Episode 30

Isabela Presedo-Floyd of Quansight Labs on building OSS for science and on improving OSS accessibility


May 31st, 2022

36 mins 51 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Isabela Presedo-Floyd


Eriol Fox | Georgia Bullen

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 have with us today, Isabela Presedo-Floyd, who’s a UX/UI Designer at Quansight Labs. She helps build open source scientific software with an emphasis on improving accessibility of communities and their tools, which we will be discussing in depth with her today. We learn about some of the projects Isabela’s been working on such as Jupyter, Spyder, Napari, and Conda. Also, we find out how accessibility is the guiding compass for most of Isabela’s design things. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!

[00:01:05] Isabela explains what she currently does, the different projects she works on, and the projects that she’s had to do the most creative problem solving for.

[00:03:46] We hear more about the imaging in bio fields and what that means to Isabela as a designer.

[00:06:51] The topic of transfer of knowledge is brought up and Isabela tells us how that’s made possible for her to contribute to these projects.

[00:10:47] Eriol wonders if Isabela has found other ways to find that sense of collaboration, that sense of social within the design process when she doesn’t have that many designers working in the open source and science space.

[00:14:50] Georgia wonders if Isabela uses any tools with people about how she validates design directions.

[00:18:52] How would Isabela sustain this work if she had a magic wand? We also hear about a manifesto document called Slow-Science.

[00:24:49] Isabela details how she’s worked with different kinds of accessibility needs in some of the complex tools, how designers within open source can pace themselves better to include them, and about the W3C and the alt text Decision Tree.

[00:33:00] Find out where you can follow Isabela online.


[00:09:26] “A lot of this is teaching people how to interact, teaching people the expectations they can transfer the knowledge, helping them transfer knowledge from other software.”

[00:09:54] “I don’t really hear people discussing that maintainers to me are also users. They’re just users with a very different goal.”

[00:13:13] “I feel that’s one of my main ways to collaborate because people are coming in showing me what work they’re doing and that gives me a better sense of what users are doing.”

[00:21:14] “If that pace pressure wasn’t on, maybe we would all be able to take that time to do the thoughtful things.”

[00:26:00] “I personally believe that accessibility is just good UX and is the guiding compass for most of my design things because it helps me make a lot of my choices.”

[00:28:40] “I’ve been working with trying to come up with contributing events that give that people that structure so that I can leverage whatever their skills are, and they can leverage mine.”


  • [00:33:39] Eriol’s spotlights are OPEN AAC and Project Lima.
  • [00:34:35] Isabela’s spotlight is The A11Y Project.
  • [00:35:28] Georgia’s spotlight is a step forward in accessibility efforts with Figma.