Plugin Directory Chat Agenda

Agenda for this week’s meeting on August 25, 2016 at 00:00 UTC:

  • Status update for Milestone 7, due next week.
  • Review remaining feedback items from Open Beta.
  • Open Floor.

We’ll be meeting in #meta on Slack.

If you have anything to propose to add to the agenda, please leave a comment below.

See you in the chat!

#plugin-directory

Support Forum Progress Report

I began backfilling all valid closed support forum topics and replies last Thursday. The current rate of about 500 topics/minute includes all topic tags, replies, and subscription information and discards spam and deleted topics. I’ve outlined the upgrade path with a tentative timeline for this week below.

Pre-maintenance window (this week):

  • Import all valid topics and replies from more than a year ago. Topics are considered valid if they are public, not a plugin or theme review (more on that later), and are not spam or trash. These are all topics that are closed and have no activity. I’m currently at offset 2,197,000 of 2,400,000 of the desired topic set. (@jmdodd)
  • Post a small notification message regarding the maintenance window once it is scheduled at the top of all pages in the support forum.
  • Switch over forum registration to be handled on login.wordpress.org.
  • Change “topic closed” plugin date to two months rather than one year. Any topics older than two months will be considered closed in bbPress 1. This allows us to import much more of the existing database rather than relying on the maintenance window for all of the import. These topics will still be open once we switch over to bbPress 2.
  • Import the last ten months of topics from offset 2,400,000 to a set topic ID outside of the two month window.

Maintenance window (about 6 hours, very tentatively set for Friday, 26 August 2016):

  • Close the bbPress 1 forums. They will still be searchable, and users can browse them, but they will not be available for posting new topics or replies.
  • Run the import for valid topics and replies from the last two months. Do not include reviews.
  • Testing shakedown pre-nginx; make sure that registration/login/posting/etc. are all functional.
  • Update the forum site URL.
  • Deploy nginx rewrites for the support forums only. Rosetta forums still need nginx rewrites, but in the interests of restoring access to the support forum and not complicating the maintenance window, those can be done in a separate action.
  • Testing shakedown post-nginx; make sure that registration/login/posting/etc. are all functional.
  • Open all bbPress 2 forums except for reviews.

Post-maintenance window (at least 12 hours, hopefully on Saturday, 27 August 2016):

  • User role backfill for any users that are not the default bbPress user role.
  • Import all 300k reviews into bbPress 2. Reviews are editable by the poster and involve an external table that holds the actual rating data; the external table will need to be scanned and matched with the new post id of the imported topic. Reviews are also far more dense than normal topics; we gain some efficiency because most reviews have no replies, but no reviews will be discarded. The plugin and theme directories rely on the review data for their current designs; their queries will continue to work from stale pre-maintenance-window data until they are updated to use the new bbPress 2 tables. Doing the review import after the main switchover will allow us to deploy query updates against the plugin and theme directory code as well as the support forum to avoid errors, and reduce the time of the maintenance window from needing to import 360k topics to only needing to guarantee import of about 60k topics.
  • Import user favorites and topic, topic tag, and plugin subscriptions. Users will potentially miss some subscription emails during this period, but this should not be updated until all topics are available in the new tables. Plugin subscriptions will be the last data retrieved from the old bbPress 1 tables, as they are unrelated to any topics and will need to be crawled separately on a term-by-term basis.

Support Forum Preliminary Mockups

The next revision of the support forum design is ready, as we get closer to coding, hopefully by next week! In order to move to the next stage, I want to get these mockups in front everyone to gather comments and feedback. These are definitely preliminary mockups; things can and will change, especially during the implementation phase.

If you haven’t followed along before, take a moment and review the Design Research post and the Wireframes post from earlier.

The Homepage

Homepage

Homepage

Mobile view

Mobile view

Homepage Notes

  • Search is prominent in the blue title bar, which follows the design pattern from the new Plugin Directory and Get page.
  • 3 columned jump points to various popular documentation destinations.
  • Forums have a grid layout, as seen in the wireframes, but the most recent topic links have been removed. Instead, longer descriptions have been added. The support team can customize these to make it easier to locate the relevant forum and dive into it, without be overwhelmed with text.

Forums page

Forums page

Forums page

Mobile view

Mobile view

Forum View Notes

  • Two columns in the table now use icons instead of text descriptions to minimize their width. This should reduce wrapping of the topic title.

Topic/Discussion page

Discussion page

Discussion page

Mobile view

Mobile view

Discussion page Notes

  • The initial post is given a grey highlight, to separate it from replies.
  • If the post has been resolved, it’s marked as such and the specific answer is noted with a green checkmark.

Search results

Search results page

Search results page

Mobile view

Mobile view

Search Results Notes

  • As of right now, search will be use the built-in bbPress 2 search, so it will only return forum posts in the results.
  • If the user doesn’t see an answer or post about their question, there’s a button to quickly move this into a form for creating a new discussion.

Feedback

I’d love some some feedback on these mockups! Feedback on anything is great, but in particular I have a couple of questions:

  • Should comments from moderators, authors, and plugin authors have a different style than regular comments?
  • Where should the “All Topics” and “No Replies” links go? Perhaps on the homepage?

Leave your feedback below and let us know what you like and don’t like. 🙂

#design, #forums

Plugin Directory Meeting Summary (8/18)

This is a summary of the Plugin Directory chat from August 18. (Slack log)

Attendees: @SergeyBiryukov, @mapk, @webdevmattcrom, @kevinwhoffman, @deblynprado, @Otto42, @Ipstenu, @dd32, @jcastaneda, @obenland

Topics:

  • Review M6
    Five tickets were closed. Favorites have a UI now, which @dd32 had largely done earlier. We decided last week to postpone #1691-meta to Milestone 7 so @ocean90 has more availability to give advise on how to move forward there. For #1579 @dd32 committed @tellyworth’s patch.
  • Planning M7
    #1579 and #1691 were taken over from last milestone. After last weeks review of feedback items, #1810 and #1828 were identified as important tickets needed to move forward, so those were moved into M7 as well. #1810 is pretty far already, likely be fixed soon. #1828 will need some more attention, namely a decision on how screenshots should be displayed by next weeks meeting (@mapk). Additionally #1839 and #1841 were added to the milestone since they should be fairly easy to fix.
  • Open Floor
    @webdevmattcrom is working with @mapk on adding additional info to search results: Mockup.

The next meeting is on Thursday August 25, 00:00 UTC.

#plugin-directory

Plugin Directory Chat Agenda

Agenda for this week’s meeting on August 18, 2016 at 00:00 UTC:

We’ll be meeting in #meta on Slack.

If you have anything to propose to add to the agenda, please leave a comment below.

See you in the chat!

#plugin-directory

Plugin Directory Meeting Summary (8/11)

This is a summary of the Plugin Directory chat from August 11. (Slack log)

Attendees: @justingreerbbi, @SergeyBiryukov, @mapk, @webdevmattcrom, @kevinwhoffman, @qriouslad, @liljimmi, @dd32, @samuelsidler, @michaelarestad, @afragen, @lunacodes, @gibrown, @clorith, @obenland

Topics:

  • Status of M6
    Five tickets have been closed so far, including one that cropped up this week. Due to a knowledge dependency, #1691 might need to be bumped to M7. Patches in #1579 are commit ready.
  • Review community feedback
    We decided to postpone discussions on the two items with the most feedback, read more links and plugin cards, until @mapk can participate and give his input this week.

    Initially the step back towards everything on one page on single plugin pages was the desire to explore solutions outside of the tabs in general. Designers weren’t sure that tabs were the right solution, especially the way they are currently implemented. Tabs indicate that each section warrants similar importance. In many areas certain sections just aren’t as important as others, so displaying these on a single page helped with creating proper hierarchy. A lot of are used to the tab architecture so they probably expect a central navigation, but if the information is arranged correctly it might not be needed either. Forcing a Read More on every section is not very helpful though, Screenshots and FAQs for example could be handled much differently. There are already two tickets that handle that, #1810 to make FAQs more accordion-like and #1828 to make screenshots a gallery sort of thing. Changelogs could be limited to the last n releases of a plugin to make it more manageable and possibly merged into the Contributors & Developers section. Action items, as a result of the discussion, include completing the aforementioned two tickets and finding a better place for the changelog. With that three out of five read mores would be eliminated and we can take another look and iterate from there.

    Another part of the new directory that received a lot of feedback is the simplified plugin cards on the front-page and search results. @mapk is in favor of including more information, but it needs to be the right information. Ultimately we should be very conscious about why we add more data to a view, to ensure we’re providing the right data for users. Four pieces of data are currently being discussed: Active installs, Last Updated Date, Author, and Compatibility. It’s hard to tell if the data is right because search results aren’t ideal, so we agreed to focus on improving the plugin detail page first, while also improving search, then circle back around to the cards once we have a more accurate search and can run real user tests.

The next meeting is on Thursday August 18, 00:00 UTC.

#plugin-directory

Plugin Directory Chat Agenda

Agenda for this week’s meeting on August 11, 2016 at 00:00 UTC:

  • Status update for Milestone 6, due next week.
  • Review remaining feedback items from Open Beta.
  • Open Floor.

We’ll be meeting in #meta on Slack.

If you have anything to propose to add to the agenda, please leave a comment below.

See you in the chat!

#plugin-directory

Support Forum Preliminary Wireframes

After looking through the feedback from the initial forum design research, I began to create wireframes to help organize some of these ideas. Forum design is pretty standard across the web, and features don’t vary much either, so building out wireframes proved to be a straightforward task.

I wanted to stick with something basic and build from there. The forums and the topic/discussion pages are simple and straightforward. I worked through some layouts for the Support homepage and played around with the display of content in different ways.

The Homepage

Homepage

Homepage

Mobile view

Mobile view

  • I made the search more prominent on the homepage. Rather than diving down into the forum topics, people are more likely to search for their issue instead.
  • I provided three very prominent sections at the top for the ‘Welcome’ intro, a link to the Codex (documentation), and a third link, possibly to the Support Handbook.
  • Below those jump points, the forums are separated out and grouped with their 3 most recent topics. This was done to help with discovery and ensure users find the right forum. I determined that, if the topic was popular enough to continue getting activity, then others coming to the Support page might also relate to that topic.
  • The post tags are moved to the bottom along with other useful links.

 

The Forum Page

Forums page

Forums page

Mobile Wireframe - Topic page

Mobile view

  • The layout comes with the new subnav that’s being implemented on other parts of the site. This includes a search field, and the three main subnav links.
  • The title of the forum is on the left top with a description under it.
  • The list of topics in the table below display the topic title, author, author avatar, number of participants, number of replies, latest person who replied with their avatar, and the date.
  • Below the list, if logged in, you’ll see the form to add a new topic. Otherwise, you’ll see a call to action to login and add a new topic.
  • The sidebar has been moved to the right. Primary content in LTR languages should be on the left, while meta content should be on the right. The sidebar includes: number of topics/discussions, number of replies, Last reply, and last activity.

 

The Topic/Discussion Page

Discussion page

Discussion page

Mobile view

Mobile view

  • This page would include a breadcrumb nav to help orient the user to their location given that it’s deeper than two levels.
  • The title of the forum is below that.
  • The initial question is a highlighted box which includes the user’s question/title, the user info, and the detail of the question/topic.
  • The comments are displayed below in a simple layout.
  • If logged in, there will be a reply form below.
  • Sidebar includes: number of replies, number of participants, last reply (user), last activity (date), and ‘favorite’ option.

 

The Search Results Page

Search results

Search results

Mobile view

Mobile view

  • The question is predominantly displayed at the top.
  • Search results are displayed below with pertinent information like title, desc., author, date, etc.
  • Pagination
  • Sidebar includes ability to convert the search query into a proper question (‘Ask Question’ button). Most likely transfer the user to a form page where the user can select which forum this question should be posted in.
  • Sidebar also includes recent forum posts and additional meta data.

 

A Call for Feedback

I’d love to hear what you think about the wireframes. Please leave some feedback below! 🙂

#design, #forums

Plugin Directory Chat Summary (8/4)

This is a summary of the Plugin Directory chat from August 4. (Slack log)

Attendees: @dd32, @samuelsidler, @Ipstenu, @webdevmattcrom, @obenland

Topics:

  • Plan M6
    Two tickets left over from M5 were moved into M6, #1579 and #1691. To complete the favorite functionality #1811 was added, as well as three bug reports that should be fairly straight forward to fix.
  • Review community feedback
    We decided to postpone discussions on the two items with the most feedback, read more links and plugin cards, until @mapk can participate and give his input next week.
    Search is still in need of iteration. One of the things to do here is to go through the top search terms and compare them to see which results are better and how they can be improved. Another is adjust the algorithm based on user reports, which are being depended on to cover more cases.
    Showing categories on the front page instead of (or in addition to) curated sections was something that was thought about previously and is absolutely something that will happen. There are a lot of possibilities to mix it up, even things like “trending in [category]”.
    We didn’t get to discuss “Making plugin author dashboard public and moving it out of `wp-admin`” before the end of the meeting, so that can be picked up in the meeting next week as well.

The next meeting is on Thursday August 11, 00:00 UTC.

#plugin-directory

Plugin Directory Chat Agenda

Agenda for this week’s meeting on August 4, 2016 at 00:00 UTC:

We’ll be meeting in #meta on Slack.

If you have anything to propose to add to the agenda, please leave a comment below.

See you in the chat!