onboarding process with attention to privacy terms and a few starting dilemmas. It is quite different from conventional apps as it is a campaign app. It needs to be bold, provocative and link to other elements. We spent time doing usability tests, testing the clarity of the dilemmas and testing if the app feels trustworthy enough. Through several iterations we created this demo MVP.