Using the term Open Source Design gets interesting reactions from different people. I want to clarify a little of what I think it means. It isn’t about working for free, doing design by committee, or dealing with trolls (although I can’t promise those things won’t happen). It is about challenging ourselves, our design process, and the way we work together in the design community.

At BlendConf I wrote a humble manifesto for Open Source Design. This isn’t an epic line I’m drawing in the sand or a radical paradigm shift. That’s why it’s humble. It is a challenge to try something a little different, and see if the benefits are worth it.

Here’s the original manifesto:

The Manifesto

Here’s a text-based version for all the bots out there (with some slight modifications for clarity):

Open Source Design Manifesto

I will:

  • find opportunities to design in the open
  • share my design experiences; both the good and the bad
  • find time for meaningful projects
  • openly participate in design discussions
  • work with other designers by choice
  • improve my toolbox

Like everything else on this site, the manifesto is just a proposal and a work in progress, but I think having this mentality has potential to help us leave the design industry better than we found it.