A visual exploration of cybersecurity concepts

Miriam Sturdee, Lauren Thornton, Bhagya Wimalasiri, Sameer Patil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Cybersecurity-related concepts can be difficult to explain or summarise. The complexity associated with these concepts is compounded by the impact of rapid technological changes and the contextual nature of the meaning ascribed to the various themes. Since visual imagery is often employed in articulation and explanation, we conducted a study in which we asked participants to sketch their understanding of cybersecurity concepts. Based on an analysis of these sketches and subsequent discussions with participants, we make the case for the use of sketching and visuals as a tool for cybersecurity research. Our collection of sketches and icons can further serve as the seed for a visual vocabulary for cybersecurity-related interfaces and communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th conference on creativity and cognition
Subtitle of host publicationC&C '21
EditorsCorina Sas, Neil Maiden
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383769
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2021
EventCreativity and Cognition 2021: virtual event Italy -
Duration: 22 Jun 202123 Jun 2021


ConferenceCreativity and Cognition 2021
Abbreviated titleC&C 2021
Internet address


  • Cybersecurity
  • Icons
  • Imagery
  • Privacy
  • Risk
  • Sketching
  • Trust
  • Visualisation


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