‘Open Design’ aims to learn how, as a design community and an open source software community, we can increase and sustain meaningful design contributions to open source and advocate for designers embracing OSS as part of their learning and careers.

Open Design at open up global summit 2019
Open Design at open up global summit 2019

The first phase of Open Design was funded by Adobe’s fund for design while I was Design Lead at Ushahidi. Official partners of the project included Designit’s Germany offices of Berlin and Munich and Adobe XD.

Whay aren't there designers in open source?
Whay aren’t there designers in open source?
Open Design statement: Designers collaborating and contributing to humanitarian OSS and tech for good at challenge gatherings
Open Design statement: Designers collaborating and contributing to humanitarian OSS and tech for good at challenge gatherings

The first phase of Open Design sought to create accessible processes for designers to collaborate and contribute to Ushahidi’s humanitarian open source software. Using Ushahidi’s OSS tools as a testing ground for developing process and tools and understanding some of the driving forces from both the design perspective and the OSS project perspective.

Designers for good working together
Designers for good working together

Open Design comprised primarily of 3 months of research, planning and preparation and then 3 months of practical on-site executions and reporting.

In the research, planning and preparation I completed desk-based and interview research that informed a workshop framework, core principles, witness inclusion and design documentation and files ready for open source design contributions. Part of this work included a website and brand identity for the project which was built collaboratively with Designit.

Open Design website and brand
Open Design website and brand

I worked within Ushahidi’s TenFour repository triaging and structuring issues in ways that could entice designers to that project and those issues/tasks.

TenFour file for open source designer contributions
TenFour file for open source designer contributions

In the practical sessions, I delivered two on-site workshops in Bangalore, India for Design UP! 2019 and in Taipei Taiwan for Open Up Global Summit 2019. These workshops allowed Open Design to better understand how the developed processes and frameworks worked within the ‘real world’ and offered valuable insight into how to proceed with further Open Design efforts.

Open Design at Design UP! Bangalore 2019
Open Design at Design UP! Bangalore 2019
Open Design at Open up global summit Taipei 2019
Open Design at Open up global summit Taipei 2019

You can see the full project documents here on Github can read the round up of the events here.

Open Design is currently seeking funding/support for the next phase of work and is maintained through Eriol and other supporters efforts currently. Please get in touch on opendesignis (at) gmail.com if you are interested in funding or supporting Open Design.

Projects and people that offered Open Design valuable insight along its journey include:

Core team
Jay Messier
Thomas Kueber
Abigal Mak

Supporters
The Open Source Design.net team and community
The Simply Secure team
The Open Source community Africa team
Open Ideo: Nathan Waterhouse
Simple.org: Daniel Burka
Global Virtual Design sprints: Robert Skrobe
Circular economy & Design: Zablon
The Hague Hacks team
Open Up Global Summit conference
Design UP! conference
Sustain OSS Design & UX working group

You can see videos of talks given about Open Design at Open Up Global Summit in Taipei 2019 and Open Source Festival Africa in Nigeria 2020.

You can view the slides associated with talks on Open Design on Eriol’s Notist page here and here.

You can join the Open Design slack here.

You can contact us via twitter @Opendesignis and facebook @opendesignis