Episode 51

Stephen Okonkwo on OSCA, UX, and Open Source Design Leadership


March 5th, 2024

13 mins 42 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode


Stephen Okonkwo


Richard Littauer

Show Notes

In this episode of Sustain Open Source Design, the OSCA 2023 series, host Richard welcomes Steve Okonkwo, a multidisciplinary designer who actively contributes to the Open Source Community Africa (OSCA). Steve sheds light on his role in enhancing user experience through thoughtful design, particularly for OSCA, and shares his dedication to continue elevating the design team's work. Richard and Steve discuss the Sustain sub-event, the importance of design in open source, and the intricacies of conference planning around open source products. Steve also touches on the significance of research, the need for transparency in open source communities, and his personal journey and future aspirations within the design landscape. Press download now to hear more!

[00:01:12] Steve tells us about his career as a multidisciplinary designer and his work in open source. He discusses his focus on improving user experience through design, including website and brand identity design for OSCA.

[00:02:03] Richard compliments the OSCA’s branding, particularly the orange logos, and Steve mentions that OSCA has been his primary focus, and he plans to continue supporting their design team.

[00:03:02] There was a large attendance at the last OSCAFest and a Sustain sub-event. Steve tells us he was the design facilitator for the design side of Sustain.

[00:03:31] Steve highlights key points from OSCA discussions, including the growing opportunities for designers in open source and the importance of contributing to project aesthetics.

[00:05:22] The conversation shifts to the iterative nature of web design and user experience, and Steve emphasizes the importance of research and testing in design updates to prevent overwhelming users.

[00:06:29] Richard discusses the uniqueness of working with open source communities and the need for transparency. Steve talks about his approach to working with open source, emphasizing transparency, communications, and commitment to quality.

[00:08:00] Richard asks about building a conference around open source products, and Steve shares insights from OSCAFest, including showcasing new tools like Penpot.

[00:10:06] Richard inquires about challenges in designing the OSCA festival, and Steven mentions issues with physical artwork and space design.

[00:10:53] What’s next for Steve? He talks about his current role as a multidisciplinary designer in Spokane, Washington, and his aspirations in open source design.

[00:11:57] Find out where you can find out more about Steve’s work on the web.


[00:05:11] “They always say in the tech industry, the web is never done.”

[00:05:37] “Research is a very important part of design.”