Behind-the-Scenes: Emerging Conversations from Slack

Thank you to everyone contributing to the Simply Secure Slack channel. If you’re interested in joining, email slack@simplysecure.org for an invitation. I’m especially eager to get more UX people in privacy and security involved, so spread the world. Here are some highlights from our recent Slack conversations.

Sharing the Rationale for UX Decisions

Check out Gabriel Tomescu’s The Anatomy of a Credit Card Form sharing the Wave design team’s process for arriving at an elegant, easy-to-use form. It includes a quote that spoke to me, “Given the existing mental model of paying with credit cards online, we felt the presence of one lock icon was sufficient.” Indeed.

Subtle improvements to Wave’s credit card form

Subtle improvements to Wave’s credit card form

Communicating Technical Benefits vs. User Benefits

Stewart Butterfield wrote We Don’t Sell Saddles Here, which speaks eloquently to selling benefits of horseback-riding, not saddles. A technically savvy crypto audience will happily geek out about the details of different saddles. Meanwhile everyday computer users are still puzzling, “This helps me ride a horse? But why? And how does this help?”.

Security: Cuddly and Fierce

Tunnel Bear’s brand is more about horseback-riding than saddles. Their website doesn’t lead with “VPN” to describe what it is. Instead of shields, locks, or keys they use bears. Bears!

Tunnel Bears are approachably
cuddly, but also fierce

Tunnel Bears are
approachably cuddly, but also fierce

Tunnel Bears are approachably cuddly, but also fierce

Look for me at SOUPS in Ottawa this week. I’ll be presenting a lightning talk on ”Security is Not Enough: Design for Security Engagement” on Thursday afternoon. I’d love to chat if you’re there.

Related

Chatbots, UX, and Privacy

Chatbots, or conversational programs that simulate interactive human speech patterns, are a hot topic in UX right now. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently claimed that “bots are the new apps”, and that they are the interface of the future for tasks like ordering food and booking transportation. In San Francisco, tech elites use a multitude of oft-parodied services like Wag to find dog walkers and Rinse to have their laundry done.

Design Matters: 2016 Design in Tech Report

For the past two years John Maeda (whose previous roles include Professor at the MIT Media Lab and President of the Rhode Island School of Design) has issued a Design In Tech Report. This influential analysis, which Maeda presents at SXSW and has also been picked up by outlets like Wired, has helped Silicon Valley understand how design is valuable to companies and their customers. It is situated in the context of venture capital, as Maeda is currently Design Partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

Security is a “Design in Tech” Trend

Designers are urgently needed to help build products and services people trust. Here’s how design professionals are starting to embrace security.