Hear what the biggest issues regarding usability in open source are and how developers are addressing them directly from the people at the front lines.


Open source is growing and so are the different uses of it. Industries that, at first glance, seem worlds apart from each other have found common ground in the open source technologies they use to improve their businesses. Consequently, maintaining a quality user experience across the board has become increasingly difficult for open- source developers.

“It’s definitely getting more difficult to address all the use cases that are being presented,” says David Lyle, OpenStack Horizon project team lead.

Fortunately, the open source community as a whole is fighting for the users and addressing usability issues to help foster broader adoption.

“One of the misconceptions about engineers is that they don’t care about their users,” says Piet Kruithof, OpenStack User Experience (UX) project team lead. “Within the community, we found that, in fact, that is not the case; engineers care passionately about their users.”

Open-source developers have demonstrated their commitment to increasing usability by putting together teams that address common complaints across their users. OpenStack, for example, launched their UX Project to support and facilitate cross-project efforts to improve the overall user experience of OpenStack.

However, one of the primary issues open source developers have had to address is consistency and, as open source continues to grow, the goal of maintaining consistency within their respective technologies will continue to drive developers.

“You can get into a Ford and know how to drive it, then get into a Mercedes and still know how to drive it,” says Dean Troyer, OpenStackClient project team lead. “There are certain things that just don’t change, and that’s the kind of consistency that we’re talking about.”

To learn more about usability in the open-source community, check out the follow video, produced by Intel:


Cover Photo // CC BY NC