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[liberationtech] User scenarios to guide our (crypto) development

Nathan of Guardian nathan at
Sat Apr 14 18:15:01 PDT 2012

At Guardian Project, we find user-centered development to be essential
to producing useful software that addresses real world needs. To drive
this, we work with user stories and scenarios as part of the process of
developing software. One particular development focus is the Portable
Shared Security Token (PSST)
<> project, which aims to make it
easy to use encryption across both mobile and desktop computers, as well
as keep the stores of cryptographic identities (i.e. trusted keys,
certificates, etc) in sync between devices.

This post outlines some initial user scenarios that PSST aims to
address. We believe them to be common enough so that our solutions will
be readily applicable to real world people now. They are a small subset
of all of the types of users that we feel can ultimately benefit from
the PSST core research, so these user stories provide a starting place
for honing the tools for the needs of actual working organizations.
These stories also discuss how the software could be used in these
situations. The software as described mostly exists, but not all details
are currently implemented or even fully vetted as secure practices.

We are very eager for feedback, comments, and criticism on any aspect of
these scenarios, from whether they are plausible to whether the user
interactions described are built upon realistic expectations of actual
members of organizations like the ones described here.
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