Re: [Tails-ux] [Tails-project] Success metrics for Additiona…

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Author: sajolida
To: Tails user experience & user interface design
Subject: Re: [Tails-ux] [Tails-project] Success metrics for Additional Software (#15979) and VeraCrypt integration (#15976)
>> This lead me to reflect on how we promote changes and new features to
>> our users. Currently, as a Tails user, I only have 3 ways of learning
>> about Additional Software, VeraCrypt, or any new feature in Tails:
>> - I read every release notes (or Twitter on the day of the release).
>> I suspect that an important part of our user base either don't take
>> the time to read them or uses Tails only occasionally (or frequently
>> during certain periods of time) and won't see them at the right time.
> This only works if you're visiting the Tails website regularly or if you
> are subscribed to the amnesia-news mailing list.

Yes, visiting our website regularly or starting Tails regularly as our
news are displayed on /home whenever you start Tor Browser in Tails.

>> - I search explicitly for VeraCrypt in Tails or something about
>> Additional Software, either online or trying things out in Tails.
>> - I read the full index of our documentation or somehow stumbled upon
>> our doc pages while reading our website.
>> - Word-of-mouth.
>> I came to believe that an important part of our old user base has a hard
>> time learning about the new things in Tails. When interviewing Tails
>> users or talking to security trainers, I often realize that they are not
>> up-to-date with the changes in Tails even many months afterwards.
>> I think we could get more impact from all the great work that we do in
>> Tails by communicating more about it and letting infrequent or older
>> users know what's new.
>> The first ideas that came to my mind to improve on this are:
>> - A "Learn what's new" when doing an upgrade. We would know which
>> version the user is upgrading from and could customize the message.
>> - A "Did you know" message on /home about the changes we did in the past
>> year or so.
> - We could advertise the amnesia-news mailing list more prominently on
> our website.
> - We could build a database of trainers that want to receive these news
> or invite them to subscribe to amnesia-news.

Currently it's displayed on top of /home:

So it is displayed to every Tails users when they start Tor Browser.
They are the population that we're trying to inform better through this
discussion so I think that we're already good in terms of where the
information is placed.

Now, I just did a very quick interview with a digital security trainer
that I had at hand about how she keeps updated with changes to the tools
she recommends. She knows and likes Tails but only uses it occasionally.
She told me that:

- She relies a lot on Twitter, especially the text of the tweet but she
doesn't click much on links and thus don't read our release notes.
- She didn't know we had a newsletter and never really noticed the
subscription form on /home.
- She uses messaging groups (eg. Telegram) to exchange tips with other
trainers in her area.

So, to be more specific, I think that we should work on making the
newsletter form visually more engaging on /home.

Were you thinking about anything else?

It might be controversial but I think that amnesia-news would be more
popular if we had HTML versions of our emails.

I think that for many people regarding something like:

is more engaging that reading something like:

But I don't know the rate of people dropping out of amnesia-news.

> - intrigeri's idea of advertising upcoming things on Twitter is nice,
> too.

I think that being more active on Twitter would be beneficial in many
ways. But I'd like to make plans that are pragmatic and at least:

- Can be systematized and not rely on us remembering to do it only from
time to time.
- Can be attributed to a core work team.

I would actually be more interested in tweeting about important features
after they are released than before. Right now we're only tweeting about
the release itself and as a whole. We're tweet to peak people's
interest, make them click on the link, and read the notes.

We could, for example, tweet about the VeraCrypt integration
specifically and even months after it was released.

It might even have more impact than tweeting about upcoming features
because people would be able to check it out immediately, read the
corresponding documentation, we would have screenshots, etc.

I would be fine with adding to the release notes process, to write
specific tweets about important features and schedule them for tweeting
during the N months after the release.

It might not be worth splitting the writing and the posting of the
tweets between 2 teams and, if it's fine with you, the technical writing
team could also be responsible for posting the tweets.

> But I would also like to stretch the outcome of a previous discussion in
> which we noticed that in some digital rights circles Tails is partly
> completely unknown (scary!). We really need to change our way of
> communicating overall it seems.

Full ack and we're already working on it in #9814. Though that seems too
big to fit in the scope of this discussion.