“Everybody Knows What You’re Doing”: A Critical Design Approach to Personal Informatics Conference Proceeding uri icon



  • We present an alternative approach to personal informatics design: instead of motivating people to examine their own behaviors, this approach promotes awareness of and reflection on the infrastructures behind personal informatics and the modes of engagement that they promote. Specifically, this paper presents an interface that displays personal web browsing data. The interface aims to reveal underlying infrastructure using several methods: drawing attention to the scope of mined data by displaying deliberately selected sensitive data, using purposeful malfunction as a way to encourage reverse engineering, and challenging normative expectations around data mining by displaying information in unconventional ways. Qualitative results from a two-week deployment show that these strategies can raise people’s awareness about data mining, promote efficacy and control over personal data, and inspire reflection on the goals and assumptions embedded in infrastructures for personal data analytics.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013

Full Author List

  • Khovanskaya V; Baumer EPS; Cosley D; Voida S; Gay G

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 3403

end page

  • 3412