Position Description

BASICS Consultant - User Research
Location Remote
Apply Now


The BASICS Specialist in User Research will work closely with open source tool teams to conduct user research that will further their sustainability.

This is a paid position on a 6-month part-time contract.

About BASICS Specialists

Internews' BASICS project (Building Analytical and Support Infrastructure for Critical Security Tools) is improving the sustainability of critical open source privacy and security tools by building ties between tool teams and the communities they serve. Many powerful and widely used open source security and privacy tools are maintained by individuals or small groups of volunteers who are often under-resourced, lack the ability to receive grant funding, and do not have the means to hire additional support to advance their project's goals.

Internews will place skilled individuals with open source tool teams as contributing specialists who will help address tool needs. Contributing specialists will be supervised and supported by Internews and connected with a partner from the tool team(s) for mentoring and coordination.

Internews is a very diverse organization globally. We value the perspectives that result from the inclusivity of different voices, and the foundation of our work is to support free and open communications between all people. We are an organization of dynamic, mission-driven individuals who are passionate about our core values and about supporting positive change in the world. We pride ourselves on our commitment to innovation and flexibility. We are an EEO employer and strongly encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for any of our open positions.


The Specialist will be expected to work approximately 20 hours per week to conduct User Experience research and testing with both individual users and organizational partners. This may include:

  • Identifying feature use, missing features, and required feature modifications
  • Identifying design flaws and needs
  • Developing user personas to drive development decisions and documentation
  • Identifying gaps in user and contributor documentation
  • Assessing ease of installation and validation on every commit
  • Assessing ease of maintenance
  • Assessing ease of first use



  • Experience designing and conducting user research (ideally with sensitive/at-risk users)
  • Experience developing user personas
  • Experience auditing and creating user documentation
  • Understanding of security implications for User Experience (e.g. how a user interface communicates security expectations for the user)


  • Experience designing User Interfaces (UIs)
  • Familiarity with Android OS or App User Experience
  • Familiarity with User Experience needs of at-risk groups such as journalists and human rights defenders
  • Lived experience in Internet environments facing challenges emerging from electricity and bandwidth limitations, censorship, surveillance, and other oppressive, anti-open-internet activities.

The specialist should demonstrate enthusiasm for Open Source software, excitement to learn, and commitment to freedom of speech and journalist safety.

Tools the BASICS Specialist will be supporting include:

CalyxOS is a security and privacy focused variant of the Android operating system designed for journalists, human rights defenders, and regular users of mobile smartphones. CalyxOS reconfigures the Android operating system to remove privacy-invasive features; increases security through cryptographically verified secure boot and integration of open source tools into the OS; and provides security and privacy by default through the inclusion of privacy, security, and censorship circumvention apps available; and provides monthly security updates so that CalyxOS receives the latest security updates for Android, fixing software vulnerabilities and security flaws that can put your phone at risk.

Lookyloo is a web interface allowing to scrape a website and then displays a tree of domains calling each other. It is used to investigate website activities and understand privacy issues.

To apply, please submit your resume and a cover letter. Please enter ‘1234’ in the Annual Salary required field when submitting your application. You will be asked to provide your Hourly Rate before submitting your application.

Back Apply Now