"Open Source Design is an initiative – not bound to a specific project or people. People working in this initiative have done design work in open source projects since some time now. This is a movement to first bring everyone together and then see what we can do to improve the open source design community. A lot of this comes down to aggregating and connecting what is already there.
Even initiatives need organization. Looking at the Open Source Initiative it is loose, but it has a real organization. They don't give full editing access to the website to everyone, the question with the Open Source Design Initiative, is who will be the gate keepers and how do they meet to keep things inline with the primary objectives? Trying to get consensus from everyone associated with the objective is an unreasonable expectation.
I would argue that »open source« is not governed by the Open Source Initiative but rather consists of the people who work and make their code open source. Also other parties like Creative Commons, Mozilla, EFF, Github and others are part of that. The OSI is just an institutionalization of that but is really in the background.
There are several parts to this:
1. Connecting the existing open source design community
I think that can not be overstated. There are many of us already, many just don’t know about each other. This works great so far by grouping everyone in the Github organization, in the #opensourcedesign IRC and at the FOSDEM design devroom where some of us were.
Another good way to do this and also raise the profile of open source design is to aggregate the existing blogs of projects and point to their resources. Lots are already listed at: https://github.com/opensourcedesign/resources/blob/master/PROJECTS.md
Let's make a web ring :) – lol :D
I guess the way to go about this nowadays is to really collaborate and make one website/platform.
2. Opening up the design process
Blog about how we work.
3. Connect open source projects and designers
Various ways to achieve this:
For example in the form of an online job board (like the repo at https://github.com/opensourcedesign, or the DesignOpen job board prototype). We also talked with @paulproteus of https://openhatch.org at FOSDEM about improving that site and also having dedicated entry points for designers.
On the job board we should also aggregate the paid jobs offered by companies working on open source like Mozilla, Canonial, etc.
4. Educating developers about design
Because there’s just way more developers than designers in open source, we need to spread our knowledge. This goes from articles / blog posts to longer manuals already listed on https://github.com/opensourcedesign/resources#reads
We could do consulting for example, or specific sprints where we pick one small open source project and all work on improving its design together.
5. Educating designers about open source
Go to design university and do workshops with the students.
Showcase openly licensed resources
* photos like from Flickr’s Creative Commons search
* icons like from thenounproject.com
* fonts like on openfontlibrary.org or theleagueofmovabletype.com – also see the discussion at https://github.com/opensourcedesign/fonts/issues/3
* pointing people to open source tools like Inkscape, Pencil, GIMP, etc
A lot of it is already listed at https://github.com/opensourcedesign/resources
6. Achieving sustainability for open source design
One of the big reasons why designers don’t work in open source is because there’s very little to earn. Even less than for devs, cause there’s not as high of a design standard. We need to collect ideas and find ways on how to make it more sustainable to work as a designer on open source projects. (Crowdfunding, tipping, etc)
7. Create tools that foster and help achive above objectives
(OR: Work to improve
Everyone love usable well crafted tools. Creating valuable tools takes time and resources and effort. These tools, should of course be open source and filter back into the goals of the organization. If this means a more user friendly web IRC client, great. If it means a better invoicing tool that freelancers can use, sweet. Ideally, at some point, development of these free & open tools can be funded the same sustainable way as working on other projects."
I'll be keeping an eye on http://opensourcedesign.net