After taking a break in March, we are back with Sourcehunt Design for a little spring cleaning! This month, unlike before, we are going to focus solely on two major league open source projects exclusively: Mozilla and Fedora.
Each project involves a giant of the open source world with a thriving, diverse community and a project team that understands the value of great design. Each project warmly welcomes any new contributor keen to get involved.
Let’s have a look.
Mozilla Community Design
Design at Mozilla has been usually an employee specific field for the Firefox creators. It has always been kind of unofficial for volunteers to do design work, and that most of the times happened when approached directly by employees.
However, this has changed in the recent months when the Community Design repo has been introduced. With its inception, both employees and volunteers from Mozilla projects could request design help with projects of theirs or chime in to help other contributors with their requests. I have recently wrote on my blog about the initiative also.
Let’s have a look at this process and how you can get involved in a Mozilla project.
You can find the Mozilla Community Design repo on GitHub, part of the Mozilla organization. You will be greeted with an introduction on how the design processes work. A little below, you will find the template for filing issues, so all needed details are included properly when filing requests.
Make sure to check out the tutorial in case you stumble upon any issues (no pun intended).
However, we are going to focus here on contributing to design at Mozilla, not requesting design help, so let’s have a look at a good example of a design issue from Mozilla, which I’ve personally completed recently. The Tranvision team is in need of a logo for their software, which is a translation memory web application created by the French Mozilla community and now maintained by both staff from Mozilla and volunteers.
Pascal Chevrel has created a very clear brief on how he envisions the logo, yet is also giving enough creative freedom to any designer who wants to take this on. Some back and forth discussions helped resolve the request and the logo can be seen live on the Tranvision website. It’s that simple!
After you finish a request, chances are you will be asked for the final exported files. Feel free to link to them in the corresponding GitHub issue. However, in true open source fashion, push them also to a new folder in the repo itself (or create a pull request for it). Here is a good example of the Mozilla Netherlands logo I created.
Once a month, the Community Design group meets on Vidyo, Mozilla’s organization-wide video-conferencing tool. Everyone is free to join, no matter if already contributed or not. This, in fact, is a very rewarding experience itself, as Mozilla’s Creative Team is usually present as well. The meeting happens every second Thursday of the month, at 5:15 to 6PM UTC. You can find the meeting notes on the meeting’s Etherpad.
There is also a public Telegram group, where members chat.
Who’ll see your work?
- 10,554 Mozillians (Mozilla Contributors) worldwide
- localized in 87 languages & lo
- 18% Browser market share globally
- over 500 Million downloads on Android
As a popular open source Linux-based operating system, designed to offer a secure and general purpose experience. Fedora is said to be the second-most commonly used Linux distribution, after Ubuntu. There are over a hundred distributions based on Fedora, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)which also sponsors the Fedora Project.Here is a broader overview of what Fedora stands for.
Unlike the rather new Community Design initiative at Mozilla, Fedora’s Design processes are rather established for quite some time now. As one of the major Linux distributions, Fedora prides itself on being a FOSS distribution that focuses on innovation and close work with upstream Linux communities. This can be also seen on the Fedora Design team: design processes work completely in the open, with a transparent issue tracker, biweekly meetings, a wiki and similar.
However, it is to be noted that Fedora officially uses Free/ Open Source Software for their design needs as well. That means that instead of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, GIMP or Inkscape is used for all design related tasks. This is not a strict requirement though in the beginning, as the Fedora Design team is welcoming new contributors and assists them to get involved. Eventually, you will use GIMP and/or Inkscape in this process, though. I myself am a contributor at the Fedora Design Team, which helped me improve my Inkscape skills as well. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!
Fedora Account System (FAS)
The Fedora Account system is the organization-wide authentication system for everything Fedora. With a single account, you get access to all internal Fedora services and platforms (it’s also based on free and open source software, so you don’t need to worry about your privacy or security should you decided to disable your account at some point). Feel free to create one on the FAS website for the next steps.
The first resource you should look up, is the Fedora Design Team wiki page. Here you will find everything you need to get started in various contribution areas, including web design, mockups, artworks stickers and more.
One of the most interesting projects (to me at least) is Fedora Badges. ‘Badges’ is a playful rewarding system, which recognizes active Fedora contributors for certain tasks. The more tasks you complete within the Fedora Project, the more Badges you receive.
That being said, designing badges is a great low entry contribution path to Fedora Design. If you want your designs to be part of the 2nd most used Linux distributions, you should probably start here, with Badges.
To kick off, check out the Badges Tracker which advises you where to go next. The design resources are also extremely helpful (I find myself constantly coming back here), however, you should have a look at the Badge style guide first, before you get your hands dirty.
Grab one of the badge templates and start composing your new artwork based on the requirements of the badge. For example, here is a proposal of a badge I designed, which will be given to Fedora contributors who are part of at least 2 groups in the community. Pandas in Black, you get the idea.
The mailing list is also often used, so make sure to join there as well.
Who’ll see your work?
- Fedora currently has 4.5million installs across 87 countries (estimated)
- Av. Daily installs: 110,000 (estimated)
- Sponsored by Red Hat, first $2 Billion open source company
Of Foxes & Hats
Contributing and leaving a mark on globally important projects like Mozilla or Fedora is definitely something to tell your mom about. Understandably, it’s not as straightforward as other smaller open source projects we covered, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
If you are interested in giving it a try, feel free to reach out to me as well; I’d be happy to help!
What excites you most from these opportunities?
Elio is a open source designer and founder of Ura Design. He coordinates community initiatives at SitePoint as well. Further, as a board member at Open Labs Hackerspace, he promotes free software and open source locally and regionally. Elio founded the Open Design team at Mozilla and is a Creative Lead at Glucosio and Visual Designer at The Tor Project. He co-organizes OSCAL and gives talks as a Mozilla Tech Speaker at various conferences. When he doesn’t write for SitePoint, he scribbles his musings on his personal blog.