Call for Participation: Open Source Design Devroom at FOSDEM 2018

FOSDEM is the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting, a free and non-commercial two-day weekend event that offers open source contributors a place to meet, share ideas and collaborate.

After successful runs in 2015, 2016 and 2017, there will be again a design devroom at FOSDEM 2018: a full day of talks about design work on free, libre and open source projects. The Open Source Design devroom will take place on Sunday, February 4th.

We invite you to send in your submissions about design work on free, libre and open source projects.

We mean ‘design’ in the broadest sense: user research, interface and interaction design, information architecture, visual design, typography, illustration, iconography, accessibility … – all in the context of open source projects, which we believe introduces unique challenges. Designers and developers working with designers (or on a design-minded project) are welcome to submit proposals.

Possible topics include:

FOSS design tools
Design techniques and deliverables
Design - engineering collaboration approaches
User engagement and design research activities
Project case studies
What and how to submit

Recording and licensing:

The talks in the Open Source Design devroom will be audio and video recorded, and possibly streamed live too. By submitting a proposal you consent to be recorded and agree to license the content of your talk under a Creative Commons (CC-BY) license.


20-minute presentations

Submission deadline:

1st December 2017

How to submit

All submissions are made in the Pentabarf event planning tool at

When submitting your talk in Pentabarf, make sure to select the ‘Open source design devroom’ as the ‘Track’.

If you already have a Pentabarf account from a previous year, please reuse it: create an account if, and only if, you don’t have one from a previous year. If you have any issues with Pentabarf, do not despair: contact victoria dot bondarchuk at gmail dot com

Who coordinates Open Source Design devroom

The Open Source Design Devroom is coordinated by the Open Source Design community.


Hi everyone,

Why don’t we discuss FOSDEM’18 here? Have some ideas for a talk, community events, booth activities?
@jan, @evalica, @simonv3, @belenbarrospena, @jdittrich, @bnvk, @Incabell, @pdurbin, @studiospring, @ei8fdb and others.


Here is a proposal for a talk:

Pixel Falls & Code Traps: a survey of the FOSS design usability landscape

I will explore some of the “pitfalls and traps” that I see existing in the current Free Software eco-system. I consider these tricky to spot forces and dynamics which I believe keep end user FOSS apps from being as well designed, user friendly, welcoming, and ultimately reach as wide adoption as their proprietary counterparts. The facets I will explore are:

  • Criteria for well designed and user friendly software (FOSS and non)
  • Designer processes in Free and non-free software eco-systems
  • Developer processes, interest, and availability
  • Funding and sustainability of projects
  • Licensing

Some case studies and example apps would be the following:

  • A simple note taking mobile app
  • Secure password vaults
  • Mobile map applications

Lastly, I will explore some models of how to work through these “Pixel Falls & Code Traps” which are conducive to FOSS ethics and goals.

Does this sound interesting to others?


This sounds great, looking forward to hearing your talk! Please, don’t forget to submit it at :tada:

Hi everyone,

10 days left until the application deadline.

@jan , @jdittrich, @evalica, @elioqoshi - are you planning to submit a talk this year?
@belenbarrospena and @ei8fdb - :grinning:?

@pdurbin - can you make it to Fosdem this year?

everyone else?

Should we do a bit of collective promotion of the CFP as we did in previous

If each of us reaches to the communities we normally interact with, that
will help enormously to spread the word.

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This is a great idea. Already started on twitter!

I asked but I can’t get funding this year. I’ll probably try again next year, though! Thanks for asking. :slight_smile:

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Ah…but let’s plan for the next year! :grinning:

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@victoria-bondarchuk I created an event on Pentabarf, but the UI is so bad, I’m not sure if there’s a submit button somewhere that I’ve missed, or if by creating it’s automatically submitted. Can you see the talk?

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Hi @bertob, I know this is not the most friendly interface. And yes, there is one submission with the same name made on 2017-11-03. Was it you?

@victoria-bondarchuk yup, that’s me. Do I need to do anything else or is the submission ok like this?

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I’m planning to submit a talk :slight_smile: working on it … still some days until the deadline - thanks for the reminder :stuck_out_tongue:

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@bertob so far looks good, if anything else is needed, I will contact you. Thank you for the submission. :tada:

@evalica no pressure, just a friendly reminder ))

Just handed in our usual group talk with an update on what we are doing with Open Source Design and what happened this year. :slight_smile: Let me know if anything is missing!

Our Open Source Design collective [Group]

& group photo! :slight_smile:

For everyone who doesn’t know what exactly we do, this is a short intro to our collective: We work to raise the profile of good design in open source software, and connect developers & designers to make it happen.

We run an Open Source Design community forum, organize design tracks at well-known events like FOSDEM (hello ;), FOSSASIA and OpenTechSummit, have a job board to get designers involved, provide open design resources to developers & designers, and more.

We will also take our GROUP PHOTO during this session! :slight_smile:

A few of the news from last year include: