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.


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 21, 2018

The full transcript of this meeting can be found in our #design Slack channel. All linked headings in this post jump to where this topic was discussed on Slack.

First topic today is some housekeeping.

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.

Please note the Slack #design channel is always open for design reviews, an ear to listen – feel free to use the channel outside of meetings too.

Figma license for

Figma have donated a license for use contributing to WordPress. It’s worth noting, use of the software isn’t for personal or client work. You can read more about it on the WordPress design blog.

Sarah James is moving the SketchPress library over to Figma and Gutenberg fase 2 will be the main project the design team can work on Figma.

@boemedia notices that it’s hard to learn software when the use is restricted. So there should be some tangible WordPress projects connected to it. @Kjellr says that Figma is actually free for up to 3 personal projects, so it’s easy to set up a personal account.

If anyone has problems signing up for Figma, please ping one of the team reps in the Slack design channel. We’ll help you get things sorted.

New channel for Gutenberg user research

The WordPress Slack workspace is extended with a new channel: #research. If you’re interested in helping out, or know people around you (not only designers but also developers or other roles) who are interested in getting involved this way, please join the channel. You can read more about user testing for Gutenberg phase 2 on the design blog.

Reducing trac keywords for design

Currently, trac tickets that need design eyes have three labels:

  • ux-feedback
  • ui-feedback
  • needs-design

@karmatosed suggests going back from three to two labels, to make them align more and reduce brain pain:

  • one for ‘feedback’
  • one for ‘needs design’

These labels will be used around the three areas that have tickets: core trac, core meta and github for Gutenberg. @karmatosed will write a blog post to propose and take this to core/meta.

Open floor

@estelaris asks if design is currently focussing on the next phase for Gutenberg, or can people help out on other projects?

A few running projects are mentioned and it would be nice of designers could be involved in more things and work on projects without waiting for a meeting to see what’s happening.

A short brainstorm follows about ownership of smaller design projects, to keep track of them and don’t get forgotten. Another thing is, we definitely need more designers, but without mentioning the projects that need work, people joining the channel may drop out again if they think there’s no work to do.

If people have ideas on how to make the work (because there’s plenty of work to do!) more visible, tangible and attractive for new design contributors to work on, please feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.


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

If you’re curious about design for WordPress org…

If you’re curious about design for, I just posted extensive UX research survey results about network of sites on the meta p2 😉

#cross-posting, #meta, #research