With the PHP channel being the first channel to get the Sourcehunt treatment, the Design channel was eager to catch up too. While you may not often hear "Design" and "Open Source" in the same sentence, I have seen too many great open source projects fail due to a lack of good design. Often it's very simple fixes to UX, UI or even branding that make the difference.
However, contributing to an open source project, can be greatly rewarding. Sure, you might not get paid directly, to do get: -designer street cred ("oh yeah.. I worked on that..") -the experience of working with others talented people in a decentralized way -and, of course, it looks very impressive on your resume
And that's not to mention the simple joy of just making cool stuff – a concept I probably don't need to convince you of, since you are likely already a designer and are reading this post.
For Sourcehunt Design, the Open Source Design group has been a great help with promoting open design principles and open source projects in need of a sprinkling of good design. Thanks to them, I was able to compile this small collection of projects to contribute to, with more to come in the coming months.
So, to recap:
We will be going through some open source projects which are in need of a helping design hand. However contributing as a designer is sometimes not as straightforward as with code, so I will try to explain how you can contribute on a case by case basis.
In case GitHub scares you a little (it's ok, we've all been there), relax! We will be solely focusing on GitHub Issues, which is the ticketing system GitHub offers. Check out the GitHub guides in case you are stuck.
PhotoFlow aims to provide a fully non-destructive photo retouching experience with a complete workflow including RAW image development. It has an ambitious feature list which it wishes to fulfill once version 1.0 is shipped. Concretely:
Fully non-destructive, layer-based photo editing workflow with real-time preview of the final image
Support for 8-bits and 16-bits integer as well as 32-bits and 64-bits floating point precision, selectable at runtime and on a per-image basis
Allows to load and edit images of arbitrary size, thanks to the underlying rendering engine based on the VIPS library
Fully color managed workflow: user-defined input, work, and output profiles, soft-proofing and similar
Support for layer grouping and layer masks
Support for common photo editing tools: levels, curves, brightness-contrast control, blurring, sharpening, cropping, resizing, colorspace conversions, etc. implemented in the form of image layers
OpenFarm is a free and open database for farming and gardening knowledge. It aims to provide a platform for expert and beginner farmers and gardeners to share their knowledge in the form of Growing Guides that describe how to grow a crop based on specific environmental conditions and growing practices. Compatibility scoring between Users and Guides allows high quality and relevant information to be discovered quickly.
This is not one of the run-of-the-mill open source projects you stumble upon, which makes it all the more interesting. It's also worth noting that all data stored in OpenFarm's database is Public Domain, which is a great contribution to the commons.
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Reviewed by Aamir Pathan