= Tor Browser Circuit Display
Everytime a website is accessed through tor browser, users are able to visualise the tor circuit that was used to reach the current site. This is accomplished via the circuit display, a user interface component listing the countries and nodes that have been used to reach the visited page.
The circuit display can also be used to request a new circuit. Users would usually want to do so either if the page is taking to long to load or if they see anything is amiss with the page rendering. We have found out that when requesting a new circuit, many users were hoping to see the all nodes in the circuit to change. This is rarely the case. The first relay in the tor circuit, called "guard" is a fast and stable relay that remains the first one in the user's tor circuit for 2-3 months. This is a design feature within tor meant to protect against a known anonymity-breaking attack.
The problem we tried to solve is related to a new circuit request and how users can understand the circuit visualizer. Previously, there was no indicator on the circuit display to show the user that the first node is a guard, what guards are, and what happens when Tor creates new circuits for a user.
== Relevant Ticket(s)
- [- Improve how circuits are displayed to the user]
- [- TBA - Improve how circuits are displayed to the user]
== Old UI
Additionally, users were not sure if the new circuit request would apply per site only or globall, for any other website visited. Furthermore, we got reports about some inconsistencies with the browser user interface.
== New UI
In order to move domain related controls to the URL bar, we decided to move the Circuit Display to the Control Center panel in Tor Browser 8.
The guard node, which is the first node of the circuit, has a label now. This acts as a highlight to help users having a visual indication about which is the first node of the connection.
When a user clicks the [i] identity icon at the url bar, the Control Center panel opens.
![https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/raw-attachment/wiki/org/teams/UxTeam/Misc/CircuitDisplay/old-new.png, 700px](https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/raw-attachment/wiki/org/teams/UxTeam/Misc/CircuitDisplay/old-new.png, 700px)
== User Testing
The circuit display is a user interface component that educates users about how the tor network works and the design choices behind it. We want to keep this component as one of the tools that defines the Tor browsing experience.
This tool needs to be clear, transparent and consistent explaining its purpose.
As part of the global south initiative, we visited users from India, Uganda, Colombia, and Kenya to meet the people we are designing for and discover their needs. We ran a small-scale, short, qualitative, open-ended user test.
Read more about our [South Initiative.]
- [Research: Circuit Display - Mombasa, Kenya]
- [Research: Circuit Display: Nairobi (group 1)]
- [Research: Circuit Display: Nairobi (group 2)]