[tor-dev] A quick and dirty UX evaluation of Tor Messenger

Greg Norcie gnorcie at cdt.org
Wed Nov 4 20:38:18 UTC 2015

On Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 1:18 PM, Sukhbir Singh <azadi at riseup.net> wrote:

> Hi Greg,
> > Hi all,
> >
> > First of all, great work on Tor Messenger - it's awesome to see Tor
> pushing
> > to be more accessible to non-technical folks.
> >
> > I decided to take some notes when installing + using for the first time,
> > hopefully this will be helpful.
> >
> > While there are some minor issues, I'd like to stress that this is a
> great
> > first step and considering this is the first general public release it's
> a
> > very good design.
> > ///////
> Thanks for the feedback. We know we can do a lot better with the UI/UX, so
> any
> feedback is appreciated.
> > I'm on an OSX machine, so the first thing I see after clicking on the
> icon
> > is a message that Tor can't be opened because it's from an unidentified
> > developer. This would raise an eyebrow at least for most users. (And
> > lessens the effectiveness of the warning if we are going to train users
> to
> > ignore it)
> This is a concern and the Tor Browser team is in the process of getting the
> certificate to sign Tor Browser. Once they have that, we will coordinate
> with
> them to sign Tor Messenger releases. We are tracking this in #6540 and
> #17452.
>     https://bugs.torproject.org/6540
>     https://bugs.torproject.org/17452
> > I right click and select "open" and there is a longish pause (>10s) which
> > could frustrate new users, then the wizard appears.
> That's unexpected. Did you only experience this the first time you ran Tor
> Messenger or on subsequent runs also?
That was on the first run. Now it's more like 5 seconds max, then the
loading screen. (Which BTW, is much improved over the old vidalia + FF
style bundle the TBB used to use :) )

> > I don't chat often - I usually text my friends, and I don't want to use
> FB
> > chat since it's tied to my real name. I remember that Twitter now has no
> DM
> > limit. But it's not on the main list. I don't have any data to support
> this
> > intuition, but I suspect that after XMPP, Twitter would be a popular
> > protocol.
> We currently do not support DMs (Instantbird doesn't) and that is one of
> the
> (top) things in our to-do list.
>     https://bugs.torproject.org/13312
> > I click once on "show all protocols" and click continue. There's only a
> few
> > additional, Twitter being one of them. Not sure why this list wasn't
> > present from the beginning.
> The protocol list was more of an arbitrary decision, so the first screen
> lists
> the top four protocols we think most users would care about, and then
> follow
> up with two more (Twitter and Odnoklassniki). Thinking about it now, I
> think
> it's a good idea to display only one screen since we are doing the same
> thing.
> I have reopened #13323 to discuss this.
>     https://bugs.torproject.org/13323
> > I get options for a local alias and "tracked keywords". I have no clue
> what
> > the latter is, but it sounds like the concept of a taboo in Harry Potter,
> > so for a laugh I put in "Voldermort".
> Yes, this has been pointed to us. We will work on the UI to add hints in
> cases
> where the terminology may not seen apparent.
> > Now I'm authorizing Instabird. Fairly straightforward.
> >
> > Now I'm receiving a texted 2f code from twitter and entering it.
> >
> > Now I'm in, and I can see my Twitter timeline, which is interesting. I
> was
> > expecting just a buddy list to send DMs, not timeline access. I post a
> > tweet to my timeline, then want to send my boss a test DM. But I follow
> > >1500 people, and have to scroll a lot to find him.
> >
> > I locate his name and double click, but nothing happens.
> >
> > At this point, I suspect a less security minded user might abandon the
> app.
> > (I end up digging around a bit to find the functionality I need)
> We discussed this and it was recommended that we should probably disable
> Twitter until we can support DMs. (Because once we do support DMs, we
> support
> OTR over DMs, which will be a nice thing to have.) Let's see, it's up for
> discussion on how we can make the Twitter experience a bit more pleasant.
I'm not sure if you need to disable it. In general I'm more of a fan of
hiding functionality such that only an expert will seek it out. (Normal
users are afraid to break things, if you make it hard to find and give a
scary warning, they'll back off)

For example, Mozilla hides some of the more dangerous settings in
about:config and gives a scary warning if you venture in there.

> Thanks.
> --
> Sukhbir
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*Greg Norcie (norcie at cdt.org <norcie at cdt.org>)*

*Staff Technologist*
*Center for Democracy & Technology*
1634 Eye St NW Suite 1100
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PGP: http://norcie.com/pgp.txt


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