designers

Beautiful design can drive user adoption of open source software

Design matters in software

Nowadays we see beautiful design everywhere in our daily life. The digital world is no exception. Many of the websites we visit and the desktop and mobile apps that we use started to be so beautifully designed, that user perceptions on design started to change. As a result, everybody is becoming more design savvy. Users who didn’t care about contrast, button color or responsiveness in the past now critique companies whenever they make a user interface or experience update.

Do you remember the user reaction after several Digg re-designs? Why don’t you use GIMP over Photoshop even though as an average user you won’t need most the extras Photoshop has? There are hundreds of other examples where you will see design and user experience having a great impact on product adoption rates and continuity.

Open source software always has the advantage of offering a free alternative to mainstream solutions, but it doesn’t guarantee user adoption. » Read more

10 Comments

What Creative Commons and 'copyleft' mean to a designer

Creative Commons design mash up

I recently graduated in May, and I had not heard of Creative Commons until I came to work at Red Hat. After a few months, I had gained some familiarity with Creative Commons but it was only when I was recently asked to create images for their 10th Anniversary that I realized I had some research to do.  » Read more

2 Comments

Three tips for working with open source diagrams

open source design

If you're a big-time open source fanatic like me, you probably get questions about open source alternatives to proprietary tools rather frequently. From the 'Alternatives to Microsoft® Visio®' department, here are three tips that should help designers who use Visio in an open source environment. If you need an open source option for opening Visio files, a revived open source application for creating diagrams, or a lesser-known open source tool for converting Visio® stencils, these tips are for you. » Read more

10 Comments

Five questions about open source and branding with Alina Wheeler

A few years back, a good friend recommended I pick up a copy of Designing Brand Identity: an essential guide for the whole branding team by Alina Wheeler. Now in its 3rd edition, it's a beautiful book, well designed and easy to read or to use as a reference. » Read more

2 Comments

Why the open source way trumps the crowdsourcing way

A while back, I wrote an article about why the term crowdsourcing bugs me. Another thing that drives me nuts? When people confuse crowdsourcing and open source. My friend David Burney wrote an interesting post on this subject a while back highlighting the differences.  » Read more

31 Comments