A Guide to Gathering Feedback

A human-centered approach to software means a lot of qualitative research – that’s research that focuses on small-scale, in-person feedback-gathering. While bigger companies have entire departments that do product design and market research, it can be difficult for smaller, distributed teams on a budget to get user feedback. (Difficult, but not impossible: we interviewed Tails about their formative testing practices, for example.)

To that end, Simply Secure created a generic guide to a roughly 1-hour session to gather feedback on your mobile or web app. Individuals and teams can use this to test copy, visuals, and new designs. It’s easy to imagine running a session like this at conferences or meetups where your main audience convenes.

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Questions, comments, pull requests? Write us at contact@simplysecure.org!


Usability and Security: Not Binary Properties

People who think about computer security for a living sometimes cringe when they read about the subject in the popular press. Security is a complex and nuanced topic, and it’s easy to make assertions that don’t hold up to careful scrutiny. One basic-but-unintuitive principle is that security is not a binary property: in the absence of other context, it’s hard to definitively say that a particular system or piece of software is “secure” or “insecure”.

On Trust and Transparency: Perspectives from Luminate's portfolio

In June 2018, Luminate commissioned Simply Secure to conduct human-centered design (HCD) research focused on uncovering grantees’ experiences of the funding process. The report highlights insights, feedback — including anonymized quotes and comments, and recommendations synthesized from 20 interviews + 53 survey responses.

Users are people too: our talk at Shmoocon

Last week Gus and I gave a talk at Shmoocon in DC. The focus was on helping technologists who don't have experience in human-centered design processes conduct basic research to improve their existing open-source tools. We covered four basic steps that we believe even small or volunteer teams can take: Agree on your target users Do an expert review of your UX to identify (& fix) low-hanging fruit Interview real users Build a model of your users and their needs Smooth the path for user feedback Iterate until you get it right Overall the talk was well received, with a few choice quotes making their way onto Twitter.