Mar 03, 2019 18:47:11

Open Design

by @zyumbik | 429 words | 80🔥 | 100💌

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Current day streak: 80🔥
Total posts: 100💌
Total words: 33262 (133 pages 📄)

There is open source software — it's a movement where developers collaborate, share the code in the open and everyone could jump in at any stage of the project and suggest an improvement or implement the feature.

What if we took this concept and applied it to any other kind of creative work? For example, imagine if there was an open repository for a startup, and all major decisions, research, assets and other materials were made in public. People coming from different backgrounds like design, entrepreneurship, music, and anything else could contribute to this project just like developers can contribute to open source projects. And the project could be anything from a simple app to Wikipedia.


Just take a regular open source project: 99% of contributors are developers, and they are developing a product which will be used not only by developers. Some developers may be more skilled at design than others, so they could even draw some kind of icon and prototype the interface. And then they just make a website and through the word of mouth the product gets recognition. That's cool, but wouldn't it be better if anyone could jump in and contribute to the final product?

Illustrators could make the visual communication flourish. Usability experts would conduct researches, publish the results, and find better solutions. A motion graphics designer could make a video, and even collaborate with a musician to make it more custom. And then the marketer may come in and find a perfect niche to launch the product. In the end, all of them get some recognition, or even monetary value if the project is monetized. And it could be any kind of product, not only software: from a movie to a clothes collection.


Imagine that you stumble upon such project, and they have several tasks you are able to complete, for example designing several prototypes based on the user research they have in the open.

- What would make you contribute and design those prototypes?

- What would you be expecting to get for that contribution?

I see a lot of value in this for newbie creatives. They don't have a portfolio, but they can work on a real project, get real-world experience, and get their portfolio in place. But I don't see a lot of value for experienced people. I'm trying to understand in what way design and other creative fields are different from development? Why are developers freely sharing the code and building upon each-other's work, while designers' work is usually only visible through case studies and cool pics on Behance?

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