Apply now for design and usability help

We are pleased to announce a new collaboration with the Open Technology Fund as part of their Usability Lab project. This exciting initiative will allow open-source software projects to apply for free assistance with user-experience (UX) design as well as usability research. To our knowledge, this is the first program to offer support of this kind.

Open Technology Fund + Simply Secure

Who should apply?

The Usability Lab is focused on projects within OTF’s remit – i.e., software tools and initiatives that support free expression and information exchange online. If you’re working on a tool that provides encrypted communication, secure file exchange, censorship circumvention, or related features, you should definitely apply. If you're not sure whether your project fits within this framework, please apply and we will work with you to see if it can be supported under the program.

What kind of support can projects receive?

Eligible software projects will receive free support from design and/or research professionals to evaluate and improve the quality of their project’s UX. Simply Secure will work with your project to identify the type of support will be most useful, and scope a well-defined set of activities that can be accomplished over the period of a few weeks.

Potential activities include:

  • Expert reviews to identify opportunities for improving the UX
  • Usability studies to evaluate a newly-proposed feature
  • Design sprints to harmonize the visual look-and-feel between an app and its website
  • Program evaluations to examine a team’s process for getting feedback from its users
  • Strategy research to help a team identify and understand its user population

In addition to matching software teams with skilled designers and researchers, Simply Secure will collaborate with engineers and UX professionals to ensure good communication over the course of the project. Simply Secure will also work with the software team after the design or research phase is complete, to make sure they are successful in incorporating the findings into their next development cycle. Finally, Simply Secure will work with software teams to transparently share the results of the collaboration, bringing open-source values to UX work.

Can UX professionals get involved?

Absolutely! If you are a UX or visual designer or a usability researcher interested in doing applied work on software in this space, please contact us at with a link to your portfolio and/or curriculum vitae. This is a pilot program that we hope will help us connect an extensive network of designers and researchers working on privacy and internet-freedom tools, so we want to hear from you!

How do I learn more?

Please apply for support here (or email us if you are uncomfortable using Google forms) as part of OTF’s Usability Lab, and contact or with questions!


A Fellowship of Usability

Announcing a new program for usable-security researchers We are pleased to announce one of our first initiatives – the Secure Usability Fellowship Program (SUFP) – in partnership with the Open Technology Fund. This new program aims to cultivate applied research and creative collaboration at different levels and across institutions on the topic of usable security, especially the usability of open-source secure-communication tools to promote human rights and open societies. SUFP’s approach to this work is straightforward; the program supports qualified individuals to work within accomplished host organizations on clearly-defined and high-impact usable-security projects.

Calling UX Designers & Usability Researchers

We are pleased to share that the call for applications to the 2016 Supporting Usability and Design for Security (SUDS) Fellowship is now live. The fellowship, which is sponsored by the Open Technology Fund and co-administered by Simply Secure, is the next generation of the Secure Usability Fellowship Program (SUFP). Note: the deadline for applications has been extended to March 21st. SUDS is designed to pair fellows with host organizations that will offer mentorship and oversight, and Simply Secure is once again acting as one of the host organizations.

We're hiring!

Join our team and let’s make this happen. We have ambitious goals, and the first step to meeting them is growing our team. We’re officially hiring two new positions – an Operations Manager and a Research Director (or Associate Director). If you’re interested in helping us quickly make an impact on the usability of secure communication tools, please apply. If you know someone who fits this description, please spread the word.