A bright question mark in a dark room
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Human-centered research equals the “active consultation of people” (Hanington 2010) and as a method is viable to approach a broader subject in order to map it out. For IDE, this means conducting lots and lots of interviews with people who work on open infrastructure projects. But we don’t pretend to know which questions are the right ones to ask – this would predetermine the results of our study. Therefore we collected a rather enormous set of questions to help us navigate an interview situation, while our interview partners choose for themselves which part they want to emphasize and which questions we needed to add to the list. It has proven to be a good way to discover our own blind spots!

Our questions fall into 7 broader categories:

  • Trajectories and positions in FOSS: What are you working on, and how did you end up there?
  • Outlook on FOSS: What do you like about your work?
  • Governance: How do people on a project collaborate? Who does what, and why?
  • Support: Where do projects get funding or sponsoring from?
  • Values: What does your work on open infrastructure mean to you?
  • Project state and outlook: Is your project sustainable? What makes it so?
  • Standards: How do they affect your work, and how does your work affect them?

You can find the exhaustive list of questions here.