A secure space to store confidential content with added security layers.
Research Objectives
Private Folders offer an extra layer of security to enable users to safely store their confidential content on the cloud. With the feature in scope being about privacy and security, the goal of this research study was to test the 'Private Folder' concept, the concept's terminology, and uncover improvement opportunities in the existing designs. 
What words do users think of to describe the concept of protecting cloud content? What are user sentiments on cloud, security, and Private Folder? What are the users' thoughts on making the entire app private compared to specified content? These were the longing questions to address through the research.
Another objective was to determine if it makes sense to have one private folder rather than multiple, and to assess whether users would want to share their folder contents with others.
At this point, I had a good sense of the market and our user base. However, I needed to find out how Private Folder feature would fare with personal cloud users, and to what degree the feature would resonate with them. In addition to these factors, I needed to acquire data to inform whether the product should prioritize app-wide security or content specific security, as well as evaluating if the proposed designs made sense from a flow and usability perspective.
To achieve the research goals, I first conducted in-depth interviews with participants representative of our user base. As we were in the discover and learn phase of the feature, it made logical sense to first conduct an exploratory type of study, followed by usability evaluations using prototypes.
I conducted the interviews remotely and gathered qualitative feedback to later be analyzed through thematic analysis. I also conducted the evaluative tests remotely, collecting qualitative data.
Findings & Implications
The results showed that trust in cloud storage security decreased as the ages of participants progressed. Many cloud users tend to upload sensitive documents to the cloud and desired comprehensive app-wide security. Many participants mentioned the need for biometric authentication for the Private Folder concept, as passwords are too cumbersome and difficult to maintain.
Cloud storage behavior, thoughts on the Private Folder concept, and usage preferences were noticeably different across age groups. Participants between the ages 18 and 49 were more open to Private Folder, whereas participants over 50 were not.
None were against the Private Folder concept and found the feature to be mostly valuable and a nice-to-have. The most mentioned terms used to describe the concept of protecting cloud content included “security,” “vault,” and “privacy,” in order.
Impact & Reflection
This research had great impact as the findings and insights led to major design changes and feature prioritization. Continued testing was needed to triangulate and increase confidence in the findings. Iterative testing to capture more insights and evaluate how the solution is working out was a must.
For further testing, I planned more evaluative tests that I could gather metrics from, such as task success rate, task completion time, and errors made. My goal was plan repeated studies over time to compare task analysis metrics over time to evaluate design and feature progress.
With this feature being a clear priority for the internal stakeholders and external clients, the efforts towards building established flows for the concept was prioritized in our product vision.

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