[Enigmail] New 1.8 toolbar on the composition window

Patrick Brunschwig patrick at enigmail.net
Wed Mar 18 17:01:49 CET 2015


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On 18.03.15 15:53, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
>> But what percentage of overall enigmail users are they, and how 
>> likely are they to blindly send their key to a keyserver rather
>> then blindly click a button to attach their public key?
[...]
> 
> If you don't like the button, great.  Don't use it.  :)  But we did
> get feedback from a large number of trainers at the Circumvention 
> conference, and I did not hear one single complaint about the 1.8
> beta I showed them with the "Attach public key" button.  (About
> half of them thought it was a great idea; most of the rest thought
> it was a decent idea; only two or three were indifferent, and none
> were hostile.)
> 
> As always, Patrick's in the driver's seat and gets to make the
> final decisions on everything... but my feeling is the "Attach
> public key" button is something that an important fraction of our
> users approve of, and for that reason we're not going to get rid of
> it.  We might figure out better ways to present it or make it fit
> in the UI, but we're going to continue to make it extremely easy
> for users to attach public keys to an email message.

I should add that one of the outcome if the usability study we had
last year showed that this is an important function and that such a
button was missing - especially for beginners who don't want/need to
know Enigmail and the concepts of public key encryption well.

To summarize this discussion: there is often a trade-off between
usability and other aspects in a system (space, transparency,
configuration, etc.). I strongly believe - and many agree on this -
that we need to improve usability, even if it's at the cost of other
aspects). I'm not so worried about the users we have as they seem to
live quite OK with what we had. I'm much more concerned about the
users we don't have yet, or that we lost because Enigmail was too
difficult or not intuitive enough. Encryption only matters if can be
applied by the masses.

As today's screens get larger and larger, I don't believe that we
waste a lot of real estate on the screen, given how much more
intuitive the new buttons are compared to the old version.

Whether or not you like (some of) the new buttons and the toolbar as
such is first of all a matter of taste. I think the new version is a
lot better than the old one, and I would not want to go back to the
old layout.

- -Patrick

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