Designing the Privacy User Experience


In March 2011, Google was served with a two decade future audit of the company’s privacy practices, by the US Federal Trade Commission, for violation of user privacy with the Buzz product. The FTC cited poor user experience in providing users with privacy controls. Analysts believe this strong verdict is a warning to other companies that would willingly or unwillingly violate online user privacy.

Designing privacy is a key challenge. Privacy concerns are the #1 show stopper in ecommerce, are mandatory in social networking or social software design and are becoming a brand identity issue into the next decade. Do users feel your company protects their privacy with your site or product experience?

User Privacy, Privacy User Experience strategy, UI Design, perception of privacy, Designing privacy systems, social networking privacy, social software

Protecting user privacy is not something that just happens as part of the design process. Instead privacy requires a specific user experience strategy that accounts for and factors it into the design approach. Designing for privacy is as important as designing for customer conversion. This has to do with the fact that conversion and even adoption are tied directly to perception of privacy.

In Europe consumer privacy is much more heavily regulated than the United States, which is why we don’t hear about European companies violating privacy. In the US, market leaders Google and Facebook have attempted to take advantage of lax privacy rights protection and push a culture of informal privacy adherence. This has failed, as witnessed by the Facebook founder’s retraction of his statement that we had entered the privacy lax era.

The many attempts by Google and Facebook to favor inadvertent sharing and cookie tracking (attempts to loosen privacy) have led a shoddy overall experience for users, the most notable symptom (and the butt of many a cartoon) includes being unaware of what one is actually sharing. Both Google and Facebook have taken public beatings for their violations of privacy and both struggle in practice to guard privacy by design.

In this seminar, we look at how to design a web service, social networking site or social application with privacy built in from the start. What is the best way to notify users of their privacy without having them read a press release or legal footer text? How should you rework an existing design or application to be more privacy-compliant?

This seminar we will explore important user interface design strategy and tactics that will help you design an intentional and deliberate privacy user experience. We will follow research based guidelines and proven tactics for improving and strengthening perception of privacy. You will learn how to apply privacy user experience (UX) to an existing design as well as how to approach designing privacy in from the start.



  1. Privacy weak design vs. Privacy strong design- what are the tradeoffs?
  2. The 5 Key Privacy Controls
  3. Transparency and Translucence- implications for your privacy strategy
  4. What could a privacy-friendly Facebook look like instead? (Explore a mock-up of a better privacy user experience for Facebook)
  5. Q & A


Who should attend: 
Managers; Directors; VPs; SVP’s; CTO’s; CEO’s any senior manager interested in clarifying usability best practices.

What You Get: 

What You Get:

  1. Unlimited Archive Access
  2. PDF Notes (PPT)
  3. Access to Trainer with any questions


Frank Spillers, MS (CEO, Founder & CXO)

Frank Spillers is a distinguished speaker, author, and internationally respected Senior UX practitioner and UX Master Trainer. He is a world expert in improving the design and user experience of products, services, and experiences across numerous industries and applications. A recognized leader in the field, Frank has successfully applied 22 years of advanced knowledge of UX and Human-Centered Design methodology in Fortune 500, non-profits, and corporate environments globally.

A recognized subject matter expert by the U.S. Department of Labor, Frank has developed new UX techniques for understanding user needs, assessing user experience, and conducting rapid design prototyping. Recently, he has contributed ground-breaking research on the impact of design and emotion. His current work has been profiled in leading industry publications including The Handbook of Task Analysis for Human-Computer Interaction, MarketingSherpa's Landing Page Handbook, and the book-- The Persona Lifecycle.

Before founding Experience Dynamics in 2001, Frank managed usability consulting for WebCriteria (now IBM Analytics) and worked with students of Dr. Donald Norman (the grandfather of Human-Centered Design) at Intuitive Design, a San Diego-based User-Centered Design consultancy. His current clients include Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Logitech, GE, Hewlett-Packard, KeyBank, Four Seasons, Chase,, and He has trained over 70,000 UX designers globally and continues to teach through his mentoring group:

Frank received his Master's in Cognitive Science (MS) from Birmingham University, UK in the user experience of virtual reality with an emphasis on collaborative virtual environments.

Email Frank

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