BECOME AN OPEN-SOURCE DESIGN PRO WITH THESE 5 ESSENTIAL STEPS

Kingsley Mkpandiok
3 min readFeb 3, 2023

As a seasoned contributor to open-source projects, I can attest that the experience is both fulfilling and challenging. From my personal journey, I’ve discovered five crucial elements every designer should consider before diving into the world of open-source contribution. Get ready to enhance your skills, make a difference, and be a part of something bigger. Join me in exploring the must-know tips for designers looking to make a lasting impact in the open-source community.

  1. UNDERSTAND THE PROJECT’S MISSION AND GOALS

Before you begin contributing to an open-source project, it is essential to understand its purpose and what it aims to achieve. This will help you align your design goals with the project’s objectives and ensure that your contributions are in line with its mission.

2. GET FAMILIAR WITH OPEN-SOURCE DESIGN PRACTICES

Open source projects have different design practices and processes compared to traditional software development. Familiarizing yourself with these practices will help you better understand how to contribute to the project and make your contributions more effective.

3. AWARENESS OF THE DESIGN COMMUNITY:

Open-source projects have a strong community of designers and developers, and it’s crucial to be aware of their work and contributions. This will help you understand the design language and style of the project, and also help you network with other designers and contributors.

4. KNOWLEDGE OF RELEVANT DESIGN TOOLS:

Open-source projects use a variety of design tools, such as Sketch, Figma, and Inkscape to create and manage their design assets. Other non-design tools e.g Git used for version control in code and design assets while Github is for hosting and collaborating on open-source projects. It provides a centralized repository for project assets and also facilitates collaboration between contributors. Familiarizing yourself with these tools will help you contribute effectively and efficiently.

5. GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS:

Communication is key when it comes to open-source projects. You need to be able to communicate your design ideas clearly and effectively, as well as listen to feedback from other contributors and maintainers of the project to be able to make the right changes to your design.

Furthermore, most open-source communities use Slack and Discord for their discussion. These channels provide a centralized place for contributors to communicate and exchange ideas.

Finally, to become a top contributor to open-source projects, it’s important to have a proactive approach. Study and understand the project thoroughly, Don’t be a spectator, be a game-changer! Instead of waiting for tasks to be assigned, search for opportunities to showcase your skills and add value to the project. Get ready to embrace the beauty of open-source contributions where you can unleash your creativity and solve both design and non-design problems. Join the ranks of inspired contributors and leave a lasting impact on the open-source community.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Kingsley Mkpandiok

Experienced UX Designer utilizing research-driven methodologies to create intuitive, user-centered digital solutions that improve customer experiences.