UXForum 2018: Dublin, Ireland

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The second UXForum took place in Dublin, Ireland in July 2018. The event brought together human rights defenders, digital security trainers, design experts, and software developers to discuss how to capture and integrate user feedback from high-risk communities on digital security tools, and make those tools stronger and more effective as a result. Over 20 different countries were represented at the event.

Over eight tool team representatives, from password managers to VPN tools, attended the event and had opportunities to directly connect and understand security challenges at risk groups across the globe face when doing their work.

The first two days of the UXForum focused exclusively on the Internet Freedom community. Digital security trainers, UX experts, and open source privacy and security tool developers began by discussing larger themes, such as localization, accessibility, and transparency. Tool teams were also given time to connect directly with individuals using their tools. During these sessions, developers were able to share some of their priorities for improvements as well as answer questions and collect feedback from users. A series of discussions happened during the first two days. Topics covered included, but were not limited to:

  • Additional Use Cases for Personas
  • Effective Ways for Communicating Feedback to Developers
  • Designing for Users with Disabilities
  • Documentation and User Onboarding
  • Sustaining Tool Usage Post-Trainings

The final two days consisted of more structured panel discussions. These sessions were also open to private sector attendees. The President of Internews Jeanne Bourgault provided the opening keynote address. The following two days were filled with dynamic and informative panels covering topics ranging from designing for extremes to understanding security challenges in context.

The Forum was impactful for all attendees and the small scale of the gathering allowed for the diverse attendees to easily connect with one another. For several tool developers, this was the first time they had connected with non-Western users.

Additional financial support for the UXForum was received from Facebook, Balsamiq, and the Ford Foundation. This support allowed the USABLE team to bring additional digital security trainers representing diverse backgrounds.