Using pro-bono design projects as example files

On this week’s Unfinished Business, Alex’s friend Brad Frost and I talked about designing in the open, pro-bono projects for great causes like the Pittsburg Food Bank and the open project he and Melissa are starting for them.

I loved the open projects I’ve worked on in the past, especially New Internationalist (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.) We offer several pro-bono days every month to good causes too. But during our conversation it occurred to me the hours and hours that I’ve spent designing fictitious example sites for books and conferences and workshops over the years.

I’m obsessive over example files. I always want everything to fit together and I like to give the sites themes that appeal to me. I spent days on this year’s example site, “Apes In Space,” and money on original photography.

So I wondered during the show, why didn’t I spend that time and resources on something that would benefit others by working on a pro-bono instead of a fictitious site, then using that site as my examples?

So that’s exactly what I’ll do next time I’m putting a talk or a workshop or maybe a book together.


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