Open Source Design Manifesto

The pad here for the Summit:
https://pad.ura.design/p/OSD-Summit-Manifesto

We worked a lot on the manifesto as you can see from the pad! Participants of the most recent session shaping it were: @bumbleblue @elioqoshi @tereza @cameralibre @renata and me.

This is our current state and we are already quite happy with it (some few things are missing and marked). What is everyone’s feedback on the points, is anything that we missed? :slight_smile:

Principle 1: Open Source Design connects open source and design

We connect open source workflows with human-centered design. We value usability, empowerment, design for reuse, sustainability, collaboration and transparency.

Principle 2: Open Source Design is inclusive & empathic

We are inclusive to newcomers and act with humility. We are open to constructive criticism, discourse and feedback. We have a diverse representation of people in our projects and communities.

Principle 3: Open Source Design is for everyone

Our responsibility is to make products usable for a diverse audience. Our work is universally accessible. (We do not blame users / The design needs to / Any issue that people have with it are on us to improve.)

Principle 4: Open Source Design is part of a larger development process

Design is a continuous part of a larger development process. It is informed by research and testing. We leave our egos at the door.

Principle 5: Open Source Design is ethical

We design with respect and ethics in mind. [insert values] Our design processes and tools compliment these values.

Principle 6: Open Source Design is open & educational

We share knowledge and teach skills. Information is freely accessible in open standard compliant formats. We help designers get involved in open source, and open source developers make their products better by good design.

Principle 7: Open Source Design is collaborative and remixable

Design is a team effort and multiple perspectives provide a richer result. Every work builds upon prior information and intellectual work. We creatively copy and remix with attribution and gratitude.

3 Likes

Feedback from reading through these principles with a larger group:

Principle 2 is mostly about the community;
Principle 3 is mostly about the design itself.

Currently the headings for these principles don’t make this differentiation clear. Ideas?

Could we give this a bit more structure, possibly reduced to 3 points?

2: “Open Source Design has an inclusive and empathic community” ?

For

It seems to be based on universal design (which I like), however the headline could easily feed into “The target group of the products we design for is everyone!”. Thus I like “ODS [designs/creates…] products usable for a diverse audience” more

Hmm, I do not think that personal views are the actual problem – what about “we learn based on research and testing” or so?

I would not Manifesto-ize this, necessarily, since in practice, an non-open-format can be more accessible to more people, and thus I would prefer it.

I like 7 a lot!

Which values were discussed?

@jdittrich cool! :slight_smile: Could you actually add those points to the Pad instead: https://pad.ura.design/p/OSD-Summit-Manifesto (sorry for not mentioning it again – we meanwhile also made some edits).

Since we don’t do so many changes anymore, we can move the text from the pad to here again. This is the latest version:

Open Source Design Manifesto

1. Open Source Design connects open source and design

We connect open source workflows with human-centered design. We value usability, empowerment, sustainability, collaboration and transparency.

2. Open Source Design is inclusive

We are inclusive to newcomers and act with humility. We are open to constructive criticism, discourse and feedback. We have a diverse representation of people in our projects and communities.

3. Open Source Design is collaborative and remixable

Design is a team effort and multiple perspectives provide a richer result. Every work builds upon prior information and intellectual work. We creatively copy and remix with attribution and gratitude.

4. Open Source Design is empathic

Our responsibility is to make products usable for a diverse audience. Our work is universally accessible.

5. Open Source Design is part of a process

Design is a continuous part of a larger development process. It is informed by research and testing, and starts at the very beginning of a product.

6. Open Source Design is ethical

We design with respect and ethics in mind. People’s privacy and time is honored. Our design processes and tools compliment these values.

7. Open Source Design is educational

We share knowledge and teach skills. We help designers get involved in open source, and help open source developers make their products better through good design.

Are we calling this last version v1? If there are any more suggestions for changes let’s discuss them here and do amendments. I think we should not do more amendments than 1x per year though.

1 Like

Minor change request:

What about: “We strive for making our work universally accessible”

From my understanding the manifesto is already something we strive for so I don’t think we should not give an impression that “we try to”.

Maybe “Our work should be universally accessible”?

Maybe “Our work should be universally accessible”?

Also fine. “is” would sound like a statement of fact.

Ahoi! What’s the status on our manifesto? Is there a newer version, or are we ready to publish this one on our website?

2 Likes

Hi there, haven’t looked into the manifesto for quite a while and could not find the version where I added a mention of “Free Software” to it. If this is the most recent iteration I have two questions:

  • It would be great to be more explicit about what “ethics” refers to. Is user freedom part of this?

  • In how far is “Open Source Design” about “Designing with Open Source”? I miss an explicit reference to encourage and support use of free software among designers. Supposing that is a goal of course.

2 Likes

@elioqoshi @jan @jdittrich and all other core members, I’d love to see this question clarified as in my eyes this is a pretty important question. Any update in that regard would be welcome.

1 Like

Not speaking for core but for myself:

It would be great to be more explicit about what “ethics” refers to.

That indeed would be helpful. We might write more on that or we should refer e.g. to the Archimedean Oath

Is user freedom part of this?

Depends of what “freedom” and “user” in general and what “user freedom” in particular is. I experienced that “user freedom” is sometimes invoked to fight what UX designers would refer to as focus and I would not suggest to write unspecified “user freedom” in the manifesto.

In how far is “Open Source Design” about “Designing with Open Source”?
I miss an explicit reference to encourage and support use of free software among designers.
Supposing that is a goal of course.

Given the current practice here, I guess it is very much part of it. We could make this more explicit. I personally think that using open source tools is great, but people have my sympathy if they say they use what they are familiar with (I think, proprietary/unspecified/unusual data formats are a larger problem for collaboration inclusivity)

When talking about free software this roughly means: “… the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software…” [Free Software definition].

I’d bet the majority here loves seeing growth of free software throughout all design fields. The pressing question is just about an official stance: Does OSD understand itself to be part of a bigger effort to actively push for a world were more designers use more free software?
If it does, I’m pointing out that the manifesto probably misses a principle.

Is this the wrong place to expect feedback on that matter?

Feel free to propose an additional principle. I would not see it in the ethics section itself.

Does OSD understand itself to be part of a bigger effort to actively push for a world were more designers use more free software?

For me this could be part of the first principle "connecting open source workflows and open source software with human centered design.” – which ideally leads to a world in which more designers use more open source tools.

What would not be helpful imho is to make the use of open source tools themselves in any way essential (but possibly preferred?) – some tools do not match the needs of many designers and it is understandable to me if they use something else.

2 Likes

I just want to know if OSD cares about designers using Free Software to a degree that clarifies it publicly. That does not seem to be the case. Which in my eyes is a pitty that comes with a certain irony.

As with any open source project, feel free to make suggestions. I outlined mine above and also gave my reasons for it.

You may be surprised but I already did! I once added a change to some Manifesto/Document that literally missed to mention Free Software and only talked about “Open Source”. It got added, but I can’t find it anymore. Where would be places to look for that?

Looking at the OSDs goals now, I can find countless appearances of “…open…” but not a single mention of “…free…”. I do like openness but I love freedom. That said – it is not up to me to contribute again, but about OSD to take position.

Having “Open Source” in its name makes it particularly hard to connect with “Free Software”. But almost explicitly not addressing or including freedom as a shared value is more than problematic in my eyes. I hope more people at OSD see a benefit in uniting “Open Source” & “Free Software” to FLOSS/FLO/FOSS, and publicly endorse Free Software and freedom as a value, despite its biased name.