Author: Máirín Duffy

Introducing the Community Design Team (Part 1)

This is the first part of a two-part blog post series introducing the Community Design Team (CDT) to the Fedora Community. In this post, we’ll introduce you to all of the wonderful team members and the projects they’ve been working on. In Part 2, we’ll explain how you can reach our team, make a request, and work with us!

Many of you have already been collaborating with CDT members for months now on various upstream community projects such as the Fedora Websites Revamp, the new Fedora Brand Book, the Fedora 37 artwork, and Podman’s new Podman Desktop tool. Since we formed the team, we’ve set up regular meetings, chosen our initial project set, and created a space on Fedora’s GitLab to organize our work. Now that we’ve settled in a bit and better understand how we collaborate best, we’d like to formally introduce ourselves to you as a team!

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A new conceptual model for Fedora

[Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Máirín Duffy’s blog. It is republished here with permission.]

Screenshot of the current website
Screenshot of the current website
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A revamp of our beloved Fedora characters

If you’ve been hanging around the Fedora Design team lately—or dropped by one of our recent Fedora Design Team Live Sessions —you may be aware of a very cool artwork project one of our interns has been working on. Lauryn Dake has done a revamp of the character designs for the entire cast of Fedora characters, including the Beefy Miracle, panda, and badges badger!

The idea here is our current character artwork is a bit dis-jointed. For example, the pandas in our badge system are drawn in a very different style than the badger, and the original Beefy Miracle artwork is in yet another older style. We want to give our characters all a fresher, more expressive look. Also, this allows them to hang together more cohesively under the same style / approach.

We wanted to share this ongoing project with you and get your feedback and ideas. How is your team using these characters? What poses for these characters would be helpful for you to have graphics of? What formats would you like some of the artwork in?

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Join Us: Design Team Sessions Live!

Just before the Christmas holidays, you may have participated in one of three impromptu live design sessions / video chats I held. In the first session, a group of Fedorans did a critique on one of the Fedora 34 wallpaper mockups. In the second session, another group of us did a collaborative design session for a custom Fedora Discourse theme. In the last session, we did a live digital painting session.

This was part of an experiment to see if there would be enough interest and to generally test out the concept of holding a regular Fedora video chat meetup. Due to the ongoing pandemic, and the fact that it started just as I was returning from maternity leave, the Fedora Design Team never resumed our regular IRC/Matrix text chat meetups, and I was looking to see if we could be a bit more creative (I mean design is a creative pursuit 🙂 ) in how we chose to sync up.

I think the experiment was a success, so we will be holding these in a less-haphazard way on a regular schedule, and calling them “Fedora Design Team Sessions Live.”

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Come Socialize at the Fedora Social Hour!

Our first few Fedora Social Hour events have proven to be pretty successful so we’re going to do it again! Tomorrow at 2300 UTC! (If this time isn’t friendly to your time zone, don’t worry — we’ll swap to an earlier time next week, alternating as we go.)

We set up a Matrix room for Fedora Social Hour and we’ll use it as our home base each week to meet up and lay out what we’ll do. It could be an online game or other activity we take up in another window outside of Matrix. Come on by the Matrix room and hang out with us!

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Come Socialize at the Fedora Social Hour, Again!

COVID-19 is getting pretty real, with social distancing, shelter-in-place, and lockdown orders in effect in areas around the world. Some of us are perhaps getting sick of the company we are stuck with, and others of us are feeling pretty isolated without any company at all.

Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller and contributor Neal Gompa had the idea for a Fedora Social Hour where folks could video chat in and get a little (virtual) human contact and conversation.

Sound like a welcome break from isolation to you? Check out the details below!

Fedora Social Hour

Thursday, April 2nd at 11 PM UTC

( Convert to your timezone )

How to join:

We will be hosting this social meetup on! No need to download a client, although you’ll need to sign up for an account to participate if you do not already have one. You can view the chat before signing up to see if you want to participate. Here is the URL:

Last week we did a trial run using Mozilla Hubs. It’s a fun little VR-based chat system with some interesting quirks! One of the requests we had was if there could be some kind of music playing in the background. It looks like has a built-in Spotify integration, as well as Jitsi and Etherpad integration. So we’ll be playing around with and testing these goodies out!

A little preview of how the room will look, with Jitsi video chat in the upper right, an etherpad in the upper left, and the main chat below (anonymized here for privacy)

Do know that is an open source client for, which is an open source chat protocol (kind of like a next-gen IRC.) If you would prefer to join up with us using IRC, though, here’s how you can do that:

See you there!

Propose a talk for Flock!

Flock 2017’s CFP is open!

We need your Flock session proposals!

This year’s Flock is more action-oriented compared to previous Flocks. The majority of session slots are hackfests and workshops; only one day (Tuesday the 29th) is devoted to traditional talks.

Calendar showing days of Flock - Tue Aug 29, Wed Aug 30, Thu Aug 31, Fri Sep 1

The registration system allows you to submit 4 different types of proposals:

  • Talk (30 min) – A traditional talk, 30-minute time slot.
  • Talk (60 min) – A traditional talk, 60-minute time slot.
  • Do-Session (120 min) – A 2-hour long hackfest or workshop.
  • Do-Session (180 min) – A 3-hour long hackfest or workshop.

There is no session proposal limit. Feel free to submit as many proposals as you have ideas for.

Our CFP ends June 15 so you have one week to get those awesome proposals in!

Submit your Flock session proposal now!

How to create a strong proposal

How can you ensure your proposal is sufficiently strong enough for acceptance into Flock? Here are some tips and guidelines:

Align your proposal to Fedora’s new mission statement.

Fedora’s mission statement was updated almost two months ago. The revised and final mission statement is:

Fedora creates an innovative platform for hardware, clouds, and containers that enables software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users.

If you can explain the connection between your session and this goal, you’ll make the proposal stronger. Even if you are not directly working on a hardware, cloud, or container effort, you can relate your session to the goal.

For example, say you’d like to propose a Fedora badges hackfest. Task the badges hackfest specifically with creating badges for activities associated with efforts aligned specifically with hardware, cloud, and container to strengthen it.

Make sure the folks relevant to your topic are involved.

If you want to propose a Fedora badges workshop, that’s totally cool. You might want talk to Marie Nordin or Masha Leonova, and see what their plans are, give them a heads up, and coordinate or even propose it together with one or both of them.

The committee reviewing proposals occasionally sees duplicate / overlapping topics proposed. Generally, the committee chooses the proposal that has the subject matter experts most involved in the topic. A weak proposal on a topic has no indication of involvement or coordination with subject matter experts most actively involved in a topic.

Make the audience for your topic clear.

Think about who you are giving your talk to or who you want to show up to your workshop or hackfest. If you’re proposing a Fedora Hubs hackfest, are there enough Pythonistas in Fedora to help? (Yes, yes, there are. 🙂 )

Tailor your content for your audience – while you may be able to get folks familiar with Python, they may not be familiar with Flask or how Fedora Hubs widgets work, so make sure your proposal notes this material will be covered.

General user talks are discouraged. This Flock will be focused on empowering Fedora contributors and actively getting stuff done, so make sure your audience is a subset of existing Fedora contributors.

Focus on taking or inspiring action.

A major focus of this year’s Flock is taking action, so talks that inspire action and hackfests / workshops where action will take place are going to be strong proposals.


Feel free to ask on the flock-planning list if you have any questions. Or, if you have private concerns / questions, you can email

The Flock planning committee is looking forward to seeing your proposals! 🙂

Submit your Flock session proposal now!


Call for Nominations: Fedora Server Working Group

The Fedora Server Working Group builds Fedora Server Edition. It is a nine-person volunteer body that oversees the development, testing, release, documentation, marketing and evangelism of the Fedora Server.

Fedora’s Server Edition is a short-lifecycle, community-supported server OS that sysadmins can use to check out the latest open source server-based technology.

There is an open seat on the Fedora Server Working Group!

Stephen Gallagher has been the meeting chair and FESCo liaison for the group since its formation in 2013. We have been incredibly lucky to have him in the group, but he is changing focus to other commitments so his seat has opened up.

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The State of Fedora’s Design Team

The Fedora Design Team recently gave a presentation to the Fedora Council about the team’s current state, goals, and plans.

Current State of the Fedora Design Team

Fedora Design Team FAD - January 2015

Photo Credit: Prima Yogi Loviniltra

The Fedora Design Team held a Design Team Fedora Activity Day in January of this year. We had 15 in-person attendees (including two from APAC and one brand new local contributor) and 4 remote attendees. The total budget was around $7,000 including airfare, transport, hotel, and food.

This event was really critical to ‘rebooting’ our team in a few important ways that we’re happily still maintaining almost a year later:

    • We cleaned up our ticket queue. Our ticket queue was a serious mess previous to the FAD. We had tickets that were 5 years old and completely irrelevant, critical tickets that weren’t getting attention, tickets with owners set that had long abandoned them… and way too many of them. If I recall correctly, we started out with several hundred tickets and ended up with less than 20.

Design FAD 2015 Ticket Brainstorm

Photo Credit: Prima Yogi Loviniltra

  • We established a process for keeping on top of our tickets. We had a brainstorm about how we’d like tickets to be handled, including what fields we wanted folks filing tickets to use and additional fields that would be helpful fo rus. Chris Roberts and Paul Frields put together the custom fields we needed and reports for us that would make ongoing triage of the tickets possible. We planned to do regular triage every 2 weeks, so at the max the number of days you should expect a response for a design ticket is now 2 weeks (but in many cases the response is sooner!)
  • We reinstated regular team meetings. Previous to the FAD, we’d kind of fallen out of holding regular team meetings and it was definitely having a negative impact in terms of communication and getting things done. We picked out a time, a place, and planned out a regular agenda (including ticket triage!) for our ongoing fortnightly meetings and we have been sticking to them ever since.

Fedora BadgesOn top of this, the Fedora Badges project – for which the Design Team plays a critical role in creating badge artwork – similarly redesigned their new badge submission process with positive results, including higher-quality badge suggestions.

Some Ideas for Improvement of Current Process

We are talking about doing a schedule review during our meetings since we missed at least one deliverable for F23 (media art.) A cool idea from langdon was to auto-script ticket creation for release deliverables so they were in our trac and we could just track them the same way we track any other ticket and have assignees / etc. We need help with writing such a script, though (and we might want to eventually move our ticket system to

Future Design Team Plans

We talked about three specific projects we have on our plates that we have future plans for (in addition, of course, to your regularly scheduled ticket filling and release artwork duties we normally fulfill:)

  1. Fedora Swag ProjectAs Maria Leonova has already blogged, she is working on a project to sort through, organize, and create a set of official Fedora print-ready swag artwork files to better enable ambassadors and other members of the Fedora community to find high-quality, Fedora Design Team approved print-ready artwork.
  2. Fedora Badge Artwork OutreachMarie held a successful Fedora Badges Workshop at Flock this past summer and we’d like to have additional badge workshop/hackathon events, particularly to help recruit new designers to Fedora. Badge artwork tends to be very well-scoped and easy for beginners (in big part thanks to Marie’s excellent design guidelines and resources) to pick up and create as their first contribution to Fedora.
  3. Meghan and Máirín presenting Fedora Hubs at Flock 2015 Fedora Hubs Project – We also talked about the Fedora Hubs project. We had a great UX design intern, Meghan Richardson, this past summer who did a lot of design work for Hubs’ UI. We will have another UX design intern for the summer of 2016 (Interested?? Apply here!), and the Fedora Engineering team will likely start ramping up development effort on the project this winter.

Things The Design Team Needs from the Rest of Fedora

Okay, here’s where we ask the rest of the Fedora Community for things. 🙂

Another Design Team FAD

We’d like to do another Design Team FAD in July 2016 in the Boston area. We envision the event involving both a Badge Artwork Hackathon as well as a day to work on print design materials in preparation for Flock EMEA the following month.

We’d like to integrate some kind of newcomer recruitment into the event too – maybe some kind of student participation – although July is a bad month to do this as many university students have left campus for the summer. We’re open to ideas and creative suggestions here!

Finally, we’d like to try to engage remote attendees better than we were able to at the January 2015 FAD. We had some technical issues with both the audio and conferencing software we tried to use at the last FAD.

Our cheapest option is going to be hosting at Red Hat’s office in Westford MA; we have better potential for engaging new folks if we head closer to Boston but lodging in Boston in the summer tends to be quite expensive. Another option is arranging transport for students from universities up to Westford. Again – we’re open to ideas and creative suggestions!

Our next step is to create a draft proposal for the FAD, which we will be working on.

Show Me the Content

Consider this a friendly Fedora Public Service Announcement (PSA) –

The design team frequently receives last-minute design requests that do not include actual (text) content to use. Sometimes we as designers come up with the content even though it’s not our thing.

Please be kind to your designer friends and don’t ask us to design stuff until you have your content / goals / vision to share with us so we can make you a nice design.

Can Has Specs? Printer Info? Reasonable Time?

Another friendly Fedora PSA. 🙂

The integrity of our design work should be treated as seriously as the integrity of Fedora’s code, so please provide us specs and info on printers / vendors so we can make sure our design work reflects Fedora’s brand correctly (and in enough time to get the job done.)

Recruiting and Retention

We spoke briefly about recruiting and retention on the Fedora Design Team.

This is an area we have room for improvement on:

  • Lowering Barriers: We do think our recent hyperkitty list migration might help in lowering the barrier for new designers to participate on our mailing list, as no email interaction is needed to participate in our team’s mailing list anymore, and our team’s communications can be followed and engaged in exclusively via the forum-like web interface.
  • Virtual Meetup Idea: We’ve had some ideas to do virtual event like office hours at regular intervals so newbies could show up for hands on help.
  • Retention Rate is OK: We think our retention rate is pretty typical. Usually when we lose folks it’s because of a changing life situation – new job, graduate from school, etc.
  • Not Much Recruitment Effort: We need to focus more on recruitment; don’t put a lot of active effort into it. Mostly folks come to our mailing list and volunteer and we try our best to follow up; only a few continue to engage. Some of our recruits are technical and want to learn more about design; some of our recruits have a strong design background but don’t know as much about the technical bits.

Swag Strategy

Fedora T-Shirt

The final point we brought up was the Design Team’s relationship with swag. Traditionally Fedora’s swag has been very haphazard without (seemingly) much centralized organization; designs often get put together last minute and our assets end up all over the place. Maria’s project will help with the disorganization for sure.

However, there are other concerns around swag. There are significant regional differences in production – some regions get much more than others. There are also potential environmental impacts to the amount of swag produced. Sometimes the types of swag that are suggested to be produced also aren’t the best way to represent Fedora.

Should we consider some bounds on swag production to help manage it (example would be T-shirts for FUDcons/Flocks but not for FADs as a policy – as T-shirts are more impactful environmentally / cost-wise.) Could we consider alternatives to T-shirts?

The council meeting discussion lead to a suggestion of creating a draft swag policy to try to organize thoughts around this.

Your Thoughts?

Design Team FAD Jan 2015

Photo Credit: Zach Snyder

I hope this summary gives a good overview about what the Fedora Design Team has been up to over the past year and what we’ll be working on in the future, as well as effective ways to engage with us if you’re filing ticket requests for design work. Any constructive ideas, criticism, or other feedback are certainly more than welcome!

If you’d like to join our team, please visit our join page on the Fedora wiki – it outlines the joining process. We essentially request that you introduce yourself to the team and fulfill one small task before we approve your official membership into the team.

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