Write E-Mails securelyMailvelope is an open-source project that strives to bring safe email to everyone by offering an end-to-end encryption process. Even though it is – technically speaking – the most versatile tool out there, it lacked the usability and brand to succeed on a bigger scale. Our goal was to simplify usability and to evolve Mailvelope to a more consumable brand.
What is the status?When we analyzed the User Experience of Mailvelope we identified a lot of gaps and dead ends, which leads users to abandon the product. This insight is backed by statistics, which reveal that a lot of people are interested in the plugin and download it, but never write a single mail.
To change that we tried to transform the complex (and sometimes contradicting) nature of OpenPGP and GnuPG into a simple language with understandable metaphors and known patterns. Once we completed the ideal process on a wireframe basis we broke it down into implementable pieces, that will be developed over the future months.
Reimagining the brandTo be honest: as great as the technology of the product is, the brand was not. It literally „looked“ open-source and not like something a regular user wants to consume, because it does not live up to the known standards.
The evolved brand is a combination of its origin (a seal), its name (m for Mailvelope) and its technology (@ for e-Mail). Like this we respect the history of the brand and play with metaphors that everybody directly understands. On top of it, it is clear and recognizable also in small sizes.
We combined it with the Cera Pro and the Cera Round Pro from TypeMates, a very friendly and open type family. It is used throughout the interface and gives the feeling of a brand you can trust.
For colors we chose a cherry red to emphasize on the metaphor of the seal. It is paired with petrol, a color from the other end of the spectrum which lets the red become flashy and modern and completes the evolution of the brand.
The Security BackgroundA specialty of Mailvelope is that due to security reasons each screen has to feature an individual security background to let the user know that the contents of this screen are not manipulated or can be read by someone else. While this feature is unique, the execution felt somehow impersonal, because the user could only modify the rotation, size and color of a key lock.
Inspired by the security features of banknotes we put together an intercultural set of icons, where the user could choose one of them and a color scheme to build a personal relation to his own security background. As the user base of Mailvelope is spread over the world the icons had to represent every part of the world equally.