Episode 7

Cristina Chumillas on Design at Drupal


September 14th, 2021

36 mins 16 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Cristina Chumillas


Eriol Fox | Memo Esparza | Richard Littauer

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. On today’s episode, we have as our guest, Cristina Chumillas, who is a Front-end Developer at Lullabot and UX Core Maintainer at Drupal. We will find out how Cristina got into the design field, and how she got involved in working with Drupal and Lullabot. She tells us how her experience has been as a designer who has contributed code and design, and what Drupal does to recognize contributors of all types. Cristina shares some great advice if you are a young designer just starting out. Also, find out the company that is the biggest contributor to Drupal and more about Design4Drupal and what they focus on. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out much more, and if you’re interested please subscribe!

[00:01:30] Cristina tells us about herself and how she got into working in the design world. She also tells us how she got involved in working with Drupal.

[00:04:52] Eriol wonders if Cristina ever contributed code and if she can share an experience being a designer who has contributed code and contributed design and the differences.

[00:08:26] As Cristina formalizes the UX working group, we hear how her experience has been of people seeing her as a designer and seeing that working as the design group who makes all the design decisions.

[00:10:19] Eriol asks if Cristina’s had painful conversations or joyful ones with trying to advocate for really great user experience.

[00:11:00] Since contributions are now sponsored and there’s a lot of paid and unpaid work, Cristina tells us how this enters into the conversation of who has more say and who’s heard more.

[00:13:52] Memo wonders how a project like Drupal can stay independent from big sponsors.

[00:15:35] Cristina tells us about Lullabot.

[00:17:23] We learn from Caristina the reason she went to work for Drupal and how the conversations about contributing to open source started with them.

[00:19:23] There’s a story going on that there’s a perception in the industry that open source is done by a hobbyist, and Richard is curious to know how Cristina feels about this story. She also tells us what Drupal does and what she does to recognize contributors of all types.

[00:22:24] Eriol brings up contribution recognition and asks Cristina if she’s noticed or does she think there are differences in how designers want to be recognized as contributors, are there different values that designers have when they’re contributing to open source, and is there a way to grow that, encourage that, and support that.

[00:24:23] Cristina tells us about an event called “Design4Drupal” and what they focus on. Eriol also wonders if there are other things that Cristina would like to see and what her “wishlist” is.

[00:27:43] Listen to advice from Cristina if you’re a young designer just starting out.

[00:30:05] Find out where you can follow Cristina on the internet and where you can get involved with design in Drupal.


[00:12:14] “So, the companies that had a bigger budget to actually pay for this contributor were actually the ones that were having bigger projects so the features that made him were the ones that were needed for bigger projects.”

[00:12:38] “And sadly this means that are not as many freelancers out there as there were anymore.”

[00:20:52] “That’s really a recent change that we’ve had in the Drupal community. Actually, there’s a blog post.” (link below)

[00:22:43] “What I usually see when I see designers that really don’t know the communities, like I really don’t care about Drupal’s contributions. It’s something that they really don’t mind, they really don’t understand or need, unless they are paid by a company.”

[00:23:10] “Also getting involved in a big project, it takes a lot of time. It’s not like you can just dig into the project and understand what you need to do in like two hours. You probably need one or two days to understand the project, understand the need of that specific thing.”


  • [00:32:40] Memo’s spotlight is the first open source project he used called Opendesk.
  • [00:33:27] Richard’s spotlight is Extinction Rebellion.
  • [00:34:08] Eriol’s spotlight is an article called, “Design APIs like you design User Experience.”
  • [00:35:15] Cristina’s spotlight is a project called Variablefonts.io.


Open Source Design Twitter

Open Source Design

Sustain Design & UX working group

Sustain Open Source Twitter

Richard Littauer Twitter

Eriol Fox Twitter

Memo Esparza Twitter

Cristina Chumillas Linkedin

Cristina Chumillas Twitter



Drupal Association-Contribution Recognition and the Drupal Project


Frontend United


Extinction Rebellion

“Design APIs like you design User Experience” (Better Practices Medium Publication)