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A Day in the Life

A visual narrative exploring this new, extended web of connected devices known as the Internet of Things

Photo of Erin Lucarelli
6 3

Written by

Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

A woman sits in her living room at night. A smart thermostat rests on the wall behind her. It’s been 30 days since she last updated her device password, and she learns how she can quickly and easily take this action (see Sketch 2). The woman feels assured knowing the thermostat company has a dedicated hacking team probing the device for potential vulnerabilities, but is even more confident now that she’s added another layer of protection for herself. Innovation in technology has led to smarter, more efficient ways to navigate the connected world through the devices we carry, wear, or use in our homes everyday—but it also leaves us vulnerable to cyberthreats. My objective is twofold: by illustrating the omnipresence of the “Internet of Things” from one person’s POV, I aim to create awareness of the scale with which our personal data is collected in a relatable way. Secondly, I’d like to empower viewers to take control of their own cybersafety by layering in tangible, step-by-step solutions they can easily adopt into their everyday lives. My idea would combine a “human” and “expert” ethos through depictions of real events, in a straightforward style. By grounding the visuals in time and space, I hope to more easily communicate complex concepts to the widest audience. This idea also challenges people's assumptions that taking action against cyberthreats is for the tech savvy, only. Anyone who uses a smart device can/should feel empowered to protect themselves.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

This is a storyboard for the “change password” instructional component. It would appear as a GIF or video within the sample image above. For next steps in this challenge, I would continue to create images (5-6) that highlight one woman’s daily routine, and the connected devices she uses throughout her journey (i.e. in the morning, at the park, with a fitness tracker—she adjusts her default privacy settings from “everyone” to “just me”). One application of this idea could be a responsive website / “slideshow” with more storytelling and fun transitions between vignettes—but I’m open to suggestions! I’d also continue to refine this overall visual style further, with explorations into detail, dimension, texture, and color.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

I’ve discovered how little I know about the cybersecurity space, even as someone who uses (and designs!) interfaces everyday. Throughout this process, I’ve learned what’s missing—in the way of helpful, tangible suggestions for improving security there is plenty of lengthy text, but not much out there for visual learners.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I’m a product designer.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

I’ve just started exploring the role that cybersecurity plays in my own work, some of which consists of designing interfaces in which people’s personal information is captured and stored. I can’t wait to dive deeper and learn more about this timely, important topic. I’m hoping this challenge will help me make better design decisions, and in turn help people stay more secure.


What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have never worked in cybersecurity before but am excited to learn more and get involved.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a professional visual creator affiliated with an organization.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO email / social media

Location: City

San Francisco

Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • United States of America


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jen Zariat

I think it's a great idea to have more visual step-by-step explanations for exactly how to take these actions, and your idea of grounding them in a real world context seems like it would anchor the concepts well. I also like the calm colors in the illustrations. I think they give a gentle mood to the process, rather than the usual more alarming color schemes.

Photo of Erin Lucarelli

Thanks, Jen! That’s a great insight about color I hadn’t considered. I appreciate the encouragement—if I can get people to embrace a few good habits, then I’ll consider it a success :)

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