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PGP rocks

Understanding encryption does not have to be difficult

Photo of Claudia Ully
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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

Many concepts in cyber security are difficult to grasp for those not familiar with these topics. But understanding concepts like , for example, email encryption with PGP is important - those who understand it, will use it. This sketch tries to explain the concept using 'real-world' analogies. I wanted to create something that catches the viewers interest and makes him/her explore the illustration. And with exploration comes - hopefully - understanding. This illustration concept could also be used for visualizing other aspects and concepts in cyber security; I picked PGP just as an example.

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

Finding analogies to illustrate more abstract concepts is not easy. But creating such visualizations is much more fun than drawing graphs and schemes.

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

I used to work as a Technical Writer whose task it is to explain complex ideas as simply as possible. Then, out of interest, I got into Computer Science and currently I am perparing myself for a career in cyber security.

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

I like the challenge of creating visualizations for complex ideas.


What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a visual creator by hobby.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

Location: City


Location: Country

  • Germany


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dima Boulad

Claudia Ully , I really like how you're using analogies in your work! Agreed, cybersecurity is abstract to grasp, and the problem lies exactly in that. I think your illustration of an isometric view works really well as a roadmap, however I would argue that the main message is not clear. How might we show that this is how you're planning to solve the fact that people don't know these concepts clearly? Would typography (a big title) be helpful here? Or showing a character in context looking at this roadmap?

Photo of Claudia Ully

These are good points. Of course, a title could be helpful.
I thought I'd make this illustration a part of a short comic strip. Maybe a person is looking at his/her email client wondering where the "Encrypt" button is, because, everyone talks about mail encryption. Because there is no button to be found, the person thinks: "That seems to be very complicated. So who cares, it can't be that important." Then a friend shows up, presents the roadmap, saying something like: "Look, it's not that complicated. Let's set it up."