FOSS Backstage: Design Sub-Event

Hello everyone,

I’m a co-organizer of FOSS Backstage. For 2024 we want to add an additional one day event dedicated to Design/UX in FOSS in the week of our conference. In the past we already had some sessions on Design/UX at FOSS Backstage, some of them by people from the OSD community. We still want to have some sessions on Design/UX at FOSS Backstage but we feel like the topic could benefit from having it’s own event. Currently we are in talks with a venue in Berlin that would offer one room with a stage and multiple workshop-rooms.

We want to gather everyone who works on Design/UX in FOSS projects and we want to offer something for people who don’t work themselves on Design/UX but want to improve this aspect of their projects.

As we would like to make an event that people in that space actually want, we would like to hear from you and get your input: What are the most important topics to be discussed at such an event? In which formats can we work on those topics (workshops, talks, clinics, barcamp, panel, …)? Should we showcase best-practise-examples? If so: How? Etc

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and would also be more than happy to have a call with those of you, who would like to give some more in-depth-feedback and/or would be able to help organise and plan the event. Please also feel free to point anyone who might be interested in this towards us – you can reach us by answering here or directly at

Thanks for your support! We’re looking forward to hearing from you.


Hey @AlexBrateanu :slight_smile: I’ll start things off with a couple of things I’ve noticed over my years of OSD involvement

  1. We don’t get much time to work on OSD and Design contributions to OSS together as designers - it’d be great to have time and space to work on docs for design in OSS that could be more broadly applicable to OSS for example but also time to just jam on design together.

  2. We wanted to test out internships for designers in OSS and we struggled to get that off the ground - it’d be great to have session with orgs like Google summer of code, github, gitlab and Outreachy to really figure out how designers are supported early in their OSS careers/journeys

  3. How do we share design more and make sure OSS projects know we want to share and open up design?

  4. How to figure out design ‘teams in OSS’ and not just solo designers

  5. How does OSS become valued in the non-OSS world when designers have OSS on their CV’s - how do we communicate as designers the value of being involved in OSS?

Some of those are work sessions, maybe talks? unsure but I have lots more ideas and I’m sure others do here too!


adding to this:

  1. Programming has a lot of freely available resources if people want to learn it; this is much harder with (UX) design. How can we provide resources that enable people to learn about design, either to apply these skills or to understand how designers work?

adding a +1 to all of the above.

We at Ura Design are already elaborating on a few topics we would like to suggest to support UX Enablement of the OSS community during FOSS Backstage.

As much as we like the idea of a dedicated time and space to exchange and develop among designers, we also see that it somewhat reinforces the thinking that designing is an attachment of OSS, an additional step to take. We strongly believe that the strength of the OSS Community lies in integrating designing into the existing practices. Therefore, we recommend to integrate Design/UX Design into the main event as an integral part.



I see it happens two months after FOSDEM.

Maybe we could run a similar checklist?

What sets FOSS Backstage apart from FOSDEM, besides gathering more people closer to the german influence and DACH markets?

All the best.

1 Like

Hi everyone,

it’s been a while (one of the reasons for the delay being my longish vacation), but I finally have a few updates for you now. First of all: Thanks for your input – in this thread, as well as during the community call we attended.

We have just announced our sub-event for FOSS Backstage and launched a Call for Participations and a ticket shop.

Let me provide you with some more details:

  • The general idea is to have some more beginner-friendly talks on UX/design at the FOSS Backstage conference and have the dedicated sub-event as a place for more interactive sessions and deep-dives (@lamarite – Thanks for your input on this. I totally agree, that having it at the main event is important, but we always struggle with finding enough room for all topics and especially more interactive, workshop-py sessions are very hard to fit in a conference schedule sometimes.)
  • Thanks @jdittrich and @Erioldoesdesign for the topic/session ideas – they helped getting a feel for what we might expect in the CfP. Feel free to submit them to the CfP of either FOSS Backstage or FOSS Backstage Design.
  • We have a great venue in Berlin lined up and hope to finalize the agreement with them next week.
  • Right now we have a rather small budget and therefore charging for admission is necessary. We hope the pricing structure (reduced option and FOSS Backstage combi-rate available, free diversity ticket will follow once we secure some basic funding for it)

I hope I didn’t miss anything important. If you have any further questions and/or ideas, please let us know. Thanks everyone! I’m really looking forward to this!



thanks for bringing up this topic here. I have planned to attend the FOSS Backstage this year from March 4-6, and I am gladly looking forward to meeting you there. Who from OSD will be there?



Hi there Sven (apologies for the late reply) I’ll be there for sure :slight_smile:

1 Like