I conducted an evaluation of Frontline.org using Jakob Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design for my Spring '17 class, Designing for Usability. Though I started with Nielsen's heuristics, much of my evaluation focused on the information architecture of Frontline.org content.
I’m going to pick up on a theme that was tucked into the end of chapter 4 in Audience Evolution (Napoli), brushed over in the Kipper reading regarding law enforcement and was the dominant concept of the Soghoian Ted Talk. But first, excuse me while I put masking tape over the cameras on all of my digital devices.
If we think about a more simple time — when people used cash to buy fares and goods, when wrote letters rather than making phone calls and when people could move undetected — there was a certain anonymity to the world. Privacy scholars argue, according to Napoli, that people should have the right to read content untracked. There was no digital fingerprint.
Though it’s clear from the Napoli reading that digital content distributors can’t quite nail down that tracking thing (for political and organizational reasons), it’s still possible to run down almost every minute of every day for any connected human. The host of NPR’s podcast Note To Self, Manoush Zomorodi, recently posted a new project called “The Privacy Paradox.” The intent of the podcast is to help NPR listeners regain some control over their digital data.
The team at NPR outlines the metadata that is captured by all of your digital devices: “Where you went, who you spoke to, what you read, what you looked at … Metadata is surveillance data. It’s incredibly personal.” Every time we sign a new EULA - end-user license agreement, we surrender our data to app developers. Apple, Google, Microsoft (top operating systems, ) have the ultimate control over our data.