51 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
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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 51: Stephen Okonkwo on OSCA, UX, and Open Source Design Leadership

    Episode 51: Stephen Okonkwo on OSCA, UX, and Open Source Design Leadership

    Guest

    Stephen Okonkwo


    Panelist

    Richard Littauer


    Show Notes

    In this episode of Sustain Open Source Design, the OSCA 2023 series, host Richard welcomes Steve Okonkwo, a multidisciplinary designer who actively contributes to the Open Source Community Africa (OSCA). Steve sheds light on his role in enhancing user experience through thoughtful design, particularly for OSCA, and shares his dedication to continue elevating the design team's work. Richard and Steve discuss the Sustain sub-event, the importance of design in open source, and the intricacies of conference planning around open source products. Steve also touches on the significance of research, the need for transparency in open source communities, and his personal journey and future aspirations within the design landscape. Press download now to hear more!


    [00:01:12] Steve tells us about his career as a multidisciplinary designer and his work in open source. He discusses his focus on improving user experience through design, including website and brand identity design for OSCA.


    [00:02:03] Richard compliments the OSCA’s branding, particularly the orange logos, and Steve mentions that OSCA has been his primary focus, and he plans to continue supporting their design team.


    [00:03:02] There was a large attendance at the last OSCAFest and a Sustain sub-event. Steve tells us he was the design facilitator for the design side of Sustain.


    [00:03:31] Steve highlights key points from OSCA discussions, including the growing opportunities for designers in open source and the importance of contributing to project aesthetics.


    [00:05:22] The conversation shifts to the iterative nature of web design and user experience, and Steve emphasizes the importance of research and testing in design updates to prevent overwhelming users.


    [00:06:29] Richard discusses the uniqueness of working with open source communities and the need for transparency. Steve talks about his approach to working with open source, emphasizing transparency, communications, and commitment to quality.


    [00:08:00] Richard asks about building a conference around open source products, and Steve shares insights from OSCAFest, including showcasing new tools like Penpot.


    [00:10:06] Richard inquires about challenges in designing the OSCA festival, and Steven mentions issues with physical artwork and space design.


    [00:10:53] What’s next for Steve? He talks about his current role as a multidisciplinary designer in Spokane, Washington, and his aspirations in open source design.


    [00:11:57] Find out where you can find out more about Steve’s work on the web.


    Quotes

    [00:05:11] “They always say in the tech industry, the web is never done.”


    [00:05:37] “Research is a very important part of design.”


    Links


    Open Source Design X/Twitter
    Open Source Design
    Sustain Design & UX working group
    SustainOSS Discourse
    Sustain Open Source X/Twitter
    podcast@sustainoss.org
    SustainOSS Mastodon
    Open Collective-SustainOSS (Contribute)
    Richard Littauer Mastodon
    Richard Littauer Instagram
    Steve Okonkwo Twitter
    Stephen Okonkwo LinkedIn
    Steve Okonkwo Website
    Penpot
    OSCA
    OSCA Festival


    Credits


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

    • 13 min
    Episode 50: Veethika Mishra of GitLab on designers and barriers to open source

    Episode 50: Veethika Mishra of GitLab on designers and barriers to open source

    Guest

    Veethika Mishra


    Panelist

    Richard Littauer | Django Skorupa | Victory Brown


    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. In today’s episode, we are joined by guest, Veethika Mishra, a Senior Product Designer at GitLab, who shares her career path, emphasizing her move from closed to open source design work. She shares valuable insights into the design process at GitLab, which involves continuous interaction between designers and product managers and active participation of the user community. We discuss the power of open source contributions, the importance of community engagement, and the challenges faced in integrating external designers. Go ahead and download this episode now to hear more!


    [00:02:37] Veethika discusses her career path and transition from a secretive and proprietary organization to open source companies like Red Hat and GitLab.


    [00:04:25] At Red Hat, Veethika was part of the team that worked on the landing page for the developer console of OpenShift, which she greatly enjoyed. However, she wanted more engagement with the open source community, leading her to GitLab.


    [00:06:10] Richard asks Veethika about any potential advantages of design in a closed source environment, and she responds that she doesn’t miss anything from her time in such an environment and considers some practices within these companies as absurd.


    [00:08:03] Django asks Veethika to talk about her research experiences, and she explains that research in an open environment provides a more accessible and authentic dataset, which benefits the product design process.


    [00:11:15] We hear about Veethika’s GitLab’s experience and the continuous learning process to ensure valuable community contributions.


    [00:13:29] Richard asks about the user base and the number of designers at GitLab, which Veethika reveals they have 30 million+ users, four designers in the CI/CD UX, and possible over 30 designers across the company.


    [00:14:05] Discussing the integration of designer input within developer teams at GitLab, Veethika describes GitLab’s publicly documented product development flow.


    [00:16:19] Victory questions the collaboration between volunteer and employed designers at GitLab, and Veethika explains that while most designers working on different problems are GitLab employees, there are contribution guidelines for UX. She also mentions GitLab’s Pajamas Design System as a more accessible and familiar space for designers to make contributions.


    [00:20:12] Richard asks about handling the potential backlash from unpopular design decisions. Veethika responds that there’s no guaranteed way to mitigate such reactions but mentions that engaging with the community has made her a better communicator and designer.


    [00:21:03] We hear about the types of design contributions GitLab encourages from the community as Veethika explains the flexibility in contributions to Pajamas, and she details the process of making contributions via the Web IDE on the Pajamas website.


    [00:22:46] Richard asks about the barriers to open source design roles and how to overcome them. Veethika shares her opinion that the main barrier is the lack of open source ethos within many organizations.


    [00:25:19] Django asks if the scenario has changed over the years regarding open source design roles and Veethika notes an improvement in designer participation in open source.


    [00:26:45] Veethika tells us her views on Penpot Fest.


    [00:27:32] Veethika shares her hopes for the future of open source design, emphasizing the need for a deeper understanding of the socio-political impact of technological decisions and the diversification of the open source community.


    [00:29:21] Find out w

    • 36 min
    Episode 49: Penpot Fest with Jan C. Borchardt, Elizabet Oliveira & Peter Hanekamp

    Episode 49: Penpot Fest with Jan C. Borchardt, Elizabet Oliveira & Peter Hanekamp

    Guests

    Jan C. Borchardt | Elizabet Oliveira | Peter Hanekamp


    Panelists

    Pia Mancini | Eriol Fox | Victory Brown | Perrie Ojemeh


    Show Notes

    Welcome to Sustain Open Source Design, broadcasting live from Penpot Fest in Barcelona, Spain. Today, Eriol, Pia, Victory, and Perrie are hosting, and they have three guests joining them. Our first guest is Jan C. Borchardt, co-founder and design lead at Nextcloud. Jan provides insights into five key strategies for open source design at Nextcloud, highlighting the challenges and rewarding aspects of facilitating easy software user onboarding. The discussion takes us to Jan’s involvement in connecting designers and projects in need of design through a job board, diversity initiatives, and experiences in global conferences. Our next guest is Elizabet Oliveira, Senior Product Designer at Xata, who shares her diverse roles and experiences. She provides insights into design systems and their necessity in startups, and her transition from a developer to a designer. Our final guest, we engage with Peter Hanekamp from Kaleidos, discussing open source strategy. The conversation delves into audience targeting, integration plans for Penpot and Taiga, the benefits of open source for designers, and their strategy for maximizing value creation and facilitating community growth. Hit download to hear more!


    Jan:
    [00:01:22] Our first guest is Jan Borchardt, co-founder, and design lead at Nextcloud, a co-founder of open source design, and an active member in open source diversity communities. He tells us about his talk which focused on five essential open source design strategies used at Nextcloud, and he touches on one of the design challenges.


    [00:02:40] There’s a discussion on the role of designers as strategists, considering design beyond the visual aspect and towards strategy and problem solving.


    [00:03:53] Jan discusses his involvement in the open source design community, connecting designers and projects in need of design through a job board.


    [00:05:32] He tells us there are plans for the design community to work on updating the outdated website and provide more value to its users.


    [00:07:04] Jan also works on a diversity initiative, reaching out to new communities outside the European sphere, He also emphasizes the value of participating in conferences in regions outside Europe and the US, such as FOSSASIA and OSCA FEST to gain new perspectives and ideas.


    [00:08:57] The discussion moves to the importance of designers attending various events both developer and design focused, to broaden their perspectives and influence.


    Elizabet:
    [00:11:57] Our next guest is Elizabet Oliveira, Senior Product Designer at Xata, and she tells us what she does there and her experiences with design and open source.


    [00:14:03] Eriol brings up design systems, and Elizabet gives insight into her experiences with design systems. She also explains her frustrations with design systems with her role mainly involved with fixing bugs, dealing with feature requests, or updating old components.


    [00:16:37] Elizabet mentions using Chakra UI and shares her prediction that Xata might either move away from their current design system, Chakra UI, or customize it extensively.


    [00:19:21] Elizabet emphasizes the importance of exploring variety and creativity as a designer, and she tells us about some personal projects she created, like React Kawaii and Cassette Tape.


    [00:21:36] Going back to Elizabet’s journey, she started as a developer, creating her music promotion materials, and later transitioned to design because she liked it more.


    [00:23:20] We hear how Elizabet stays connected with the design community.


    Peter:
    [00:27:18] Our final guest is Peter Hanekamp, from Kaleidos, the company that works on Penpot and Tyga. He talks about growth being not just about having a great product but also about the aspects surrounding it.


    [00:28:59] Eriol brings up the audience for Penpot and Ta

    • 42 min
    Episode 48: Penpot Fest with Dima Davidoff, Madeline Peck & Michal Malewicz

    Episode 48: Penpot Fest with Dima Davidoff, Madeline Peck & Michal Malewicz

    Guests

    Dima Davidoff | Madeline Peck | Michal Malewicz


    Panelists

    Pia Mancini | Eriol Fox | Perrie Ojemeh


    Show Notes

    Welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! We’re at Penpot Fest in Barcelona, Spain having some insightful conversations. Today, Pia, Eriol, and Perrie are joined by three guests. We start off with Dima Davidoff, a product designer, who shares his experiences working as both a freelancer and full-time. He sheds light on his usage design tools and highlights the potential of open source alternatives like Penpot, emphasizing the importance of trust and community in the design world. Next, we speak with Madeline Peck, the team lead for the Fedora design team at Red Hat. She shares her work with several open source programs, stresses the importance of community involvement and outreach in design, and touches on the necessity of greater diversity and inclusion within open source communities. Finally, we speak with Michal Malewicz, a designer with over two decades of experience who now focuses on teaching. He shares his experience working with different types of companies, the importance of solid fundamental design skills, and emphasizes critical learning for designers. Hit download now to hear more!


    [00:01:19] Our first guest is Dima Davidoff, a Product Designer, who discusses freelancing alongside his full-time job and the differences in design tools used.


    [00:04:04] Dima shares his frustration with the lack of migration tools from Adobe XD to Figma and questions his trust in the company.


    [00:05:38] Eriol reflects on the evolution of design tools and emphasizes the importance of community to the development of the tool. Dima advises starting with open source tools for financial reasons and the ability to contribute to the development of the tool, an encourages designers to contribute to open source projects like Penpot.


    [00:08:57] Dima highlights the importance of user-centered design and the value of open source in listening to user feedback and delivering features promptly.


    [00:11:32] Our next guest is Madeline Peck, who’s an Associate Interactive Designer at Red Hat and the team lead for the Fedora design team. She mentions using open source programs like Inkscape, Penpot, Blendr, and Krita.


    [00:12:33] Madeline talks about involving the design community in Fedora and Red Hat’s work and mentions using different social media platforms to spread the word, such as PeerTube, and the importance of sharing tutorials and engaging with social media to reach a wider audience an promote open source.


    [00:14:58] Madeline discusses moving away from the logo work and focusing on creating brand identity and asset libraires for teams using tools like Penpot.


    [00:18:00] She talks about the need for more diversity and inclusion efforts in open source, particularly in terms of representation and creating a welcoming environment for marginalized benefits.


    [00:19:44] Madeline shares her transition from college to working in open source and the benefits of using open source tools like Inkscape, as well as the need for more open source awareness in educational institutions.


    [00:21:42] Eriol discusses the challenges educational institutions face in adopting open source tools and the potential impact on design education.


    [00:22:42] Madeline suggests highlighting the cost savings and the sense of community and collaboration in open source as reasons for students to consider using open source tools and expresses interest in cross-platform collaboration in open source.


    [00:26:32] We welcome our third guest, Michal Malewicz, a Designer for 24+ years, who now focuses on teaching other designers.


    [00:27:09] Michal discusses his experience working with both small startups and large corporations, preferring startups right now. The agency is run by his wife, and they focus on projects they are passionate about.


    [00:28:55] We hear a funny story from Michal about how he started teaching by ac

    • 39 min
    Episode 47: Penpot Fest with Iván Martínez & Karl Hütt

    Episode 47: Penpot Fest with Iván Martínez & Karl Hütt

    Guests

    Iván Martínez | Karl Hütt


    Panelist

    Pia Mancini


    Show Notes

    iBienvenido a Sustain Open Source Design! La Inteligencia Artificial en Acción: Impulsando el Futuro Empresarial "¿Quieres descubrir cómo la inteligencia artificial está impulsando el futuro del desarrollo de productos y abriendo nuevas oportunidades en el mundo empresarial? Grabado durante el PenPot Festival en Barcelona, en este episodio tenemos el honor de entrevistar a Iván Martínez, CTO de Ontruck, una destacada start-up española a la vanguardia de la innovación, trabajando para reducir las emisiones de CO2 en medio de transporte. Ivan hala de su último proyecto: Private GPT. Una innovadora tecnología similar a ChatGPT, pero que está enfocada en trabajar encima de una gran base de datos, ofreciendo también mayor seguridad de datos y la información privada. Además, Ivan compartirá su visión sobre el poder de la inteligencia artificial en el desarrollo de productos y su convicción de que la comunidad de Open Source es fundamental para impulsar el progreso y el impacto de esta nueva tecnología en la sociedad. ¡No te pierdas esta conversación, únete a nosotros ahora mismo y no perca ningún detalle!


    Transformando el Futuro: Memri, IA Regenerativa y Privacidad de Datos. ¡Explore como la IA Regenerativa, la aplicación Memri y el control de datos por las grandes compañías impacta el futuro de la industria! Acompáñanos mientras exploramos el proyecto Open Source de Memri, un tipo de asistente personal basado en IA y desarrollado por la empresa de Karl. Además, adentrémonos en el fascinante mundo de la IA Regenerativa y descubramos cómo puede abrir nuevas puertas hacia un futuro más prometedor. Este episodio te brinda una visión única sobre el potencial transformador de la IA y cómo podemos navegar los desafíos de privacidad de datos en un mundo cada vez más conectado. ¡No te pierdas este episodio revelador y cómo podemos dar forma a un mundo mejor a través de la tecnología!


    Links


    Open Source Design Twitter
    Open Source Design
    Sustain Design & UX working group
    SustainOSS Discourse
    Sustain Open Source Twitter
    Richard Littauer Twitter
    Pia Mancini Twitter
    Iván Martínez Twitter
    Iván Martínez Toro LinkedIn
    Ontruck
    Karl Hütt Twitter
    Karl Hütt LinkedIn
    Memri LinkedIn
    Karl Hütt Music (Soundcloud)


    Credits


    Produced by Richard Littauer
    Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
    Show notes by Julio Serra Julio Serra Studios
    Special Guests: Ivan Martínez and Karl Hütt.

    • 29 min
    Episode 46: Penpot Fest with Alonso Torres, Máirín Duffy & Martin Owens

    Episode 46: Penpot Fest with Alonso Torres, Máirín Duffy & Martin Owens

    Guests

    Alonso Torres | Máirín Duffy | Martin Owens


    Panelists

    Pia Mancini | Eriol Fox | Victory Brown | Perrie Ojemeh


    Show Notes

    Welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! In this episode, we are live from Penpot Fest in Barcelona, Spain. Pia, Eriol, Victory, and Perrie are hosting, and they’ll be interviewing three guests. Our guests joining us today are Alonso Torres, a Front-end Developer at Penpot, Máirín Duffy, a Senior Principal Interaction Designer at Red Hat, and Martin Owens, an Independent Free Software Developer at Inkscape. We’ll start with Alonso where we explore the origin of Penpot as a personal innovation project within Kaleidos, and the importance of workflows, community involvement, and Penpot as an alternative to proprietary tools like Figma are highlighted. Then we shift focus to Máirín, where she explains the concept of designing upstream in open source, she shares the benefits of open source tooling, she talks about her current project Podman Desktop, and the evolution of the community design team and how they collaborate with different open source projects. The episode concludes with Martin, who fills us in on being an Independent Developer at Inkscape, he shares his experiment of funding open source development, dives into the influence of companies on open source projects and discusses measuring impact, and the significance of relationships within the open source community. Hit download now!


    Alonso:
    [00:01:04] Pia interviews our first guest, Alonso Torres, who shares his role and responsibilities at Penpot and what attracted him to Penpot, and highlights Kaleidos.


    [00:02:38] Alonso emphasizes that workflows are crucial for Penpot’s team, especially when considering how the tool will be used by distributed teams.


    [00:04:17] Alonso clarifies that Penpot is not a direct competitor to Figma but rather an open source alternative, and they prioritize features based on community feedback and needs.


    [00:05:22] The majority of core contributors at Penpot are employed by Kaleidos, and they follow agile methodologies, work collaboratively, and have regular meetings to discuss design handoffs and prioritize features.


    [00:07:21] Alonso acknowledges that collaboration between designers and developers can be challenging, especially in open source projects. He suggests using tools for effective communication and mentions the need for improvement in this area.


    [00:08:37] Alonso expresses his excitement about being at the festival and highlights the impressive organization and diverse communities present.


    Máirín:
    [00:10:25] Eriol interviews our next guest, Máirín Duffy, who discusses her role at Red Hat and the concept of designing upstream in open source.


    [00:13:10] Máirín explains the concepts of upstream and patching in open source, using analogies and examples to make them more accessible to designers unfamiliar with the terminology.


    [00:16:22] We hear about the evolution of the community design team and how they expanded their services to collaborate with different open source projects, fostering user-centered design and bridging gaps between projects that might be competitors in a company context.


    [00:18:51] Máirín shares an example of collaboration between Podman and Podman Desktop teams at Red Hat, highlighting the value of bringing end-user use cases and perspectives to the development process and how it benefits both teams.


    [00:21:48] Máirín advises designers not to worry about dogma and encourages them to be open to the practical reasons for adopting open source tools.


    [00:24:06] What’s been the highlight of Penpot for Máirín? She mentions Martin Owen’s talk on the SVG standard and the proposal for a separate editable SVG standard.


    Martin:


    [00:26:02] Victory and Perrie interview our third guest, Martin Owen, an Independent Inkscape Developer, and a free software advocate. He shares his interest in finding practical solutions that enabl

    • 36 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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