Digiwise is a tool that simplifies the digital legacy planning process.
Product Design / User Experience Design
Passing on our possessions to the next generations simply meant to pass on the paper files and properties in the past. But in this digital era, we now own so many valuable belongings in the intangible form. However, the concept of digital legacy is still not familiar to many people, and the process of creating a digital will still takes place in the traditional paper form. In fact, the lack of digital will has created many problems in the recent years. Therefore, we came to this initial problem to tackle: is there a simple and easy way to plan for a digital will?
With the general intention to facilitate user’s understanding and actual planning on their digital legacy, the digiwise product is consisted of 3 main steps: Inform, Plan and Communicate. During the onboarding process, users will learn about how the app work as well as setting up their personal profile. In the planning process, users start by both discovering related information and choosing among policy-aligned planning options. Users will also have the option to select default plans for each asset category to speed up their planning process. When unsure about their decisions, Digiwise can facilitate a conversation with their beloved ones to discuss on the decisions. After they finish, the users will be able to export the plan into a digital will and send it to their selected executors to confirm and getting the will legitimized.
With our initial problem in mind, we surveyed, interviewed, and conducted participatory design on users in different age groups and occupations on their perceptions on their digital possessions.
The general survey shows participants are relatively concerned for their digital information after death with a likert scale of 3.46 (out of 5), with a portion of 36.5% never thought about digital legacy. High percentage participants (71%) would like to retain their personal social accounts (yet varied on specific handling of the accounts).
The general survey also shows that participants are not familiar with the policy for digital legacy, especially towards the ownership of purchased licenses (including music and eBooks).
Our interviewees vary from age to occupation, thus have very different answers. Older interviewees tend to have more needs towards the digital memorial service and are more worried about their digital legacy. Younger interviewees tend to be relatively nonchalant about their digital legacy. One reason might be because they haven’t produced as much work as the older interviewees. Another factor might be because they haven’t form their own family, thus they don’t have to worry about passing their legacy to the next generation.
We conducted card sorting sessions during the evaluative stage, which helped us learn that people have different mental models for “passing on”. We realized that there needs to be a middle stage between “pass on” and “delete”, which is archiving, to still save the data but not actively managing it. Another takeaway from our participatory design session is that users may be unsure of their decisions and wants to consult with friends and family.
Drawing insights from our research data, we identified several pain points for the digital legacy planning process, which became our design opportunities.
Learning from the three main pain points, we started brainstorming features that would target these challenges.
As my first self-initiated UX project, my partner and I set specific timelines and check points to make sure that we are not trapped in one part of the process. I also learned that during the iterative design process, it is important to incorporate evaluative user research, which helped us identify some key features in the final product.