(self-initiated, timeline: after-work hours - work in progress)
Problem
Current digital ID options are either un-inclusive across operating systems, or not trusted.
Solution
A digital ID app that works on both Android and iOS platforms, where ID checkers can actually use a secondary app to get identity confirmation and thus boost credibility of a new product.
Competitive Analysis + The Gap + Interviews

Not long ago, Apple secured a first few states that will support a digital ID. Rivaling Apple is foolish: I don't have a budget, time nor a team working on this. My main advantage however, is the lack of association to any one firm. From the point of view of usability and accessibility, having a platform that works across multiple operating systems is key. While Apple will surely monopolize on being one of if not the only trusted provider of digital IDs in the immediate future, taking into account the existence of non-Iphone users is I think crucial.
Other apps are starting to emerge as well. One category seems to rely on scans or pictures of IDs that can be "activated" by touching the screen of the app which triggers some sort of animation. This animation is in turn supposed to prove the digital ID's validity. On the other hand are apps that use QR codes that can then be scanned by others and thus prove your identity, age, etc. However, the trend there is to include almost too much functionality. While giving people the option to share specific data about themselves, I think it's also important to stick to utmost simplicity: creating a product that is more complex than just showing an ID card taken out of the wallet seems unnecessary.

Throughout my interviews and conversation, it was fascinating to see that people truly care about this. And especially the group of people that currently checks physical IDs. I've heard stories of fakes, people trying to prove their age via social media profiles, badly printed foreign ID cards intercepted at the door and more. After going through Hollywood and talking to a variety of people, the key takeaways became very clear.
First and foremost: credibility. From listening to stories, fake IDs are clearly an issue, especially when a young and tech-savvy generation has access to photoshop and a printer. Many stores already scan the PDF-417 style barcode on the back of IDs to double-check customers' age. Security guards working at the entry doors of pubs and clubs echoed the interest in a product that could do the same but would fit in their phone.
Second: preventing identity theft. Ensuring that the QR codes cannot be used twice was a key issue brought up by many pub-goers, and a valid one. Tracking the use of one's digital ID card could be a nice feature to explore.
Finally: simplicity and availability. Many might still prefer to bring their physical wallet. What if their phone battery dies? What if the club doesn't accept Apple pay? While we are still in a transitory period to digital payments being accepted at even more locations, many seem to prefer to play it safe and bring their physical wallet as well. The experience of having to take out an ID and show it to someone is frankly effortless. A digital ID shouldn't create a need for more decision making, but rather mimic the current experience while adding an additional layer of security. 
College Student Persona
Jane Lee
User Story
Hey! I'm Jane. I'm a senior at USC and love to spend my weekends socializing with others at local bars and clubs. 
Goals
When I go out I want to be able to take as little as possible with me! 
Motivations
A digital ID on my phone would not only mean that I can take less with me to go out, but more importantly, if I would ever lose my phone, I know it will remain locked and I can track it to get it back.
Pain Points
Sometimes being able to just let go on the dance floor with nothing but my phone in my pocket is nice. Currently if I end up taking my wallet, I usually take my purse as well which I have to then guard all the time.
Design

After interviewing and talking to others, I started sketching ideas in an attempt to find a solution that works best. A few basic questions arose as I was going through iterations of my design.
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What is the first screen to greet people? Some apps can't be opened unless first unlocked via password. Given concerns about credibility, usability and overall novelty of this in daily lives, having someone open the app first and then freely access any information seemed more question worthy than unlocking the specifically chosen information right in front of the person checking its validity.
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Sliding to show specific information seemed at first like a good idea, but as conversations and interviews evolved, it became clear that the design has to be accessible and ready to show the information as quickly as possible.
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While striving to be straightforward, separation between "ID items" and "settings" should be present. Furthermore, how far should one go in terms of consolidating what options to give the user?
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Creating a hierarchy between buttons and function is key, but one shouldn't dwarf one in comparison to the other. At the same time, options that are too limiting might become a point of frustration for users.
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Reducing accessibility to a single hand is crucial in order to maximize ease of access. The green zone shows a phone's most accessible area with nothing but the thumb. While thinking of left handed users, the area that is most crucial in this case, doubles in size but in reality functionality needs to be mirrored on both sides or extended across the screen.
The next step was to figure out the most common uses of ID cards and boil them down to as few options as possible.
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Throughout interviews and conversations, it became clear that the most common type of ID card usage involves the purchase of age restricted products.
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Another somewhat more surprising category was the proof of identity. Perhaps because of the pandemic, it seems like it is more and more common place to not only require proofs of vaccination, but also a confirmation of identity. Interviewees' scenarios varied from ticket purchases to restaurant operators looking for a match between vaccination cards and ID card names.
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Finally, the most obvious scenario that was on everybody's mind: getting pulled over. In attempt to keep options to a bare minimum, the first but also final option that always needed to be included was the option of accessing the full digital ID card.
All in all, yes is less. Creating a hierarchy between buttons and options of a digital ID app is just as crucial as not overwhelming the user with too many choices, as this article on American Psychological Association's website discusses. If the goal is to maximize ease and access speed, less choices may actually be more productive.
Final Screens
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In order to guarantee a safe login, information such as the ID # and the last 4 digits of users' SSN should be entered. This would prevent the need to sign up for the service while ensuring a secure login. Tracking usage of the digital ID app under settings could be another feature maximizing the amount of a user's control.
As previously discussed, every occasion may require a different set of personal details. Visually communicating what information is shared via the QR code (or PDF-417 barcode) creates transparency within the app itself, further facilitating the ease of use for both digital ID carrier as well as the ID checker.
Finally, while still in progress, ideally a separate app to scan the digital IDs' barcodes to check their validity is of course half of the project. I believe keeping these separate will create the most clarity as the user groups using one or the other might never need to have both functions within the same app.
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Keeping this portion of the project as simple as possible is just as crucial. Furthermore, making it impossible to screenshot or save people's profiles would be a key feature to explore in an attempt to protect people's privacy.
Analysis + Conclusion
I think this project more than others have pushed me to strike conversations with people I rarely ever talk to. Bouncers usually don't engage in lengthy conversations with customers while at the door. But getting to talk to some of them made me realize just how colorful their own jobs and shifts can be, as well as how fulfilling it is to ask and listen to someone talk about their job. Being quite extroverted to begin with, I think asking people about their jobs has so far been one of the most fulfilling experiences because at least those that I interviewed were truly excited that someone is interested in such detail in what they do.
As my other self-initiated studies, this project will face some limitations in terms of trials and research due to a limited pool of interviewees and real-life testing. Similarly so with the Architectural Industry, working on unbuilt and fictitious projects in an academic setting with no real-life client, will frankly never measure up to working on a large team of architects and consultants all dealing with client's requests, needs and tastes (and so much more). My ultimate goal is to find a position as a UX designer at a larger firm, not only to gain exposure to a maximum amount of professionals working in the field, but also to see as many projects as possible in order to dive deeper into my understanding of UX/UI design, and be able to serve others as best as I can.
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