The updated Data Permissions Catalogue

Show what’s essential

You don’t need to draw a vase to show someone what a flower is. Similarly, the new illustration style mutes the noise by using a flat design style. Simple shapes and minimal text tell a clear story for each pattern.

Side by side comparison of an app asking for permission to use location and the illustration of this pattern in the catalogue

In the example above, we can see a comparison between an example of the ‘just-in-time consent’ pattern in the iOS environment and the illustration created for the Data Permissions Catalogue. In the catalogue illustration, the text was reduced to its essential question and the map UI in the background became a symbolic pin. The phone and the hand holding it provides this scenario with necessary context.

That’s the approach we’ve adopted throughout the new illustrations.

Consistent and recognisable

Starting with a grid, reusable elements, such as hands, different devices and text boxes were created. The elements were scaled according to their importance in illustrating the concept. In many cases that’s meant scaling up the UI, extending notification boxes outside of the frame of the device for instance.

Bold lines contour the shapes, while white highlights bring your attention to the most important elements of each pattern. Add this to the different backgrounds for each category, in strong pastel colours, and you get a recognizable style that can be shared and understood by teams around the world.

Same hand used for ‘gesture matching’ and ‘physical biometrics’

We hope the new iteration of the catalogue helps to promote discussion around best practices in data permissions. Throughout 2018 we’re going to add more patterns and gradually update the rest of the illustrations, paying particular attention to where the new system breaks. For instance, we already know that static images don’t work for every pattern, so we might explore gifs and animations for them.

The catalogue is an open source project, curated by IF and powered by the community - every bit of feedback helps build our collective knowledge. You can contribute to the catalogue by using our feedback form or by visiting the repository on GitHub and making a pull request.