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How to participate in user research

With user interviews for the sitebuilding study kicking off soon, lots of preparation is underway. (As a reminder, you can view the research plan here.) Here’s an update on where things stand right now, and how you can help.

Sessions are being scheduled with approximately twenty users during between 12 December and 21 December. The interviews will be conducted remotely via Zoom. They will be an hour long and will follow this script (subject to change as we iterate on it).

Each session will be lead by a moderator, who’ll be responsible for guiding the interview and asking the questions. A notetaker will be responsible for taking notes and recording their impressions. There may also be some observers on the call, who’ll just be listening in. Once the interview is finished, the moderator, notetaker, and any observers will convene (either on Zoom or in Slack) for a brief debrief session to discuss insights and things learnt.

User research is an art, not a science, so it’s great to have lots of different people represented in these sessions and analysing the results. This means we can get more insights. If you’re new to user research and would like to participate, @jarahsames and I would like to help you!

First of all, we’ve put together some guides for each of the roles:

Feel free to leave comments if you’ve any questions on these documents, or ask in the #research channel in Slack!

On top of this, @jarahsames and I will be hosting a dry run of the interview script as well as answering all your burning questions so that you can see how everything will work on Tuesday, December 11 at 17:00 UTC. If you’re interesting in joining in with the research efforts next week, we’d love to see you there! If you can’t make it, you can leave any questions you may have here, or pop them in Slack #research. We’ll also record the session and post it here.

And as a reminder, you can sign up to register your interest in participating in these sessions by filling in this form, or pinging in the #research channel.


WCUS contribution day details

There will be a contribution day this upcoming Sunday, December 9th, 2018 at 16:00 UTC at WordCamp US. @joshuawold and I are facilitating. If you are attending WCUS, please come and join us! If you are not, you can also follow along remotely.

Once Contributor Day starts, details of how to follow along will be added to the #design channel in Slack, so people can participate remotely. We’ll use that channel as our central point throughout the day. Please welcome all the new contributors as they join!

Attendees be given specific tasks, so they should know what they’re doing. If you’d like to attend remotely, start tuning in at 16:00 UTC. (We’ll write up a full recap of what takes place during Contributor Day, so don’t worry about trying to follow along in Slack the entire day.)

If you are going to WCUS, but are unable to attend the contribution day, please come and say hi if you see me or anyone else you recognize in the halls — there will be a number of designers attending. It would be great to connect with other designers there.

Cancelled design meetings in December 2018

Because of WCUS and holidays, some meetings coming up will be paused.

  • 5/12: Design weekly meeting
  • 10/12: Triage
  • Week of 24th and 31st: all week meetings cancelled.

Feel free to visit the design channel on Slack anytime for async conversation, feedback request or other design related topics you want to connect on.

Benchmarking: Webflow

Previous post: Sparkle

The next site-building app I’m exploring is Webflow, which markets itself as a visual code tool for building and launching responsive websites. Seems like a good tool for us to look at for phase 2 of Gutenberg!

Continue reading

#benchmarking, #site-building

Exploring sitebuilding via user research

As phase 2 of Gutenberg begins to gear up, it’s time to do some exploratory research in order to better understand the 30% of the web who may not be active in the WordPress community. This foundational research is intended to get a better understanding of how people use site- and page-builders currently, what their mental models of a website look like, and what pain points exist in the experience. Results will be used to inform the boundaries of the overall product direction.

Working with @karmatosed and @alexislloyd, @jarahsames and myself have been working on a research plan to explore attitudes toward sitebuilding. In short, we’ll be talking to people about their experience building websites, and we’d love for everyone in the community who’s interested to join us!

Absolutely anyone can be involved—you don’t need to be a researcher, or a designer, or a UX person. You don’t need to have any experience talking to people, all you need is the willingness to listen and learn! Participating in user research is a great way of gaining empathy for your end users and evolving a more user-centric way of approaching product decisions.

There are lots of different ways to participate: you can help us with the planning and writing of the script. You can sit in on a session as a silent observer. You can take notes. You can run a session yourself. Or you can help analyse the results once it’s all over. Sarah and Sarah will provide you with guides for each task and will be there to help you throughout the process if you have any questions. 

The interview sessions will be run the week of 10 December. These sessions will be shared in the #research Slack channel for anyone who’d like to participate.

A report of the results will be published here by 9 January, and updates on progress will be posted here weekly so you can follow along. Updates will also be shared every week during the regular design meeting every Wednesday at 19:00 UTC.

Interested in joining in? Register your interest here!

#gutenberg, #research

Weekly design meeting notes of Wednesday November 28, 2018

Howdy! Another great week, and another meeting in the #design team. Following are notes shared from the discussion. If you prefer the uncondensed  version of things, you can checkout the Slack log!

Contributing at WordCamps

Props to @folletto and @karmatosed (along with others who helped finesse the wording) for an update to the guide for leading contributor days at WordCamps. Definitely worth checking out if you anticipate doing so in the near future. 

Design for learn.wordpress.org

@Andi shared an update on the progress happening here. You can also checkout the work on Trello. Some great feedback was shared during the meeting, and at this point support is requested from the design team to comment on the styling, layout and usability issues. You can checkout the Trello card and share your feedback.

Figma followup

A brief discussion was shared regarding plans to convert the SketchPress work into Figma. Excited to see this progress forward as @Sarah James works on it. 

Benchmarking work on Sparkle

@melchoyce has begun benchmarking other site builders in anticipation of Gutenberg phase two. She shared a great post following her process and review of Sparkle. 

Planning for 2019

@karmatosed posted an update on plans. To quote in full (really, just wanting to try out this Gutenberg block):

Finally, I would like to suggest one week in December we use our team meeting to think about 2019. We just all got very emojicited (so a word) about having a goal and as a team we’ve not generally set yearly goals.
Maybe we could this year have some projects we outline that we want to do and make it our focus? Gutenberg of course and core is a constant, but it could be worth planning a little. What do people think?

Tammie Lister

(Yes, I wanted to do illustrations again, but ran out of time!)

Benchmarking: Sparkle

In anticipation of Gutenberg phase two, which will focus on design and layout outside of the_content, I wanted to record some new site builders I’ve been recently introduced to. I’ll try them out and look at the pros and cons. I have two site builders currently planned for benchmarking, but if anyone has suggestions, please add a comment. I’m looking for less established apps (so, not something established like Drupal, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc.) that handle site creation and might do something we haven’t seen before. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

The first site builder I’m testing is Sparkle, which @kjellr introduced me to.

Continue reading

#benchmarking, #site-building

Design meeting agenda for Wednesday 28 November 2018

This week’s meeting will be at 19:00 UTC in Slack #design. @joshuawold will be taking notes and I will be facilitating. Here are the suggested topics:

  • Housekeeping: Contribution day format post.
  • WordCamp US Contributor day plan: information on how you can also get involve remotely.
  • Trello check.
  • Feedback time: anything you need feedback on or want help with?
  • Gutenberg research update: new weekly section.
  • Open floor.

If there is anything you would like to see added to the agenda, please leave a comment.


Facilitating a contribution day for design handbook update

As previously discussed in Slack #design, @folletto and myself worked on a contribution day format suggestion. This was tested at WordCamp Tokyo and from there a document was created to iterate based on feedback.

There is now a new handbook page, this is just a suggestion but has a guide to help you facilitate a successful contribution day for design.