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CalyxOS

We provided a new visual style for CalyxOS, concretized into graphics to illustrate their main concepts and new wallpaper images for the Operating System.


CalyxOS is an Android mobile operating system that puts privacy and security into the hands of everyday users. Plus, proactive security recommendations and automatic updates take the guesswork out of keeping your data personal.


CalyxOS needs to be the obvious alternative to the big mobile duopoly Google and Apple are controlling, so we prioritized making CalyxOS more approachable by improving various visual identity shortcoming. We aimed to bring an easy-going and fun note to the privacy values CalyxOS embodies. At the end of the day, this should be a phone available to the every-day person.

Illustrations

We helped CalyxOS by offering a new set of Illustrations to replace the current ones, giving a unique and modern look, also setting a flexible and scalable graphic style. These graphics are bright, fun, abstract, vivid, with elements of privacy and security integrated into them. We wanted to move away from the overexposed approach of shady metaphors when it comes to privacy and instead settled for a visual approach which normalized privacy features.

Wallpapers

During our visual explorations for the default wallpapers which ship with CalyxOS, we decided that as opinionated as CalyxOS can be, as unopionated its default wallpapers should be. In this way we encourage users to customize their phone further. Using an extended set of colors based on CalyxOS we created a set of flexible and abstract wallpapers based on the Calyx thunder icon.

Due to the low contrast among the wallpaper colours, they offer splendid contrast levels with icons and text on the screen, while preserving the Calyx visual style.

Accessibility Audit

The Calyx Institute kindly provided us with a Google Pixel 4a device which we used as a testing device (at this point, CalyxOS is compatible only with Pixel devices).

As part of our accessibility audit we reviewed various apps shipped by default in CalyxOS, including Datura Firewall, OpenKeychain as well as CalyxVPN. During our audit we tested accessibility via wireless keyboards and screenreader (Talkback on Android).

Common accessibility errors discovered were missing alt= tags as well as inconsistent focus orders. We summarized our findings in a FigJam whiteboard project which we relayed to the CalyxOS lead developer.

Many of the buttons were labeled as “unleveled button”. For screenreader users this creates an enormous accessibility issue which can be easily mitigated by adding a concise description to the interactive element.

You can explore the audit summary on FigJam: CalyxOS Accessibility Report

How we helped

  • We helped CalyxOS’ visual identity by creating a visual style.
  • We offered new cool illustrations to visualize the main concepts.
  • We designed new wallpaper images for CalyxOS phones.