design insights

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Six Key Tenets for Open Source Designers
Being a designer in Open Source (OS) isn’t always easy or straightforward, neither is it the same for all designers. Different open source projects are set up differently, hence demand different outputs and engagements from designers. In this blog, we list the six main tenets for a successful design contribution to OS projects.
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Keeping Everyone Safe: Quick, User-oriented Problem-solving with Mapeo
This fall, we had the pleasure of working with Digital Democracy on their application, Mapeo. Mapeo is a mobile and desktop app that enables indigenous communities to map their lands, sites, and resources, as well as record and monitor environmental and legal abuses by corporations and the state. The app is used by communities around the world, and due to the sensitive nature of the data being recorded, contributing to Mapeo can be high-risk for users. Our design challenge focused on user safety: how to protect end users in the likely event that a community mapper’s phone is lost, seized, damaged, or stolen.
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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.
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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.