Making data patterns actionable

Changes I'd make to the notification Apple gave me, to make it actionable

I’d turned my screensaver on as I walked away from my desk. My laptop was connected to a bigger screen where I was presenting to colleagues via Apple TV. When I came back to my laptop I saw this little notice in the top right hand side of my screen "your screen is being observed".

Screenshot of the "your screen is being observed pattern"

At work we call these kinds of notices "data patterns": A reusable, evidence-based solution to a common problem in data flows.

Instinctively I liked being reminded that my screen was still being shared on the bigger monitor (although the copy “observable” felt odd, like my screen was being watched remotely). The data pattern was helpful, because I had actually forgotten I was still sharing.

The missed opportunity was to help me do something about it at the point I saw the data pattern. Could this data pattern help me by giving me a quick route to stop screen sharing? Rather than forcing me through to the display settings again.

Making me aware that data is being shared is good. It would be even better to give me the agency to do something about it there and then.

Make it easy for me to make a choice.

Sarah Gold
I'm a values driven leader working on redesigning trust in technology.