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Bare Naked Design: Reflections on Designing with an Open Source Community

A talk by Leisa Reichelt at IDEA 2009

About the Talk

September 15, 2009 6:00 AM

MaRS Centre, South Tower, 101 College Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON Canada M5G 1L7

MaRS Centre, South Tower, 101 College Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON Canada M5G 1L7

For the past 12 months I have been working, with Mark Boulton on a series of projects with the Drupal community – firstly to redesign, and then following the success of that project, to work with the Drupal community to try to address some significant user experience issues in the interface of Drupal itself.

It seemed to us at the outset that the only way to successfully have our work accepted and implemented was to work openly and collaboratively with the Drupal community on this project – and so began the most terrifying and also the most rewarding projects I've been involved with to date.

As the projects evolved, the true nature of the challenge we had taken on revealed itself and we became embroiled not only in trying to understand the best way to design within the Drupal community, but in asking some fundamental questions about the nature of design in open source and whether it was possible for good design practice to flourish in these communities.

I'll be sharing with you some war wounds and learnings from our work with the Drupal community as well as some questions and challenges for both designers and open source communities, as we examine what it is like to design openly with communities and whether good design can ever flourish in a meritocracy like the Drupal community.

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