As you have probably heard, Firefox is on a release schedule to deliver new features sooner and have more predictable release dates. That means that SUMO also has to change to keep up with those frequent releases.
We recently introduced or are going to introduce several new features and processes in preparation for the new schedule. If you’re a localizer I’d like to talk with you about that in an IRC meeting on Wednesday, June 1, at 9am PDT. The topics will be:
Please try to take part in this meeting, so we can answer any open questions and incorporate your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions here or add topics to the agenda if I have missed anything. Hope to see you all soon!
Info about the meeting:
Date: Wednesday, June 1st
Time: 9am PDT
Place: IRC #sumomtg
Are you interested in making a big impact on the mobile Firefox experience for millions of users around the world?
We’re looking for an exceptional Mobile Support Coordinator to join the SUMO team and help us bring top quality support to our mobile Firefox users. As an integral part of Mozilla, the Mobile Support Coordinator will lead the mobile support efforts, including redefining what this experience looks like, analyzing metrics and user feedback to determine what support content is needed, and reporting metrics and support insights back to the product, engineering and QA teams. Other tasks include engaging directly with users in need of support and working together with our volunteer community across the world to ensure that we give users the help they need to enjoy their Firefox experience.
The Mobile Support Coordinator is also eager to look at the bigger picture: Are there areas that need more support coverage? Do users interact with the website the way we intended them to? Is it well integrated with mobile Firefox itself? This involves working closely with Mozilla’s analytics, product and engineering teams to continuously optimize the support experience.
The Mobile Support Coordinator is someone who loves to work across multiple teams to ensure we’re always making the right priorities, who thrives in fast-paced environments where things are in a constant state of flux, and who is genuinely helpful — not just to Firefox users, but also to fellow SUMO community members assisting with the support effort.
Since the SUMO team is geographically distributed across the United States (from east to west) and Europe, we believe the successful candidate could work from any of these time zones. Of course, working with an online team means that the Mobile Support Coordinator is flexible, hard working, and a true team player who communicates proactively both verbally and in writing.
- Lead Mozilla’s mobile Firefox support efforts
- Drive continuous optimizations of the mobile support content
- Analyze and report weekly support metrics to the mobile product and engineering teams
- Work with SUMO, metrics, and mobile teams to continuously optimize the support experience for mobile users
- Respond to incoming Firefox support requests, including letters, email and voicemail, with an emphasis on questions about mobile Firefox
- Experience with professional or volunteer technical customer support
- Experience with mobile technologies, services and/or websites
- Proven track record for driving multiple project simultaneously and successfully
- Outstanding planning, research and analytical skills
- Ability to think, plan and execute resourcefully, with minimal supervision
- Ability to work with a geographically distributed team
- Excellent and proactive communication skills (both written and verbal)
- Ability to learn quickly and adapt in a fast-paced start-up environment
- Experience with website optimization and/or web analytics
- Strong desire to help others solve their problems and improve their web experience
- Passionate about Firefox, Mozilla, mobile, and open technologies
- Participating and contributing to open source projects a huge plus
- Knowledge of a second language is a plus
In summary, this job is about making the mobile internet life better for millions of people around the world. Sounds like a dream job? We think so too.
Go ahead and apply!
This is a quick reminder about our Firefox for mobile KB localization sprint today , Wednesday, March 30th, from 3pm to 9pm UTC. Yesterday the latest version of Firefox for mobile was released and we have finished work on all mobile articles in the KB. They are ready for localization now.
For a first round of localizations we have selected these top 5 articles:
Of course there are more. If you are done already, and you can find more information and links to a Firefox mobile for your desktop on this page: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Support/Firefox4mobile-sprint
There is one issue with mobile: Screeenshots. Unfortunately you do need an Android phone to take localized screenshots of Firefox. So please, if you have an Android device, put your name on the wiki page and join us on IRC #sumo, to help others taking screenshots in their language. The more people with Android phones are around the better for everyone.
All info about the Firefox Mobile KB sprint:
Date: Wednesday, March 30th
Time: 3pm to 9pm UTC
Place: IRC #sumo
Thanks, and hope to see you later today!
Join us for today’s Support Firefox Day and help our new users have a great first experience with Firefox 4!
Yesterday we released Firefox 4 to an excited world wide audience and got over 7 Million downloads in the first 24 hours. That’s a lot of new Firefox 4 users. And since so much has changed between Firefox 3.6 and Firefox 4 they are going to have many, many questions.
There are many different ways to help. You can
Check our Cheng’s blog post for more details on how to participate. We will be around all day on #sumo in IRC and air.mozilla.org
All info for the Support Firefox Day:
Last week, we posted a blog post about the upcoming Support Firefox Day on Wednesday March 23rd. That day, we expect almost a million Firefox users to come to our support site with questions about Firefox 4. We want them to have the best upgrade experience possible… with fast answers to all of their concerns. And you are the perfect person to help! Here’s how to get started:
- Get an account on support.mozilla.com. It takes a few seconds and means that you can post in our support forums and also help on live chat. Got one already? Just log in. Then, please take a moment to let us know you’ll be joining us.
- Go browse our unsolved questions. There are dozens posted every hour by users around the world. Some need a simple pointer to an article in our extensive knowledge base. Some may need a little more troubleshooting or a guiding hand.
- Feeling particularly lively? You can install the Spark client and help users in real time over our live chat service. Read about how to set it up here.
- Feeling more social? Help point Firefox users on twitter to the right resources for their questions by joining our Army of Awesome.
Sometimes, you’ll find a question you may not be sure of the answer to. Never fear! The first thing even the experienced helpers do is to search SUMO. Almost everything is either already documented or already asked (and answered) before. Still stuck? We’re in the #sumo IRC channel all day on Wednesday and pretty much all the time every other time. There, you’ll find people experienced in all things Firefox support … just ask away! You can also find us in our contributor forum.
And don’t forget to check out Air Mozilla, where we’ll be broadcasting from Mountain View all day.
We’re glad you want to help out our millions of Firefox 4 users and we welcome you to the Firefox support community. 400 million users thank you!
Two weeks ago, we released SUMO 2.4, completing a year-long project to replace the SUMO platform!
SUMO 2.4 moved the last bits of functionality into Kitsune, our Django-based platform. These include user features like login/logout, registration, and profiles.
This represents a significant milestone and success for the SUMO project, and is particularly meaningful to the development team. We’ve been working toward this since January 2010, and seeing it completed is an amazing feeling.
Over the past year we’ve progressively replaced pieces of our old platform with new code:
- In May, we took our first step by transitioning to new Search Result Pages.
- In July, we switched the Discussion Forums, and started authenticating users in both systems.
- In August, we turned on the new Support Forum section.
- In September, we added the new Army of Awesome, built very rapidly on the new platform.
- Just recently, in November, we brought the new Knowledge Base, the largest, and most complex part of SUMO, online.
- And with 2.4, we’ve brought over the last piece, User Accounts.
This final step in the migration to Kitsune opens up a bunch of new doors for features and improvements. For example, user registration is much simpler now. We’re transitioning data internally to be more secure. The entire site is faster and puts a lot less load on our servers, meaning we can serve more traffic with the same hardware.
We are especially happy we were able to complete this transition before the Firefox 4 release. Being entirely on the new platform gives us more confidence in our ability to keep helping users even with traffic spikes from the release.
We devoted 2010 to investing in this new platform, designed specifically to make it easier for our awesome community to help 400 million Firefox users worldwide. In 2011, we’ll start seeing the payoff of that investment, for our developers, contributors, and users, and expect to see SUMO really take off!
We started working on our new SUMO Knowledge Base back in March and now, 9 months later, it’s finally here! We released our new KB to the public last night and it’s working great. Go check it out: http://support.mozilla.com. And come back for a localization sprint tomorrow (more about that below).
We are really excited, exhausted and extremely happy — this was a huge undertaking. After the months of planning and development, we spent the last few weeks testing the migration of thousands of articles to our new system. The good news is that all of that testing payed off. Thanks to everyone who contributed during the QA day, and other times, the migration went smooth, with no catastrophic problems whatsoever. Alas, no matter how much you test, you never catch all the issues. So, we are dedicating the next few days to finding and solving the little bugs we’ve found. Please let us know about any issues in #sumo or #sumodev on IRC or — better yet — file a bug so we can take care of it.
A new system always poses a lot of questions, especially for those who need to work with it. So we decided to have a Localization sprint to check our top articles and update or translate articles for Firefox 4. If you are a localizer, this gives you the chance to check your top 20 articles and report any issue to us right away. This way, we can try to solve it on the spot. It will also give you hands-on experience with the new KB for updating or translating articles for Firefox 4. And we’ll be ready on IRC to answer any questions about the syntax, templates (formerly, content blocks) or anything else. And we need your help, even if you’re not a localizer: All those newy imported articles need a search summary to show up on the search results page. Help us add those summaries.
Join us on Thursday, December 2nd. The sprint will start at 6am PST and last until 2pm PST. That’s 3pm to 11pm in Central Europe, or 2pm to 10pm UTC/GMT – yeah, we’re a global project
Looking forward to seeing you all and putting the new KB to the test!
In my last post I wrote about the process of creating our new Knowledge Base but that did not answer the question of how the new KB will improve the experience for users and contributors.
There are so many exciting parts to the new Knowledge Base that it’s hard to know what to talk about first. The biggest improvement was also the most requested – speed. With our old KB it was often hard to find out why pages timed out and even harder to actually do anything about it. With the new system we know every detail and can tweak the performance, move things around and make sure that users will see a page in an instant. As has been shown time and time again, speed is the ultimate measure of usefulness. Even a 3 second response time will often lead to users leaving the site or being unsatisfied with the interaction no matter how good the content. So we’ve focused heavily on this.
The latest numbers we have show a huge improvement in response times – to be precise, a 28-fold increase in handled requests per second! That’s incredible indeed. The best part is that it will make the KB more useful for users as well as contributors. Gone are the days of timed out dashboards and slow loading pages.
What you can do!
Of course speed is not the only improvement with this new system. Over the next few weeks leading up to the release, we will write more about specific new features and improvements. But you don’t have to wait for the November 30th release to see for yourself. Take a look at the work-in-progress on our staging server.
If you are interested, help us make it as bug free as possible by joining us for a QA day on November 12th. From 8am to 5pm PST we’ll gather in #sumo on IRC to make sure the KB is ready for the release. We’d love to see you there!
Today we are rewriting our top 5 articles to make them more helpful.
SUMO has 5 million visitors every week. That’s a lot of people who hopefully are happy Firefox users again after leaving our site. And while we have hundreds of articles for almost any issue, the top 20 articles do account for almost 50% of all traffic to the Knowledge Base. That means we need to make sure those articles are as easy to understand and as helpful as possible. Today we are starting a test with the top 5 articles. Our awesome tech editor, Michael Verdi, just rewrote those articles to make sure that more people get help directly with the articles so less people need to ask in the forums or leave without getting the needed help.
In Michael’s own words:
There is a lot of information out there on the kinds of things that make technical writing engaging and effective. Much of it has been popularized by Kathy Sierra on her blog, Creating Passionate Users and put into practice in the Head First book series that she created for O’Reilly. I think many (but not all) of these techniques apply to the kinds of things we write for the knowledge base and I’m attempting to work out how we can use them to make our articles more helpful. Hopefully this will result in more people getting their questions and problems taken care of in the Knowledge Base without having to go to the Support Forums or Live Chat.
If the new versions of the articles turn out to be more helpful than the old ones, we will keep updating more articles on SUMO in the future. If not, we’ll revert back to the old versions to avoid unnecessary localization work. So if you are a localizer you can just wait for the outcome of the test before you start rewriting your aricles. But to be honest: We are pretty confident that Michael’s work is going to help a lot more users And of course you can rewrite your articles and test them as well. Our poll data article explains how.
This is an exciting time to be joining the SUMO team because we’re in the process of writing a whole new platform. As the new Support Content Manager, one of my first priorities will be working with Chris, Kadir and the whole SUMO community to develop the PRD for the new Knowledge Base. It’s a great opportunity for me to jump in and help make things more useful both for Firefox users and SUMO contributors.
So, to get started and to help get myself up to speed on all things SUMO, I’m going through the whole SUMO experience and taking lots of notes as a Firefox user and as a SUMO contributor. I’ll also be looking at how other great support systems work. Along the way, I’ll report back here with interesting finds and ideas and I’ll be asking for your ideas and opinions. What I want to do is develop a list of things we can improve right away and list of ideas that we should consider working into the new PRD.
If you’d like to keep up with what is going on between blog posts, we’re collecting research and notes on the wiki.
[update 4/9/10: I changed the link to the wiki]