FOSS Backstage Design

A user-centric (r)evolution
03-06, 10:40–11:00 (Europe/Berlin), Main Hall

Speed in open-source can overshadow user needs. At Percona, neglecting user experience affected a new product. But we shifted: users led, designers joined early, and usability took priority pre-coding. That change, plus our new design system, transformed everything!

In the world of open-source software development, the rush to write code often steals the show, leaving user experience sidelined. We might end up overlooking users and skipping vital usability tests in our need for speed, which could explain why adoption rates struggle. At Percona, we encountered firsthand the repercussions of neglecting user-centric design principles in our product development journey.

Our exploration began with the integration of a new product into an existing framework where UX was an afterthought. This integration exposed the severe repercussions of neglecting user-centric design practices—a significant hindrance to usability and adoption rates.

This pivotal moment sparked a reevaluation of our approach. Recognizing the necessity of a radical shift, we committed ourselves to embed a user-first ethos from project inception. This shift meant involving designers at the earliest stages, conducting usability testing right from the initial concept phase—a marked departure from previous practices.

The outcomes were transformative. Our product saw marked improvements in usability, aesthetics, and user satisfaction. This validated our shift, prompting the development of an inclusive design system open for community collaboration.

A narrative centered on valuing users, initiating UX from the project's start, and nurturing an open design system that champions a user-focused approach within open-source software development.

See also: Slides (4.7 MB)

I'm Nuna Dionísio, a UX Product Designer. I've worn different hats, from communication design to managing a UX team, all fueled by my love for crafting remarkable user experiences. Working in the open-source world, I tackle challenges head-on. I'm a firm believer in transparent, user-centered design and my goal is to keep transforming the open-source landscape, ensuring it's user-friendly and a delight for all.