User research for least authority

Matching the Magic Wormhole file transfer technology with user communities

File transfers are such a part of our everyday lives that we don't even notice anymore! Think about the last time you snapped a photo with your friends out at a restaurant and shared it with the group—file shared! Or what about when you upload a 'story' to your instagram feed—files shared! Or, when you send an audio message to a colleague through Signal—file shared!

Well, in some parts of the world the act of file sharing exposes individuals to harmful and detrimental threats, like malware, imprisonment, fines and even death. At Okthanks, we have an opportunity to protect people from these detrimental threats. Through our partnership with the OTF Usability Lab, we've had the pleasure of working with Least Authority to discover use cases fit for the Magic Wormhole technology. This technology allows users to open a secure portal, called a wormhole, to transfer files. One person generates a code which can be shared with anyone for the purpose of a one-time, fast, secure file share. It's like AirDrop, across oceans! Pretty magical right?!

 
 

Phase 1

Discover the possibilities & Define Areas of Inquiry

August 1-31, 2018

During phase 1, we conducted country and community research, devising areas of inquiry to learn more about in phase 2. To start, we focused on areas where censorship and surveillance is high and the state of press freedom is low. From here, we evaluated current use cases for file sharing within each country. The result—a spreadsheet consisting of 26 potential use cases where the Magic Wormhole technology could provide huge benefits!

We have outlined 5 primary areas of inquiry. Within these, there are 7 cases that we pulled from the original spreadsheet. Next, we will interview users to understand their current behaviors related to file sharing. We aim to discover more about how the Magic Wormhole technology aligns with the goals, objectives and behaviors of people fighting for humans rights and internet freedom in the field. Our hope is that our questions will be answered, insights will be gained, and that some of these communities will find Magic Wormhole a perfect match! 

All flag images are from the "Grunge Flags-World Countries" by Nicolas Raymond and are licensed under CC BY 3.0. No changes were made to the images.

Phase 2

Field Interviews and mockups

September 1-30, 2018

We are working here...check back at the end of September for our update!! 

magicwormhole-project-reserachprocess-intheworks.JPG