Privacy Messaging

Communicating Urbit's unique privacy potential

April 7, 2023

Reward: 4 Stars

ID: P0257

Grantee(s): ~dibnyt-wisfyn

Champion(s): ~poldec-tonteg



The goal of this work is to improve Urbit’s appeal to potential developers by highlighting and communicating its unique privacy potential.

Initial Insights

  • Urbit is currently focused on attracting developers who will build the apps that bring users to the platform
  • Even some currently active developers don’t fully understand the full offering of Urbit
  • Urbit isn’t inherently private - it’s “privacy prone”
  • Urbit OS does so much for developers that they can add in features for almost nothing - privacy is one of those features

Work Summary


  • Interviews to examine and understand current state of Urbit’s offering
  • Explore where Urbit wants to go in the future
  • Interviews to examine what developers are creating and motivations for coming to the platform
  • Determine what related offerings are being missed by existing developers


  • New messaging strategy and copywriting based on research
  • Incorporate growth strategy to target the ideal developers and grow our developer base in sync with Urbit’s theory of change
  • Exploration of ideal implementation - comms channels, structure, media formats
  • Rounds of feedback internally and externally (developers) to improve messaging


  • Messaging strategy presented internally to guide thinking for Urbit Foundation, Tlon, and other established developers
  • Messaging incorporated to assets presented to new and potential developers - (website and videos)
  • Potentially guidance verging on curricula - opportunity to incorporate into Hoon School

Guiding Principles

  • Overall - Develop a shared language around Urbit’s privacy features that both supports Urbit Foundation’s vision for the future and speaks to the practical implications for developers
  • Research - Ensure project success by making sure all stakeholder viewpoints are heard and considered from the earliest stages in the process
  • Development - Strive to approach communications in a way that feels interactive and engaging
  • Implementation - Identify and collaborate with the individuals within Urbit Foundation that need to greenlight any actions early on in the process

Growth Framework

Through attracting new developers, deepening understanding, or a combination of both we can see three general types of growth:

  • Attract new developers with a basic understanding of Urbit features
  • Expand capabilities of existing developers
  • Attract new developers interested in novel implementations of Urbit OS

How This Can Support Future Work

Privacy is one of many features that Urbit offers. This means that this project can model and test an approach to messaging replicable across all aspects of Urbit. The goal is to create something that is not solely top-down (led by Urbit Foundation) or bottom-up (led by 3rd party developers). Rather we want to support both the vision of Urbit and the motivations of developers and meet somewhere in the middle.

Timeline and Compensation

Timeline: Approximately 10 weeks

  • Stakeholder Identification ~ .75 wks
  • Interview Prep + Scheduling ~ .75 wks
  • Internal + External Interviews ~ 2 wks
  • Analysis & Reframing ~ 1 wks
  • Ideation & Feedback ~ 2.5 wks
  • Development & Implementation ~ 3 wks

Reward: 4 Stars


While the underlying technology behind Urbit is incredible, the current messaging strategy is not focused enough on the value that tech brings to our core audience. This hinders conversion of new developers to the platform and limits the capabilities of existing developers. By addressing this issue (starting with the topic of privacy), this work will be invaluable in helping Urbit grow. Additionally, it will model a systematic yet flexible process of working with stakeholders—both internally and externally—that can be used to improve messaging across any number of topics.