A Hub for Design contributions

At LGM 2019 in Saarbrũcken, we held a discussion about how designers can collaborate more efficiently with devs. You can read the result of the brainstorming here:

https://pad.collective68.tech/p/lgm19

One of the ideas (group 1) is “Creating a platform that allows developers and designers to collaborate. Developers could submit requests about visual needs (icons, logo, visual identity), specifying budget, deadlines, purpose etc. Designers can submit artwork on the platform so that other people can see, comment, and even contribute to the visual if it in CC license. On a second time, they work in a closer relationship with the core team of the project to get the final version. It would be very important to have GUIDELINES both on how to submit a request and submit ideas, to avoid too personal opinions about an artwork (ex. “I don’t like this color”). Also, it is important to specify that this is not a platform for contest, so that designers who wants to collaborate embrace the values of the FLOSS community. Basically the idea is to have something like GitHub but for visual stuff.”

As suggested later by group 4 the closest platform existing is the Job board in Open Source Design, but the idea is to create something more focused on the process rather than the “commission”. Something that allows publishing a transparent workflow and the possibility for other people to download an open format document and collaborate on the same design.

I was part of the group that proposed the idea, I would like to know if there is a way to merge this idea with the Open Source Design board or maybe IdentiHub.

What do you think?

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As you said yourself, the first part sounds very similar to our job board – or definitely things which the job board could be enhanced with.

For the other side we did have a list of designers in open source, but we never took it anywhere as it was also not very interactive.

It would certainly be good to have a common platform or at least some sort of “standard” way of getting involved as a designer, which eases the onboarding for each project. Our job board could be useful as a base, if you think it would work. :slight_smile:

(Also cc @elioqoshi since you mentioned Identihub too.)

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I can’t speak for Identihub, only for the Open Source Design jobs board.

I think this is a great idea. We know the jobs board is limited at the moment, and we have spoken about how to enhance it and improve it many times. Part of the problem is that we don’t have capacity on our own, so partnering with others seems like a very good way of pushing the jobs board forward.

Just an observation: any process that is put in place through the jobs board would need to support not only visual design deliverables, but also the deliverables and processes of other branches of design, such as interaction design and user research activities. From the beginning OSD has had a broad understanding of design that of course includes, but is not limited to, the visual aspects of design work. I think any future enhancements to the jobs board would need to keep that spirit.

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What the others said! And also, Identihub could be potentially integrated with a job board integration in the future. The plan was that Identihub would use a git repo to sync assets with. The same git repo could be used to store a job board as well (or potentially the OSD Identihub could be linked with the OSD job board repo).

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First of all, thank you everybody, for your reply. I didn’t expect such a warm welcome, I actually thought that it was hard for you to accept the idea to change the Job board. So cool, Open Design brings Open Minded people :slight_smile:

I made a kind of quick infographic to explain the idea a little bit more. It’s just a draft, I will attach the SVG source file, so feel free to change, modify, add, expand it.


infographic%20HUB
As I said I think the big difference with the Job Board would be that the whole process will be online, so that people can see, collaborate and modify. Also, I think it’s very important to stress the fact that it will not be the community to vote for the final artwork. I think it would be a good idea to have a “Design team” inside the Open Source community, with different profiles, but mainly professionals of visual arts with proven knowledge and experience. This team could act as a consultant, by selecting, voting, and supporting the developers who asked for proposals. Just like Designers don’t have code knowledge and don’t judge the quality of code, I think a good developer should trust people from the design field.

Please, suggest anything you think might help, I’m sure there is a lot to improve.

@jan Your list of Designers is very interesting. Actually, me and other people from ActivDesign in Rennes (that will host next LGM in 2020), we’re working on an online directory of people using FLOSS in the visual arts (like Blender network but for a broader field). We have around 60 entries by far. Here’s the link if you want to join:

Seems like the SVG upload through the message was not successful. Here you have the link of the source file:

The icons are taken from the Open Symbol library using Inkscape 1.0, so I guess you need to install it to first visualize the document properly.

Really cool process graphic! We currently have integration with the forum to have this full process. In fact, while we can (and should) improve the design, all the steps you show in your infographic are functionally working.
This way we don’t have to reimplement a full commenting system, and at the same time we drive people to the forum. :slight_smile:

Some examples of nice design processes and collaboration in job postings:

Right, this is another factor of why we connect it with the forum. Anyone can give input and remix the work, which you can see very well in the examples linked above.

So as said, the job board does do the bare necessities, but we can definitely improve the flow. From my experience it’s good to always take small steps, so here are some ideas how we can improve the job board step by step to reach closer to what you sketched:

  • Fix the formatting issues we often have in entries
  • Show the activity of the linked forum thread in the overview, so it’s easy to see progress, or jobs which have not been taken yet
  • Have a proper way to mark jobs as done and reflect that back to the website
  • A way to highlight good examples of jobs done via our design board so we can point to it – “Success stories”
  • Go over the design and alignment and improve it
  • Review the job submission form and see what we can simplify
  • Some imagery like a project logo would be nice, or some visual
  • Sorting options or a search which allow to filter by job type (visual, research, interaction, etc. a list for this also needs to be set for the form), or e.g. show only paid jobs
  • … a bunch more for sure – what do you think?

What are some issues that you see, especially as maybe someone who used the job board for the first time? (For example, the fact that it’s linked up to the forum and basically already does what you propose needs to be better communicated and designed.)

Great infographic and gives more context to your thought process! I must say that I am not a fan of the Vote component (voting different logos by different designers) as it’s quite counter-intuititve to a good design process (design by committee). Voting on different proposals by the same designer makes sense however.

This is only my input though as I see it as a design competition which is not really motivating as a designer. From my side at least, I’d like to work with a project which appreciates my contributions rather than me needing to prove myself. But that’s me and not representative of other’s opinions.

Filled it out. But it would be great if we could use something open source which is not Google :slight_smile:

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@fanialivio I completed your form and left some comments regarding accommodating studios/agencies in that directory. I couldn’t find where that is actually published. Can you share a link?

@jan Great stuff! The Enough logo is a wonderful example of how the forum allows having a collaborative process with all the mentioned steps. I agree with the fact that the improvements should be little by little, and take this as a base. The thing is, I have no idea in which proportion the actual tools (current job boards + comment through discourse) can technically be modified to implement the elements in your list. I have no enough web design skills to understand if adding a timeline on top of each job showing the state is an easy thing to do or not. Anyway, the elements in your list seem all very interesting improvements, especially :`

I think we really need this to see in a glance the stage of each process, especially since according to the step, a design can still be “open” for contribution or not. In early stage, everybody can suggest stuff, at the end the designer work alone with the client.

Good idea. It would be also cool if we can have a sort of small gallery inside each job, so that everybody can see in a glance what are the drafts and the selected design without scrolling the forum discussion. Also,a big green button on the right column to download the current version of the source file would be great.

Filters by tag are not very hard to implement I think and could do the job

As for the job board submission, I don’t really see issues. The form is well done, but as you say maybe we have to better communicate around this. Many people at LGM didn’t even know that OSD had a Job board.

@elioqoshi

I agree it doesn’t make sense to have a team that judges every design, yet sometimes we need somebody other than the client who takes a decision. Maybe we could give a choice:

  1. “Collaborative” commission: a client publishes a job, he gets submissions from people and HE/SHE alone selects the design and the modifications to apply on it proposed by other people. Like Enough logo. This is like the first degree of collaboration. The difference with a normal commission is that everybody can suggest modifications and everything is published. Maybe we could allow this only for paid jobs? To me it makes sense that if the clients put the money so the clients decides.

  2. Open commissions: a client (team of developers, open source project, whatever) publishes a job, but he needs also support to choose the design since he has no design skills. He gets submissions from 10 designers. He likes 3 proposals. The “sketch” stage is closed. The 3 selected build a team. They can access the source file and can start working on the final version. They are allowed to make “pull requests” so that the other designers, along with the client, choose if a modification is “merged or not” with the current version of the design. So things are implemented collectively until the end. This is the second degree of collaboration.

I agree. I think the best would be to make an alpha version of the improved Job board where we test on a job this kind of mechanism to see if it looks too much like a competition, or if it allows like GitHub to have something improved collectively. It’s tricky with the design, because everybody has his own style and process (much more than code, which is more formatted).

You’re right. If you have any suggestion of open source form, please tell me.

@ryangorley We’re working hard on the directory, but it’s still not online. I will let you know as soon as it’s published.