28 episodes

S.O.S. Design is a podcast dedicated to exploring the intersection of open source and design: how design is crucial in the open source ecosystem, how designers work with coders to make open source software better, and what sustainability means for the field of open source designers. This podcast grew out of the Sustain community (https://sustainoss.org) and Open Source Design (https://opensourcedesign.net/), and seeks to share great conversations with members from both communities and the open source and design space at large.

Sustain Open Source Design Richard Littauer

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

S.O.S. Design is a podcast dedicated to exploring the intersection of open source and design: how design is crucial in the open source ecosystem, how designers work with coders to make open source software better, and what sustainability means for the field of open source designers. This podcast grew out of the Sustain community (https://sustainoss.org) and Open Source Design (https://opensourcedesign.net/), and seeks to share great conversations with members from both communities and the open source and design space at large.

    Episode 28: Jessica Müller of Grafana on Designing in an Open-Source Way, for Real

    Episode 28: Jessica Müller of Grafana on Designing in an Open-Source Way, for Real

    Guest

    Jessica Müller


    Panelists

    Django Skorupa | Memo Esparza | Eriol Fox


    Show Notes

    Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. Today, we are joined by Jessica Müller, who’s the Senior UX Designer at Grafana Labs, where she leads the design efforts to make Grafana’s Alerting feature as user-friendly as possible. Our discussions today involve learning more about Grafana, what it means to design in an open source way for real, how Jessica got her start in open source, and what led her into working at Grafana. We also find out how Jessica encourages collaboration between the community team and UX designers, and if you’re just getting started in open source and want to find out how you can start to contribute, Jessica shares some helpful tips. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!


    [00:01:27] Jessica explains what it means to design in an open source way for real.


    [00:02:55] We hear how Jessica started thinking about open source, how it worked out for her in her creative career and led her into working at Grafana.


    [00:06:28] When Jessica is seeking a specific contribution, we learn how she goes about that with reaching out and if there’s a specific user base or an existing client base.


    [00:10:11] Eriol wonders if Jessica thinks that the users that pay for Grafana value design more because of how they pay, if she thinks they engage more with it because they pay, and if she’s noticed anything different between the open source folks and how they value design.


    [00:14:41] Memo asks if Jessica has a structured a way to plan new engagements with Grafana Labs, and she explains their culture of experimentation.


    [00:17:13] As a designer, how does Jessica go about encouraging the collaboration between the community team and the UX designers?


    [00:22:16] Jessica talks about the ratio of UX to engineer at Grafana and their approach to balance things out.


    [00:27:16] Jessica shares some things that have helped the engineers feel well supported when they tackle the UX problems.


    [00:29:12] Memo wonders how the open source way is for Grafana and if Jessica thinks every organization should have an open source way or if there should be more standardized contribution guidelines for designers.


    [00:32:00] If you’re a designer and want to get started in open source but you’re not sure how you can start to contribute, Jessica shares some suggestions on what might help, and she tells us what collaboration looked like when she started at Grafana.


    [00:42:18] Find out where you can follow Jessica online.


    Quotes

    [00:14:04] “How can we be part of the same spirit?”


    [00:23:04] “All of the engineers are doing UX work whether I like that or not!”


    [00:28:21] “Having a place to send people to show their stuff and talk to someone about it is already so helpful.”


    Spotlight


    [00:38:22] Jessica’s spotlight is Scribus.
    [00:39:40] Memo’s spotlight is humaaans.
    [00:40:27] Eriol’s spotlight is the COSCUP event.
    [00:41:34] Django’s spotlight is UI Colors.


    Links


    Open Source Design Twitter
    Open Source Design
    Sustain Design & UX working group
    SustainOSS Discourse
    Sustain Open Source Twitter
    Richard Littauer Twitter
    Eriol Fox Twitter
    Memo Esparza Twitter
    Django Skorupa Twitter
    Jessica Müller Twitter
    Jessica Müller email
    Jessica Müller Website
    Jessica Müller LinkedIn
    Grafana Labs
    Scribus
    humaaans
    COSCUP 2022
    UI Colors


    Credits


    Produced by Richard Littauer
    Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
    Show notes by DeAnn Bahr Peachtree Sound
    Special Guest: Jessica Müller.

    • 43 min
    Episode 27: Jenn Kotler on Astronomical Sonification and Designing UX for Science & Open Data

    Episode 27: Jenn Kotler on Astronomical Sonification and Designing UX for Science & Open Data

    Guest

    Jenn Kotler


    Panelists

    Richard Littauer | Memo Esparza | Eriol Fox | Django Skorupa


    Show Notes

    Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. Today, we have the wonderful Jenn Kotler joining us! Jenn is a User Experience Designer at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), where she designs data search and analysis tools for telescope missions including Webb, Hubble, TESS, and Kepler, all available for free use. Jenn fills us on what she does at MAST, the different types of data they look at, and how she uses this data in her job to make it accessible so everyone can do amazing science. We learn more about sonification, Jenn’s thoughts of her ideal scenario of bringing the design community into the open source space, and something that’s difficult about being a designer in a space where there’s not a lot of other designers. Go ahead and download this episode now!


    [00:02:28] Jenn fills us on what she does at MAST.


    [00:04:19] We learn how many people work in the archive with Jenn and how many people work at the Institute that have access to use the archive.


    [00:05:36] Jenn explains about the different types of data they look at and how she facilitates that as a User Experience Designer.


    [00:08:27] Find out how Jenn ended up working at MAST and in the science field, and how she focuses on the data after it’s gone through a pipeline and a lot of adjustments have already been done to it.


    [00:12:45] We hear a great explanation of what sonification is and then Jenn talks about her experience with it, and there’s an actual audio of a sonification she plays.


    [00:17:16] If they are using sound and light in terms of images, Richard wonders if Jen could combine them and have people play a video game where they walk through a world of seeing different visualizations.


    [00:18:44] Jenn breaks down accessibility and how they want this data to be accessible and approachable to everyone, since it’s free.


    [00:23:44] Django wonders how Jenn balances accessibility in the effort of producing a clean user experience for the max number of people. She explains the methods they’ve been using.


    [00:27:41] Eriol asks Jenn to talk about her ideal scenario of bringing the design community into the open source space where she works, and whether design science fiction comes into that space.


    [00:31:18] We find out what’s difficult for Jenn right now and what she wishes she could change for the better.


    [00:37:25] Find out where you can follow Jenn on the web.


    Quotes

    [00:10:49] “If there’s a topic or subject you’re interested in it’s really great to explore and find the place that needs a designer but doesn’t even know it.”


    [00:22:10] “If you’re able to use a computer there isn’t a great reason you shouldn’t be able to do astronomy if you have an interest in it.”


    [00:29:30] “That was the thing that excited me about sonification initially, this idea of there’s so much value here and just an art, forget science, there’s a lot of cool things that could be made with this.”


    [00:36:28] “In the past I struggled with feeling like I used up all this creative energy on something that is so boring and then I had nothing left for myself.”


    Spotlight


    [00:38:05] Eriol’s spotlight is a Coordinate Tool for No Man’s Sky called NMSCoordinates.
    [00:38:44] Memo’s spotlight is a book that changed his life called, Nightfall.
    [00:39:14] Richard’s spotlight is Tehching Hsieh, who’s a Performance Artist.
    [00:39:37] Django’s spotlights are an open source project called Open Foundry and Compositions 1960.
    [00:41:02] Jenn’s spotlight is a book she read called, Sitting Pretty and her favorite font, Atkinson Hyperlegible.


    Links


    O

    • 42 min
    Episode 26: Aaron Collier of Orbit on Writing Docs and Building Design Systems

    Episode 26: Aaron Collier of Orbit on Writing Docs and Building Design Systems

    Guest

    Aaron Collier


    Panelists

    Richard Littauer | Django Skorupa


    Show Notes

    Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. Today, we are very excited to have as our guest, Aaron Collier, who is a Technical Writer at Orbit, which is the design system for Kiwi.com. Aaron fills us in on what he does at Orbit, we’ll learn all about the process of writing documentation and designs systems, and how they get their contributors. He also explains why he doesn’t identify as a designer and he shares some struggles he’s had with the work that he does and the importance of having empathy. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!


    [00:01:46] Aaron tells us what he does at Orbit and how it started.


    [00:05:05] How does Aaron decide what the upper limits of abstraction are for a design system and how does he decide what’s included and what’s not included?


    [00:06:35] We learn more about how the process of writing documentation and helping other people know how decisions were made works on a design system.


    [00:09:00] Find out what koumpounophobia is and how Aaron makes it simpler and less scary for people to learn.


    [00:11:19] In regard to logic trees and technical writing and documentation, Django wonders how Aaron decides how much justification is needed.


    [00:13:47] Aaron tells us what’s hard for him about his work and what he struggles with.


    [00:17:41] How does Orbit get all their contributors?


    [00:20:08] Richard wonders if why Orbit doesn’t have a community manager.


    [00:22:33] We learn how Aaron goes about deciding who to attract to their project.


    [00:25:46] Aaron explains why he doesn’t identify as a designer.


    [00:30:04] How does Aaron interface with a larger ecosystem given what he’s doing to make sure the doc writing is more sustainable?


    [00:33:27] Aaron tells us about contributing back to open source tools which have been used in building up his template and if he thinks about design contributions as being a unit of currency within the larger open source design system.


    [00:37:17] Find out where you can follow Aaron online.


    Quotes

    [00:14:51] “It’s about having empathy for the situation that the other person is in when they’re reading your documentation.”


    Spotlight


    [00:37:58] Django’s spotlight is twin brothers, Martin and Carl Bridge, who were heads of the art department at his high school.
    [00:38:49] Richard’s spotlights are Ms. Hojnicki, Orbit.love, and OrbitDB.
    [00:39:33] Aaron’s spotlights are a previous high school Latin teacher, and a tool called Vale.


    Links


    Open Source Design Twitter
    Open Source Design
    Sustain Design & UX working group
    SustainOSS Discourse
    Sustain Open Source Twitter
    Richard Littauer Twitter
    Django Skorupa Twitter
    Aaron Collier Website
    Aaron Collier LinkedIn
    Orbit.Kiwi
    FOSDEM 2022-Documenting a Design System-Lessons learned from open sourcing the Orbit docs with Aaron Collier (video)
    The Bridge Brothers
    Orbit
    OrbitDB
    Vale-GitHub
    Vale


    Credits


    Produced by Richard Littauer
    Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
    Show notes by DeAnn Bahr Peachtree Sound
    Special Guest: Aaron Collier.

    • 41 min
    Episode 25: Lozana Rossenova on the intersection of design research, open source communities and GLAMs

    Episode 25: Lozana Rossenova on the intersection of design research, open source communities and GLAMs

    Guest

    Lozana Rossenova


    Panelists

    Eriol Fox | Django Skorupa | Memo Esparza


    Show Notes

    Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. Today, we have a fantastic guest joining us, Lozana Rossenova, who is a digital designer and researcher, as well as an Associate Researcher at the Open Science Lab. Lozana takes on her journey through her background in digital design, her role at the Open Science Lab and Wikibase. Since she’s a designer as well as a researcher, she shares some great examples of how she navigated through these roles within the projects she was a part of. Lozana details the importance of advocating to other designers, why a more holistic approach to design education is important, and how we need to push institutions to get involved with their users. Go ahead and download this episode to find out much more!


    [00:02:30] Lozana tells us her background, what she’s researching, and the work she’s doing.


    [00:04:12] Since Lozana is involved in a lot of different organizations and initiatives, she explains how she balances it all.


    [00:07:20] We hear some examples of situations Lozana finds herself in as a designer/researcher.


    [00:12:15] How does Lozana go about advocating for design, better design, and design best practices?


    [00:18:32] Memo wonders how we should leap forward with how we look at designers and if there should be more focus on education.


    [00:25:52] Lozana explains how we can make the work visible that institutions do through open source.


    [00:36:05] Find out where you can follow Lozana and her work online.


    Quotes

    [00:19:57] “Detail orientation and design and really focusing on information and structuring information is what guides my activities.”


    [00:20:23] “Community management is where I see the next level of combining design for open source and project management.”


    [00:22:36] “We can’t be completely stuck in our detail level orientation of beautiful layouts.”


    [00:23:41] “My trifecta is change on the level of design, change on the level of education, but also change how institutions work.”


    [00:27:00] “Publishing makes a difference, even if no one reads it.”


    [00:29:30] “Corporations can learn from institutions.”


    Spotlight


    [00:30:48] Memo’s spotlight is a project called Jamstack.
    [00:31:18] Eriol’s spotlight is a tool called pose-search.
    [00:32:12] Django’s spotlight is the Open Work in Academia Summit.
    [00:33:13] Lozano’s spotlights are OpenRefine, Webrecorder, and SUCHO.


    Links


    Open Source Design Twitter
    Open Source Design
    Sustain Design & UX working group
    SustainOSS Discourse
    Sustain Open Source Twitter
    Richard Littauer Twitter
    Eriol Fox Twitter
    Memo Esparza Twitter
    Django Skorupa Twitter
    Lozana Rossenova LinkedIn
    Lozana Rossenova Website
    Lozana Rossenova Twitter
    post.lurk.org (@lozross@post.lurk.org)
    Wikibase
    RHIZOME
    Open Science Lab
    Jamstack
    pose-search
    Open Work in Academia Summit
    OpenRefine
    OpenRefine-GitHub
    Webrecorder
    SUCHO (Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online)


    Credits


    Produced by Richard Littauer
    Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
    Show notes by DeAnn Bahr Peachtree Sound
    Special Guest: Lozana Rossenova.

    • 37 min
    Episode 24: Taís Lessa on Inclusion in the Workplace for Immigrants and Newcomers

    Episode 24: Taís Lessa on Inclusion in the Workplace for Immigrants and Newcomers

    Guest

    Taís Lessa


    Panelists

    Richard Littauer | Memo Esparza | Eriol Fox


    Show Notes

    Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. On this episode, we are excited to have as our guest, Taís Lessa, who is a Product Design Lead at Mozilla Corporation, working with the Pocket team. Our discussion today focuses on inclusion in the workplace for immigrants and newcomers. We also learn more about how Taís grew as a designer, being a newcomer in another country coming from Brazil, not feeling like her contributions were valued, and how she found the right fit for herself at Mozilla and the Pocket team she works with. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out more!


    [00:01:36] Taís tells us her background, what she finds most important in her work, what she does at Mozilla, and the team she’s working with.


    [00:04:53] We find out how Taís ended up on the Pocket team and why she feels it’s the best place for her work right now.


    [00:06:41] Taís details how she grew as a designer, how she grew as a newcomer in Canada coming from Brazil, and how these two paths weaved together.


    [00:10:02] We hear what it was like for Taís, as well as the team at Mozilla, the openness and open source space around inclusion, across borders, across identities, and whether she found anything that was unique in that space.


    [00:17:43] Taís explains where she thinks being a designer has been, if it’s something that she’s had to become in some way because of who she is, and the emotional experience she has being a designer.


    [00:23:47] Memo wonders how Taís thinks we can foster an environment to encourage people to be more themselves in open source and how they can encourage others to be themselves with a difference of opinions.


    [00:30:50] Eriol brings up the Hello Kitty project Taís talked about and how it’s such a great project to express creativity in open source.


    [00:33:03] Richard wonders what tools Taís has in her toolbox for finding energy when it’s gone.


    [00:34:53] Find out where you can follow Taís online.


    Quotes

    [00:07:41] “What excites me, what makes my eyes bright, is design.”


    [00:13:14] “My contributions are valued from where I am from.”


    [00:14:28] “The real value came when I started to be myself.”


    [00:26:15] “As a designer, part of my job is to design the thing, but this is a little part. The big part is how to convince others this is the right thing to do.”


    [00:29:15] “I use my strength as a designer to show the value of my ideas and convince people.”


    Spotlight


    [00:36:07] Richard’s spotlights is the book Ecce Romani, which is how he learned Latin.
    [00:36:53] Eriol’s spotlight is a repository called Welcome to the Adulting is Hard Project.
    [00:37:34] Memo’s spotlight is a video chat app called Chatmosphere.
    [00:38:00] Taís’s spotlight is Power Save Mode Discord Community.


    Links


    Open Source Design Twitter
    Open Source Design
    Sustain Design & UX working group
    SustainOSS Discourse
    Sustain Open Source Twitter
    Richard Littauer Twitter
    Eriol Fox Twitter
    Memo Esparza Twitter
    Taís Lessa Website
    Taís Lessa Twitter
    Taís Lessa LinkedIn
    Mozilla Pocket
    The most important skill for a designer working abroad by Taís Lessa
    About “moving fast and breaking things”- a designer’s perspective by Taís Lessa
    Ecce Romani
    Seneca
    Welcome to the Adulting is Hard Project-GitHub
    Chatmosphere
    Power Save Mode Discord Community


    Credits


    Produced by Richard Littauer
    Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
    Show notes by DeAnn Bahr Peachtree Sound
    Special Guest: Tais Lessa.

    • 39 min
    Episode 23: Heiko Tietze of the Document Foundation on Mentoring Designers

    Episode 23: Heiko Tietze of the Document Foundation on Mentoring Designers

    Guest

    Heiko Tietze


    Panelists

    Richard Littauer | Eriol Fox | Django Skorupa


    Show Notes

    Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. We are very excited to have as our guest today, Heiko Tietze, who is a full-time UX Mentor at the Document Foundation. Today, Heiko fills us in on the Document Foundation, what his job involves as a UX Mentor, and the challenges in mentoring designers in open source. We also learn what building a team means to Heiko, how the teams integrate other user experience with people from different backgrounds, and how someone can contribute to open source besides translations. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!


    [00:02:57] Heiko tells us what the Document Foundation is and what he does there.


    [00:04:18] Since Heiko mentors UX people, he fills us in on much UX work there is to go around and how many UX people he mentors.


    [00:06:02] We learn about some unique challenges for designers and mentoring designers in open source.


    [00:09:51] Heiko talks about the backgrounds of the people that he mentors.


    [00:12:57] Eriol is curious to know what kind of expectations designers or people that contribute design to the projects have about the team and what does the team mean to him and the rest of the folks in the project.


    [00:17:05] Since LibreOffice has tons of contributors who contribute in other languages, Richard wonders how Heiko integrate different contributors from different languages.


    [00:19:02] We find out how you can contribute to the open source besides translations, if there’s a way to improve UX besides internalization and localization, and how the teams integrate other user experience with people from different backgrounds coming.


    [00:22:56] We learn how conversations happen in the Document Foundation and the different tools that Heiko is working on.


    [00:29:46] Find out where you can follow Heiko on the internet and how to join the design team.


    Quotes

    [00:06:20] “Designer [as a term] is misunderstood as 'people who do the visual part.'”


    [00:23:30] “I’m not concerned with the one percent. The other percent is more important.”


    Spotlight


    [00:30:55] Django’s spotlight is a project he’s working on called The Vulnerability History Project.
    [00:31:52] Eriol’s spotlights are Human Rights Centered Design and Open AAC Systems.
    [00:32:44] Richard’s spotlight is David J. Peterson.
    [00:33:31] Heiko's spotlights are Free Pascal and Lazarus.


    Links


    Open Source Design Twitter
    Open Source Design
    Sustain Design & UX working group
    SustainOSS Discourse
    Sustain Open Source Twitter
    Richard Littauer Twitter
    Eriol Fox Twitter
    Django Skorupa Twitter
    Heiko Tietze Twitter
    Heiko Tietze LinkedIn
    LibreOffice Design Twitter
    Design and User Experience team (Document Foundation)
    Easyhack Archive (LibreOffice Design Team Blog)
    Likert scale
    Design Principles (Document Foundation)
    Human Rights Centered Design
    Open AAC Systems
    David J. Peterson
    Free Pascal
    Lazarus


    Credits


    Produced by Richard Littauer
    Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
    Show notes by DeAnn Bahr Peachtree Sound
    Special Guest: Dr. Heiko Tietze.

    • 34 min

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No matter the subject, you’re guaranteed to gain something from every single episode of the S.O.S. Design podcast - can’t recommend this show enough. 🙌 What better way to keep up with the latest in the world of open source than to hear directly from leaders and innovators shaping the industry - keep up the amazing work!

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