Understanding open source
Open source is an ideology that actively encourages free access and distribution of a software or program that can be modified by other users for implementation into their own programs or softwares. This, however, is only made possible by the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders. Open source revolves around the idea of freely sharing tech information so that it may be made better through diverse insights and perspectives. The open, collaborative culture is what open source thrives upon and how it inspires innovation.
But what has design got to do with this?
Design for a very long time, especially in Nigeria, has been a pas seul, but is gradually changing with the emergence of various design communities. These communities have done a good job of inspiring a collaborative spirit in its members. And this isn't just in Nigeria alone, around the world, design is going through a phase of revolution. Technology is enabling more people to create and propagate designs, and professionals as well as aficionados are using it to share their creations with the world.
Being a part of a community means you have a better chance of more interactions with fellow designers or even developers and presents a great opportunity to improve your professional and personal network. I strongly recommend the Ingressive community; it's an open field for design, development, entrepreneurship etc.
Okay back to our discussion;
Collaboration is progressively driving the creative process of designers and the thought of this shift begs the question, "Can design be open source?"
With the emergence of a design tool like Figma, collaborative work is more seamless than ever. "Figma is a free, online UI tool that where you can create, collaborate, prototype and handoff all in the same place."
It allows teams/users to stay in the flow of design projects, do reviews, make iterations without downloading or uploading any files. It also allows collaborators to view what was implemented throughout the project's duration.
In the 3rd quarter of 2018, Ingressive, Figma Africa and GitHub hosted a two-day hackathon in Nigeria and Ghana that saw over 75 designers and developers collaborate on 25 projects; all of which were hosted on GitHub. The success of the hackathon further lays emphasis on the importance and benefits of collaboration.
Let's do it
With several design tools also adopting some of the features that can be found in figma and design/tech communities becoming more decentralised, teams engage and interact more digitally and that process can only be seen through successfully with collaboration at the heart of it.
Making design open source isn’t about working for free or doing design by committee, It is about challenging ourselves, our design process, and the way we work together in the design community.