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User-centered open source projects


Open-source projects often struggle with finding contributors and getting off of the ground. Communities, such as Github and PyPi, are host to redundant projects and libraries. In the development space, how do you distinguish your project from others, get people excited to contribute to it, and ultimately create a successful open source project? The answer is to apply user-centered design techniques to the development of your project. User-centered design is usually applied to web applications and products on the front-end of a website, but these techniques can be applied to open source libraries. In user-centered open source projects, your users are those who type pip install $your_library.

In this talk, Jackie will illustrate some user-centered techniques that have been used on her own project — Mesa (, along with other successful open source projects. This talk will include a survey of interviews with a focus on successful techniques, along with additional user-centered design techniques that could be leveraged to inspire increased community engagement into your project.


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