July 17-19, 2019 / Vancouver, BC

Designing Content for Data Security

Content and services balancing the needs for ease of use and data security

Crystal Yan

In a place far from home, how do asylum seekers find information about and understand how to navigate a complex government process of applying for asylum? And how might we design content and services to ensure their data is secure?

Through the course of applying for asylum, asylum seekers must share sensitive information and receive sensitive communication through many channels: mail, email, phone, fax, and in-person. This presentation provides an overview of how to approach service and content design in the public sector in order to protect the privacy of vulnerable users and ensure data security.

Currently, communication between asylum seekers and immigration services staff in the US is unstructured and conducted across multiple channels such as mail, email, phone, fax, and in-person. There is a need to streamline communication services and data governance in order to avoid increasing wait time. For example, an asylum seeker might try to file a change of address, and depending on which communication channel they choose, data only gets updated in one system but not in others. When it comes to determining policies for how the collected data is governed, there is often also a discrepancy between a policy headquarters wants to impose given security concerns and a policy field offices can realistically comply with given current technical limitations.

In this presentation, we’ll share how our team conducted human-centered design research at asylum offices, how those insights illuminated areas of improvement for content and service design, and how we redesigned content and services while balancing needs for ease of use and data security.

Key Takeaways

  • Conveying the opportunity and impact of thoughtful content design in government
  • Sharing a specific case study of the work of the US Digital Service in designing content for asylum seekers
  • Sharing lessons learned and how the audience can apply them to their own content and service design work"