[Tails-ux] Mission and values (#16539): please comment!

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Author: sajolida
To: Public mailing list about the Tails project
CC: Eileen Wagner, Tails user experience & user interface design
New-Topics: [Tails-project] "freedom fighters" vs "human-rights defenders" [was: Mission and values (#16539): please comment!]
Subject: [Tails-ux] Mission and values (#16539): please comment!

I'm asking for comments on this new document:


NB: I'm putting tails-ux@??? in copy once, but please answer on

How to comment

I'm interested in hearing comments on pretty much any aspect of this
document: it's scope, it's content, it's phrasing, and it's shape;
things to change, things to add, things to remove.

When commenting, I'd like to you to keep in mind that this document is
the result of a pretty long process that involved many contributors.
It is not a piece of collective writing but both Eileen and I tried our
best to take into account the voice of everybody. Cf. "History", below.

Please try to be constructive, explain the reason behind your
disagreement or your proposal and try to make proposals that could be
well received by the project as whole.
For example, "I prefer green to purple" is NOT constructive.


Last summer we worked with Simply Secure at the Tails summit to discuss
what companies would call their "brand" (and "brand attributes"), at
that time we called it "identity": how we want Tails to be perceived by
the world. This went along with collective discussions on what are our
goals as a project.

Rephrasing Mozilla [1], we want to be able to answer questions like:

« Is this Tailsy? Is what we're making a clear expression of what it
means to be Tails? What will make it more Tails? What will we not do
because it's not true to Tails? »

[1]: https://design.firefox.com/values/

During the summit, we asked ourselves broad questions like:

- What do we do?
- How do we do it?
- Why do we do it?
- What do people say about Tails?
- What do we say about Tails?

Eileen from Simply Secure crystallized all this work in 4 identity
sheets, again inspired by Mozilla [2] and quite provocative on purpose:

- The Fighter:
- The Hacker:
- The Protector:
- The Provider:

[2]: https://blog.mozilla.org/opendesign/creative-strategy-on-view/

With these drafts, I gathered comments from 4 regular Tails
contributors, paid and unpaid workers, old timers and new comers.
These are still in the HTML comments on the page:


Eileen did a synthesis of the 4 drafts based on the 1st round of comments:


I did a final round of synthesis to incorporate the 2nd round of
comments and give it a nice shape for our website. Last but not least,
Cody proofread my English :)

I changed the name of the document to "mission and values" a bit at the
last moment. I'm aware that this might require some explanation because
it sounds much stronger than "identity". I didn't want to call it "brand
attributes" because it doesn't look like us. The document included a
"mission" (including its audience) that we extracted for some of the
workshops at the summit and some adjectives that sounded a lot like
ethical "values".

Right after doing that I realized that this document ended up heavily
related to our Social Contract:


The good news is that they are really in sync :) I didn't took the time
to see how both documents could be better linked, combined, or merged
but we could consider it.

What next?

What started being a tool for branding and UX, ended up being probably
the strongest ethical statement of the project so far. I want to be
really careful about this but I think that both have to go hand-in-hand.
"La forme c'est le fond qui remonte à la surface" as you see a bit in
the work of Mozilla.

This document will help us move forward other decisions, starting with
UX decisions like:

- The tone of voice in our writing [3][4]
- The style guide for our website [5]
- Our tagline, if we want to change it someday (I think we should!)
- The visuals to support our upcoming explanation of Tails [6]

[3]: https://styleguide.mailchimp.com/voice-and-tone/
[4]: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/tone-voice-users/
[5]: https://styleguide.torproject.org/visuals/
[6]: https://tails.boum.org/blueprint/explain_tails/