Michael Demetriou – The challenges of open mobile design

A preview of Nemo Mobile OS

Michael starts out with the famous “a camel is a horse designed by committee” analogy. But a camel is not a broken design, it is perfectly fit for the environment it lives in. Committee designs are usually more broken than the average camel.

The most iconic designs are works of a single person dictating what the end result is going to be. How does that apply to the open source bazaar? Have a grand vision to work towards, an idea for what the ideal, perfect version of your project looks like. Make decisions that work toward that vision. Some trade-offs have to be made to keep the community engaged, but as a designer you have to defend your right to reject seemingly good ideas that do not work towards the vision.

Make sure that the whole team speaks the same (design) language. New people will get the same advice, even if the lead designer is not around at that specific moment.

Michael then demonstrated the Nemo Mobile OS that can be installed on Android devices. A main feature is the configurable, app specific header bar. One of the apps functioned as a style guide showcasing available interaction design patterns.