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The USABLE team attended ILGA World 2019, a bi-annual convening of LGBTQIA advocates and funders from all over the globe. Attending this conference allowed the USABLE team to meet with LGBTQI users, discuss the tools that are currently being used in the field, and better understand the threats that this particular community is facing in different parts of the world. Ultimately, this information shapes the tool teams that the USABLE team works with and expand the network of at-risk users with whom the project team can connect relevant developers.

In partnership with Grindr for Equality, the USABLE team co-organized a session entitled “Protecting Ourselves in a Digital World: The Basics of Digital Security and Online Safety.” The first component was a quick activity designed to capture current practices, threats, and questions of the community members in attendance. Participants were given three different colors of sticky notes and asked to spend 3-5 minutes documenting the following:

  1. What tools or practices are you currently using to protect yourselves online?
  2. What are the current threats facing you or your community?
  3. What questions do you have about digital security?

During the second component of the session, the USABLE team provided attendees with five simple steps they could take immediately to improve their digital hygiene. Azza Sultan, Associate Director at Grindr for Equality, then briefly presented the current security features offered by Grindr, as well as an overview of future features that they hope to develop soon.

The final component required the attendees to divide into two smaller groups. One group focused on providing tool-specific feedback on Jitsi Meet. Attendees used the task-ranking worksheet developed during the regional UX Workshops to document their thoughts and feedback. The second group focused on providing feedback on Grindr’s security features.

The session was very well attended and everyone repeatedly voiced the need for more conversations around digital security in this space.