CRUX (Cryptography + User Experience)

  • July 14, 2014 · 6:30 PM
  • Myjive (at NC Music Factory)

Justin Troutman joins us to explore the progression of cryptographic failure as a result of the poor interfacing of cryptographic concepts to consumers. CRUX, or "cryptography plus user experience," is based on the premise that real-world cryptography is not about cryptography at all; it's about product design — therefore, UX-driven. In order for cryptography to be beneficial, the surface for interfacing it must be benign and approachable, making it hard to get wrong, and easy to get right.

Justin Troutman is a cryptographer-for-hire who believes that realizing the cypherpunk dream depends on finding the sweet spot between a tactile, palatable user experience and consistently airtight OPSEC. His research interests include building and breaking authenticated encryption designs, analyzing HUMINT/SIGINT methodologies, and, now, seeing CRUX through to fruition. He also has the likely distinction of sporting the strongest Southern drawl of any cryptographer in history.


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  • Gerald P.

    Great meet Justin. I'm interested in the workshop you mentioned for Charlotte next year.

    1 · July 15

  • Justin T.

    Quick audience gauge here -- who knows a little about cryptography? And, what *would* you like to know?

    June 29

    • Justin T.

      I think we'll find that user language is 90% of the problem. Users have real security and privacy concerns, but we have to be careful not to ask them to make decisions whose consequences they don't fully understand. In other words, the language must make for a tactile and palatable experience, that's relatively quiet and doesn't get in the way of them and what they really want to be doing on their device.

      1 · July 3

    • Gerald P.

      I'm familiar with public/private key methods as well. My concerns are not only about security but the speed as to which they are applied that would not complicate the user experience.

      July 15

  • Harold W.

    Justin, thanks for the talk. I think it is a difficult yet important topic. I appreciated you candor, and am very interested to see what solutions emerge.

    July 14

Our Sponsors

  • Ettain Group

    IT/UX/Tech Staffing. They Provide tasty food and occasional giveaways.

  • Myjive

    Myjive provides the group with a great meetup space @ NC Music Factory

  • Blend Conference

    Conference covering user experience, design and development. Sept 11-13.

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