Would it be relevant for Open Source Design to apply and be a Usability Lab service partner ?
Thanks for pointing this out @dachary !
- What would it mean to be a Usability Lab service partner?
- I assume an application would be for single people, not the open source design organization, is it?
Usability Lab service providers consist of organizations who are specialized in offering Usability and Design services, focused on Open Source Security and Privacy enhancing projects and tools. OTF generally partners with those organizations and funds their time to provide those services to the projects and tools which apply for Usability Lab help. So in a nutshell:
- Usability Lab applicants get Design help and consultancy for gratis as long as it’s in scope of the mission (privacy ensuring, censorship circumvention, digital security)
- Usability Lab service providers help those applicants after their request has been approved. Their services are funded by OTF in support for the applying project.
Having said that, there are currently no individuals listed as Usability Lab service providers. Open Source Design as an organization has too little hierarchy to work in this spectrum I’d suspect.
Having said that, if anyone from Open Source Design would like to get involved, we should be able to collaborate in the Usability Lab through Ura, which is one of the new service providers.
@elioqoshi explained that it works differently. For instance SecureDrop would discuss with Ura and agree on deliverables. Then Ura would discuss with OTF in the context of the contract they have as a service partner. And if OTF approves the deliverables that Ura presents to OTF, they do the work and invoice OTF in the end. In other words, there is zero paperwork for the project.
It is entirely possible that I vastly misunderstood though and a confirmation would be welcome
There are actually 2 ways.
1st way is that you don’t know any Service Provider from the Usability Lab. You heard of OTF and want to apply to start get the conversation running. OTF will look at your proposal and accept or deny it. If accepted, you will get paired with a service provider who seems most fitting for that task. The service provider will create a scope of work for the deliverables and that needs to go through OTF as well. Once this has been accepted, the work can begin.
2nd scenario is skipping the first part because Ura and SecureDrop already are in contact. I am fond of this since I like mingling in with communities. In this case SecureDrop and Ura would directly agree on deliverables and Ura would take care of the paperwork. This allows us to support projects which aren’t necessarily registered or have an established organization (so we don’t need to go through Freedom of the Press, but can help SecureDrop as a tool directly)
After deliverables are done, Ura is reporting back on the project, presenting the deliverables. Afterwards we invoice OTF for our work and we get paid.
Hope that clears any confusion