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How Not to Design Like a Developer: Open Source Can Look Good Too!

Tools and Techniques
Location: Portland Ballroom
Average rating: ***..
(3.06, 16 ratings)

Open source projects have long skimped on presentation and packaging (basically, they are the equivalent of “she has a great personality!”). Let’s change that. Open source can be the hot girl too.

This talk covers ways in which developers can hacktivate designers (graphic, UI, UX, editorial) to work within a well-oiled workflow on open source projects. We’ll cover issues around demotivation, how to teach designers to look at their output assets with version control and future iterations made by other designers in mind, and finally how to refactor design and dev together.

I’ll talk through techniques successfully used by Mozilla’s Creative Collective, including community-organizing techniques to foster their own design communities and inspire individuals to contribute to open source projects of all sizes.

Chrissie Brodigan


Working w/people more awesome than me @ Mozilla as @firefox engagement lead on the creative team, lover of open source & purveyor of hugs, big ideas, (im)famous fails & bold moves. You might also know me as the person who made off with Twitter’s 10×10 Chirp sign from their original developer conference.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Shirley Bailes
Shirley Bailes
08/09/2011 7:12am PDT

@Sharon, thanks for letting us know about the dead link. We’ve contacted the speaker for a new link to the slides.

sharon belliveau
08/09/2011 5:22am PDT

Interesting talk – not what I expected and I did get some useful ideas. The link to her presentation leads to a black screen.

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Daniel Bernier
07/29/2011 5:15am PDT

“The description seemed to indicate she would be giving tips or suggestions about how to help developers focus on design, instead she talked about the lack of designers in open source.”

Agreed. It was telling that the first question asked was something like, “as a developer who’s also responsible for design, what can I do to make my software look good?” I was hoping for an answer to that, too.

Picture of Augustina Ragwitz
Augustina Ragwitz
07/28/2011 10:29am PDT

She made a lot of assumptions about developers that not only made me question the competency of the developers she works with but the length of her experience working with developers. The description seemed to indicate she would be giving tips or suggestions about how to help developers focus on design, instead she talked about the lack of designers in open source. Developers are not completely incompetent in the area of design and I felt she was pretty condescending in that regard (ie, developers like big red buttons). I appreciate her giving the talk however and I think if anything it illustrated the huge gaps in perspective between designers and developers that make it difficult for us to work together on open source projects.

Picture of Michael Downey
Michael Downey
07/28/2011 10:11am PDT

Very insightful presentation reminding us of important dynamics between developers and non-developers in open source projects. The only down side is that it seemed the slides on the screen were 1 behind the ones the presenter saw.