[ux] Fwd: [tor-team] Internal Launch of Tor's style guidelines!

isabela isabela at torproject.org
Fri Sep 9 15:40:40 UTC 2016

Hello people! Very excited to be sharing this :) thanks everyone for 
your help getting this stuff together!

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: [tor-team] Internal Launch of Tor's style guidelines!
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2016 11:38:13 -0400
From: isabela <isabela at torproject.org>
Reply-To: tor-team at lists.torproject.org, isabela at torproject.org
To: tor-team at lists.torproject.org
CC: Ame Elliott <ame at simplysecure.org>, Philip Lammert 
<mail at phlammert.de>, Elio Qoshi <ping at elioqoshi.me>, Sara Sinclair Brody 
<scout at simplysecure.org>

Hello Tor!

The UX team is happy to announce that Tor now has its first draft of a 
visual style guide! Since this is a new thing at Tor we decided to do a 
short Q&A to introduce the project and our proposal for how we can use 
the style guide in the future.

*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 does 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, Ame, Elio, Philip L., Nima and Isabela

*How it was done?*
The discussion to have a style guide started almost a year ago with 
Simply Secure. We were talking about building the UX team and decided 
that a Tor style guide would be a great first project. We reasoned that 
a style guide would provide an important foundation for all products to 
build UX improvements on. Later on at the Valencia Dev meeting in Feb 
2016, the UX team meeting 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:

*Where you can find it?*
Soon it will be under a specific session for resources at the UX team 
wiki and referred to in other places. But for now you can find it here:

*How this affects you and other things moving forward*
We will have a session at the Dev Meeting in Seattle to talk about the 
guideline, discuss the below proposal, 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 guide to the Tor Community
    * Step 2: Define Tier 1 and Tier 2 projects - where Tier 1 will 
adopt the guide and Tier2 will be left open to do it or not
    * Step 3: Start applying the guide for Tier 1 projects
    * Step 4: Apply the guide for Tier 2 projects that would like to 
adopt them
    * Step 5: Make sure that new projects know of the guide, and that 
new Tier 1 projects start out using it from the beginning

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

We believe that this is something that should be decided with the 
broader Tor Community. *We are therefore proposing a style guide 
discussion at the Seattle Meeting*. Please join us there and help us 
define these Tiers and coordinate/organize an implementation plan!

Meanwhile if you have any questions or feedback you can also reach out 
to the team at ux at lists.torproject.org [ 
https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/ux ]

Let us know if you have any questions!
Isabela on behalf of the UX Team.
tor-team mailing list
tor-team at lists.torproject.org

More information about the UX mailing list