Profiles: A Sketch

Thank you to everyone who’s been leaving comments and suggestions on the thread from yesterday, and keep adding to that thread, I’ll be bookmarking it for continual review. :) Anyway, here’s an update on this project.

This week Ian Dunn and Scott Reilly have been cranking out code, testing, hunting for the bugs, re-testing, etc. Mel Choyce and I have had our heads together on design, and Andrea Middleton and Cami Kaos have been heads down with volunteers on backfilling the WordCamp.org data for speakers and organizers*. We plan to launch something today, but it will definitely be a v1, and I’m proposing we (being whoever wants to work on it moving forward, not necessarily this specific group of people) work on iterations in 2-week cycles moving forward so that improvements (even small ones) are continually making the profiles better.

The way I’m looking at profiles from a ux perspective is that for a visitor, the profile serves as someone’s WP resume, while for the profile owner, it serves as the dashboard for their involvement in the open source project. Based on that, here are the requirements for design:

  • No one’s profile should look sad and lonely because they are new to the project or currently inactive.
  • Seeing someone else’s profile should do the same thing as WordCamps, and help with the goal of our informal 3-word catchphrase (inspire*connect*contribute).
  • The first look when you land on a page should give you a sense of who someone is, and what their involvement level is.
  • It should be easy to see involvement by area/tasks, collections of things, activity in any part of wordpress.org. Including both a big-river activity stream and breakout views would be the base of this, with an infinitely extensible UI to allow for adding more areas of activity as we start to connect them to the central profile.
  • Recognize contributors who are part of recognized contributor teams with a curated badge (vs pure quantity generating: imagine a forum volunteer and a spammy commenter/questioner both getting a badge saying they’re on the support team based on their activity numbers — yuck!). We’ll have to come up with a transparent metric for deciding what level/frequency of activity makes someone a ‘team member’ vs a contributor in that area. I’ll start checking in with each team and ask the team reps to help wrangle those decisions on a team-by-team basis.

So here’s the sketch I did yesterday for Ian to use as the starting point. Please take this in the spirit it’s offered; it’s just the working sketch/a set of ideas, and we’ll wind up with whatever we wind up with and then continue to iterate. So try not to get hung up on specifics yet. :)

Jen's sketch of profiles redux project v1

Jen’s sketch of profiles redux project v1

  • The top part serves as an overview for the person. Picture and user info is in the upper left, while the upper right is available for badges and special designations (like in this fake-nacin example, a custom status might say “Lead Developer” above the badges). If there is no activity, the picture and metadata will look like a nice digital business card with some lovely white space rather than a gaping, empty maw. Note it includes the join date that people have added from the forum profile, as well as more social media links, swiped from gravatar profiles. The badges are going to be done using dashicons on colored circle backgrounds to keep the wp logo branding style in play. Note: WordCamp speakers will be included in this, but the giant backlog of missing and/or nonexistent usernames will mean it takes a while to get those caught up.
  • The stats bar below the top will likely be v2 (esp since Scott is leaving today), but the idea is that it would highlight your areas of greatest activity/contribution. So if we identified say 20 potential stats that could go there, someone might have 5, or 3, or 10, or however many depending on how spread out their activity is. There would be no empty/0 counts. Someone with lots of docs activity would have different stats showing that someone who’s mostly in core or WordCamps, for example. We talked about doing a cool graph or visual treatment, but we’ll consider that again later based on availability of people to make something like that.
  • Below the stat bar is the main content area. Here’s where it diverges — this sketch is layout A, which uses a left-hand nav/psuedo-tab approach to swap out the content in the main area. This is the layout I’m working on. Mel is working with Layout B, which has the same top part, but instead of separate sections to click on below, will put all the activity in one long screen. We’re going to use the same information/data and styling for both so that we can do a little A/B testing to see which layout approach people think is better/easier to use.

Some of the bits of data in the sketch don’t exist yet, but we’re going to work on adding them. The stats bar may have to wait until v2 for timing reasons. I’m pretty excited, though, and I think this will be a great improvement over what we have now. Look for a status update by the end of today or tomorrow at latest. Thanks!

*I spent a couple of hours doing this data backfill and it is TERRIBLE having to search all over google to find usernames and try them out only to find that really prominent people in the community who’ve spoken at multiple WCs don’t have a wordpress.org account at all. Makes me even more itchy for the next WC project, to have people log in/register at wordpress.org to buy a ticket, apply to speak, etc.