Projects by IF is a London-based design studio, founded in 2015. Its work focuses on creating tools that facilitate the layperson’s understanding of issues like data rights and privacy, both for their benefit and for the benefit of service providers by improving trust with their users. One of its creations includes the Data Permissions Catalog: a library of design patterns such as cookie banners, terms of service and opt-in for consent prompts, which have been specifically adapted to be simple, intuitive and easy for others to replicate.
Sarah Gold, who founded and now directs Projects by IF, believes that privacy tools are often designed by and for other technologists. She thinks that using design, art, creativity and interactivity can help to inform the public much more effectively than by confronting them with legalese or technical jargon.
The studio’s work with the public has included an interactive exhibition at Somerset House in 2015, which allowed visitors to create their own fictional data licenses, giving individuals a granular set of options to express how they would like their online data to be used and by whom. Almost 16,000 people created their own licenses. According to Gold, this demonstrates that "when you give people the opportunity to understand, people choose to take control.”