Well hello there savvy web user. We wanted to take a moment to tell you about the new home of the User Advocacy blog. I’m sure you are probably thinking to yourself, “What the heck is User Advocacy?” Great question!
Last fall we did a report on the SUMO support forum to assess the current situation, so we could make informed decisions about what to work on next. In particular, we wanted to know what was keeping us from solving all issues that were brought up in the forums. After analyzing several thousand support forum threads, we came up with a number of suggestions and decided to implement the low hanging fruits right away. Among those low hanging fruits were:
- We were dropping the ball on users, not getting back to them.
- We were telling users that we didn’t know how to solve their problem.
- There were off-topic issues that we didn’t know what to do with.
- People often didn’t tell us when a solution didn’t help, because it was hard to do so.
We knew that we had to address these issues, if we wanted to increase the “solution” rate. So, we came up with a number of programs and platform changes late last year to eliminate those issues. Specifically, we had the following planned:
- Make it easy for contributors to tell what needs their attention, so we can drop the rate of cases where we leave them hanging to zero.
- Extend the reach of the helpdesk to cover those cases where our community doesn’t know how to move forward, and by marking such threads as “hard” allow for specially motivated contributors to become focused on hard issues.
- Mark things that are off-topic as such, so we can hide them from the general audience and can take special care of them.
- Users can mark an issues as solved from their email, but telling us that the solution didn’t work required them to log-in. A big an unnecessary hurdle. People should not need to log-in. They should just click on the link in the email and start telling us it didn’t work.
I’m happy to say that we were able to follow through with our plans and those solutions are active on our production systems already. We are now seeing the first results of those changes and I’d like to share them with you. However, I need to preface this with a warning: Unfortunately the timing for the roll-out of those changes was as bad as it gets. First we had the release of a Firefox version that coincided with the launch, then we had the Christmas holidays and then new year. Each of these events leads to highly irregular usage patterns on SUMO, so we need to take the data with a pinch of salt. However, without any further ado, here are two charts, that show the first results:
You can see very clearly that we have significantly reduced the number of cases where we left people hanging, the cases that needed our attention. That was one of the primary goals of our efforts and it seems like we’ve achieved that part with great success. Unfortunately this didn’t translate directly into an increase in the “solution” rate yet, but as I mentioned before, the previous few weeks were highly irregular in terms of usage patterns, so we’ll need to wait a little longer, before we can say reliably how our changes affected the overall goal of increasing the “solution” rate.
In the mean time, we are coming up with ideas on how to challenge the bigger issues, now that we have taken care of the low-hanging fruits. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunities in front of us and the new ways we’ll try to address them with. If you are interested in taking part in that discussion, head over to the community discussion forums, and join us in our quest to solve all the issues.
2013 was a fantastic year for the SUMO community, we grew in numbers, but more importantly we grew much stronger as a healthy community. This is the result of the efforts of a passionate community that has not only done some crazy amounts of contributions, but has also been actively building and growing our community.
So let’s see what growth means:
We grew across the board 20% ! in 2013 we have in average 20% more contributors that accomplish 20% more contributions than in 2012. And if we break it down we see how impressive the accomplishments are. For example the support forum almost doubled the amount of daily active contributors. We now also support Firefox OS and Webmaker and we are ready for 2014.
And so how could we grow 20% this year? It’s the mix of many initiatives:
- we have built tools to help communities organize themselves and provided many dashboards,
- we have made contributions more transparent on the profiles recognizing the great work,
- we have rallied contributors for the Firefox OS releases and on our bi-weekly SUMO days,
- But most importantly many contributors have stepped up and are leading our community building efforts. We have a community that welcomes and helps new contributors. And we coordinate many efforts in the contributor led buddy program.
We couldn’t achieve this without the help of all of our contributors, but we want to acknowledge our top contributors:
Army of Awesome
So thank you all for making SUMO vibrant, fun and incredibly powerful. We are ready to take on the next challenges in 2014.
You couldn’t make it to the Mobile Meeting but you follow our blog regularly?
Starting this week we will be posting the Wednesday meeting notes on our blog as well so that it’s easier for you to follow.
Last week’s notes HERE.
Hope it helps!
The localization dashboard is going to see major changes soon to make sure that it is as simple and focused on the tasks at hand as possible. We need your feedback to make sure we are making the right decisions. If you are using the L10n dashboard and want to take part in the discussion, please had over to the following bug, have a look at the attached mockup, and leave your comment: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=939832
The following is a quick summary of what changes we are making and why.
One of the biggest strength of the platform that SUMO is built on is the fact that localization has been one of the key design components. We created several localizer personas when we designed Kitsune and had them in mind when we made decisions early on. One of those decisions was to create an L10n dashboard that would present all the data that localizers might need to get their job done.
Since the early SUMO was rather small and focused on a single product, the L10n dashboard worked pretty well. Since then however, we have increased the scope of SUMO and added several more products and more functionality. The L10n dashboard grew organically during those times to cover more products and functionality.
Now seems like a good time to take a look at the tasks that localizers are faced with today and bring the the L10n dashboard into shape again. Rosana and I started that discussion with one thought: The L10n dashboard should answer one question and should do that as good as possible: “What should I be working on next”.
The current L10n dashboard present a lot of data, but unfortunately not all of it is relevant or actionable. While that data should still be accessible, it doesn’t make sense to present it as prominently as we are doing today. Having the one question in mind we cut back a lot of unnecessary information and came up with a streamlined, simple interface that bundles information and presents only things that localizers need at any moment. When we printed the current L10n dashboard out, it took covered 4 full pages, the current proposal can fit onto a single page.
To summarize the changes we made:
- The product picker that is currently a drop down becomes a visual product picker. The product icons should be rather small though, to make sure people can see as much of the L10n dashboard above the fold as possible.
- The overview section is slimmed down by removing the “administration” articles and the explanatory text. We oversize the progress bar for the top 20 articles, so that updated articles lead to visible changes. The logic of orange -> green stays the same. We then remove the explanatory text and add it to the overview section items as tooltips. The now free space is used for bigger progress bars.
- The actual content section is separated into Localization and Review
- The Localization tab has a list of articles that need attention, where need attention is defined as “needs translation, needs update, and needs immediate update”. The list is ordered by most views in the last 30 days. Thus we are doing away with all other lists on the L10n dashboard.
- Each article in the “needs attention” list shows below it the templates that are included in the article that need attention. Same rules for “need attention” as before.
- The review tab has a list of top 20 articles needing review with a link to all articles needing review. The templates are listed the same way as on the localization tab, only templates that need review or “need attention” are listed.
If you want to take part in the discussion, please had over to this bug and leave your comment there: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=939832
We need your feedback to make sure we are making the right decisions with these big changes.
We need your help in designing the presentation of the support forum statuses. If you have been following the contributor or the platform meeting, this is probably old news for you, but for everyone else: Big improvements to the support forums are coming.
A few month ago we set out to evaluate the support forum. The insights were partially surprising and partially confirmed our suspicions. The good news is: We are helping a huge number of people with their Firefox questions. However, the report also showed that we have two big issues:
- In too many cases people don’t come back, so we don’t know whether we are really helping them
- In too many cases we leave people hanging when they come back, either because we forget to get back to them, we’re out of our depth, or the question is not completely about using Firefox.
This quarter we set out to address these issues one by one:
- We are looking into ways to let people easily reply in the forums when they receive a message from us, ideally they won’t need to even log in. This should increase the number of forum threads where we do get feedback on the solution we provided.
- We have enlisted the help of the SUMO helpdesk to take care of issues we can’t solve alone. We can now escalate questions and have them spend time with us and the users to find the solution.
- The heldpesk will also cover questions that are not completely about using Firefox.
- We have introduced a new model for questions, specifically “states”. A question either “needs attention”, is “responded” to or is “done”. This way we can very easily tell which threads we haven’t responded yet, needing our attention the most.
Now, the challenge is to find a way to present all of this information in a way that is useful for as many contributors as possible. That includes current and future contributors. We have created a first mock-up, that you can see here: http://note.io/182uu9X The discussion around that has already started and you can follow along here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=928901
We urgently need feedback on this, because it will be a large scale change, that will affect every contributor using the support forums today. In particular we are interested in answering the following questions:
- What in particular are you looking for when using the support forums? Open questions, questions with lot’s of replies? Questions where you have replied?
- Are their certain combinations of filters that make sense to you and that should be the default?
Please leave your replies in the forum. We will use this thread to develop this mock-up further.
Planet Mozilla viewers – you can watch this video on YouTube.
Last week I introduced the new Firefox update experience that we’re working on. Since then, we’ve had a few days together in San Francisco to work out a new version (the first version was done last summer). So check out the video above for a walk-though of our progress and the video below for a few scenes of us working together this last week.
Planet Mozilla viewers – you can watch this video on YouTube.
Hello I’m Patrick with SUMO’s Helpdesk. I’ve gotten to meet a few of you at the Summit in Toronto, but for those who I haven’t met yet I wanted to explain the role that Helpdesk can play within SUMO and how we can help contributors fill in the gaps on the forums. Things like getting us to 100% question replied to in 24 hours and increasing our solution rate.
For Q4 we’re working on using the existing forum tagging system to start leveraging the skills of our long time contributors, as well as getting the Helpdesk involved when you don’t know know the answer.
The tag that I’m most excited about is Escalated, which you can use when you just can’t figure out the solution to customer’s problem. There will be new filters which you can use to only look at the Escalated case if you want to work on the hard stuff. In addition escalating a post will send a ping to the Helpdesk with the forum URL, so we can get involved if needed. Posts can be also be automatically tagged as Escalated after it has gone 12 hours with No Replies.
A few people have asked what kind of posts should be escalated? If you’re unsure of how to reply mark it escalated. Since everyone is able to see escalated tagged post, anyone can answer them.
This tag along with new Filtering options, will allow all of us all to see what posts need our attention and get the customer a more timely response.
We’re hoping to have all of this rolled out before the end of December. There is a bug tracking the work for this feature here Bug 932348 – Escalated threads should create zendesk ticket, so please let us know what you think and if you’re interested in focusing on these escalated cases I’d love to hear from you.
Just before the Mozilla Summit back on September 30, we launched the first phase of SUMO Open Badges. They are: Minimum Awesome Achievement Badges for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013:
- The KB badge for our awesome knowledge base writers (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
- The Forum badge for our splendid English language forum support contributors (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
- The Army of Awesome badge for folks who have contributed to the Mozilla SUMO twitter awesomeness (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
- The L10N badge for our fantastic folks who translated KB articles from English (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
By “Minimum Awesome Achievement” we were trying to recognize significant non-trivial contribution on a yearly basis.
Four badges awarded algorithmically for four years: 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In total: 16 badges. And we will issue these four badges automatically for 2014 and future years.
What’s next? Badges for the awesome folks who helped us with SUMO Live Chat support and badges for the “OG”s (the original SUMO gurus who contributed from 2007-2009). And adding our SUMO badges to the Mozilla Open Badges Backpack.
Got some ideas for future SUMO badges? Please add them to the future SUMO badge etherpad.
Want to be help lead the future of SUMO badges? I am looking for somebody to be a “co-driver”. All you need to do is read up about Open Badges and be passionate about them and be willing to work with me for about five hours a week (usually far less than five hours!). If you are interested email rtanglao AT mozilla.com
UPDATE: A big thanks to all who made SUMO open badges happen: Yvan for the awesome badge designs; Ricky and Will of the superb SUMO-DEV team for the SUMO badge code; Les for the excellent Django Badger code; splendid SUMO colleagues: Ibai, Rosana, Madalina, Kadir and Michael for feedback and guidance; Carla, Emily and Sunny of the Mozilla Foundation badges team for great Open Badges mentoring and ongoing badge system design advice; David of the community team for building the community of open badges within Mozilla and most importantly all those who contribute to support at mozilla!
For a long time we have had small avatars on SUMO, but with the shiny new profile pages they look out of place. So we are going to support bigger avatars soon. But there is a twist: We won’t just increase the size of the avatars, we are switching to Gravatar instead. Gravatar is used by large number of online services including mozillians.org. This means that you don’t have to manage your avatar on SUMO separately unless you really want to. You can just upload an image once on Gravatar and have it show up on all kinds of webservices you are using.
Now, what does this change mean for you?
- If you are a new user and have a Gravatar account already, we’ll automatically use that when you create a new account on SUMO
- If you are a new user and don’t have a Gravatar account yet, you’ll get the default avatar as always and you can change your Avatar by going to the Gravatar page (linked from your profile on SUMO)
- If you are an existing user with a Gravatar account, we’ll replace the avatar you have here with the one in your Gravatar account.
- If you are an existing user without a Gravatar account nothing is changing for you. But if you want to change your Avatar later on, you’ll be linked to Gravatar.
If you don’t want your standard Gravatar image to be shown on SUMO, you can change your email address on SUMO. You don’t have to actually use a different email account. Just append “+SUMO” to it. So if my mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org it would become atopal+SUMO@example.com. This way you still get your email to email@example.com, but Gravatar won’t show the image here that you have set for firstname.lastname@example.org
This is now live on our staging server: http://support.allizom.org Please give it a try and let me know what you think. You can also comment directly in the bug for this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=918854