Position Description

BASICS Specialist - UX & UI Developer
Location Remote
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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.

The BASICS UX & UI Developer will work closely with the Thunderbird Open PGP feature development team to develop and implement user research, user interface designs, and documentation improvements that will further sustainability of the project. The position has the flexibility to be tailored for someone with more expertise on the UX Design side or the Development side, depending on the background and interests of the applicant.


This is a globally remote contract budgeted for a rate of US $25-50 per hour.


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 believe that diverse teams are strong teams and work to support an ethic of belonging, dignity and justice for all people. Our current team includes a mix of genders, parents and non-parents, and people of multiple races, nationalities, ages, sexual orientations and socio-economic backgrounds. We are an EEO employer and encourage candidates of all races, genders, ages, orientations, ethnicities and national origins to apply, and welcome those with alternative backgrounds and experiences.


This is a paid consultancy with the option for either:

  1. A 6-month part-time contract at an expected Level of Effort of approximately 20 hours per week, or
  2. A 3-month full-time contract at an expected Level of Effort of approximately 40 hours per week.

The Specialist will contribute to activities such as following:

  • Provide development and design support for User Interface features to improve the user experience with Open PGP on Thunderbird;
  • Conduct user tests to generate insights on user experience;
  • Provide development support to fix bugs;
  • Assist in coding fixes for security issues; and
  • Support the team to develop solutions for a variety of PGP key-related challenges.


The consultant should have:

  • Strong skills in web technologies: JavaScript/HTML/CSS
  • Validated experience in user interface development/design
  • No fear of diving into a large code base
  • An eye for detail as well as an ability to focus on the big picture with the end user needs in mind
  • Understanding of User Experience design principles
  • Excellent English written communication skills
  • Understanding of and demonstrated commitment to upholding Internews Core Values.

Preferred Qualifications (nice to have but not required):

  • In-depth knowledge of OpenPGP
  • Some familiarity with UX for 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.


Thunderbird is a free and open source email, newsfeed, chat, and calendaring client, that's easy to set up and customize. One of the core principles of Thunderbird is the use and promotion of open standards - this focus is a rejection of our world of closed platforms and services that can't communicate with each other. We want our users to have freedom and choice in how they communicate.

To apply, please submit your resume and optionally a cover letter.

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