What is OpenDesign?

A quick history of what we’re building, and why we’re doing it.

Why Aren’t More Designers Involved in Open Source Projects?







The demand for design in organizations has exploded over the past decade, but strangely, very little of this design emphasis carried into open source projects. We wanted to understand why, so we asked designers and developers their thoughts and reasons for not contributing more.

Key Survey Findings

Sorting through the data, we found two key issues that the majority of answers revolved around: First, the open source community has a diversity problem. Second, designers wanted to contribute to open source projects but didn’t know how.

The open source community has a serious diversity problem

It’s well-known that the tech industry has a serious diversity problem in regards to race and gender. Digging into the data, it became clear that a different diversity problem existed in the open source community- this one pertaining to a lack of inclusivity across disciplines and roles.

Most designers haven’t contributed to an open source project while the majority of developers had. When designers and developers sit next to each other in Silicon Valley startups, why is there such a huge split in open source projects?

Most open source developers haven’t ever worked with a designer on open source projects before, and many aren’t accepting of the tools designers typically use.

Designers want to help, but don’t know how to contribute

When we asked designers specifically why they hadn’t contributed to open source projects, the majority answered that they’d love to, but that they don’t know how or where to begin.

Some designers explained that they tried to contribute, but that developers weren’t open to their help. Others tried, but couldn’t understand how to logisitcally embed themselves on a project. This was clearly a case of designers not understanding the customs of a new, foreign land.

We need a centralized, easy-to-use place for open source projects and designers to meet.

So that’s what we’re building. But we need your help.

Help Us Help You

We need engineering resources to help finish building OpenDesign. If you’re passionate about open-source and want to help a good cause, let us know!