OpenUsability Sponsored Student Projects

OpenUsability ( is an initiative that brings Open
Source Software (OSS) development and usability together. This symbiosis
is beneficial for both sides: Developers can make difficult user
interface (UI) decisions together with usability specialists, while
usability specialists can explore and further develop their skills in
real-world projects without the pressure of a commercial market.

Likewise, OpenUsability's mentored student projects are an excellent way
for usability,  user-interface design, and interaction design students
to gain experience in the interdisciplinary and collaborative
development of user interface solutions in international software
projects. During a three-month cooperation, you will closely work
together with experienced professionals and get insights in to their way
of work.  An involvement of 20 hours per week is expected. 

Depending on your location, you will be invited to a kickoff-meeting
with the development team, the interaction architect, usability
specialist and user support. Otherwise the collaboration will take place
via the established channels of OSS development - email, IRC, VoIP, and

OpenUsability student projects are sponsored with $700USD.The
sponsorship will be paid after the successful accomplishment of the
student project goals.


Project Opening: GIMP

This project offers the opportunity to work as an Associate Interaction
Architect, and to shape the user interface of the next generation of the
GNU Image Manipulation Program (

You will be working with Peter Sikking, principal interaction architect
at M+MI Works (  Activities include methodically
performing a full expert evaluation and analysis of the software, being
fully involved in every decision, and performing the bulk of the project
work.  You will have a great opportunity to learn the ropes in
interaction architecture in a project that matters.

There is the opportunity to give your role a stronger usability
component by being involved with the workplace observation project that
is integrated with this project. Also there is the opportunity at the
end of this first phase to stay on board and to play a strong part in
the design phase that follows.


Interaction architects need to see from the user point of view, know
what makes user interfaces tick, have a mathematical eye for the beauty
of the simplest solution, a sense for clean layouts and know what can be
developed in practice.  GIMP is an international project, so you need to
be able to communicate and write in English.

There are no specific degree requirements and welcome students from all
backgrounds including [insert some sample courses] with the previous
experience.  No program will provide so much information to perfectly
match all requirements, and encourage you to apply.  GIMP or Photoshop
experience is not required, infact if you have extensive GIMP or
Photoshop experience then this project might be not for you. 

We know there are no standard university diplomas for interaction
architects. So we know you had to define your education yourself, and
may not perfectly match all our requirements. Don’t be deterred.

How To Apply

To participate in this project, send your application to

Please send us a short CV or (in PDF), a couple of paragraphs about why
you want to be an interaction architect, some of your past experiences
which have shaped your current skills, and what you expect from this
profession in the future.

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