During the summer 2018, we are working with Simply Secure to develop new concepts and guidelines that will help explain Tails to new users and ultimately lead to a better onboarding experience:

  • Internally, to get a collective agreement on the values and style behind how we want to present Tails (e.g. defining brand attributes). These would aid in future work, e.g. defining a visual style guide and the tone of the website.

  • Externally, to make the Tails website more accessible and approachable. This includes revising the current tagline ("The Amnesic Incognito Live System"), restructuring the explanations around Tails, and clarifying some of the terminology used (e.g. “persistence”).

Related pages

Other work

Existing content


Brand attributes

These will help us for future work like defining a graphical style guide, defining the tone on our website, the type of visuals to use, etc.


  • A “brand identity” summary based on a workshop with the whole community.


The current tagline ("The Amnesic Incognito Live System") is an heritage of Tails being initially an acronym. But it's probably not the most approachable way of describing Tails in a few words...


  • A new tagline or a list of potential candidate taglines for selection or further refinement by the Tails community.

Tone and writing style

Review our current home and related pages on how to make them more approachable. As a way of pointing out things that are currently putting off or too complex.

So far we tried to use everywhere on our website a plain and neutral tone inherited from the writing style of documentation and software interface.

  • Should we use different tones in different sections of our website?
  • If so which tone should we used when explaining what is Tails to first-time users?
  • How should it sound?



  • Suggestions in copy and documentation for clarity and tone.
  • Redacted copy sample to illustrate tone.

Structured explanation

Structure an explanation of the main properties of Tails from the big pictures to a more complete understanding.

Cf. our current home and about page.

Plus, they are not mentioning persistence which has become a key property (more than half of our users have one).

  • What do we put first? What is more important? What can be omitted?
  • Is there anything missing if seen from a different angle (e.g. "malware resistant")?


  • An explanation (for example a metaphor) that helps potential users understand Tails quickly, or similarly a list of candidate metaphors


The "persistence" is an encrypted storage that users can create on their Tails USB stick to store personal files and settings. We've been hesitating about how to call this property and have been using inconsistent terminology for years. Since it's becoming a more central property of Tails it might help us to have external expert advice and settle on a better terminology once and for good.


  • Clarified terms such as “persistence”.


Ideate on how to support visually the description of what is Tails.


  • Ideation on visual explanations of Tails.


Communication channels

  • It's impossible to connect to WebRTC-based voice chats from Tails but it's so convenient that we'll use them for the preparation of the activities at the summit. We won't make public the URL for the meetings but we'll send them to the people from the community that want to attend.

  • We'll send updates of our preparation work to tails-ux@boum.org, our public mailing list about UX.

  • We'll use this blueprint to prepare and document our work.

  • We might use other collaborative tools if needed:


In the past we haven't made public neither the dates, the venue, nor the list of participants of the summit; though it's not a strong policy. Let's try to stick to that unless it becomes a problem.


  • Next meeting: Tuesday July 17 16:30, Berlin time.

    • Brainstorm on list of adjectives
  • Other meetings:

    • Brainstorm on tagline
    • Brainstorm on explanation
    • Discuss material we will need for the summit


Regarding the time available at the summit, we usually do 3 hours of meetings in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon.

For this project we can have at least:

  • A block of 3 hours of plenary (discussion with everybody). We tend to do plenaries in the morning but it's not a requirement.
  • Several blocks of smaller working groups of either 1 or 2 hours. Probably 3 hours at least, maybe more.

We don't have an agenda for the whole summit yet and we might be able to have more time than that. This is just a safe minimum.

  • 3-hours plenary workshop on identity.
  • 2-4 smaller workshops to be defined.

Possible sessions:

Session Duration Docs People
Brand identity 3 h Worksheet Ame + Eileen
Language and tone 1 h Eileen
Documentation/IA 1 h Eileen
Metaphors and visuals 1 h Eileen
Tagline and explanation 1 h Ame + Eileen

Brand identity (positioning/personality)

  • 3-hours plenary with Ame on Day 1

  • TODO: Decide if we do it in the morning or in the afternoon :sajolida:

  • TODO: Send travel information to Ame :sajolida:


Question: What is the open source version of this? What are the appropriate adjectives/what is the scale?


  • scientific vs playful
  • authoritative vs friendly
  • secure, mindful

Structured explanation



Eileen and sajolida will work again one day right after the summit.