Opened 4 years ago

Closed 4 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

#15979 closed enhancement (wontfix)

consider changing order of nodes in "Tor circuit for this site" UI

Reported by: cypherpunks Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: Low Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Keywords: tbb-circuit-display
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

Currently in tor browser, if you click on the onion icon, you get the following display:

Tor circuit for this site
(site.url)

  • This browser
  • [Entry node]
  • [Middle node]
  • [Exit node]
  • Internet.

It might be more intuitive to list the hops in the reverse order, i.e.

Tor circuit for this site
(site.url)

  • Internet
  • [Exit node]
  • [Middle node]
  • [Entry node]
  • This browser.

That way, the order corresponds to a perspective view of a landscape, where close objects are at the bottom and distant objects are towards the top: "This browser" is closest to the bottom of the screen, and therefore the user, "Internet" is closest to the top of the screen, and therefore furthest away from the user. Moreover, "Internet" is adjacent to the site url (which is logical). (You could then also make the site url one of the bullet points, rather than listing it separately)

Child Tickets

Change History (5)

comment:1 Changed 4 years ago by gk

Keywords: tbb-circuit-display added
Resolution: wontfix
Status: newclosed

I am not convinced of this idea mainly as it disrupts the reading flow: you read from top to down which nicely corresponds to the fact that you are constructing the Tor circuit from your local computer: your browser is your starting point, then the Tor nodes are coming and then your requests are dispatched to your destination.

comment:2 in reply to:  1 Changed 4 years ago by mcs

Replying to gk:

I am not convinced of this idea mainly as it disrupts the reading flow: you read from top to down which nicely corresponds to the fact that you are constructing the Tor circuit from your local computer: your browser is your starting point, then the Tor nodes are coming and then your requests are dispatched to your destination.

I agree with this. But I could make an argument for including the site name with "Internet", e.g., "Internet (torproject.org)" or simply "This site (torproject.org)"

comment:3 in reply to:  1 ; Changed 4 years ago by cypherpunks

Replying to gk:

I am not convinced of this idea mainly as it disrupts the reading flow: you read from top to down which nicely corresponds to the fact that you are constructing the Tor circuit from your local computer: your browser is your starting point, then the Tor nodes are coming and then your requests are dispatched to your destination.

You are assuming that users will try to parse the circuit display like a block of text, i.e. read it from top to bottom; my suggestion was made under the assumption that they would parse it like a route plan or map* (and based on my own experience of doing a double-take when first seeing the circuit display).

I don't know which of these assumptions is correct for the majority of users, and I don't intend to argue the point further, but in future it would be nice to see usability issues in Tor Browser resolved based on usability testing, and not based on one developer's unfounded assumption.

*another comparison would be car sat-nav displays where the user's current position is displayed at the bottom and the destination at the top.

comment:4 in reply to:  3 Changed 4 years ago by gk

Replying to cypherpunks:

I don't know which of these assumptions is correct for the majority of users, and I don't intend to argue the point further, but in future it would be nice to see usability issues in Tor Browser resolved based on usability testing, and not based on one developer's unfounded assumption.

We did a lot of testing in our alpha bundles and the idea you have never showed up among our testers. We only got positive feedback about the way we designed that display. And it is not my opinion alone I expressed. We as a team designed it that way. And I think it is not entirely unfounded either given the testing results we got and my reasoning in comment:1.

comment:5 Changed 4 years ago by gk

That said adding the site name to "Internet" does not seem unreasonable to me (we could even make it crystal-clear how to read this display by omitting the site between "Tor circuit for this site" and "This browser" additionally). We could do it in a different bug.

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