Design by design

Tails is designed to be an easy-to-use Live operating system as well as a toolkit for privacy and anonymity for the masses.

We organized several workshops at NUMA to improve the usability of Tails. We realized that it is hard for people who are not tech-savvy and/or new to Tails:

  • to understand what Tails is;
  • to install Tails;
  • to boot Tails.

We want to improve this situation. First-time visitors on the Tails website should be able to enjoy a consistent experience, from understanding if Tails is the right tool for them, to achieving their actual goals by using it.

From the inside, to the outside

We want to go from the inside to the outside, from the skeleton to the surface. E.g. having a rocking website first might lead potential users to think that Tails is easy enough for them, while it is not the case yet, which could be problematic in some cases.

This is why, hereafter you will find a description of the logical order of steps. Of course, we can still work simultaneously on all of these steps, but it is useful to keep the whole roadmap in mind along the way.


In 2015, we focused on Bootstrapping and upgrading workflow (granted) and going on the the Greeter UI revamp.


1. Inside

  • Change the language selection position in the Greeter #9922
  • Onion Circuits #6842
  • Graphical interface for additional packages persistence feature + improve the related boot delay #9050 & #9059
  • MAT #7684
  • Greeter revamp: phase 1 #5464
  • Tor and network progress bar #7437
  • Screen locker #5684
  • User-friendly backup system #5301
  • Localized clock #6284
  • Tails Installer on macOS #8559
  • OpenPGP Applet #7778
  • Shut down #5417

2. Installation

A big work in done in 2015 to improve the installation workflow.

  1. Refactor the installation documentation and add visual aids.
  2. Automatic ISO verification #7552
  3. Multiplatform installer #7544

In 2016, we want to go on:

  • Tails Installer on Windows #8550
  • OpenPGP verification in Tails installer when ran in Debian #9798
  • Improve Tails Installer GUI #8859
  • Full self-upgrade #7499

3. Website

 Content and structure

There are 2 two dimensions of work we have to do :


Re-define the goals of the website and maybe split it in differents sections #7627

For example :

  • A - new commers (infographic, videos, homepage, tails identity) #9814
  • B - power users
  • C - dev / contributors

Structure (html and css)

Modernize the html and css structure.

  • D - "fanciness"
  • E - responsiveness
  • F - accessibility

Website roadmap

Depending on grants and availibilities, here are the big steps we could do:

  • late 2015 : review the CSS and HTML from the Installation Assistant ##9915
  • early 2016 : maybe migrate the layout of the website following the work on the Installation Assistant css and html (E, F)
  • mid 2016 : starts working on new commers issues (generic Tails presentation). Think and unify meaning and graphical identity (we could make a survey to gather information). (A)
  • 2017 : work on other sections of the website (B,C)

4. Outreach

  • 2018 : Promote Tails outside of the website, regarding the differents people and use cases where Tails could be usefull.