Users Are People Too: How to Make Your Tools Not Suck for Humans

Presented at ShmooCon XII (2016), Jan. 16, 2016, 10 a.m. (60 minutes)

As a technologist you craft systems that are reliable, scalable, and maintainable. As a security specialist you think adversarially and poke holes in every apparatus you encounter, be it technical, social, or socio-technical. These skills are orthogonal to the ones that good user-experience (UX) designers employ in making software that is usable by "average" people, which is probably why so many security tools suck. In this talk you'll see why your approach to designing software interfaces is broken, get a window into how professionals would make it better, and learn scrappy techniques that even the most awkward infosec nerd can use to make their software suck less for real users.


  • Gillian Andrews / Gus as Gillian Andrews
    Gillian "Gus" Andrews is Senior Usability Research Fellow at Simply Secure, continuing work she did on security usability at OpenITP. Her doctorate at Teachers College explored user misunderstandings of search. She has helped organize the HOPE conference and been a panelist on Off The Hook. She produces The Media Show, a series about digital literacy.
  • Sara Sinclair Brody
    Sara "Scout" Sinclair Brody is Executive Director at Simply Secure. She earned her CS PhD from Dartmouth College on "Access Control In and For The Real World". She previously worked as a Product Manager at Google, where she contributed to 2­step verification and the Android operating system, among other projects.


Similar Presentations: