Innovation is part of our DNA at Mozilla. It’s not just about making products that support the open web, but how we make those products — with a transparent and participatory approach.
There’s a paradox in open innovation. On one hand, the diversity of an open community demonstrably increases the quality of solutions. On the other hand, using best practices like human-centered design across a distributed team can be hard work. But in order to maintain high quality of experience, solve real user problems and ultimately create great products that people want, it must be done.
To help address this, we’ve been developing the Open Innovation Toolkit.
It is a community-sourced set of best practices and methods that incorporate human-centered design into a open source product development process. It consists of a collection of easy-to-use, self-serve techniques that are gathered from industry best practices. They’re not ‘new to the world’ but together they create a knowledge bank of methods that we at Mozilla have found useful and that build on some of best thinking in the industry.
We want to equip everyone in the Mozilla community — and beyond — with a set of useful and proven tools and a common vocabulary to incorporate human-centered design into their product development process.
We’ve learned and been inspired by other similar efforts, such as the Nesta’s DIY toolkit for social innovation, which has successfully been used by many global organisations from Women in Global Democracy to Kent city planning council. The servicedesigntools.org site (which started out as a masters project) became a great venue for sharing service design projects.
More than anything, this toolkit is an invitation to everyone in open source product development, from developers to advocates, to use it, play with it and to give us feedback on use cases we might add.