CipherCat is an encryption text messaging application focused on user security and anonymity.
Date: August 2019
Role: Product Designer
Tools: Figma, Illustrator, Balsamiq
Current popular encryption messaging applications are still not secure enough, with room for data breaches on both the sender and receiver sides.
The application handed to me wouldn't work for everyday users.
It was complex to understand and hard to look at. I was brought on to clean it up visually and make it user friendly.
Users had to choose their encryption type, then type or paste in the text they wanted to encrypt, which gave them a key that they could share.
The problem with this is that is confusing and already too many steps. Users had to go outside the app to fully utilize it. We needed to simplify and choose a clear goal for the application.
I use Balsamiq to create these simple wireframes. These would help me visualize which features are needed and how we can iterate off that basic messaging application into a more unique product that will set itself apart.
I interviewed people who used encryption messaging applications. Here are some of the things users told me.
What I learned
The current popular encryption messaging applications weren't secure enough. I needed to set CipherCat apart by creating the most secure application possible.
Major changes I decided to make as I tested and Iterated.
• Completely removed the encryption/decryption screen. Users didn't understand it and it was extra steps that could be integrated into the chat application itself like Signal does.
• I changed names to nicknames to encourage users to not use their own names, this will increase security.
• I added a pin number which so users have a forced level of security. Some users won't like that but many will know that the person they are messaging is under the same restrictions, adding an extra level of security from all users.
• Messages auto self destruct based on a globally set time which can be altered individually by the user that sent them.
• Tooltips that the user must click out of that recommend avoiding using a real name or picture of themselves.
• Settings to change whether the message's preview shows & if notifications display on your phone.
• Favorites added, via a star method.
• Ability to block contact
• No phone numbers shown in application, can add a user by screen name only.
Logo & Style Guide
The prototype I delivered was simple, clean, branded, and had everything it needed to meet the specific need for hyper security.
I used a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Figma.