In 2017 we had a panel session in our OSD devroom where we’ve talked about “Design Feedback in Open Source”. There were 5 designers (Victoria, Elio, Jan, me and Bernard) and we also got interactions from the audience. You can see the video.

I would like to do something similar for FOSDEM 2019, but I need to know what you think about the idea, if you would like to participate as a panel member and what topic we should tackle.

So use this forum topic to brainstorm about the panel subject. After we decide on a subject, I will take care of the slides: the questions, structure and interaction. WDYT?

Add your independent panel session ideas as top level answers; or use the “Reply” to suggest questions for the respective ideas.

If you like an idea and want to see it, just VOTE (like) for it!

Current ideas:

  • State of Design in your community
  • Open Source Design versus Proprietary Design
  • Difficulties in having more designers participate in OSS

0 voters


Idea 1: State of Design in your community


  • Each panel member represents a particular community/project (XWiki, Wikimedia, Nextcloud, etc.)
  • We ask questions about Design topics and how they are represented, executed, etc. in that particular community
  • Each question will provide several answers and the public can interact and respond, representing their own community
  • Examples:
    • How often do you do usability testing? for each issue, periodically, once per major version, etc.
    • What types of accessibility compliance your community enforces? (wcag, wai-aria, section 508, etc., no idea, no accessibility compliance)
    • On average, how many design iterations are made for a particular proposal? until agreement, max 3 versions, first-come-first-served, etc.
    • What is the size of your Design team? no team, 1 person, 1-5, 5-10, etc. OR Do you have dedicated researchers inside the team?
    • Other possible topics for questions: target representation, style guides, design system, heuristics, focus group, psychology reviews, usability reports, team size, interdisciplinary component, responsiveness, on-boarding elements etc. :slight_smile: I would need to see how many questions we can ask in the available time frame and decide on topics that would have diverse and relevant answers from the represented communities.

The issue with Idea 1 is that is very generic and we could spread the discussions in several directions easily. We could have a more focused panel and approach some topics in more details.

1 Like

Idea 2: Open Source Design versus Proprietary Design


  • Are there really many differences between the processes?
  • What is Open Source Design missing?
  • Where do Open Source Design processes perform better?
  • Discussions on several questions: money, vision, engagement, target, ownership, responsibility, timeframe, etc.
1 Like

Should the panel members know the questions in advance?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

0 voters

I think a panel discussion is a very good idea @evalica.

Personally I’d like to see the question “why are there still a lack of designers in open source?” being discussed. I don’t know which idea this question would fall under - Maybe idea 2?

It seems, we’ve had more “success” in reaching open source code contributors, than we’ve had reaching UX designers. Id like to know why. Why dont designers want to contribute to open source?

(Maybe it’s just me though :slight_smile:)

I would like to see if there are designers, or code contributors who’ve had success, and how they did it.

To increase the chances of a good discussion I think it’d be better if the panellists knew the questions, or at least the topics before hand. I guess this isn’t supposed to be a “hard-hitting” investigative panel :wink:

1 Like

This is indeed an interesting topic to discuss. So I will post your idea as a separate topic panel, since it can spark other questions around it.

Idea 3: Difficulties in having more designers participate in OSS (suggested by @ei8fdb)


  • What do you think is the main barrier for designer contributions ?
    • Variants: funding, technical understanding, awareness of UX need in OSS, process openness, team size, etc
  • How welcoming are the OS processes towards designers ?
    • Related: voting process, solution integration, ownership, feedback acceptance, etc.
  • Are there differences between doing remote design work for OSS versus Proprietary software ?
  • What qualities an OS designer needs to have ?
    • Variants: experience, technical skills, knowledge of the product, communication skills, etc.
  • What is an adequate team size that can accommodate a designer?
  • How is affected the time frame of delivering a feature when a designer is involved?
  • Discussions on several other questions: money, vision, engagement, target, ownership, responsibility, timeframe, etc.

This is a great session idea. Some material for it in this forum post

I think that topic can be included in “Idea 3: Difficulties in having more designers participate in OSS”.

Hi, some status updates: The OSD Panel was accepted in the Open Source Design Devroom. We will have 50 min on Saturday, in room AW1.120, from 15:30 - 16:20.
So we have plenty of times to debate the “Difficulties in having more designers participate in Open Source”.

The next question is: who wants to participate in the debate?
Please reply if you are interested to participate to the discussion :slight_smile: and let’s provide some interesting angles on the topic.

1 Like

Cool! :slight_smile: One option would be you, @jdittrich @dmichl @belenbarrospena @gilli and me since we were all active at 💭 Difficulties of design in open source

Then again it might be better to mix some other people in who either haven’t shared their thoughts yet or are not so active in our community yet.

We could also say that we have a total of e.g. 6 seats, 3 of which we define before and 3 which we ask people from the audience, or pick them out during the day. (Or 2 & 4, or any other combination.)

I really like this idea of getting people from the audience into the panel. I’ll be happy not to take part in the panel to accommodate that.

We will also ask the audience, don’t worry about that, but they will be more comfortable asking questions from their seat instead of coming in front.

Since we have 50 minutes to talk about this, I would like as many as possible from us that want to participate, so I would not worry about the time (we’ll see about the space). Last time, people talked when they had something to say, besides the introduction, we don’t go in a line.

Still I would prefer people volunteer themselves :slight_smile: : so I have until now @jan and maybe/not really sure @belenbarrospena?

Happy to take part if needed, although considering I am already doing 2 talks at the devroom this year, I will gladly leave my seat in the panel to any others who might want to volunteer. @victoria-bondarchuk ?

Maybe I misunderstood @jan’s suggestion. I thought he meant we would leave some vacant panellist seats, and ask the audience if anybody would like to join as a panel member. I thougth this would be a really interesting way of running a panel: I’ve never seen this done before.

I also think there is a good chance people attending this session will have some experience worth sharing or have thought about the subject, so it’s likely they would make good panelists.

1 Like

I won’t be able to attend the panel as I have to be at the Nextcloud booth then. Sorry about the short notice. :\