My Journey into Open Source Design*
Becoming a contributing designer on an open source project is often tougher than contributing code. The pathways to designing for open source projects are often unclear. Using my own experience joining the WordPress project, I'll share how I think open source projects can make it easier for designers to contribute their skills.
I started my career working for a small, local web agency, creating designs and doing a little bit of front-end development using WordPress. As a company, we really liked how fast and easy it was to make custom sites for our clients. When a couple people in my company decided to attend WordCamp NYC, I was happy to come along and learn more. It was here that I was first introduced to the concept of contributing to open source.
Before WordCamp, I wasn’t aware that WordPress was something that I, as a designer, could help out with. It was an exciting revelation. I joined the WordPress project as a contributing designer, navigating the sometimes confusing pathways into which I could help out with my limited development skills. I dove into IRC and internal project blogs, learned how to use trac, and watched how other, more experienced designers in the project contributed and communicated. I went from a quiet onlooker to an active participant.
Through these last couple years, I’ve also seen the way contributing design to WordPress has grown and transformed. I’ve witnessed and participated in the ways we’ve made contributing to WordPress easier and safer for designers. I want to share some of these lessons I’ve learned.
design, Open Source, contributing, designing open source
- WordSesh 2 (WordPress Design Trends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU0Glwj8y0A)
- WordCamp Boston '13 (UX for Theme and Plugin Developers Workshop)
- WordCamp Providence '13 (Building a Successful UX Process: http://wordpress.tv/2013/08/30/mel-choyce-whats-your-problem-man-building-a-successful-ux-process/)
- WordCamp NYC '12 (Designer Developer Communication)
- WordCamp Philly '12 (Design for Non-Designers: http://wordpress.tv/2013/04/12/mel-choyce-design-basics-for-non-designers/)
- UPA Boston 2012 (Reader-Centered Design for Online Health Information)
- Boston WordPress meetup (Web Typography, WordPress Design Trends)
Mel is a Design Engineer at Automattic, the makers of WordPress.com. She is a WordPress core contributor. She loves big type, cold-brewed coffee, and printmaking. Mel currently lives in Cambridge, MA.
- Title: My Journey into Open Source Design
- Track: Cooking
- Room: B201
- Time: 10:00 – 10:45am
Becoming a contributing designer on an open source project is often tougher than contributing code. The pathways to designing for open source projects are often unclear. Using my own experience joining the WordPress project, I’ll share how I think open source projects can make it easier for designers to contribute their skills.
- Speakers: Mel Choyce