GABRIEL ALBO G.ALBO // User Experience Designer


Easy to use open-source encrypted email with decentralised hosting.

Pixelated logo in its blue version

As part of a movement to fight mass surveillance and the right for privacy in the internet, ThoughtWorks decided to invest in a decentralised, open-source email client that made encryption easier to use, so UX was always the key aspect of the product.

Main screen as of September, 2015

From the start of the project, along with a fellow designer, I have done user interviews, defined personas and their journeys, paper prototypes, interaction design and UI development.

Sketching the "compose email" UI

We’ve iteractively built the UX in a very lean way. Continuous design - based on building, measuring, learning, and repeating - helped move from paper to software prototype to production code very quickly.

Some of the stages of the UI

User research was mostly done guerilla style: we’ve done dozens of interviews to map and validate the personas we created, ran some usability testing on clickable mockups, then iteratively on running software. When we were able to launch a stable version for a few users to test, I’ve also built a simple feedback tool, which started providing many useful pieces of feedback that I started mapping.

Clickable mockups for threads

Part of the project’s goal was to promote Pixelated and create a community of supporters and open source contributors along the way. For that, I’ve work heavily on product design and development (customer development and interviews, product strategy) and branding (logo, color palette definition, typography, layout, t-shirts, folders and stickers for events).

Finishing my talk for FISL with Pixelated stickers by my side. Slides are here.

Building a community also involved making sure people were able to contribute easily while keeping up with the design patterns we’ve defined. For that, I’ve create a live style guide, which was automatically updated from the latest code and provided an easy way to reuse existing UI components.

The early color palette and the sass code to manage colors everywhere, making it easy to change themes.

I’ve also written a blog post describing the brand identity creation process. (cross-posted in the project’s blog).

Early sketches of the logo

Final logo (for now :)) and it's variations. It was important that it would work well with all colors of our palette.

I have also designed and built the project’s website.

Pixelated website (

The project is still in development. All the code is public on github.

TEAM MEMBERS: Myself, 1 XD (for 2 months), 8 developers, 1 BA/PM, 1 QA.

LOCATIONS: Porto Alegre, Recife (Brazil), Hamburg (Germany), Quito (Equador).

PROCESS, TECHNOLOGIES AND TECHNIQUES:User interviews Usability testing HTML5 CSS3 Sass Javascript Foundation Continuous Design Open Design Live Style Guide Paper prototyping clickable mockups Prototyping on code Product Design Branding Customer Development Community Development Color theory Layout Typography Collaborative sketching Personas User journeys Agile UX Font-icons