Design contributor story and tasks

At the Community Summit, we took a bit of time to chart the story of a contributor. We did this to find our problem areas, where in the contribution cycle we lose contributors, and how we could improve. Our focus was on the issues, and getting actionable solutions. Each action item was assigned an owner. We also all agreed to some tasks, which we’d like to encourage all design contributors to join us in.

Each task has one or more person leading it, however, more contributions are welcome in those areas. Some are larger and may grow into bigger projects. The idea of assigning tasks was just to make sure someone takes ownership, so these tasks are actually completed.

Step one: Awareness

This is the start of the journey. We looked at ways we could reach more people, to show them that design is happening in WordPress. We also realised we had a lot of designers involved, but very little support for those designers.


  • Blog more about WordPress and the work we’re doing on it
  • Speak about WordPress at non-WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. conferences

People specific tasks

  • Look into PR/beyond our community: @mapk
  • Bring more WordCamp designers into the coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. community: @liljimmi@sonjaleix,
  • Get community members to design cool new WordPress swag: @karmatosed
  • Think about planning a “WordCamp for Designers” or WordPress designers retreat: @michael-arestad
  • Introduce “design challenges” as a way to encourage new contributors to get involved: @folletto
  • Create a design pattern library, starting with GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc.

Step two: Onboarding

Once someone discovers the team, we discussed how we could better retain them.


  • Make tutorials on how to get started contributing as a designer.

People specific tasks

Later tasks

  • Look into finding a gather interest via emails, and send out introduction emails to help new design contributors know where to start.

Step three: Once contributing

Once someone is contributing, the story doesn’t end there. We need to work to not have them drop off. We need to be constantly mindful of their experiences.


  • Support each other.
  • Monthly design hangouts to discuss various topics, TBD in advance.

People specific tasks

Later tasks

  • How can we create more recognition for design contributors?
  • How can we get more designers to take ownership over projects or problem areas of WordPress?

Step Four: Design leads and reps

Being a design lead can create a range of issues, and lead to problems like burn out. We all agreed we had to support and do our best to avoid this. We concluded design lead shouldn’t mean a solo mission, that way leads to issues in itself. We have been supporting each other unofficially, but that should be more transparent.

People specific tasks

Step Five: Bouncers

Whilst we had no specific tasks, we discussed that some people bounce in and out of contributing. This is actually not unhealthy, we should allow for life to happen and be OK with this. It is important to welcome back in and check just to see if people are OK when they’ve been gone for a while.

Step Six: Leavers

We looked finally at why people leave and stop contributing. How can we help that?

People specific tasks

Follow along and join in

To track and address these issues, we’ve created a design team Trello board. We can iterate, but for now this is where we can get an overview of what is going on. Want to help?

  • Keep an eye on the board.
  • Got an area you want to help with listed above? Add a comment, and we’ll pass your details onto the leads in those areas outlined above.
  • Is there an area or task you are helping design not on the TrelloTrello Project management system using the concepts of boards and cards to organize tasks in a sane way. This is what the team uses for example: board? Add a comment and we can get it added.