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How can we bring transparency to urban tech? These icons are a first step.
Digital technology is all around us, but often invisible. Consider: on any one urban excursion (your commute, perhaps), you could encounter CCTVs, traffic cameras, transit card readers, bike lane counters, Wi-Fi access points, occupancy sensors that open doors — potentially all on the same block.

Many of these new innovations are exciting. After all, they can make public spaces more comfortable, responsive, and efficient. But there’s little transparency about what data these technologies are collecting, by whom, and for what purposes. Signage that does appear in the public realm often contains either small snippets, which give no indication of how to follow up or ask more questions, or multiple paragraphs of dense text....

A movement toward digital transparency can help by providing easy-to-understand language that clearly explains data and privacy implications of digital technologies.... As digital technologies become increasingly embedded into our physical spaces, we can bring digital transparency to the public realm — an opportunity that has been identified as critical by academics, cities, and civic groups around the world.

But how do we start? Cities like Boston and London have already taken important first steps by posting clear signage whenever they employ digital technologies in the public realm. Similarly, regulatory entities in both the E.U. and the U.S. have called for the development of icons to communicate key terms and concepts around online privacy in a clear and digestible manner....

Design languages already help generate understanding around complex issues every day. Nutrition labels help demystify the content of the foods we consume; Creative Commons logos quickly convey the key elements of their copyright licenses; and universal symbols help us effectively navigate through transportation hubs anywhere in the world...

Together with more than 100 participants from several cities, we sketched, debated, iterated, and prototyped a visual language that offers a quick way to understand the technology around us — and a means to easily learn more....

From our user research, we knew that there were some core concepts that people wanted to know while they were in the public realm: specifically, the purpose of a digital technology as well as its accountable entity. People also wanted to have an easy way to follow-up and learn more and know if the technology could “see” or identify them.... We decided to convey each of these concepts in an icon that would be placed within a hexagon. We chose hexagons because, as a visual cue, they are not widely used today in public realm signage to represent other concepts. They are also easy to combine together in different ways, enabling some close concepts to live together visually.... One hexagon conveys the purpose of the technology; another, the logo of the entity responsible for the technology; and a third contains a QR code that takes the individual to a digital channel where they can learn more.... The final piece of essential information we wanted to convey — which was echoed strongly by the user research participants — involved privacy. In situations where identifying information is collected, a privacy-related colored hexagon would also be displayed. This hexagon would combine an icon displaying the technology type (video, image, audio, or otherwise) with an icon expressing how identifiable information is used (yellow for identifiable, blue for de-identified before first use, among others)....

With the core concepts represented on the sign, and the QR code to bridge the physical and the digital, the remainder of the information about the technology could be made available on the digital channel.... The chain contains three categories of information: the hardware and purpose of the technology, the software and data it uses, and the means of storage. Each category is represented by a different shape.
smart_cities  surveillance  signs  privacy  graphic_design 
yesterday by shannon_mattern
The level of detail in @wifelette's conference work is off the charts. So impressive. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  advice  conference  signs  tips 
4 weeks ago by ChristopherA
typography  found-type  japan  lettering  signs  retro  graphic-design  photoblogs 
5 weeks ago by haikara
Humorous New Contextual Street Sign Interventions by Michael Pederson
A park solitude rating guide, oversized emergency panic buttons, or personal space preference cards, all completely ludicrous and yet it’s hard not to think these might be useful in certain situations.
signs  art  parks  introversion 
6 weeks ago by ahall

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