Open Source for the Newb - What we as open source developers can do to improve the user experience of our Geospatial applications.
Developers of open source software are not only the developers but are users as well. Most of the time they start out as users and then for any number of reasons become developers.
When they start digging into the codebase and making changes, they do so with their specific use-case in mind. This dual role (developer and user) has many advantages; however, it can also lead to software that is very driven by a subset of the users. More often than not, this leads to a focus on expert users, giving little voice to less experienced (non-programmer) users. This is why there is a need to intentionally widen the gaze of development to include all users and how they will experience the software.
In this presentation, I will cover design and interaction principles that will widen the focal lens to include more users into the development process. I will also touch on ways to reach out to the current users to conduct easy usability testing to keep the focus on the users. Finally, I will touch on ways the open source community can make their applications more accessible and welcoming to user experience professionals who are motivated to join the open source world but do not have the programming background to navigate the open source landscape.