UX Research for Contributor Journeys

Hi all :wave:

I’m trying to find UX Research groups that might have experience with open source software and contributor journeys.

I’m with the Contributor Success team at GitLab and I would really like to do some UX research studies on the first-time contributor experience to see how we can make it easier to contribute.

If anyone has any recommendations on a good UX Research group or consultant that is experienced with open source, please let me know. Thanks!

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Hi Daniel. Finding the UX Research group with cross-expertise in software development, CJM and Open Source is hard to impossible, because there is literally no market to keep such groups alive. @Erioldoesdesign can tell more about working in UX company that deals with Open Source projects, and can probably give some pointers where to look for.

The tricky part in your request is that the level of expertise that is required to understand possible problems with contributor experience is too specific and deep. For example, it may happen that the major problem with GitLab contributor experience is the 2 hour building time for PostgreSQL in GDK. Or not. With a degree UX, but without experience in development workflows (git, databases, devops), I don’t think people can effectively pinpoint such problems. And UX companies can not allow themselves to have paid positions for people with narrow professional expertise in different field, so they relied on contractors to fill the void. But because IT giants abandoned the practice of working with contractors, this mechanism doesn’t work anymore.

So my best bet would be that you need a good UX researcher who draws CJM diagrams and writes good reports as educational blog posts, and a person who can provide the expertise to identify bottlenecks, know where to bring the attention in experiments, and which metrics to collect during CJM sessions.

Hi Anatoli! Glad to see you over here :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It has been difficult to find a group with this expertise.

You also bring up one of my main concerns with doing UX interviews. The building time involved with GDK and some of the technical stumbling blocks might prove too much for a traditional UX approach.

I’m hoping to learn what I can about UX research so I might be able to better assist a consulting researcher. I really appreciate your perspective on some of the skills a good researcher would need here, thanks! :+1:

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Hey Daniel. I’ve been a UX designer and consultant for the past decade or so, and would be happy to chat. Let me know what format works best for you!

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Thanks! Sent you a DM :slight_smile:

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I’m very interested in this topic, as a researcher and product person I see a huge gap in OSS around this kind of learning. Happy to connect!