How to bring more designers to open source

Poor design plagues a lot of open source software, but it doesn't have to be that way, says Eriol Fox in their All Things Open 2019 Lightning Talk.
120 readers like this
120 readers like this
What sets Krita apart from other open source digital painting tools

John Morgan on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

"Most designers don't have a clue about open source," says Eriol Fox of Ushahidi, a non-profit social enterprise that creates humanitarian, open source tech tools. Unfortunately, this means there are few design-related contributions to open source software, and this results in an abundance of poorly designed open source tools.

Ushahidi learned through its Open Design initiative that "designers are really ready to contribute to things that do good," and this can create a natural alliance with the open source community—once designers are aware of the opportunities.

Watch Eriol's All Things Open 2019 Lightning Talk, "How to encourage designers contributing to open source," to learn more about getting designers involved with open source software by starting with tech for good.

During the Lightning Talks hosted by at the seventh annual All Things Open conference in October 2019, eight presenters shared quick takes on interesting open source topics, projects, and ideas. Watch all of the 2019 All Things Open Lightning Talks on the YouTube channel.

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As a whole this is a very abstract talk about design, and even at the end of it I have little sense of what sorts of design she was talking about. There was a lack of any examples of the kind of design(s) she was talking about.
I have experienced this before with people who have identified themselves as designers, complaining about the design of OSS, yet not showing examples of why some particular design is better than some other. Part of being involved with open source is sharing some details about what you know and want to do, and being willing to have someone else disagree with you.

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