According to a recent Cisco report, one million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled globally in 2016, with a total of one and a half million expected by 2019. With such a shortage of workers, the quality of candidates is sure to vary widely. And while recent security breaches at Target, Sony, and Home Depot were caught by software, the software obscured the nature and degree of the breach instead of highlighting it for the people using the software.
It is critically important that designers, developers, and buyers of security software understand the users of security software. This understanding needs to go well beyond demographics to the motivations, skills, and aptitudes of the end users. In doing so, we can provide users with the right tools—and by imagining ourselves as users and deciding what is important to us, we can demand better tools. And as designers and developers, by understanding who we are designing for, we can better design and build more useful software.
Audrey Crane and Scott Cronin have conducted a detailed interview-based body of work that takes as its source 100+ hours of in-person and phone interviews and organized that work into archetypal users (personas) with hopes, fears, interests, motivations, and levels of experience. Audrey and Scott share the personas they uncovered in their research and outline some prototypes of potential near-future security interfaces that best meet the needs of these various personas.
Audrey Crane is a partner at DesignMap, where she designs web and mobile apps for clients like Docker, eBay, and Salesforce. Audrey started in high tech 18 years ago as an executive producer at Netscape, where she managed high-profile products such as Net Search and Netscape’s advertising program. Previously, she worked at Dubberly Design Office with clients like Sun, Palm, Stanford, Revolution Health, and Opsware and served as the vice president of design at the Magellan Network, where her team won NNG’s Top 10 Best UI Awards. Audrey studied mathematics, English, and theater during her undergraduate work and studied design at UC Berkeley and California College of Arts (CCA). She tweets at @audcrane.
Scott Cronin is a senior researcher at DesignMap, where he designs web and mobile apps for clients like Docker, eBay, and Salesforce. Seven years into a counseling career, Scott decided to transition to working in technology. His experience includes benchmark usability, rapid iterative testing, CRM, and mobile research, as well as design for CRM and mobile at SAP. Previously, he worked for design agencies in both research and design.
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