2022 Superbloom Highlight Reel

2022 was a year full of shifts, adaptations and evolutions for so many in our community. For us, we launched a new identity, welcomed four new team members and three new fiscally sponsored projects, and partnered with many new organizations and funders. And, for many on our team, this year presented several opportunities to meet for the first time in person. These markers of growth and evolution could not have happened without the continued support from our community. 

That’s why we’re so excited to share with all of you Superbloom’s 2022 highlight reel - just some of the many projects we worked on, resources we developed, and events we participated in.

But first, ICYMI: Simply Secure -> Superbloom

One of our proudest moments from 2022 was the transition from ‘Simply Secure’ to ‘Superbloom.’ Our new brand was the culmination of a two-year, in-depth collaboration with our community. Read more about the launch and branding on our blog, and get some Superbloom swag at our newly minted swag store. All proceeds directly support our nonprofit mission to change who technology serves. 

Themes, Tools, Partners, Impacts

This year, we’ve tackled some particularly sticky design problems across security, policy, and community. Here’s a handful of themes from our work this past year. 

Usability as Critical Infrastructure

No matter how secure the code may be, a tool is not truly safe unless it is easy to use - and security is most important for those highest at risk. This is why we believe usability should be seen as critical infrastructure. Through partnerships such as the Open Technology Fund Secure Usability Lab, the UXFund, and Prototype Fund, we help open source software teams better understand their users and improve usability. With Digital Democracy, we helped instill user-centered research practices to make essential improvements to their mapping app for indigenous communities, Mapeo.

Community Energy

This year, you may have seen us around (earlier as Simply Secure, more recently as Superbloom). We’ve attended, presented, and workshopped at many community events, such as MozFest, RightsCon, DWeb Camp, 360 Open/Summit, and All Things Open. We don’t just share our work - we’ve been harnessing community energy in-person and online to collaborate, fill gaps, identify needs and synthesize together. 

At MozFest 2022, we convened the community to ‘Reimagine Consent’ by curating examples of dark patterns in the wild with examples of empowered consent experiences, proactively imagining how we can shift power back to end-users. And together with Reset.tech, we designed gatherings bringing together different stakeholders on topics such as evidence gathering for strategic litigation, and how to best develop an index for platform transparency.

Sharing Tools & Processes

Creating open resources is at the heart of what we do. Human-centered design approaches allow us to co-design tools and processes alongside the communities that will use and benefit from them. 

Partnering with Internews and Okthanks, we created a set of visual and interactive resources on user testing for open source developers. Continuing to promote developer/designer collaboration, we began a project to study how scientific open source software projects think about their users, work with designers, and prioritize usability thanks to a grant by Sloan Foundation. And earlier this year, we launched Building Blocks, a toolkit for funders to better understand and support critical digital infrastructure projects to promote sustainability.

Looking Ahead

We have a lot to look forward to in 2023! Here’s just a handful of things we have coming up:

  • We will be publishing research on challenges for designers in creating GDPR-compliant websites.
  • Co-authoring a report synthesizing the outcomes and insights developed at a workshop on defining platform transparency, in partnership with Junkipedia and Information Futures Lab.
  • Sharing out from our work on addressing deceptive design in partnership with the World Wide Web Foundation Tech Policy Design Lab and 3X3.co.
  • And building on that work, we’re excited to be co-designing an open source tool kit based on the Web Foundation Tech Policy Design Lab and making it accessible and beneficial to global communities.

And as always, we’re looking to partner with internet freedom and open source projects on secure usability, design, and recently - content strategy. If you’re interested, you can get design and usability support from us via the Open Technology Fund Secure Usability and Learning Labs. Or just reach out!

Last-but-not-least, stay tuned for our new website. It will include our extensive new brand identity, as well as a shiny new resource library. Check out the transitional site at our future domain, superbloom.design

Credits

Susan Kennedy (copy), ngọc triệu (image).

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