Call for Participation: Open Source Design Devroom at FOSDEM 2019

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

After successful runs in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, there will be a design devroom at FOSDEM 2019!

The Open Source Design devroom will take place on Saturday, February 2nd, in the Solbosch campus of the Université Libre Brussels.

The exact room will be confirmed in the coming months.

This will be a full day of talks about design work on free, libre and open source projects.

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
  • Unique challenges that open source brings
  • Design techniques and deliverables
  • Design/engineering collaboration approaches
  • User engagement and design research activities
  • Project case studies

In the past we’ve had talks about getting designers involved in open source, accessibility in open source, application design and development, beyond logos, architectural font digitisation and design and lots more.

If you’re interested in seeing all previous talks, have a look at the schedule, and videos for 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Recording and licensing of talks

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.

What and how to submit

Submission format

20-minute presentations

Submission deadline

1st December 2018

How to submit

All submissions are made in the Pentabarf event planning tool at

When submitting your talk in Pentabarf, when asked for the ‘Track’, you must select the ‘Open source design devroom’.

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 bernard+fosdem at ei8fdb dot org

Who co-ordinates Open Source Design devroom

The Open Source Design Devroom is co-ordinated by the Open Source Design community.


Hello all!

Last week I got confirmation that the proposed for our wonderful open source design devroom has been accepted. This will make it 5 years in a row. :fist_right::fist_left:

As with other years we’d like to some discussion here about potential talk topics and speakers.

Does anyone else have topics they’d like to discuss?

Personally, I’d like to try contacting groups, projects, people who work on open source projects, and those who are be under-represented.

A few examples - one year at FOSDEM I came across Passbolt, a really nicely designed webbased collaborative password manager. I was really happy to see how they dealt with complicated security concepts.

From attending the Internet Freedom Festival I met with some designers from Ushahidi who are a non-profit company working with marginalized people. They do a lot of open source work.

I think a few Ushahidi people might be on here?

Any thoughts? @belenbarrospena, @elioqoshi, @jan, @evalica, @dachary, anyone else?


That sounds really good @ei8fdb! @Erioldoesdesign from Ushahidi is on here – would be great to have you speaking at the Open Source Design track!

I also think we should have one or multiple nice talks on accessibility again as that is otherwise overlooked. The accessibility talks by Léonie and Karwai in our 2017 edition were really cool!

And maybe Renata who had to cancel last time can make it this time?

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Hey @ei8fdb Eriol here, Designer at Ushahidi along with @justin as Designer also!

What do you have in mind re. Ushahidi participation? Would you think attending would be on the cards for us or would you like to be using Ushahidi as an example/ to work on the code base?

Let’s talk! :slight_smile:

I think we should keep the “tradition” and also have our “recurrent” sessions:

  • How to get involved in Open Source Design? (where we present the Jobs section, ways to contribute, past year achievements, our website and github, etc.)
  • Developers looking for designers? Pitch your project! [Group] (our final session)

Also we should discuss what time to we start on Saturday morning and how many sessions we can accommodate during the day (14-16?).

I’ve proposed a Panel session and I would love your feedback on it.

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@evalica yes, I definitely agree we should keep our recurrent sessions.

What are people’s thoughts on the start time? I think we need to have a balance.

In previous years we started at 9, and I think it’s too early. If we were a big devroom we could “pull” people that early.

10:00 for me means a little too late, as that means 1 less session.

But let’s put it to everyone here.


At what time should we start the Open Source Design Devroom?

(1 choice per person)

  • 09:00
  • 09:30
  • 10:00

0 voters

Let’s leave this open for a few weeks.


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Hi all,

FOSDEM devroom people have said the following -

From Alasdair message on Oct 10th 2018:

IMPORTANT - Nothing should be scheduled outside these hours:

Saturday 10.30-19.00
Sunday 09.00-17.00

Every year some devroom schedules ignore this and have to get fixed!

Depending on what day our devroom starts, the decision of when to start may have already been decided!

We’d better wait until the schedule is released officially.

1 Like

:bellhop_bell: Closing date for talk submission has been extended :bellhop_bell:

Hi all, we have extended the deadline for the call for proposals for FOSDEM 2019

The new closing date will be the 8th of December 2018.

If you’d like to submit a talk proposal, please see full details.

:drum: Attention! :drum: Attention! :drum:

CfP is now closed
Call for proposals for our design devroom is now closed!

We’ve had a great response - 20 proposals. Thank you to all who submitted.

Next steps
We’ve got to transfer all the proposals into a form that we can publish for people to vote on. This will take a day or so.

Once we’ve got it ready, people will have a few days to vote for the talks they’d like to see. I’ll advertise the deadling here.

We’ll publish some simple guidelines on voting also, to make it as fair as possible.

Blind reviews
I’d like to propose removing the speakers details (essentially name) fom the voting sheet.

This is to make the vote as fair and to reduce the possibility of bias, as much as practicable.

If you disagree with the approach, or you’ve got a different way to deal with it, let’s discuss below. :wink: :speech_balloon: