Revised Concept Statement
This thesis project aims to spread awareness of online privacy by making users act on their data sharing behaviors. The experience would be set up in a virtual reality environment, enclosing users in a sea of people drowning in surveillance. Generation Z would be the target audience for the project.
User Test Analysis
The revised concept statement written above has come out of the feedback I have received during user tests and classroom discussions. In the original placement of the project (a 3-part experience), the narrative was missing. So, the experience was unable to tie itself from one part to the next. Moreover, the experience was primarily observation-based, so it appeared to be less engaging and actionable.
Revised Project Summary
The updated project experience combines the three parts into one and adds engagement through reasoning. As the users enter the VR environment, they would find themselves in a dark room next to amorphous humans, who are standing still. They would be surrounded by surveillance cameras, each dripping water on the floor. They would see the water level rising and would get closer to the amorphous humans, who would be giving away their (humans’) personal information. Through a series of prompts, the users will make choices about online data sharing. Their interactions would determine the intensity of water dripping from the cameras, and hence the water level in the environment. Eventually, they will understand the objective of the experience – to prevent the amorphous humans from drowning by making better choices about privacy.
User Test and Feedback
I tested the project idea and its delivery by testing the 3-part storyboard of the experience. The narrative was shared with the test subjects in-person and online and through video interviews and questionnaires. The test users were industry professionals, computer scientists, GenZ, students, entrepreneurs, and VR enthusiasts.
For the in-person tests, the users (testers) were explained the purpose of the project and its mechanism of action (a VR experience about privacy). Then, they were shown the storyboard of the 3-part experience. For individual interviews, I recorded snippets from the conversation.
The questionnaire included a pitch with an image, followed by questions. To test the business potential of the idea, I also posed a few questions about its implementation in a commercial setting, in addition to that at a museum.
Privacy is dead. Your personal data is used to market products to you, influencing your choice and behavior. I want to change that.
The idea is to create an interactive installation in Virtual Reality to make people learn about the sources of data collection, its manifestation, and how it can be prevented.
You, as the user, would go inside this vulnerable world and come out of it enlightened. Awareness in this form will be much more engaging and impactful.
Learn more: https://www.akshansh.net/blog/diagnostic-user-scenario-process-paper-thesis
The following images present an assembly of user feedback on the project idea. They are split into 3 parts – positive comments, negative comments, and suggestions/thoughts/opinions. The ones in orange were received from the questionnaire, and the ones in black were interviews done in-person or online.