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Click-to-Load Protection

Challenge

Build a framework that enables replacement of page elements with "click to play" UI of some form, preventing tracking by Facebook's social network services such as sharing, comments, logins, or other functionality. 

Solution

We settled on an overlay (see above) for elements such as posts, video, and comments and used a tooltip (see right) over a button container for Facebook log-in. This was accompanied by a one-time message (see bottom). We decided to drop the title from the tooltip as it felt less useful.

Process

For the main overlay, we needed to communicate three things: 1) that we're protecting users from Facebook, 2) that they can disable this overlay, and 3) a brief explanation of how the feature works. We wanted users to understand the implications of clicking to view the social content.

I first met with the designer to understand the needs and constraints of the project. Normally if there’s Facebook content on a page, it will load (so that the content appears properly) and track users even if they don’t interact with it or have a Facebook account. This new protection blocks that content by default and informs users about the prevented tracking.

I validated my understanding of technical workings with the developer by writing help documentation, which underwent legal review. I also conducted user testing to determine comprehension and how likely (or not) the user was to click. I wanted to ensure the copy felt trustworthy, or aligned with our company tone of voice.

Results

This testing proved successful. Some participants even said the feature made them reconsider what sources they get their news content from or whether they’d continue reading, which represents users making more informed choices regarding their online privacy.

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