Roadmap for phase one

In a previous post we started looking at what a roadmap would look like. That post looked at the wider areas we needed to focus on:

  • Research
  • Review
  • Education
  • Directory
  • Advanced reviews: design and other

We have now got the survey results in, so it’s time to begin focusing on how we get things done and what format this takes. With that in mind, lets start working on a final roadmap for phase one. This is the start of that.

Divide and conquer

One of the key things we should be looking at doing is really starting to split into focused groups, similar to how coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. does for feature plugins. I am going to suggest the following as groups:

  • Directory
  • Documentation
  • Tools
  • Reviews and queues
  • UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it. and research

At some point once we have worked on things I would like to suggest another group for community, but we should be focusing on getting things done in this phase.

The groups


This group is focused on getting the directory to work better for users and those whose themes are in there. They will look at tags, filtering, searching. They will be considering how we show the best in a sea of themes. Their decisions should be made based on the surveys and also future research. I think @greenshady makes sense to be the point person for this group considering his work so far in this area.


Whatever happens with reviews we need the handbook and documentation maintained. How can we simplify and make things easier to understand? Beyond that, what would multi-lingual look like? How do we ensure everyone is trained to the same review level? Can our documentation do this?


From theme check to test data and beyond, we need to ensure our tools and future tools are the best they can be. This team could also begin looking at what future tools we need and could bring. It might do a lot of experimenting. This should also include the doing_it_wrong theme and any plugins that we may want to recommend in the future. SVNSVN Apache Subversion (often abbreviated SVN, after its command name svn) is a software versioning and revision control system. Software developers use Subversion to maintain current and historical versions of files such as source code, web pages, and documentation. Its goal is to be a mostly compatible successor to the widely used Concurrent Versions System (CVS). WordPress core and the released code are all centrally managed through SVN. access would come under tools as this is tools for reviewers and those being reviewed.

Reviews and queues

Times they are a changing, experiments they are a happening. This is one area that still needs attention. With our experiments we need to make sure we fill in gaps, to make sure we don’t loose themes. Part of this will be ensuring we have solid reports. I imagine this team will be very active at the start of our process as we change the queues. How do we solve the issues of reporting for our queues? How do we make reviewing easier for people? How do we make things more understood? This team will have some cross over with the other teams like tools and documentation.

UX and research

This is an over-arching group that will focus on helping all other groups. I am carefully not saying design in this group as designers should be encouraged to be involved on other teams such as the directory. This team will check flows, advise and generally be there for sanity checks and help. Why UX? The usability of our process has been a key thing we’ve not always had time to fix. This needs to change. By having this focus we can ensure the users; be they reviewers, those being reviewed or users of themes are a focus. Other teams can also use this group to test theories and gather research. I would personally like to by the point person for this group.


I suggest we have these groups running along side each other. This means we can really push on. It doesn’t matter if we have only a few people in each group, the point is we can start to maintain a focus.

Functionality of groups

Each group needs a point person. This person will report weekly what is going on during the chats. They will also post on the each week about what is going on in each group. This should ensure we keep up communication and make sure things get done. People can of course belong to more than one group. I think having different people be the point person is a good idea though. I am also going to suggest the point person should be an active member of the theme review team. We can discuss this in the weekly meeting and comments if wanted to be changed.

And now the roadmap…

Once we split into the groups we then have to start getting things done. The groups will ensure the getting done can be divided and conquered, but we can work together on it. Here is a suggested path. I’ve not set dates for deadlines as we may need to research to achieve some of these. I am also making sure this is just part one, so really aiming for our low hanging fruit in some areas to balance the big changes.

  1. Auto approval of updates.
  2. New upload flow:
    This new workflow would occur:
    • Agree to terms/license (expanded content highlighting good citizen behaviour)
    • Upload theme
    • Automated theme check to reject or approve
    • Approve and tracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. ticket made but theme gets made live
    • Report button added to directory to allow user reporting
    • A live ticket queue to be checked by reviewers
    • A reported ticket high priority queue
    • Ability to suspend themes from directory and remove completely

    Note: there is a lot in the above for all teams to be involved in. We should be adding checks to this workflow to report. That way we can add fixes and review what we are doing.

  3. Directory:
    Note: I am not saying design but focusing on functionality at least now. This should include better filtering, re-considering of tags, ways to highlight the best we have to offer, report button and anything else we can gleam from surveys is good for part one.

Future points

It’s worth noting the following are not included in the first phase, but we should consider:

  • Education
  • Advanced and design reviews

As we move through, we should be doing research and getting feedback. This will mean we can work on the next phases.

That’s a lot to get done, so lets talk about it today.