[ux] Internal launch of the style guidelines

isabela at torproject.org isabela at torproject.org
Tue Sep 6 14:27:06 UTC 2016

Hello there,

I am pasting below a draft for our internal launch of the guidelines -- 
it also exist in a pad if you have suggestions to the text please use 
the pad.

I think it will be better to define what is Tier 1 and Tier 2 during the 
meeting in Seattle. I added a suggestion of how we could be defining it 
in the letter but I believe it will be better for the community to do it 
together there.

I would like to send this email by the EOW - Sept 9th. For that we would 
need the guidelines :) so can someone let me know how is that going? Is 
it doable to have them by EOW?

Here is the pad url:


Here is the letter draft:

Hello Tor!

The UX team is happy to announce that Tor now has its first draft of a 
visualstyle guide! Since this is a new thing at Tor we decided to do a 
short Q&A to introduce the project.

*What is****a visual style guide**?*
Style guides specify the look and feel of how a company or team 
communicates with the outside word. For example, styleguides.io collects 
examples of website visual standards that help maintain a consistent 
online presence. Style guides can include rules for how logos, fonts, 
and colors should be used, and can even extend to interactive behaviors 
such as alerts and form templates.

Style guides are not meant to be static documents. They can evolve over 
time as the needs of the organization change. However, a style guide 
provides a basic set of ground rules for designing user experiences, and 
provides a foundation for an ongoing conversation about UX design.

*Why d**oes Tor need one**?*
People rely on the visual design of software and websites to help them 
determine whether software is trustworthy. A project that has many 
different components that all look different from one-another can come 
off as disorganized or scary. In our case, the lack of visual 
standardization across the Tor ecosystem is disconcerting to many 
potential new users. A consistent visual identity will make it easier 
for potential users to identify "real" Tor projects (and for Tor to shut 
down false claims of affiliation), in addition to making Tor seem more 
friendly and approachable to new members of the community.

As the Tor project prepares to embark on a serious re-vamp of its core 
website design (and other initiatives, such as one around fundraising), 
the style guide will help various contractors and volunteers create 
designs that look good with one another. It will also help volunteer 
designers and researchers identify places where current practice can 
evolve to be more streamlined or attractive, rather than having five 
designers chime in with five radically different approaches.

*What this is not?*
A rebranding of Tor. Or an attempt to get every project at Tor to think 
the same or work in exactly the same way.

*Who worked on it?*
This was organized by the UX team with the support of Simply Secure. The 
main people involved were:
Scout, Amee, Elio, Paul L., Nima and Isabela

*How it was done?*
The discussion to have a style guide started over an year ago with 
Simply Secure, as we were talking about building the UX team we decided 
that building a style guideline for Tor would be a great first project 
for the team since it's such an important foundation for a product to 
have. Later on at the Valencia Dev meeting in Feb 2016 during the UX 
team meeting we got ourselves organized to kick off this project. Since 
them we went through a lot of meetings and steps to build it up, you can 
review it all at our wiki page:

*How this affects you and other things moving forward*
We will have a session at the Dev Meeting in Seattle to talk about the 
guidelines, discuss these proposals,and plan what's next!

As noted above, the ultimate goal of the style guide is to create a 
consistent look and feel across the Tor ecosystem. To that end, we 
propose that the majority of projects under the Tor umbrella work to 
adopt its conventions around fonts, colors, and logo design. However, we 
recognize that this may be a lot of work. We thus propose that the 
process happen in several stages.

Step 1: Present style guidelines to the Tor Community
Step 2: Define Tier 1 and Tier 2 projects - where Tier 1 will adopt the 
guidelines and Tier2 will be left open to do it or not
Step 3: Start applying guidelines for Tier 1 projects.
Step 4: Apply guidelines for Tier 2 projects that would like to adopt them.
Step 5: Make sure that new projects knows of the guidelines.

For now our suggestion is for Tier 1 projects to be all the official Tor 
websites (donation page, main page, metrics sites) and products (Tor 
Browser). And for Tier 2 to be anything that is still on Alpha or Beta 
such as TorBirdy, TorMessenger and so.

We are aware that this is something that should be decided with the 
broader Tor Community therefore we are suggesting the style guidelines 
discussion at the Seattle Meeting. Please join us there and help us 
define these Tiers and coordinate/organize an implementation plan for those.

Let us know if you have any questions!
Isabela on behalf of the UX Team.
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