Kelsey Smith

Designer * she/her

Kelsey’s design practice is informed by a background in art, business, and teaching, as well as her time living in Kenya, Korea, Spain, and now Germany. Since starting at Simply Secure in 2020, Kelsey has drawn on these experiences to inform her work exploring institutional trust with data collection, simplifying digital security practices, and serving diverse communities through participatory user research. Kelsey’s toolkit as a UX designer encompasses information architecture, wireframing, workshop facilitation, need-finding research, usability testing, interactive prototyping, and user interface design. Her work has ranged from browser extensions protecting against phishing to tools that help human rights defenders safeguard their security. In her time with Simply Secure, she has worked with organizations such as Amnesty International and Mozilla. A native of Michigan, she has called Berlin home since 2018.


  • Focus Areas: UX/UI design, user research
  • Location: Berlin. Available to coach live or remotely
  • Languages: English
  • Book a coaching
Kelsey Smith

Related works

superbloom asterisk

Finding the Balance

Mailvelope is a browser extension that makes it easy to use PGP encryption, whether you use Gmail, Outlook, or many other email providers. With the support of UXFund, Simply Secure worked with Mailvelope to support users who want to use an organization-wide PGP key to send an encrypted email. Kelsey Smith and Thomas Oberndörfer had a conversation in 2022, reflecting on the technical problem and the design process.
superbloom asterisk

SSL, TLS, and FTP... Oh My!

FileZilla is a popular open-source file transfer protocol (FTP) tool. As part of the Open Technology Fund Usability Lab, we worked with the FileZilla Server team to complete user research and provide design recommendations toward the goal of guiding users on how to set up TLS certificates with explanation and reassurance. Here we share how we tackled a technical challenge as designers through strategic knowledge gathering.