Sitebuilding research: what’s next?

Happy new year, everyone! In December, a team of intrepid designers, developers, and WordPress people banded together to learn more about WordPress’ end users. In total, the team chatted with seventeen different people over seven days. Huge thank-yous to everyone who joined in—you’re all 🌟s!

Now it’s time to sift through the data and pull out some insights. This will happen over the next two weeks. Here’s the current plan:



  • Key takeways (no more than ten)
  • Recommendations (to inform product decisions)
  • A mental model of sitebuilding for each identified segment
  • A customer journey for each identified segment

These artefacts will be used to guide the product direction of Gutenberg Phase 2—and possibly beyond!

Want to get involved?

Many hands make for light work, and many brains make for more insights and less bias. You don’t need to be a designer, and no prior research experience is necessary. Pop into the #research channel in Slack, ping @tinkerbelly or @jarahsames, or comment here if you’d like to join in on any of the stages.

#gutenberg, #research, #site-building

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.

#gutenberg #research

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

Two ways to get involved in Gutenberg user research

Planning is now under way for user research efforts to complement and drive the next iteration of Gutenberg. These efforts will iterate throughout the development of Phase 2, ensuring that product decisions are informed by an understanding of user needs.

Currently two different efforts are underway:

  1. Community feedback: If you’d like to share your thoughts about Gutenberg as a WordPress community member, @jarahsames has put together a brief survey to collect insights. The survey will close at 23:59 UTC Saturday, 24 November, and a synopsis of results will be shared here after the results have been analysed.
  2. User research: @jarahsames and myself are planning for further research with users outside of the WordPress community to get a better understanding of their needs as we think about how Gutenberg might expand to meet those needs. Anyone who is interested in research is welcome to join in—no previous experience required! Updates will also be posted here at regular intervals.

Interested in joining in? Have some questions? Just want to see what’s happening? Pop into the brand new #research channel in Slack and say hello!

#gutenberg, #research