What we do

In brief, we are a service organization. We’re here to help the existing open–source security community do what it does – better. We don’t want to own it, we don’t want to invent it. We believe in collaboration and portable resources, developed with a broad coalition of smart, enthusiastic practitioners.

Our work includes:

Working directly with software teams to improve the user experience of their tools.

Fostering the community of UX professionals working on privacy-preserving software, through activities like peer-review sessions.

Conducting user-experience research on tools and relevant user populations.

Producing free informational resources on UX and security topics.

Ground rules

  • We prioritize work on open source projects.

    Privacy-preserving technologies must be trustworthy; to be trustworthy, they need to be open to scrutiny and validation. At the heart of open source is an openness to this type of scrutiny, and a willingness to work collaboratively to fix problems and improve as a part of earning this trust.

  • We aim to support projects that are broadly useful.

    In addition to being well-designed and useable, software must meet users where they are for it to be truly useful. This often means working on extensions to popular platforms and services, rather than expecting users to adopt specialist tools.

  • We commit to running our organization transparently.

    We’re working to solve unsolved problems, which means we’ll make mistakes. We believe that our mistakes can be as instructive as our successes, and we commit to being open about both in ways that help the community learn, recycle, and improve on our methodologies.

Partner with us!

Success in our goals depends on a group effort, and we want you in that group. We’re looking for your input, suggestions, and advice as we structure programs and resources that further our goals. We also want to learn more about what you need – from introductions to other communities to advice on getting support and funding in this space. Are you:

Developing secure communications tools?

We’re looking to understand how you work, learning your thoughts and concerns around usability, and empowering you to improve your projects. Please get in touch if you’re interested in collaborating on a tool you’re building.

Designing user experiences?

We want to work with you to help make existing security technology more pleasant and more useful. We need your expertise to assist software developers improve their products, and to help us identify practices and guidelines to share with the community. If this is an area of interest for you, please let us know.

Researching usable security?

We’re interested in running usability studies on existing software, creating resources that help developers better understand user needs, and turning research knowledge into practical solutions. We want to find ways for you to make a difference – while making sure your research is recognized and respected by your community. Whether you’re in academia or industry, we want to hear from you.

A user of security software?

We seek your help in testing and assessing new tools, learning about your experiences with current ones, and identifying what needs you have that aren’t yet being met. If you can volunteer your time, please reach out.

Interested in funding this effort and these goals?

Please contact us so we can tell you more about our work.