The privacy-oriented Tor Browser has received a new update that includes a refreshed, and easier to use welcome screen. The overhaul of the welcome screen was done following the release of a paper titled ‘A Usability Evaluation of Tor Launcher’. It was designed around proposed suggestions in the paper.
Regarding the refreshed welcome UI, the Tor Project said:
“Our old screen had way too much information for the users, leading many of them to spend [a] great time confused about what to do. Some users at the paper experiment spent up to 40 minutes confused about what they needed to be doing here. Besides simplifying the screen and the message, to make it easier for the user to know if they need to configure anything or note, we also did a ‘brand refresh’ bringing our logo to the launcher.”
The Tor Project plans to iterate on the new user interface based on user testing. This will further improve the overall experience, making the software more accessible to people such as journalists who may not be tech savvy, but need the security which the program provides. Going forward, the team wants to make the rest of the browser easier to use too; one area of improvement relates to the design of the security slider, which is now consistent between desktop and mobile.
Away from the UI, Tor Browser 7.5 ships with Tor 0.3.2.9, the first in the 0.3.2 series. The new series of Tor is significant because it brings support for the next generation of Onion services which come with enhanced security features as reported several months ago.
The team made some additional improvements to Tor Browser in terms of security, enabling content sandboxing on Windows and improved compiler hardening on macOS. Additionally, the project has moved to using reproducible builds, which security experts can use to determine the legitimacy of binaries provided by the Tor Project.
Existing Tor Browser users will be notified of the update via the browser, while new users can grab the update right now from the Tor website.
Source: The Tor Project