What We Do

You learned at our launch that we’re setting out to improve the experience users have with secure-communication tools. We told you that we want to work with the open source community, and that we’re committed to documenting our activities transparently. But what does this mean in practice – how will Ame, Trouble and I be spending our days?

It’s much easier to show than to tell, so I expect you’ll get a better feel for our work as we describe it here over time. For the moment, though, you can expect it to fall into three major buckets:

  • Direct collaboration: We partner with open-source software-development teams to support them in researching and improving the usability of their tools. We’re focusing at first on secure-communication tools that have an established user base, but also collaborate with teams building related or emerging tools. I’ll tell you more in future posts about what we look for in a partner, and also introduce the projects we’ve already started working with. If you have a tool that you’d like a hand with, get in touch!
  • Information sharing: We take our collaborative research and use it to build public resources that help everyone – developers, designers, researchers, users, and the community at large – better understand great user experiences and how to achieve them. We also work to raise the profile of high-quality usable-security designs and projects, both those that we participate in directly and those conducted by other organizations. We share this information freely here, and through our newsletter, Twitter stream, and conference talks. Stay tuned in the near term for a reading list that will help you get started thinking about usable security – and let us know about your favorite books and papers that you want to see included.
  • Mentorship and capacity building: We work to support usable-security practitioners of all stripes, including developers, designers, and researchers. We encourage promising junior practitioners and students in their efforts to learn, and to participate in designing trustworthy experiences. As part of this, we are partnering with the Open Technology Fund on the Secure Usability Fellowship program.

In addition to these formal activities, we also aspire to act as a hub for usable-security practitioners, and among the development, design, research, and user communities. Although we don’t provide funding for projects, we make it a point to know about different practitioners and activities in the space, and offer referrals when asked. So, although we’re still catching up on our backlog of email inquiries, we’re always interested in hearing from you if you’re doing work in this space. And, as always, we hope you’ll stay tuned to keep up with our activities!


Hello Joseph and Kat

You’ve already met Gus, and we’re looking forward to introducing you to Maina, the other Fellow that Simply Secure is hosting under the auspices of Open Tech Fund’s Secure Usability Fellowship Program. Ours are not the only SUFP fellows, however – the EFF has been hosting Joseph Bonneau since the start of this year, and Kat Krol started recently as a SUFP Fellow at University College London. We hope to share more about their research later in the year, but in the meantime, here are their introductions, in their own words!

Hello, I’m Ame, Design Director for Simply Secure

I’m Ame (sounds like “Amy”). Last month I joined Simply Secure after spending the past eight years at IDEO, a global design and innovation consultancy. While there, I designed consumer technology for entertainment, education, banking, media, business software, mobile/wearables, and home automation. Uniting all my work is Human-Centered Design, a set of practices and research methods that starts with people, studies their needs and preferences, and creates things they want and enjoy.

Innovation Is About Putting People First

Simply Secure is thrilled to be named as one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Design for 2018.