One of the biggest downfalls of major third-party ROMs is that often they miss out on features added by manufacturers. OpenDESIGN is an attempt to rectify this problem, spearheaded by XpLoDWilD of TeamHacksung, a subgroup of the CyanogenMod team. Ultimately, the goal is to rebuild popular and useful manufacturer features and build them into CM9 for all to be able to use.

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The site's FAQ says that these features will be "written from the ground up and will be opensourced early on." This should be extremely helpful for the community as a whole. From features like stop watches to S Pen functionality, the biggest reason to continue using a manufacturer skin instead of an AOSP-based ROM is extra features added by the manufacturer. This will help level the playing field a bit for the enthusiasts among us who want to tweak their phones to perfection.

At the moment, the site is just getting started, so if you're a developer that wants to help build features that will eventually be integrated into CM9, or just want to contribute to the project, you can head to the site and sign-up/donate now.

Source: OpenDESIGN via Reddit