Designing a series of speculative services for our generation to reflect on how much control we want over digital traces.
September 2017 - May 2018
Concept design, Research,UX/UI, Visual design. is a series of speculative services designed to playfully stimulate the awareness of digital traces.

Through using the service, people can learn how digital traces capture our daily life. The goal of the is to help our generation to feel more confident to talk about these traces and retain control of them.

Research & Process

Digital traces are something we leave online every day. Most of them are invisible and unintentional, like search and purchase histories. A lot of people ignore their existence because they feel they have nothing to hide and consider the traces irrelevant. 

I want to design an experience that would encourage users to know more about their digital traces in order to feel ownership. I started the process with preliminary research that what users have known in order to better define the problem.


  • There is a lack of understanding of how these digital traces can give a huge insight into our life.​
  • The users are basically whoever is using the Internet. They vary greatly in age, understanding of technology, and the devices they own.​
  • The medium to tell the story is important. An article or a video is not enough.


How we encourage users to know more about their traces and empower them to retain control over them?

With the goal in mind, my hypothesis is that people know where to find the information, but is the lack of engaging experience discourages people to know more.  After interviewing and case studies, I found the best way to create an engaging experience for a serious topic is to use a speculative design approach and stretch the imagination of the users.

Through exploring a range of ideas through brainstorming, creating storyboards, and conducting workshops, I set off to create a series of speculative design services. Every service would have a personalized outcome generalized by digital traces for people to share. Using speculative design as a medium allows us to tell the story in a more conversational and lighthearted voice.

Let's Meet

The final design consisted of three different speculative services. By using digital traces to generalized personalized products, the users realized how digital traces interpret their life. The design would serve as an incentive for the user to visualize how impactful digital traces are. At the end of the experience, the user will have the chance to reconsider their privacy setting and take back control.

Getting Started

To begin, homepage introduces the users to the purpose of the services and gives them a quick overview of what the final outcome will be. The users then have the chance to choose one of the three services to start with. The service is simulated as a regular website, the user can generate their personalized product throughout the process.

The main goal of the services is to help people recognized how digital traces capture our life and how can we control them.

Envision the Outcomes

In order to get the final product, the users are asked to choose a friend or family to participate in the journey. Joining in real people enable the users to envision what the outcome can be.

The time to decide

While the users are learning more about the service, the system asks them to share some part of their digital traces to complete the process. The users may agree or disagree with the sharing. Base on the decision, the service will provide different tips for the users to consider.

I want this service to play a neutral role in this topic. It presents the opinions of both sides. The users are the ones to make the decision.

Stay Tuned

After the experience has ended, people can still use to stay tuned for the lasted tips and changes.

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