Digital Perceptions is now live

Digital Perceptions is a tool that is aimed at getting people thinking about their digital identity, and how they are perceived online. It was conceived of 4 years ago in a post by Donna Lanclos and me, and now, thanks to Zac Gribble it is coded and live. It is still draft and in development. A host of people are due thanks, especially those who gave feedback on the concept, and continue to do so including @Autumm, @marcuselliott, @Kerrypinny, @Warwicklanguage, @Davecormier, @asameshimae @Sarahknight.

What is the tool for?

The tool is for reflecting on your digital identity, or how you are perceived by others online. It is not a diagnostic tool! It will not tell you what to fix. However, it might help you in planning how you to develop your identity in the future.

It is based on Johari Window, you can read more of our thinking about it on the post from 4 years ago, and a post earlier in the month.

On Data Collection (with thanks to Autumm).

With pervasive data surveillance ubiquitous in today’s online technology offerings, Digital Perceptions it attempting to take a better approach to your data – we’re not collecting it in the first place.

We do not collect or track your email address or other sensitive data, but this does mean that our tool does not have some features that would otherwise be possible if we were to engage in these practices. You will not be asked to create a user account and there is no way for us to send you notifications.

Though this means that our tool may seem less robust than others we believe that in today’s climate of data surveillance this as a feature not a bug.

A note on the language used.

It is deliberately judgemental in places, and open to interpretation – what “authentic online” means to one person, will mean something else to another. Also we are open to changing the words and phrases – this was very much our first draft. The only bug at the moment is that we are limited to 20 characters – remember that when you make suggestions.

Getting started

When you go to the tool you are asked to use words or phrases that describe how you see your digital identity.

  1. Select up to six words or statements.
  2. You will then be presented with a grid based on the “Johari window”. At this stage your selected words or phrases will appear in the “Façade” or “known to self” box.
  3. At the bottom of the page there is a link for you to copy and send to peers and colleagues (we suggest 4 or 5 people you interact with online).
  4. Save the link so you can revisit it later. When they access the link it will ask them to describe your digital identity. The words they add that you didn’t chose will be included in the “Blind Spot” or “not known to self”. The top left box is the “Arena” where the words you have chosen match how others describe you.
  5. The final box contains the words and phrases from the tool that neither you nor people describing you have used.
  6. When everyone as completed revisit the link you have saved where you will be presented with the full grid.
  7. You can export it as a word document. At this stage use it as an artefact for reflection and development.

Go to the Digital Perceptions Tool (new window)

Remember this is not a diagnostic tool, it is for reflection.


107 thoughts on “Digital Perceptions is now live

    • Hi David,
      We’re using the language of the Johari Window, the Unknown section refers to traits or behaviours that neither the person reflecting or the people they have asked to reflect have considerer in relation to their identity. We are looking for better language, so any suggestions are welcome. thanks for the feedback.

  1. I like this! I wonder if an option for its future development would be to try making the whole app on This would make the whole thing open source, remixable by anyone, hosted free (including server-side) for anyone.

  2. Interesting ‘take’ (tool) on digital perceptions and how others views can provide you some perspective on what your digital presence may say about you. Just a bit concerned how true these reflections are (in informal/formal digital settings) may be and depending on your engagement in various contexts (discussion comment, blog posts) and whether at any snapshot in time this provides a window of digital perception but over an extended length of time is not a true reflection of you. This would be interesting to do with different cohorts – I’m saying this as I do the mapping visitor/resident excercise with year 12 (age 16/17) re mapping technologies and some find this excercise at times ‘strange’ to do as they’ve grown up with the digital environment entwined and some don’t see the issue of what mapping their digital selves (so to speak) in comparison to physical selves is necessary. Again the main point was to self-reflect but it was interesting that many did not see the need to diffentiate activites online/offline. I will be writing this up in a blog post!

    • Hi Sukhtinder,
      I agree that these reflections are only true in how you interpret them. The purpose for us was not to get users to seek truth, but the act of reflection itself. Seeing the words and phrases other people use to describe our digital presence is meant to give us pause for thought, and to reflect on whether that is what the user would like to be seen as. This then is the baseline, this is how I am seen, do I want to change? How would I change?
      WRT to Visitor and Resident, this project came about as Donna and I were reflecting on Johari window and VandR. Since then we have also changed our ideas and have recently published, in part about why we have moved away from VandR in our working with staff in the sector.
      Happy to chat more

      • Hi Lawrie
        Looking forward to reading further on VR.
        As in ‘real’ life (physical engagment) not all our engagements are ‘recorded’ easily, but in our circle of friends they’re perceptions of us as they ‘know’ us will make us think about how were coming across but that naturally happens in our interactions and their reponses. Being digital – our digital selves are trackable as in the digital environment I guess which unlike ‘real life’ seems less forgiving and in a wider public sphere!! I’m still toying with the informal/formal settings and some of us consciously change how we address, post messages to be provocative, encourage debate…though I do agree by pausing it will give some food for thought…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.