identity.com: The Quest to Find Its Own Identity
identity.com is rooted in an identity protection feature from a product called IdentitySmart. Because of IdentitySmart’s good performance, its parent company Inflection planned to create a standalone product for identity management. From its private launch in 2013 to its public launch in 2014, identity.com went through a quest to search for its own identity.
Private Launch: Young and Ambitious
identity.com’s founding team went beyond identity protection and envisioned a product that aggregates all of your content across different social networks, and visualizes them in different forms to help you reflect on your own digital identity. I joined the team at the production design phase, and my focus was to create a design language that could incorporate various content from different social networks in a harmonious way. The product was launched privately, but technical challenges limited it from the original vision.
Redefining a Vision: Soul Searching
With lessons learned from the private launch, the team went back to the starting line. We really looked into what does personal data mean, and how can we help shape the understanding and expression of one’s identity. We held user research sessions and workshops to seek answers to those questions. Insights and inspirations from these sessions helped me to explore many concepts, and some of them became part of the final narrative of the product vision.
Public Launch: Finding the Balance
The journey so far helped the team see value in both identity protection and self-expression. But how to connect these two seemingly conflicting behaviors? Looking deeper into the motivations for each behavior, we believe the key to balancing them is to focus on the message of “protect sensitive information for privacy, but share safe and unique information to gain trust.”
With a clarified message, the design focused on two aspects: for identity management, helping people identify themselves in the people search database, and partially or completely opting out of information about them. For shaping one’s identity, providing goal-based recommendations of content to keep public, and presenting content in various modules with the goal of establishing credibility and gaining trust.
My Role & Credit
Todd Zaki Warfel lead the product design of identity.com until the private launch, and Lynn Sandberg was the visual designer. Carina Ngai and I worked together to redefine the product vision. I lead the product design of Identity.com for public launch, and Maria Vassalo España was the visual designer. Andrea Moed was the user researcher from private to public launch.