[tor-talk] Coffee shop testing - was TB for Win

David Carlson carlson.dl at sbcglobal.net
Wed Apr 13 13:19:31 UTC 2011

On 4/12/2011 8:38 AM, Erinn Clark wrote:
> * Mike Perry <mikeperry at fscked.org> [2011:04:12 05:49 -0700]: 
>> Right now, the thing is called Minefield, at least on Linux, because
>> that was most expedient. We probably need to use at least some of the
>> more visible Firefox graphics in the long run, though.  Remember, it
>> should have a chance of looking like a regular web browser from a
>> distance, at least. I think this means it must look as much like
>> Firefox as possible, and shouldn't say Tor, but yet should still be
>> obvious to the user that it is a different browser. 
> Minefield is just the name it gives itself when I build it from source, along
> with its own set of Minefield-y icons. Some user experimentation indicates that
> a non-zero number of users don't even realize this is a browser at all, much
> less what they should be using.
>> My current thought it that this means it calls itself Firefox and uses
>> the Firefox graphics, but it has a green onion button on the toolbar,
>> next to the url, signifying Tor use. This may still be too conspicuous
>> for some users. In fact, a prefs.js issue is preventing the button
>> from being displayed right now on some platforms, but I think we
>> actually do want the button there.. Or do we?
> Because of a misconfiguration in the OS X TBB last year, the toggle button on
> the bottom didn't appear, and one user remarked that he thought this was
> deliberate since Torbutton shouldn't be toggled while using TBB anyway.
> I'm more worried that users will have two Firefoxes open, and accidentally use
> the wrong one because they can't distinguish between the two. It's hard to
> anticipate which things would go wrong.
> As an aside, I met some nice people at a conference once and they suggested
> that if we can't afford real usability testing, we should just go sit in coffee
> shops and interrupt random people and ask them to use our software and give
> feedback, then buy them a cup of coffee. Maybe we should really do this.
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I, for one, usually really enjoy trying to break things, but not when I
am doing something on a deadline.  I think the coffee shop idea would
flop miserably in the real world.

David Carlson
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