Data, Consent and Privacy

Short Version

All users of this site should be aware that;

  • You are never perfectly secure on any website
  • Multiple external vendors will see some of your data as you use the site
  • Your data will be treated with the utmost respect and care while being used to inform design decisions
  • A balance between ease of use, transparency and security has been made repeatedly in making choices in the building of this website
  • We’re always open to discussion about changing those choices

All users of the site during the Research phase must read and complete the Research Participant Information and Consent form, and register for the site.

A collection of the major emails and surveys community members will interact with can be found at https://testbatch.com.au/about/research/emails-and-surveys/

All data will be archived at the completion of the research period and securely stored at the University of Canberra for 5 years. At this point all users can choose to have their information scrubbed from the website, or be part of it’s development into a startup or active development community.

Long Version

Testbatch centers around User Toolkits that enable the customization of designs, a project management system for managing open design collaboration, and the capacity to build a community of interested parties around a particular User Toolkit idea. As a user creates their own version of a design with a User Toolkit, they create large amounts of data (both in terms of the options selected and the features of the resulting 3D digital model) that can then be analysed in order to generate insights with which to inform the next iteration of the toolkit. Passing those insights back to both the users and the designers will allow each audience to reflexively affect the other, and provide structure to the conversation between them.

Journalling the process publicly at will be used to summarise the actions taken on the platform and in the research as it can be both a reflective and organizational tool, and provide data points from which future inferences may be drawn. The ‘home’ of this part of the project on the website will be at http://testbatch.com.au/learn/

Transparent, dynamic and informed consent will be obtained as users join the platform, and the potential ethical and security issues will be reiterated to all stakeholders regularly. Informed consent is imperative to both the ongoing design development in this project (stakeholders with misconceptions or a lack of information can’t make sound decisions) and from a broader research ethics perspective. All users of the site during the Research phase must read and complete the Research Participant Information and Consent form, and register for the site.

Security

No website is perfectly secure. This site has been designed and developed by Dean Hewson, who has significant experience building commercial websites, and best practices in security for this type of site have been followed. However, it is a new website hosted on a shared server, using plugins and frameworks from multiple other web developers – any of which could present a hole through which a user’s security could be compromised.

To mitigate the problem, SSL is used, and leading security plugins are active. Standard attack vectors for this type of website have been obfuscated. The community also at this stage uses a ‘fake’ currency, with no value in the real world – so no credit card details are stored, and no money can be stolen.

Using a good password is recommended. The best way to do that is through the use of a password manager – it is a good idea for everyone to move to using one of these, now is a good time to start. This guide will help you get started: http://thewirecutter.com/blog/password-managers-are-for-everyone-including-you/

Privacy

Only the core admin account has access to all data on this website, and access to the account is restricted to the developer of this website. Users have control over what information they share on the site, and in most cases who can see that information. Should you have any queries or notice any problems, please get in touch and we’ll resolve them.

In the interests of transparency, these are the tools and services being used to track usage and store the content of this site:

  • Google Analytics for tracking anonymised, general usage
  • Heap Analytics for tracking anonymised, specific usage
  • Server side logging of changes
  • Backups encrypted and saved on Dropbox

The above is correct as at 12 September 2o17. If and when the above changes, this section will also be updated.

Data Gathering and Statistical Analysis

Data informed iteration of User toolkits requires the gathering of data and the mining thereof for insight. As users and designers interact with the website, both qualitative and quantitative data can be collected. The insights generated from that data will inform the next iteration of a user toolkit.

Quantitative data will come from;

  • The output of user toolkit customisations
  • Digital 3D model topological and morphological data
  • User generated social profile on the website (demographics)

Qualitative data will come from;

  • Informal user interviews and feedback
  • Online surveys, both with the website in general and bundled with a User toolkit
  • Observation of users, face to face and through analytics
  • Discourse analysis of conversations had by the community

The statistical analyses undertaken will be exploratory studies to discern relationships between variable groups. The sample size needed is fairly arbitrary, as the design decisions being made with the data on this project are not affecting the development of multi-million dollar product lines. The robustness of the insight generated will scale with the size of the sample used. The exact sample sizes required for sound decision making are part of what is being investigated in the practice based phase of this research project.

The exact statistical methods being applied will evolve with use and over time. Basic descriptive statistics will be necessary, as well as more advanced techniques suited to uncovering unknown relationships between data, such as cross tabulations, regression analyses and machine learning. Machine learning techniques, like k-means clustering, are especially useful to this project due to the pace and relative ease with which insights from and relationships in data can be uncovered.

User toolkits will be interacted with by users face to face with a designer, alone online, or in small group settings. The audience of users will be self selecting, sourced from the networks of myself, my peers, my research institution and through social media sharing and advertising.