Signal Logo

Signal Desktop

Signal is a free and open-source, easy to use chat application that brings strong encryption to the masses.

Role

Volunteer UX Designer

Contributions

UX Design, UI Design, Information Architecture

Project Overview

I reached out to Open Whisper Systems because privacy and security have been topics I've been interested in for a long time, and Signal puts this in the hands of anyone with a phone — for free. I helped the team redesign their desktop app, a tool that allows users to securely chat with Signal contacts on their phone.

I worked with the team to bring the app into alignment with their mobile experience, to improve general usability issues and to create app store assets and fundraising collateral.

Problem Statement

The Signal Desktop app was in its early days when I started working with the team at Open Whisper Systems. The UI on the desktop app, and the UI in the mobile apps were very different from each other, there were cold start issues, and messages weren’t searchable.

Signal's alpha design

Goals

Personas & Use Cases

The Journalist

As a Journalist, I need a secure way to communicate with sources or colleagues, so that I can protect our privacy and avoid putting them, myself or the contents of our conversation at risk.

The Whistleblower

As a whistleblower, I need to communicate with journalists or other trusted individuals or organizations securely, to ensure that the contents of my conversations are protected and to reduce risk.

The Researcher

As a Researcher, I need to safely communicate with other researchers, so that we can share information and work more successfully.

Product Designs & Interactions

Ready to Start Chatting

When the app launches, a list of all of your Signal contacts appear so that you can start a new conversation directly from your desktop app. Conversations from the mobile app appear here, and conversations from the desktop app are accessible from your mobile app.

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Search Your Messages

We added a search input above the message list so users can quickly find the conversations they need.

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Rich Conversations

The selected message uses colors in the UI that users are familiar with from Signal on their Android device, and can send and receive rich media, helping to make their conversations come to life.

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Chrome Web Store Assets

After the initial design update, we updated the app store images with messaging that aligned with the the new UI and the language on their website.

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