WordCamp PWA: Plugin proposal and designs

Planning is well underway to create a new look Progressive Web App (PWA) for WordCamp events. The PWA will make accessing and providing content on mobile devices much easier for attendees and organisers.

This builds on the work to create a PWA for previous WordCamp Europe (WCEU) events.

However, rather than developing a standalone PWA at a separate URL to the WordCamp site, as has been the case in the previous years, the plan is to create a layer of contextual information for Camp attendees that is served from and integrated with the WordCamp website, and which can be stored locally on the user’s devices for offline access.

WCEU Blog post on the PWA development

The PWA will present a better mobile experience, taking advantage of touch screen gestures, and will put the most relevant information “at the fingertips” of Camp attendees. The PWA will enhance a WordCamp website, and will allow users to bookmark the website to their device’s home screen for offline access.

This PWA functionality will initially be created as a plugin, displaying an additional visual ‘layer’ of content aimed specifically at attendees, in an ‘App like’ way over the main WordCamp website content. However, both online and offline users will have access to this same layer of content.

WordCamp PWA home screen design - version 1
WordCamp PWA plugin design proposal v1 – PWA landing page displaying PWA controls over the main WordCamp website

The plugin should be simple to set up and configure, so that – in the longer term – any WordCamp event can take advantage of its features.

This initiative is being led by the WordCamp Europe 2019 Organiser teams, with design prototyping by the WCEU Design team and development by the Attendee Services team. The Communications team is also actively guiding the design and development of the PWA.

The plan

  • The WordCamp PWA plugin will present an additional ‘layer’ of mobile friendly content over the main WordCamp website – inheriting the basic colours and fonts of the website. However, individual WordCamps should be able to customise the look of the PWA further using CSS overrides.
  • This PWA layer can be switched on/off from plugin settings within WordPress admin, so that it is only available for the duration of the Camp. When viewing the site on touch screen devices during the Camp, users will see the PWA layer appearing over the top of the WordCamp site.
  • The PWA controls will look very like a native smartphone App, and will be optimised for touch screen devices, employing swipe gestures.
  • On loading the website on touch screen devices, the user would be presented with a range of PWA control, docked to the foot of the screen, offering PWA menu options as icons around a large, central, ‘always visible’ circular button that will be used to open/close the PWA layer.
  • Using the power of PWA, the content of the App will be downloaded and stored offline on the user’s local device, and can be bookmarked on the user’s home screen to be accessed at any time, with or without an internet connection.
WordCamp PWA plugin design proposal v1 - Screen layouts
WordCamp PWA plugin design proposal v1 – Screen layouts

Content

The PWA plugin will display a range of key content sections relevant to conference attenders. Each content section will animate open as a panel from the icon at the bottom of the screen. This will initially include the following screens (which relate from left to right to the icons in the image above):

  • Attendees: a full list of attenders with Gravatars, sorted alphabetically, with search field to look up attendees by name. For GDPR reasons, attendees should not be downloaded and stored offline on the local device – although this may be reviewed in the future in line with GDPR and privacy regulations and with any permissions requested during attendee sign-up.
  • Speakers: a full list of speakers with Gravatar, biog and links to relevant sessions, sorted alphabetically, with options to filter by schedule date/topic group and search field to look up speakers by name.
  • Schedule: a full schedule for the WordCamp, with a single column per schedule date, and option to filter by Track. Users will have the ability to ‘favourite’ sessions, and these preferences will be stored on the local device. Columns can be swiped left/right to view previous/next day, and the sessions should be filterable to show just the sessions which the user has marked as their ‘favourite’. Depending on when the schedule is viewed, the schedule list should visibly scroll/animate down to the current time/session, so users can see ‘at a glance’ what is ‘on now’.
  • Venue Map: one or more graphical floor plans of the venue, with the ability to swipe/pinch to resize and re-position the maps within the viewable area of the screen.
  • Announcements: a chronological listing of announcements for attendees during the WordCamp, filterable by type (that is, catering, sessions, social, and so on) and can be determined by the WordCamp organisers.

These five sections will be arranged as icons around a large central ‘Start’ button, docked to the bottom of the screen, to allow users to turn the PWA layer on/off. This circular arrangement would allow us to add additional buttons/sections at a later date, and have these icons ‘revolve’ around the main circular ‘Start’ button with swipe gestures.

The content for all the above sections is already present with the WordPress database for WordCamp sites, apart from ‘Announcements’, which will need a new Custom Post Type to be added, potentially with its own custom taxonomy (to allow users to filter different types of announcements). Venue Map images may also require the use of one or more custom fields for storage and display.

Tablet view proposals

Timeframe

The ambition is to pilot a version of the WordCamp PWA plugin at WordCamp London in April 2019, followed by a full launch at WordCamp Europe 2019 in Berlin in June 2019.


Questions

  • Would you use this PWA plugin for your WordCamp event?
  • Is the content detailed above the most useful for WordCamp attendees – is anything missing or unnecessary?
  • Is the design/UI proposed intuitive and accessible?
  • Any other feedback or observations?

#apps, #improving-wordcamp-org, #progressive-web-app, #pwa, #regional-wordcamps, #wordcamp, #wordcamp-sites, #wordcamps

Call for WordCamp Mentors!

Last year 127 WordCamps took place all around the world! Thanks in large part to a rapidly growing WordPress meetup program we’re on track for even more WordCamps in 2018.

As the program continues to grow we need to find new ways to give WordCamp organizers the support they need to make these events great. With that in mind we’re hoping to grow the number of community members supporting WordCamps by scaling up our WordCamp Mentorship program.

Are you an experienced WordCamp lead organizer or former lead organizer? Are you looking for a way to continue or further your support of folks in the WordPress community and help improve the WordCamp experience for organizers and attendees? Do you have 2-3 hours a month to share with WordCamp organizers?

If so we sure could use your help as a WordCamp mentor!

Requirements to be a mentor:

  • You’ve been the lead organizer of a WordCamp from application through completion of the event in the last 5 years.
  • You have 2-3 hours available per month per event you’re actively mentoring

Requirements of a mentor:

  • Meet bi-weekly with your assigned organizer to advise them, remind them about things organizers frequently forget, and to keep them on track in planning.
  • Be the organizing team’s connection to WordCamp Central.
  • Post about your mentorship check-ins on weekly Make/Community updates post.

If this all sounds like something you’re ready, willing, and able to take on then let’s get you started in three easy steps:

  1. Complete the mentor self-training (should take 30-60 minutes): https://community-self-training.mystagingwebsite.com/course/wordcamp-mentor-training/
  2. Fill out the Mentor Application contact form at the bottom of the WordCamp Mentorship handbook page: https://make.wordpress.org/community/handbook/community-deputy/wordcamp-program-basics/mentoring-wordcamps/
  3. We’ll reach out to you to let you know when the next mentor orientation calls are being held so you can sign up for the time that works best for you!

If you know someone who’d be a great WordCamp mentor please send them our way! Have any questions, please let us know in the comments.

#deputies, #mentorship, #wordcamp

WordCamp Incubator Program 2018 announcement

As it was pre-announced some months ago, we’re very happy to say that the WordCamp Incubator Program is back!

The WordCamp Incubator program was born in 2016 as an experiment and it was described as:

The intention of the incubator program is to help spread WordPress to underserved areas through providing more significant organizing support for a first event. In practical terms, this experiment means we’ll be choosing three cities in 2016 where there is not an active WordPress community — but where it seems like there is a lot of potential and where there are some people excited to become organizers — and will help to organize their first WordCamp. These WordCamps will be small, one-day, one-track events geared toward the goal of generating interest and getting people involved in creating an ongoing local community.

You can read about the sucess of this first phase in this report. Based on our experiences in Denpasar (Indonesia), Harare (Zimbawe) and Medellín (Colombia), we’re very excited to open the:

Call for Incubator cities

So, where should the next incubators be? If you have always wanted a WordCamp in your city but haven’t been able to get a community started, this is a great opportunity. We will be taking applications for the next weeks, then will get in touch with everyone who applied to discuss the possibilities. We will announce the  cities chosen by the end of March.

To apply, fill in the application by March 15, 2018. You don’t need to have any specific information handy, it’s just a form to let us know you’re interested. You can apply to nominate your city even if you don’t want to be the main organizer, but for this experiment  we will need local liaisons and volunteers, so please only nominate cities where you live or work so that we have at least one local connection to begin.

Call for Incubator co-leads

This challenging job will be an exciting opportunity for experienced WordCamp organizers that particularly enjoy the “start up” phase of the community, and who have successfully transitioned out of active leadership in their local community. (This is frequently “start a community from scratch” work, and the communities have to be self-sufficient at for the project to be effective).

As mentioned in the pre-announcement post, this role is very time-intensive, requiring consistent and frequent interaction with the local team. Not everyone can commit 250 hours in a year to a volunteer role. But if you’re willing to become an Incubator co-lead and are committed to it, please apply here filling in the application by March 31, 2018.

Thanks, and good luck!

#2018, #announcement, #incubator, #wordcamp

CampTix sales through PayPal Weekend Outage

On Saturday we got two separate reports that ticket sales were not working:

https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/community-events/p1486832335002688
https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/meta-wordcamp/p1486836749002279

Sales were disrupted from (roughly) 0100 UTC on Saturday, Feb 11 until 2200 UTC on the same day. If any WordCamp organizer received complaints during that time, sales are back up and you can ask attendees to try their purchases again.
#wordcamp

Swag report 5/16/16- 5/22/16

Lanyard 100 packs sent: 7

WordCamp OC: 4
WordCamp NEO: 3

Button & sticker 200 packs sent: 2

WordCamp OC: 1
WordCamp NEO: 1

Button & sticker 100 packs sent: 1

Hanoi meetup: 1

#community-management, #meetup, #swag, #wordcamp

Swag report 5/2/16 – 5/8/16

Lanyard 100 packs sent: 8

WordCamp Kansas City: 3
WordCamp Bhopal: 5

Button & sticker 200 packs sent: 2

WordCamp Kansas City: 1
WordCamp Bhopal: 1

Button & sticker 100 packs sent: 1

Bhopal Meetup: 1

#community-management, #meetup, #swag, #wordcamp

Swag Report 4/25/16 – 5/1/16

Lanyard 100 packs sent: 3

WordCamp Asheville: 3

Button & sticker 200 packs sent: 1

WordCamp Asheville: 1

Button & sticker 100 packs sent: 0

#community-management, #meetups-2, #swag, #wordcamp

Swag Report 4/18/16 – 4/24/16

Lanyard 100 packs sent: 21
WordCamp Europe: 21

Button & sticker 200 packs sent: 5
WordCamp Europe: 5

Button & sticker 100 packs sent: 4
Kailua-Kona Meetup: 1
La Plata Meetup: 1
Cordoba Meetup: 1
Buenos Aires Meetup: 1

#community-management, #meetups-2, #swag, #wordcamp

Switching PayPal accounts for CampTix

Heads up! Today we’re changing the PayPal account that’s connected to CampTix from the account owned by the WordPress Foundation to an account owned by the Foundation’s subsidiary, WordPress Community Support, PBC.

Since we have already talked to PayPal about making this switch, they know to expect high volume on this new account, and we don’t anticipate any issues with payment processing for WordCamp tickets. If you notice issues with ticket purchasing, please notify us in wordpress.slack.com in the #meta-wordcamp channel, and we’ll investigate.

This change will, unfortunately, break self-serve refunds for folks who have purchased tickets in the past 2 months. We’re going to handle those refunds manually. This will be inconvenient, but we think the hassle is worth the benefit of creating a clean financial break with the Foundation for ticket revenue.

As of today, if you are contacted by an attendee requesting a refund for a ticket purchased between 1/1/2016 and 3/1/2016, please email support@wordcamp.org with the following info:

Purchaser’s name:
Purchaser’s email address:
PayPal Transaction ID for the ticket purchase:
Date of the ticket purchase:
Date of the event:

As long as the ticket purchase happened between between 1/1/2016 and 3/1/2016 and the refund request came in before the event, we will refund the ticket within a week of receiving the email to support@wordcamp.org. We’ll probably do refunds in batches on a weekly basis, I’m guessing on Fridays. 🙂

Got a question? Ask in the comments!

#camptix, #paypal, #wordcamp, #wordcamps

WordCamp and Meetup Status Doc

For a while now Deputies have been using the WordCamp Status Doc to track the status of WordCamps from application to completion, but it’s not used only for tracking the status of WordCamps. It’s also used to track the status of Meetups. I’ve changed the document title to make its contents clearer and to remind us all that it’s the place we should record (and find) statuses for both WordCamps and Meetup groups. It’s the same document with the same information it had before, but now with a more explanatory title.

#deputies, #community-management, #meetup, #wordcamp