From Innocent Irene to Parental Patrick: Framing User Characteristics and Personas to Design for Cybersecurity

E.Y. Kim, JungKyoon Yoon, Jieun Kwon, Tiffany Liaw, Alice M. Agogino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


With the surging number of digital devices penetrating our daily routines, the risks inherent to cybersecurity—the protection of data on digital products connected to the Internet—have also increased since these devices (e.g., connected home devices, personal monitoring) collect, process, analyze and store users’ sensitive personal information. Thus, there is a pressing need to assist users in being aware of and dealing with potential cybersecurity threats. With the proposition that fulfilling the need starts with developing an in-depth understanding of the user behaviors in the context of cybersecurity, an exploratory study was conducted that employed three mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods—a trend analysis, an interview study, and an online survey study. The paper reports the user characteristics on (1) awareness levels of cybersecurity issues, (2) uses of digital devices, and (3) means of dealing with the privacy issues in product use. The results of the studies were translated into eight personas that systematically reflect distinct characteristics of users, which can help designers empathize with their potential users vulnerable to cybersecurity risks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Engineering Design
EditorsPetra Badke Schaub, Maaike Kleinsmann
PublisherThe Design Society
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Engineering Design - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Aug 20198 Aug 2019
Conference number: 22

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
ISSN (Print)2220-4334


ConferenceInternational Conference on Engineering Design
Abbreviated titleICED2019


  • Early design phases
  • Ethics
  • Human behaviour in design
  • User centred design

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