Episode 23

Heiko Tietze of the Document Foundation on Mentoring Designers


March 15th, 2022

34 mins 49 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Heiko Tietze


Richard Littauer | Eriol Fox | Django Skorupa

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. We are very excited to have as our guest today, Heiko Tietze, who is a full-time UX Mentor at the Document Foundation. Today, Heiko fills us in on the Document Foundation, what his job involves as a UX Mentor, and the challenges in mentoring designers in open source. We also learn what building a team means to Heiko, how the teams integrate other user experience with people from different backgrounds, and how someone can contribute to open source besides translations. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!

[00:02:57] Heiko tells us what the Document Foundation is and what he does there.

[00:04:18] Since Heiko mentors UX people, he fills us in on much UX work there is to go around and how many UX people he mentors.

[00:06:02] We learn about some unique challenges for designers and mentoring designers in open source.

[00:09:51] Heiko talks about the backgrounds of the people that he mentors.

[00:12:57] Eriol is curious to know what kind of expectations designers or people that contribute design to the projects have about the team and what does the team mean to him and the rest of the folks in the project.

[00:17:05] Since LibreOffice has tons of contributors who contribute in other languages, Richard wonders how Heiko integrate different contributors from different languages.

[00:19:02] We find out how you can contribute to the open source besides translations, if there’s a way to improve UX besides internalization and localization, and how the teams integrate other user experience with people from different backgrounds coming.

[00:22:56] We learn how conversations happen in the Document Foundation and the different tools that Heiko is working on.

[00:29:46] Find out where you can follow Heiko on the internet and how to join the design team.


[00:06:20] “Designer [as a term] is misunderstood as 'people who do the visual part.'”

[00:23:30] “I’m not concerned with the one percent. The other percent is more important.”


  • [00:30:55] Django’s spotlight is a project he’s working on called The Vulnerability History Project.
  • [00:31:52] Eriol’s spotlights are Human Rights Centered Design and Open AAC Systems.
  • [00:32:44] Richard’s spotlight is David J. Peterson.
  • [00:33:31] Heiko's spotlights are Free Pascal and Lazarus.