UXcampNL16 trip report

UXcampNL is an unconference born from the desire to bring together the industry and academic communities to share knowledge in an open environment.


This past Saturday, September 24, I was lucky to attend on of the many UXcamps (Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Copenhagen) held in Europe – UXcamp.NL in Eindhoven.

Why did I want to attend it?

  • It was the first and closest UX event I was able to find.
  • Share my experience and learn from field specialists.
  • I’m a bit isolated here in Brno, where most of the people are engineers and programmers – it was a great chance to meet the community.
  • To tell people about open source and Red Hat.

City and venue.

Eindhoven is a medium-sized city pretty close to Brno – there is even a cheap and short (hour and a half) Wizzair flight straight from Brno to Eindhoven! The city itself seemed to me very modern and comfortable to live in, with a lot of bike lanes and bikers, of course.

The conference itself was held in the Designhuis, which was pretty much perfect for this kind of event – very bright and spacey, in the city centre and next to Van Abbe Museum.

Plan for the day.

The event being an unconference, there was no schedule prior to the start. So registration opened at 9 am, and people who wanted to give a talk were given a card at the entrance, where we filled in our names, talk title, twitter handle and whether it’s supposed to be a talk or a discussion. Plus there were pre-scheduled workshops, which people signed up for in advance.

At 10 am we had Introduction & pitching. After a brief hello from the organizers every participant (speaker) was given 30 seconds to pitch their talk. As we pitched, organizers arranged our cards on the wall into 4 separate tracks.


I was put first in my track – at 11, and was lucky to have the rest of the day ‘free’ for enjoying the talks and workshops.

At 4 pm a panel discussion was scheduled, with awards and drinks afterwards.

Talks and workshops.

11 am: My talk was first in the day, so at 11 I went to Tower room to tell people about introverts and user research. Here are my slides. The turnout was pretty good, I got a good crowd of introverts and extroverts; and after I was finished with the talk we went on to have a longish Q&A session. It was very interesting to talk e.g. to introverts pretending to be extroverts, or extroverts struggling to lead a team of introverts and not over-manage them to the point of team pushing back.

12:00: for the 2nd talk I stayed in the same room to listen to Den Tserkovnyi, UX Design Lead at StudyPortals, talk about Agile and how to remain sane. He shared his slides with everybody, too. You can check them out here. From what I gathered from this talk, Den used to be Scrum master, and is pretty comfortable with agile methodology. He and his team run design sprints, and include all of the stakeholders in the process. Conveniently they all work in the same building, so there’s a lot of team work with huge pieces of paper and post-it notes😉 I talked to Den afterwards and we agreed to exchange tips on how to involve everybody in the design process + organize it intercontinentally. He mentioned Google Ventures as an example, who run the sprints as a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. They get everybody to work in 1 room for a week, and “shortcut the endless-debate cycle and compress months of time into a single week.


13:45: After lunch I went on to a talk about accessible design given by Dean Birkett, Sr. UX Designer at AssistiveWare. His slides are here.


It really made me very happy that people are designing for accessibility in real life and in web. Dean talked about what accessible design is, how to do it and how to sell it in organization you are working for. There are 4 primary considerations: visual, hearing, motor and cognitive. Ideally you should think about all of them, when designing a product.  This quote really makes you think:

“There are no disabled people. We are all just temporarily abled.” Henry Viscardi

I think Dean is doing amazing work, and more people should be thinking about accessibility and testing for it when designing things.

14:45: I signed up for a sketching workshop lead by Frank van de Ven, Senior consultant at Deloitte Digital. Frank gave an introduction about what sketching is and why it’s helpful in our work; here are his slides. And then we went on to practice; with his helpful guidance and tips on how to make better sketches and implement complex ideas.


One of the major takeaways was the 3 seconds, 30 seconds, 3 minutes rule. It is nicely explained here. Frank talked about sketching for service design and user storyboards, but his tips can be applied as well to any kind of sketching, for example, sketchnotes. He also talked a little bit about service design, which is supposedly the next big thing in UX design.

The next big thing in design: UX design trends of 2017

All in all it was a great workshop, but it could have been longer; we didn’t get to do all the activities Frank had planned.

Summary and what I got out of it.

I got to meet and connect with a lot of wonderful people and specialists in various fields of UX from all over the world. Didn’t quite expect so many psychologists among them. There was also a Panel discussion at the end, with UX specialists answering questions from the audience and talking about bridging the gap between academia and business, and all of us working together + questions about their work processes and experience.

During the event people could vote for best talks, so that the best speakers could win prizes from the sponsors (Sketch, Jet Brains and Tesla Amazing). Results were announced after the Panel; my talk was voted second best and 1st place was awarded to UX & robotics: bridging the gap by Nina @METiger.

After that we had a quick celebration with drinks provided by organizers, and it was over! I would be glad if it was couple days longer; also I’ve heard stories all day about UXcamp Berlin, which as far as I understand is 2 days long with something like 10 tracks. The quality of talks in Eindhoven was really good, wish I could have attended them all.

I have now a much better understanding of the UX trends and situation in Europe, as well as many valuable connections. TODO for next time I attend this kind of event is to make business cards; for now I had to improvise and use Tesla paper from the goodie bag for exchanging contacts.

UXcampNL16 trip report

FAD and Flock to Fedora 2016

Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long one! In the past 2 weeks I’ve been traveling a lot: first to Westford, US for Design Team Fedora Activity Days 2016 and then to Krakow, Poland for Flock to Fedora 2016.

FAD July 29-31, 2016

This year part of the Fedora Design team met in Westford, MA. Mo Duffy gathered together Sirko Kemter (gnokii),  Marie Nordin (riecatnor), me, Chris Roberts (croberts) and  Radhika Kolathumani (radhikak). FAD is a mini-conference focused on recruiting (and enabling the recruitment of) new designers to Fedora via the Fedora Badges and Fedora Hubs projects.


Day 1

On the first day we did a lot of design team planning and preparations for the next day, for which an Inkscape bootcamp / workshop was scheduled. Everybody mentioned above + Ryan Lerch and Justin Flory were present (Ryan and Justin for a bit via Bluejeans). There was a lot on our agenda: newcomers, Pagure migration, status of ticket queue, meeting times, badges, distribution related design, CommOps thread. We managed to actually discuss most of it.

We talked a lot about newcomers and criteria of becoming a Design Team member. First of all it seems that there are not enough tickets for them or they might be unable to choose the appropriate ones. We decided that it makes sense to assign each newbie a mentor, as well as tag newbie tickets appropriately. Defining a number of tickets needed to be accepted into the Design team needs to be combined with their difficulty: for instance, changing a number on a badge != designing a logo from scratch.

Meeting times need to be different in Western and Eastern hemispheres, the idea being that we could read through each others meeting minutes at start of our own meets.

We need to ‘unseparate’ distro design queue from the trac tickets and have them all together in one place, so the former are more visible. The same goes for badges: we decided that it would be a good idea to have a separate badges meeting and clean up the ticket queue at least once a month.

We also talked about swag and need for design team overview over printed matters, since it is crucial to choose the right files for printing in order to maintain quality. Looks like more communication is needed here between different teams in Fedora. Sometime during this discussion Marie and I took a little break to go through badges trac and choose the ones appropriate for the workshop next day. 30 people were registered, so we went through all of them to have a good number.


Later that day we got supplies for our event and had a lovely dinner.

Day 2

We set out to the Red Hat Westford office bright and early, as 30 people had registered for our Inkscape-learning workshop. I could write about it quite a bit, but no need – Mo has already written a great post describing it in detail here.


TL;DR people liked it, all the reviews are positive, but we might have underestimated the amount of time needed and there was almost no time for badges. But no worries, since we do our badges thing all the time and Flock was just a couple days away ↓↓

Day 3

On Sunday most of us were flying out from Boston Logan, so we took a day to see Boston: visited Isabella Gardner museum and Mo gave us a walking tour, which was all pretty great!

Then I did a BOS-FRA-VIE flight, bus to Brno, bus to Krakow travel and arrived at Flock!

Flock to Fedora 2016, Krakow August 2-5



Day 1

The venue: very conveniently the same hotel where everybody was staying. It has all conference rooms close together on the ground floor. Light and bright, breakfast in the morning, lunch every day, snacks and drinks – all in all very pleasant experience.

Twitter feed: you can check out tweets and pics at #flocktofedora.

The schedule is still here on sched.org.

The talks

I was a little bit late to the party and missed all talks in the 1st part of the day, because I was traveling. I finally made it to the 15:30 talk by Paul Frields: Fedora Magazine and what it teaches us about users. You can see some of my notes on Paul’s talk on page 1 here.


16:30 Sylvia Sanchez: Thoughts on Fedora and Arts. Frankly, I was not the biggest fan of this talk, seemed a bit unprepared. I’m sure there are notes somewhere, if you are interested.

17:30 Ina Panova: Software Repository Management with Pulp. I didn’t take notes, but you can see the whole preso here. Pulp is a platform for managing repositories of software packages and making it available to a large numbers of consumers. I’m also going to rework their logo a bit😉 Oranges and packages, what could be more fun!


Evening: we had a guided tour of Krakow, which is a beautiful city! The weather was nice, our guide interesting and funny, so I enjoyed an official city tour, which doesn’t happen very often.


Day 2. My notes for August 3 are here starting on page 2.

9:00 Keynote #2,  Radosław Krowiak Co-owner, Akademia Programowania. He gave a talk about teaching kids programming and maintaining creativity levels, that are often diminished at school.

10:00 Matthew Miller: Kirk, McCoy, and Spock build the future of Fedora. Matthew talked about our goals and strategy and Star Trek and unicorns. To sum up – we all need to work together and see my notes above =) Here come the unicorns:


Here is a list of talks I visited later that day (see notes for Brian and Dusty’s talk and diversity panel): 11:00 Brian Exelbierd and Dusty Mabe: Bringing developers into the Flock, 1:30 Ralph Bean: Factory 2.0, 2:30 Maria Leandro and all: Diversity panel, 3:30 Pierre-Yves Chibon: Pagure: Past, Present and Future, 4:30 Sayan Chowdhury and Ratnadeep Debnath: Realtime IRC on Fedora Hubs, fewh that was a lot of talks!😉

I want to really point out here Sayan’s and Ratnadeep’s work on IRC for Fedora Hubs, which IMO is essential for newcomers. There was a live demo and it appears to be working, synchronizing between the widget and the IRC client as you type. We talked about it later on Friday and guys have created a ticket for mockup on pagure.io. Some people argue that IRC is outdated, but really we still need it, since everybody in the community uses it still, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

After all the talks that day we had dinner on a boat and a cruise of the Wisła river, which was very enjoyable and outside. Everybody got to do a lot of social networking, which might be the most important thing at conferences. After talks, of course😉


Day 3

Thursday was dedicated to lightning talks at 9 am, and following workshops. Marie and I had our Fedora Badges Workshop scheduled for the after lunch session at 1:30. We lost some audience to the Infrastructure workshop, but frankly it might have been one of our most successful ones yet. There were ≈10 people in the audience, almost all of them followed through with the tutorial, we had 3 badges submitted and 2 approved all in just 2 hours!
How it works: Marie and I give our presentation, which you can download here (and we need to add to the new badges guide). First we talk about badges in general, then do a quick walk-through of a new badge creation. After that we allow people to choose badges they’d like to work on from a list pre-selected tickets for first time badge creators. And then people work on badges using Inkscape with our guidance and help if needed. This time, since it’s Flock, there was no need for creating a FAS account. Sirko was there for our workshop, so he helped, too.  Thanks to Sinny Kumari for taking a pic, I had no idea😉


Later that day there was a Design Clinic organized by Sirko and in the evening we had a party at a brewery. People say the beer and food was great, I was not feeling 100%, but they are probably right. Check out the bus, too:


Day 4

On Friday before we left for Brno, there were 2 workshops / hackfests scheduled at 1:30 that I visited: Sirko Kemter: 101: Poster & Infographic Design, where he taught people to make a poster for a party using Flock design elements and Pierre Yves-Chibon: Fedora Hubs Meetup / Hackfest, transcript by jflory7 here and a video (more of an audio) here. I really miss working on hubs and want to start helping out again. There is a number of tickets, that need mockups, and many of those mockups need implementation, too.

All in all

Flock was a lot of fun: great talks, amazing people, new acquaintances, fun activities, beautiful city! Big thanks to organizers and hope to see you all next year!

FAD and Flock to Fedora 2016

FLOCK 2016! Learn How to Get Involved in Creating Fedora Badge Designs

We’re having a workshop on Thursday, everybody is very welcome! Learn about Fedora badges and Inkscape🙂


Another year, another wonderful FLOCK! Thanks to everyone who put in the hard work to make this event a success. The first day and a half have been informative and fun, learning about what everyone in Fedora is up to, catching up with new and old friends and seeing some of beautiful Kraków. Just before I made my way here to Poland, I met up with the Fedora Design Team in Boston, MA, for a FAD. We tried out a new event for our team that was free to the public, an Inkscape and Fedora Badges Bootcamp, with success! So riding on the tail end of that I am excited to be here with the rest of the Fedora family and to continue working on Fedora Badges and getting people involved.

I will be holding a Fedora Badges Workshop this year at FLOCK with Mariia Leonova on Thursday…

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FLOCK 2016! Learn How to Get Involved in Creating Fedora Badge Designs

My Fedora Badges intern

For the past two weeks I was lucky to have an intern, who worked on Fedora Badges. Badges is a great way to start as a Fedora design contributor, as they have low entry level. Templates are ready, graphics is available to download, all the resources available here. All that’s left is to read through the guidelines, check out the already existing badges, install Inkscape – and create! The best thing is: you get badges for making badges🙂
I hope Simon had a lot of fun working with us. He even created his own avatar for the badges profile – check it out!  Here are some of the badges he’s worked on:
Couple of those are a part of a series. Backgrounds might be a little far from the guide, but as he explained – it just said ‘green’, so he naturally went with whatever green he fancied at the moment. I’m sure we can fix these little issues in no time. Simon also worked on other tasks – such as helping me out with logo concept for Fedora Development Portal, as well as some graphics for Brno Newsletter.  All in all it was amazing to have an intern and a great experience for both of us.
I wish Simon good luck in his future endeavors and hope he stays a contributor!
My Fedora Badges intern


Today I want to tell you about a conference that I really wanted to go to for 2 reasons: 1 – it was about open source graphics, 2 – it was in London =) You probably guessed it – it’s Libre Graphics Meeting. The conference span over 4 days and was packed with talks, workshops, meetups and parties. I want to thank the organizers for doing such an amazing job. The website is great (on mobile, too), program was available online or was given out at the venue. It was easy to get to the conference, even though London is pretty huge. The venue itself – University of Westminster – is a beautiful place with a park nearby.

2016-04-17 11.00.12

Day 1

First day started with “State of Libre Graphics” – an overview of the many projects in the Libre Graphics Community. Among others: GIMP, Inkscape, Krita, Darktable, Pixls.us and some others. Inkscape had a cool video; I don’t see it on YouTube though. If you want to see what new features it has in action – contact me, I think I can share it. Edit: download link. Here’s a list:



It was followed by a couple lectures, for which I really tried to take sketchnotes, but sadly have to admit that most tables in the Auditorium were broken. So the notes are not so good.

In the evening I took advantage of being in London after all and most it’s museums being free to public admission. So I flipped a coin and went to Victoria and Albert Museum.

2016 - 30

Day 2

Second day started with a bunch of talks devoted to 3d and architectural design. There were talks about FreeCAD, topoBIM and even 3d steganography. If you don’t know what it is, I highly recommend you check it out. That was one of the funniest talks at the conference. Then we were presented with PhotoFlow, a RAW image editor and some more image processing. The people in the community fascinate me: when they feel that some tool or resource is missing, they waste no time  – and make their own! Not only that, but they constantly improve, share it with everybody and make talks like this at conferences. And, of course, everybody can contribute – all sources are usually available on GitHub.

Here I just have to note that I had fish and chips for lunch, because when in London, you just have to. At least once😉

After lunch I attended a meeting of font enthusiasts “Libre tools for documenting, publishing and distributing fonts”.  And these guys really know what they’re talking about. The main tool is called FontForge. I haven’t used it yet, but it looks like a great one!

More talks followed after that. One I really want to point out was by Pat David about PIXLS.US.  It is a resource for the photographers of the open source community, where Pat has assembled a great collection of tutorials, articles, tools and blogs. According to him, it was next to impossible to find any great tuts about open source photo editing, most of them being all the same and monetized, so he once again had to take matters in his own hands and made PIXLS.US (I think he pronounced it like ‘pixels dot us’).

Once again in the evening with some time to spare I just had to visit Sherlock Holmes Museum. It is tiny, costs £15 and had a queue outside, but I was so happy anyway! Of course, everybody knows, who are the best Sherlock and Watson ever:

Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin, 1979

Here’s me being happy:


Day 3

On Sunday we had more great talks to follow, starting with a bunch of font themed ones. Like this one by Tom Lechner Hodor Hodor:

2016-04-17 11.10.26

After lunch I attended a workshop about html2print by Stéphanie Vilayphiou, which turned out to be quite popular. I was lucky to get a seat =) Here’s what it looked like from outside:


We talked (and some people tried) to prepare print layouts based on html. I guess it’s pretty neat to automate everything and make changes simple with just changing a line in code. This is the tool here. It looks pretty neat and easy to set up. Stéphanie also brought a bunch of books made using the html2print technology. It can definitely make life easier for book publishers and newspaper editors. One thing about it that makes me uneasy is inability to correct for small typographic issues, such as hanging articles or accidental holes in text due to unfortunate space placing. Usually those are corrected manually, but in case of html2print, that’s not possible from what I understood. It was pretty impressive tho to watch them code and debug in real time😉

Day 4

There were some workshops in the morning, of which I didn’t find any especially fascinating, so I used the time to visit Tate Gallery. I must admit I wanted to visit Tate Modern, But Tate Britain proved to be just as good. For those of you, who like me are not aware that there are several Tates, please note that ) All free to visit, but at a distance from one another.


After that I went to the venue to hear the last talks of LGM16. They were mostly focused on education and teachers using open source tools in universities and schools. I was amazed to hear how popular they are despite many companies pushing proprietary software to be used and taught at unis. A lot of great artwork and projects comes out of teachers working with community.

Two last talks of the day were for me the most interesting ones. First one was by Richard Hughes about ColorHug – an open hardware spectrograph he makes and sells. Richard is in fact from Red Hat and I think I might have seen him at DevConf.Cz. Sadly for me he became very popular after the talk and we didn’t get a chance to chat. And the next one was from Document Liberation Project, the best showmakers there. The guys are funny and laid-back. I enjoyed their talk very much – be sure to check it out once the videos are out there.

All in all…

Libre Graphic Meeting 2016 had 150+ participants and was a lot of fun! I wish the community to grow and for more people to attend the meetings. Although it will be in Rio next year, the year after I’m hoping it’ll come back to Europe. The call for location-2018 is now open. There are some areas to improve: for example, for a graphics conference, there were too few stickers and all almost of them black and white. But really it was an amazing experience and finally a conference in my area of expertise!

Fedora Badges Workshop

Hey everybody! Quick announcement: this Wednesday Red Hat Czech is opening doors of our Brno office again. Visit us and experience unique atmosphere of openness and cutting edge technology – all of it in our newest building located in Technology Park Brno.

What can you expect:
– presentations
– career info
– coding contests
– office tours
– interactive sessions
and more. See full schedule here.

One of the interactive sessions will be my workshop on Fedora badges, where you can come and try your hand at designing one! It is an updated version of Marie’s workshop at Flock last year. Starting at 1 pm I will give a presentation on badges and then we’ll try to create a couple together.

I will be going over the basics of how to design a Fedora Badge. For example I will outline where to find resources, how to pick out tickets and proper badge work flow for Inkscape. If you are curious about designing badges or badges in general, this is a great time to learn how to get involved and and this workshop is appropriate for all design skill levels.Get well on your way to earning an apprentice badge artist badge😀


Oh, and by the way: slides will be here!

Fedora Badges Workshop

Fedora 24 Alpha Wallpaper

First of all I want to thank everybody who voted for, read and liked my previous post about DevConf.cz 2016.  With your support I won the blog competition and got a bag of cool swag, including an xxxl sized t-shirt :p

That said, today I want to tell you and ask for feedback for Fedora 24 Alpha Release Wallpaper. Let me guide you for the process of wallpaper creation first. As you might know, before the final release, we have Alpha and Beta releases, for which we already have to package wallpapers. Between Alpha and Beta we collect feedback and make changes accordingly. You can take a look at previous versions wallpapers on their wiki pages:  f23_artwork, f22_artwork, etc, etc. There you can also take a look at banners (based on wallpapers) and supplemental wallpapers chosen by vote. By the way, everybody is welcome to submit supplemental wallpapers! If you have pics to share, read this article and contribute. The deadline is in April, so there’s still time.

Back to F24. We started the discussion maybe a bit late. I would’ve personally preferred more time to think and contemplate😉 Also I felt that not as many people helped as I would’ve liked to. Basically, it was just 3 of us: me, gnokii and samo8.  And also I poked some people and asked them for feedback, which was generally positive, so yay! Ok, so we had our initial discussion on IRC in #fedora-design channel, where it was decided to go with the idea of space. If you’ve used Fedora for a while, you might have gotten the general impression like I did;) You can see on wiki, that “Release has no name”, so we had to improvise.

First I took a look at previous wallpapers and whatever CD sleeves I have lying around:


And naturally thought of space and stars =) My initial design was to take a pic of starry sky and put an overlay pattern over it, like so:

The triangles and hexagons are mine, and the pattern Sam created in Blender, I think. So we looked at that and thought a couple things: triangles were a bit weird, pattern a bit outdated and just having 24 up there too straightforward. Hmm..

Then we started thinking about how to hint at 24, but not write it directly. One of the ideas was: there are 24 hours in a day -> who came up with that -> hmm, I guess ancient Babylonians did -> ok, so let’s write it using Babylonian numerals. We also decided that creating a starry sky ourselves in Gimp would give us much more freedom and independence from the restraints of the photo and make the artwork completely original and new. As you might know Gimp has quite some plugins, like Starry sky, for example, or Stars in the sky.  I actually used both with a combination of renders, such as Clouds and Plasma to give the picture depth and color. I played with layer transparency, blurs and overlays to create various effects. So we did a couple of those and I even tried gnokii’s clock:

The clock was too much for the wallpaper, you can see it on the banner, though =) All in all, this still wasn’t it!

So we thought some more and I came up with an idea of a constellation. Here you can see a first draft with the vector stars I made in Inkscape and a much improved stars made by custom-made brushes in Gimp.

We thought a bit more and got rid of the stripe there, as it was reminiscent of precious releases and added instead a cloud in the background. Gnokii also insisted on idea of light traces, so I searched for images of star trails and was absolutely inspired to make them go in circle. After some play with colors and overlays and pasting Inkscape paths into Gimp we finally agreed on this image:


It has now been packaged and uploaded to Wiki, and we can collect feedback before the Beta release.

So please, if you have something constructive and helpful to say, please, comment.  I want to underline the word constructive here, too! and considerate! Thank you🙂

Fedora 24 Alpha Wallpaper