Simple and friendly encryption service

user research, ux, product design, marketing assets

Encryption for the people!

Encrypto is a service that provides the user the possibility to encrypt conversations, chats and emails within any third party communication/social service. Encrypto acts as a layer situated between the user’s browser to the websites/services he uses and encrypts all the data that goes out from the user’s workstation. For example, a conversation within Facebook or G-mail, between two Encrypto users will turn out encrypted and unreadable to strangers or other harmful people.


Proxy Connection

“How might we make encryption more approachable?”

Installing an app vs. Adding an extension

The mission behind Encrypto was to deliver an encryption based service, for common, everyday internet users. One of the advantages of Encrypto layed in its technical usage, it was planned as an extension for different browsing platforms. This enabled us to give the user the confidence that he would “add” a “layer” to his browser and wouldn’t install something that might wake the fear of viruses or a malwares. We thought greatly about how to explain to a common non-tech or internet savvy what Encrypto is and why he should use it. The challenge was also to know how to raise the awareness that our digital privacy as internet consumers is controlled by services we use daily and that we have to manually gain back our ownership over it.

post connection landing page

Connecting the dots

Another challenge we had is to think of ways how to approach these non tech savvy users and what will help them understand, connect and adopt Encrypto as a daily used service that would protect them from a potential privacy breach.

We came up with several leading words and sentences that will define our user experience tone and approach towards the targeted end-user persona.

“How might we raise the awareness for the digital privacy security among home computer users?”
“How might we bring back digital privacy to be owned by the end-user?”

MVP Approach

Because we used agile working methodologies while building Encrypto, we had time only to come up with poor sketched and mostly verbally key personas based problem scenarios. Later, we came up with different problem-solving scenarios and with a few storyboards matching those personas scenarios. This helped us to covering different aspects and ways to use this product.

The following process dictated the approach to the leading characteristics of how this kind of product should feel and behave and with those insights, I could plan the schematics phase. Regardless of planning the in-product feature list, this product’s biggest challenge was to decide the level of involvement that it should have on the user’s browsing experience, and how we could reduce the interference with the overall browsing experience to none.

Technical Structure

To understand better the technology and communication behind the product, I laid over a mini map explaining how the service works, where queries are being opened and what is their outcome.

Intuitive UI Injection

While sketching and creating the wireframes I took the approach to make it “as easy and simple” as possible, always showing relevant info and giving the relevant actions involved in the process. The indication for making an encrypted conversation or query had to be seamless, noticeable a part of the targeted 3rd party visual language, but still differentiated from it. I added a small but noticeable dot to each conversation that would indicate whether the current dialog is encrypted.

indication for an encrypted conversation or query

User Simplicity

The UI and visual tone is the outcome of the research and the insights we got from trying to make this a highly user friendly, understandable and meaningful product for people who don’t know a thing about encryption. The product was invited to pitch for investors and got sponsored by WebSummit 2013 with a booth in the Alpha stage startups area.

the extension’s ui schematic design (wireframes)

ui design

Scaling to mobile platforms

We had a great brainstorming session in order to find a user friendly way to encrypt the user’s mobile phone data as well. We came to an understanding that the best way to do so is to run a “silent” application that will monitor all data going in and going out and will encrypt the services used. We added a small bar in the top part of the screen in order to indicate whether the service is encrypted or not, and in order to provide a quick way to check out the settings and close the encryption query if needed.

a concept for mobile implementation

Engage awareness

I designed a beta phase registration website that explains visually how the product works. The intention was also to help people understand the meaning of privacy, the services at risk, and engage an awareness and interest in the subject.

beta registration website

Encrypto website

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