Design for Cybersecurity (DfC) Cards: A Creativity-Based Approach to Support Designers’ Consideration of Cybersecurity

Rao V, Kim E, Jung HJ, Goucher-Lambert K, Agogino A. 2020. Proceedings of Design, Computing and Cognition Conference 2020.


As new products exhibit increasing connectivity, cybersecurity will become ever more important to the safety and functionality of these new offerings. Product designers, however, struggle to integrate cybersecurity with other considerations during early-stage design. This paper develops an approach to help designers engage with cybersecurity, articulated as a card-based intervention to support three well-defined modes of engineering design creativity: analysis, generation, and evaluation. Developing cybersecurity support questions for each of those modes across the Research, Analyze, Ideate, Build, and Communicate phases of the human-centered design process, we assemble 15 cards total. A human subjects study using the cards was conducted with 33 students in a design course, validating that novice designers found value in the cards when engaging with a diverse range of design projects. This work adds design creativity to the broad dialogue around cybersecurity education, and forms a foundation for further creativity- and design-process-based interventions in cybersecurity.