Simply Secure offers free usability design help to developers of privacy, security tools

It is a truth universally acknowledged that privacy and security tools that are easy to use will be more popular that those that aren’t. Another such truth is that being a great software developer doesn’t necessarily mean that you know much about design and usability.

And, unfortunately, despite all other efforts, usability is what will often ultimately make or break a project – tech savvy users might look beyond this roadblock and make an effort to use a tool, but the overwhelming majority of “regular” users simply won’t.

But here is some good news for organizations, companies and individuals who work on open-source software projects that support free expression and information exchange online – the Open Technology Fund and Simply Secure have teamed up to provide them with free assistance with user-experience design and usability research.

“If you’re working on a tool that provides encrypted communication, secure file exchange, censorship circumvention, or related features, you should definitely apply,” Sara “Scout” Sinclair Brody, Executive Director at Simply Secure, noted in a blog post announcing the initiative.

“Eligible software projects will receive free support from design and/or research professionals to evaluate and improve the quality of their project’s UX. Simply Secure will work with your project to identify the type of support will be most useful, and scope a well-defined set of activities that can be accomplished over the period of a few weeks.”

Simply Secure is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help developers build usably-secure technologies that will be available to everyone. It is manned mostly by volunteers, and to that point, Sinclair Brody also called on user-experience designers and usability researchers who have free time on their hands and a willingness to help, to join the project and be paired with developers in need of advice.

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