• Integrating interface & refinement.

  • Users can see their browsing history as a hook to show tracking.

  • Moving from web structure to multi-tier browsing ring.

  • 12 Hour clock visualization.

  • Variations of displaying sites & trackers.

  • Lightbeam data in a semi-circle.

  • Simple structure of full-circle visualization.

  • Process sketches

hypothesis #1
The Clock design aims to engage people who aren’t currently interested in privacy issues. The tool allows people to explore their own personal internet browsing history in daily, weekly, monthly and more longterm views.

a reflective mirror

We believed that people might like to see where they’ve been online, so the interface acts like a mirror reflecting an image of the user through his or her online browsing habits. Users also can see third party connection data specifically related to each site that they visit displayed as connection points on periphery of the interface.

We introduce users to the sites connected to them by appealing to personal browsing habits. Our hypothesis was that people will become interested in third parties and privacy issues through the lens of their own online experiences.
“Who is tracking me?”

“What type of content am I browsing?”

“What is the difference in between trackers?”

“When am I being tracked the most?”

“Why will I check it?
Why is it important to me?”

“How can this information inform my browsing habits?”

early stages

In the early stages of the development the existing visualization was deconstructed and questions were raised with web browsing as a key perspective.

The hypothesis targets a broad audience who is curious and compelled at looking at their browsing history to see a reflection of their personal behaviours and to see the thirxd party connections involved in this data. The goal was to visualize trends and patterns seen at a glance within this data while being able to compare and explore cumulative browsing history over time. The focus is on illustrating relationships between sites you have visited and cookies that store your information. Duration and type of content are key attributes that help inform users.

After preliminary sketches and brainstorming, the idea of having tiers for hierarchy was brought into the concepts for Collusion. This helped to organize the large clusters of trackers by displaying relationships clearly and relative to the user.

clock metaphor

The next stage was to render digital comps with the idea of having the third party sites represented inside an exterior ring of browsing data.

Browsing history is incorporated with time by using a clock metaphor. We created time sessions according to the user’s start and end browsing times. Multiple tabs are shown on rings in order to prevent overlap and confusion. The model of interactivity here is that a website tab on any tier will connect the third parties that are related to it. In the centered figure above, the top pink session is selected.

Colour is used to represent categories according to existing data (ie Alexa Top Sites.) This helps users identify when they are browsing content, what they have browsed and may provide insight by reflecting on personal patterns as a glance. A summary view aggregates the cumulative browsing history in order to show stats on browsing and tracking history. Time stats regarding browsing behaviour could be another component included here.


We explored calendar metaphors such as 12 hour clock and 24 hour clock, providing additional options of zooming into session times and being able to cluster hidden third parties. These compositions highlighted clarity issues about understanding and reading time quickly.

We resolved the issue by having a consistent time display visual and by evolving the form into a semi-circle that displays a 24-hour timeline. Clustering activity that corresponds to points in time is shown as dots that radiate outward. This creates a gauge-like aesthetic that is informative at a glance, depicting high and low points of activity. The interior is used to display current information about the third parties and can be changed by moving the handle to highlight different points in time. Three tiers of browsing activity have been incorporated from earlier comps but represent the activity of a website rather than a browser tab. Additional tracking information can be displayed by selsecting a tracking dot to reveal other connection points.
Multiple views were available to be toggled and displayed on the semi-circle: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly data can show overall user browsing trends, patterns and tracking data when used for longer time periods. The idea of categories and summary from previous comps could be incorporated back in this hypothesis as it evolved.

concept renderings

The add-on progressed and our visualizations got pushed further as we made collaborative efforts to develop the browsing history & web tracking hypothesis to what has evolved and referred to as the clock visualization. Our focus was to develop this concept further and being accompanied with a simple metrics visual to be shared from the interface. The developers worked hard to push add-on updates, improve the structure of how data is collected and make changes to the interface that houses the various visualizations views that are included now.