Privacy-first doesn't have to suck.

Terrible user experience is driving us into a mass surveillance future.

🚧 This post is a draft. I'm still writing it! 🚧
Let me know your thoughts by tweeting at me.

Privacy is the hot new buzzword these days, and I’m glad it is. In the age of mass surveillance and data leaks, it’s completely reasonable for this new niche to thrive. After these scandalous leaks, many individuals have sought to replace their commonly used apps from big corporations with smaller, privacy oriented solutions. After all, we must protect our freedoms to the fullest extent - privacy and speech are fundamental to our democracy.

This renaissance of privacy first apps has been quite noticeable. From search engines to anti-spam tools, there’s a great alternative for almost every privacy-invading service out there. Most work wonderfully… but some work atrociously.

Let’s talk about these apps.

Part 1: Why are we in this situation?

I’ll warn you, I make many assumptions and generalizations in the following part. Don’t scream at me - I’m aware.

Let’s take a time machine and warp back in time to the Snowden leaks. The story is fresh out the press and in our minds. The general public now confirmed what was speculation from conspiracy theorists — that the government, in much similarity to Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984, sees everything you do online.

big oof

Part 2: Re-education is hard. Don’t make it harder

Privacy shouldn’t be niche. It should be standard

UX Hall of Fame

Part 3: Privacy first, UX second.

Notes

  1. Twitter conversation
  2. Slack chat
  3. If we’re trying to convince average users to a privacy conscious life, we should strive to create usable and convenient applications, rather than slapping “decentralized” and “blockchain” and calling it a day.

#essays


Thanks for reading!

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