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Ramping up

Christoph Ono
Christoph Ono
It’s only been a week, but things are in full swing again. It’s going to be another really interesting year.
An episode of the S.O.S. Design (Sustain Open Source Design) podcast with Conor and I went live. Really enjoyed this one, big thanks to the hosts. Don’t think my answers were always the best, but hope it was was an interesting conversation to listen on.
On the topic of sustainability, this is something I have been wanting to make a bigger priority - to start conversations around compensation for open design work. I simply don’t see anyone talk about it, and maybe that’s just how it is in open-source. Many (most?) contributions are done for free, and that is fantastic. But not everybody has that luxury, and some work is so complex, demanding, and impactful that it really deserves to be properly compensated. It’s a complex topic and dynamic, and my goal is to give this topic more visibility, allow more designers to see that there are “career paths” in open-design, and create more opportunities. First stab at this will be at next weeks community call.
Monday’s design jam session was really good. Didn’t decide much, but discussed and brainstormed what we should do next. Lots of thing laid out on the table, now we can organize and get things done. We’re so close to getting done with Lightning, really great effort by everyone. Was also nice to chat on a video call again after the Xmas break.
A need for design documentation is something that come up for 3 projects this week. New people join projects and want to help, and naturally ask questions to get oriented. If they can’t easily look up decisions, patterns, styles, etc that were agreed upon and encoded in the project, it gets harder to have meaningful conversations and do useful work. Documenting things is not seen as “fun”, but it can be so helpful. I wonder if this is not another area that could benefit from “design tooling”. For example, some type of template that allows designers/projects more easily document their design system by providing great starting points and guidance. Right now, every project re-invents this from scratch. A template could provide similar benefits to the Bitcoin UI Kit and offer a solid foundation that allows designers to focus on what makes their project unique (I imagine this would not just focus on UI (buttons, inputs), but cover the whole project including mission, use cases, branding, website, animation, etc). A template could help, but we’ll never get around the need for people to actually maintain things well. Just an idea for now, let’s see where this one goes.
Also, our submission (Johns and I put this together) for a presentation at FOSDEM got accepted. We’ll discuss supporting open design in Bitcoin on February 5. Last year, we shared our ambitions and goals as a fairly new community. This year, we can reflect on how those panned out. Hopefully those will be useful learnings for others in open design and spark new conversations.
Those were some of the bigger points for me personally this week. Also had lots of great individual conversations, it’s always nice to see and hear what everyone is thinking about and working on. For other things going on in the community, check out the the Bitcoin Design newsletter and Twitter.

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Christoph Ono
Christoph Ono @gbks

Chronicling my design contributions to open-source Bitcoin.

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