FOSS Backstage Design

Designing UIs without a UI designer
03-06, 15:55–16:15 (Europe/Berlin), Main Hall

Design is still fundamental, and yet designers are rarely active in open-source contributions. If UI design falls under your charge, let’s talk about your options. You won’t become a designer overnight, but we’ll see how to make first steps by incorporating these principles through engineering.

The talk is based on this article:

I. Skip the designs, but don’t skip designing
- Build your UI directly in code for a faster workflow.
- Focus on key user tasks and on the journeys your user will undertake to complete those tasks.
- Prioritize solving user problems over struggling with the user interface.
- Stay close to your customers.

A key quote:

Saying “I need a button” prematurely restricts you to using only a button, while stating “The user needs to run the code” leaves room to decide that, besides, another possible solution might include a keyboard shortcut.

II. Don’t reinvent the wheel
- Utilize pre-existing components since you’re designing in code.
- Study and draw inspiration from the UI patterns prevalent in popular applications.

A key quote:

Approach this MVP as if you will discard its UI once you engage with a product consultancy or an in-house designer. Because spoiler alert: you will.

III. Cut the scope to find the product core
IV. User possibilities over user experience
V. Consult LLMs for design guidance

See also: Slides (2.7 MB)

I am a product designer with more than 13 years of experience in digital and product design based in Lisbon, Portugal. I joined Evil Martians in 2020 and continue my route in helping startups and businesses to grow and expand their service quality among the new users. We are working and solving design problems in multiple areas, from blockchain technologies and web-rtc services to cashback services and professional advanced services. Working with big brands like Ebay and new fast growing companies.