Chair's Medal for Innovation 2023

Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Service Design

Ebby Lai (She/Her)

I am a Service Designer, System Thinker and Strategist inspired by the ‘What if’ design mantra, fuelled by a passion for cross-cultural dynamics, technology, and forward-looking design. With years of experience in project management, digital transformation, and innovation stewardship, I excel at translating ideas into reality through collaboration with diverse teams to tackle intricate system challenges.

I firmly believe in ‘design in action’: learning through action, practicing through action, and driving change through action.  My approach blends user-centric storytelling and engagement with a broader system thinking perspective, unveiling opportunities and shaping a symbiotic and ontological future system.


The Fl:p

The Fl:p

Context: Data is the driving force behind the economy and services we rely on in our daily lives. As users and data providers, we actively shape this data-driven system. Our personal data undergoes aggregation and processing, forming ‘digital’ identities in the socio-economic system.

Amidst the swift transition to a data-driven, AI-powered society, its impact varies on individuals. Technology’s potential for good or bad depends on design and execution, necessitating well-informed, collective decisions. However, managing data privacy is not a priority for users in the daily context. The over-dominance of big Tech and the lack of user participation can exacerbate existing issues in the future.

User Research Insight: In daily life, convenience always trumps privacy. The current design of data consent makes users choose convenience over privacy, which constantly ‘accept’ to share data in the blink of an eye.

As a user, are we well-prepared to embrace the Data and AI-driven future? Do we comprehend the consequences of sharing our data every day and the implications? Without acknowledging the WHAT, HOW and WHY of our data is being collected and processed, the consequences can be tremendous and we become more vulnerable in the future. Right now, there is a lack of tools to help users to navigate it if we cannot avoid it.

Speculation: How can we make the system more transparent and equitable? Why do we have to trade off privacy over convenience? How do we enable and empower users through data ownership to co-create a more equitable and citizen-led future?

Vision: This project focuses on creating a future-proof symbiotic system, empowering citizens through a disrupting data strategy, and fostering a reciprocal and iterative feedback loop from present to future.

Introducing The Fl:p

The Fl:p is a user-centric data and privacy management platform that empowers users to easily control their data and privacy, offering enhanced visibility and autonomy in deciding how, what, and why to share their information. This innovative platform is developed by the Responsible Tech Community, committed to harnessing technology for social good, and it’s designed in collaboration with the social sector and digital service users who aspire to transform the way they manage their data.

The Fl:p adopts a forward-looking design approach to drive behavioral change. It places user experience at the forefront of data-sharing, allowing users to take control at their own pace to reduce resistance to usage. The platform seamlessly manages data consent at every digital interaction, enabling users to explore future opportunities by converting their data into valuable tokens. These tokens can be used to support their favorite businesses and communities and to participate in shaping policymaking through a feedback loop.

The Fl:p 1.0 – Data consent management (NOW feature)

Users can set their privacy preferences on The Fl:p and download the extension on their browser or mobile app. The Fl:p will scan the T&Cs at the backend and translate them into the most relevant layman message regarding the kind of information the website/app is accessing. In this way, users don’t need to invest their ‘time’ and ‘effort’ in reading through those consent terms but can still obtain the critical information required to decide whether to accept, reject, or customize. If users want to learn more about the possible implications, they can click ‘Find out more.’ In this way, users remain in control of their decisions, allowing them to make more informed choices.

The Fl:p 2.0 – Data Connected Service (NEAR FUTURE feature)

Users can start adding their data to build a personal data bank and connect it to the organizations they choose. This way, users can avoid the hassle of repeatedly filling in similar information for different organizations, and they have complete control over what to share and with whom.

The Fl:p 3.0 – Community Data Tank (FAR FUTURE feature)

As data management becomes a part of users’ daily routine with The Fl:p, they can convert their data into a new social token through blockchain technology to support the businesses and organisations they want to see thrive. Users can choose what kind of data they want to share, which is meaningful for business success. In return, users become stakeholders in these businesses, not just users. This empowers users to influence and co-create the future they prefer.





The problem

Explore emotion journey and cognitive behaviour

Who is this designed for?

Participatory design and prototyping