CSCW 2018 (Online First) Paper Published: “Eliciting Values Reflections by Engaging Privacy Futures Using Design Workbooks”

Circle Design Workbook - colored cards
Several speculative designs and design fictions from a design workbook were printed onto cards and into other formats for participants to interact with.


Richmond Wong, Deirdre Mulligan, Ellen Van Wyk, James Pierce, and John Chuang published a paper in CSCW (Computer Supported Cooperative Work) 2018’s online-first publication, in the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction.

The paper, titled “Eliciting Values Reflections by Engaging Privacy Futures Using Design Workbooks,” presents a case study where a set of design workbooks of conceptual speculative designs and design fictions were presented to technologists in training in order to surface discussions and critical reflections about privacy. From the paper:

Although “privacy by design” (PBD)—embedding privacy protections into products during design, rather than retroactively—uses the term “design” to recognize how technical design choices implement and settle policy, design approaches and methodologies are largely absent from PBD conversations. Critical, speculative, and value-centered design approaches can be used to elicit reflections on relevant social values early in product development, and are a natural fit for PBD and necessary to achieve PBD’s goal. Bringing these together, we present a case study using a design workbook of speculative design fictions as a values elicitation tool. Originally used as a reflective tool among a research group, we transformed the workbook into artifacts to share as values elicitation tools in interviews with graduate students training as future technology professionals. We discuss how these design artifacts surface contextual, socially-oriented understandings of privacy, and their potential utility in relationship to other values levers.

We suggest that technology professionals can view and interact with design workbooks—collections of design proposals or conceptual designs, drawn together to allow designers to investigate, explore, reflect on, and expand a design space—to elicit values reflections and
discussions about privacy before a system is built, in essence “looking around corners” by broadening the imagination about what is possible.

Download the paper from the ACM Digital Library, or the Open Access version on eScholarship.