Outreachy Internship Blog Series: Self Introduction

Hi! I’m Udo Ijibike. This summer, I am contributing to a user research project as a GNOME intern in Outreachy. My mentors are Allan Day and Aryan Kaushik, and this is the first in a series of blog posts chronicling my internship experience.

About Me

I’m a passionate User Experience (UX) Designer from Nigeria. I love technology, and despite my degree in engineering, I’ve always had an appreciation for the arts and a keen interest in psychology. These seemingly disparate interests ultimately converge through UX Design in a way that’s incredibly fulfilling for me.

My core values include self-awareness, progress, and curiosity. Self-awareness helps me set the right goals, focusing on progress keeps me grounded enough to enjoy the process, and curiosity keeps me open to new ideas.

Why I Applied to Outreachy

Outreachy is a platform that advocates for everyone’s potential to contribute meaningfully to science and technology, and its goal validated my aspirations of being a UX Designer. I discovered Outreachy four months into my pivot to UX Design. This early in my transition, doubts were frequent, so learning about Outreachy strengthened my resolve to persevere.

It took a few rounds of deliberation before I mustered the courage to apply. I feel truly honored to have been selected as an intern on my second attempt, and the experience so far has been life-changing.


The internship application had two stages: the initial application and the contribution period. Getting through the initial application was significant, but it was also just the first step. However, I saw the opportunity to contribute to an impactful project and work with a mentor for an entire month as invaluable for learning. Therefore, I approached the contribution phase resolved to find a project where I could contribute and improve my UX Design skills in a meaningful way.

I was drawn to GNOME because of its design-driven approach to solving complex problems in Free and Open Source Software. Its commitment to user-friendliness and inclusivity in FOSS made an impression on me and the internship project itself was the ideal match for my objectives. Therefore, there wasn’t a decision to make; GNOME felt like the only choice for me.

Internship Project

My internship project is a user research project that will focus on identifying usability issues and opportunities for improvement in GNOME software.

Over the next few months, we’ll be conducting user interviews, surveys, and user tests to derive actionable insights for enhancing select software within the GNOME ecosystem to better meet the needs of GNOME users.

Looking Forward

I’m thrilled to be learning so much from contributing to a project that I’m very excited about in such a welcoming community. As my internship continues, I’ll continue to share more about my GNOME experience and our project in subsequent posts.

Thank you for reading!


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