Proposal to add a focus section to the handbook

During our weekly meeting adding a section to the handbook to show what focusing on was proposed. Beyond keeping track for existing contributors, there is a great deal of history we lose and hard to find context for those starting to join this team. This new section would:

  • Serve as a place to know what is being worked on across the project for the design team.
  • Find out more details about each focus.

How would this look?

There are four components to this:

  • A new section in the handbook called ‘Focus’.
  • The first page of the handbook is a summary page of all current focuses. This would be a simple table linking to each (we could also surface this further up in make/design).
  • The last is an archive link of past focus.
  • A page per focus.

For this, to be current, each person(s) leading the projects would be responsible for keeping that page up to date. Another suggestion could also be to have regular (maybe monthly) checks in the design meeting.

What is a focus

This is where over time we will define this together. To start let’s look at some examples which could fall into ‘Focus’:

  • A11yAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). ( color/styling work for 5.3
  • Full site editing: as this starts to happen

We need to review as we go here what falls under needing a focus page.


Let’s walk through and see what this would look like to add a new focus.

  • Create a new page for the focus and link under handbook section ‘focus’.
  • In that page have:
    • Title of that focus.
    • A description.
    • Who is currently working on this.
    • Timeline if known.
    • Links to all places the work is going on.
    • Space for updates with dates.
    • Note a #tag to be used on make/design so people can follow all conversations.
  • Publish page and put in handbook categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging. ‘Focuses’.
  • Add a link to that page in the front page in Focuses table.

As work happens the person would perhaps:

  • Add a prototype.
  • Add a link to usability testing.

Once the focus is finished:

  • Remove link from the front page Focuses table.
  • Link page in the archive of Focuses page.
  • Remove category ‘Focuses’.

The ‘Focuses’ archive will be ordered by year and a collection of links, including the version number of when released (if they were).

Next steps

If this is going to work, like with the TrelloTrello Project management system using the concepts of boards and cards to organize tasks in a sane way. This is what the team uses for example: changes being suggested, reviewing is important. Setting a month to trial this seems like a good idea, then iteration can take place.

What do you think?

#organising #handbook

Proposal for design team Trello board organising

As a team, design uses a Trello board for organising tasks outside GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. and TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. During this week’s design weekly meeting there was a discussion about how to iterate on this and put it back at the heart of our weekly meetings.

A simpler flowing structure

Here is a structure suggestion might work better and has more of flow across the board. 

  • Inbox
  • Needs design
  • Needs feedback
  • Building
  • Blocked
  • Icebox*

*Icebox will be cleared down every month to avoid becoming a place cards go to become invisible.

Focused labels

Currently, our labels are being used for workflow. By having the above flow this stops those being it and can bring in the labels as subjects.

  • Documentation: identity what needs documentation
  • MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress.
  • CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.
  • Task
  • First contribution: a great label for contribution day
  • … there might be more labels but keeping simple to start, for example, type of design like icons could be good to note.

In practice, whatever structure we have only functions if we go back to having this board be the focal point of weekly meetings again.

Future considerations

Whilst other processes, tools are interesting to review, for now iterating on what we have is a great first step. Some key points to explore after this first iteration would be:

  • What belongs in TrelloTrello Project management system using the concepts of boards and cards to organize tasks in a sane way. This is what the team uses for example: or should be in GitHub/Trac/other tools?
  • How do we sync everything or even should we?

For now, those topics are out of the scope of this proposal but I note to show they are future discussion points.

Next steps

If everyone agrees this will be implemented in a week and handbook updated with the information on how to use Trello now. Once done, the board will become a part of our weekly meetings again.

The idea is to start by doing this and in a month review if this is working out. One of the problems in the past has been doing something without review.

#trello #organising