SUMO Platform Roadmap

Our support platform went through numerous changes and transitions during the last couple of years. With the SUMO team joining efforts with the Open Innovation group last year, we have started thinking about different approaches to our support platform strategy. Our support platform is complex and there are a lot of legacy items that need to be taken care of. Besides this we need to get ready for all the new things that are coming our way.

We want to ensure we’re providing a stable platform that will support Mozilla in the years to come as well as manage all the new products and changes expected in the following years.

During this first half of the year we have worked on setting up a roadmap that prioritizes the work and helps us be more intentional about the changes we want to make in order to provide the best support platform for our users. With this we have also worked on new processes that will hopefully simplify the way we work with the platform as well as the overall development process.

What’s new

Our current efforts are focused almost 100% on the integration of Firefox Accounts. In parallel we’ve also been working with the IT team to complete a migration of the infrastructure to a new instance of AWS (this has been completed on June 5th). Firefox Accounts implementation will follow shortly. After these major pieces of work are done our next big priorities are: Elastic search upgrades, ongoing UX experiments and a Responsive Design implementation that has become even more important as Google now indexes our site as mobile-first..

There will be more discussions about H2 and how we’re going to manage platform priorities in the second half of the year in July.

You can consult the current platform roadmap here.

This is a high-level overview on each project we’re working on and the expected timeline for completion. We’re going to review the roadmap items at the beginning of each month.

All the development work is being tracked in sprints and you can follow our current sprint here.

As mentioned before, the SUMO platform is a large complex platform with a lot of legacy issues that need to be dealt with. Currently we have around 700 bugs filed, many of them being more than 5 years old. As we don’t have enough resources to deal with this huge backlog we’ll need to change a few processes. We have designed a new triage and roadmap review process that you can read about here . Bugs that are not critical to the stability of the platform and are older than 6 months will be closed – this is a one time only event and we expect this to take care of most outdated bugs that will never be fixed. Feel free to open a new bug if you feel the issue is urgent or should be prioritized nonetheless.

Please note

We’re currently focusing on: Firefox Accounts implementation, the IT migration as well as any critical issues that break the site or block releases. Any other items are currently on hold. We can prioritize other issues as needed as per the process described in the document shared above.

SUMO staff team

Introducing Josh and Jeremy to the SUMO team

Today the SUMO team would like to welcome Josh and Jeremy who will be joining our team from Boise, Idaho.

Josh and Jeremy will be joining our team to help out on Support for some of the new efforts Mozilla are working on towards creating a connected and integrated Firefox experience.

They will be helping out with new products, but also providing support on forums and social channels, as well as serving as an escalation point for hard to solve issues.

A bit about Josh:

Hey everyone! My name is Josh Wilson and I will be working as a contractor for Mozilla. I have been working in a variety of customer support and tech support jobs over the past ten years. I enjoy camping and hiking during the summers, and playing console RPG’s in the winters. I recently started cooking Indian food, but this has been quite the learning curve for me. I am so happy to be a part of the Mozilla community and look forward to offering my support.

A bit about Jeremy:

Hello! My name is Jeremy Sanders and I’m a contractor of Mozilla through a small company named PartnerHero. I’ve been working in the field of Information Technology since 2015 and have been working with a variety of government, educational, and private entities. In my free time, I like to get out of the office and go fly fishing, camping, or hiking. I also play quite a few video games such as Counterstrike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. I am very excited to start my time here with Mozilla and begin working in conjunction with the community to provide support for users!

Please say hi to them when you see them!

SUMO/Firefox Accounts integration

One of Mozilla’s goals is to deepen relationships with our users and better connect them with our products. For support this means integrating Firefox Accounts (FxA) as the authentication layer on support.mozilla.org

What does this mean?

Currently support.mozilla.org is using its own auth/login system where users are logging in using their username and password. We will replace this auth system with Firefox Accounts and both users and contributors will be asked to connect their existing profiles to FxA.

This will not just help align support.mozilla.org with other Mozilla products but also be a vehicle for users to discover FxA and its many benefits.

In order to achieve this we are looking at the following milestones (the dates are tentative):

Transition period (May-June)

We will start with a transition period where users can log in using both their old username/password as well as Firefox Accounts. During this period new users registering to the site will only be able to create an account through Firefox Accounts. Existing users will get a recommendation to connect their Firefox Account through their existing profile but they will still be able to use their old username/password auth method if they wish. Our intention is to have banners across the site that will let users know about the change and how to switch to Firefox Accounts. We will also send email communications to active users (logged in at least once in the last 3 years).

Switching to Firefox Accounts will also bring a small change to our AAQ (Ask a Question) flow. Currently when users go through the Ask a Question flow they are prompted to login/create an account in the middle of the flow (which is a bit of a frustrating experience). As we’re switching to Firefox Accounts and that login experience will no longer work, we will be moving the login/sign up step at the beginning of the flow – meaning users will have to log in first before they can go through the AAQ. During the transition period non-authenticated users will not be able to use the AAQ flow. This will get back to normal during the Soft Launch period.

Soft Launch (end of June)

After the transition period we will enter a so-called “Soft Launch” period where we integrate the full new log in/sign up experiences and do the fine tuning. By this time the AAQ flow should have been updated and non-authenticated users can use it again. We will also send more emails to active users who haven’t done the switch yet and continue having banners on the site to inform people of the change.

Full Launch (July-August)

If the testing periods above go well, we should be ready to do the full switch in July or August. This means that no old SUMO logins will be accepted and all users will be asked to switch over to Firefox Accounts. We will also do a final round of communications.

Please note: As we’re only changing the authentication mechanism we don’t expect there to be any changes to your existing profile, username and contribution history. If you do encounter an issue please reach out to Madalina or Tasos (or file a bug through Bugzilla).

We’re excited about this change, but are also aware that we might encounter a few bumps on the way. Thank you for your support in making this happen.

If you want to help out, as always you can follow our progress on Github and/or join our weekly calls.

SUMO staff team

Firefox services experiments on SUMO

Over the last week or so, we’ve been promoting Firefox services on support.mozilla.org.

In this experiment, which we’re running for the next two weeks, we are promoting the free services Sync, Send and Monitor. These services fit perfectly into our mission: to help people create take control of their online lives.

  • Firefox Sync allows Firefox users to instantly share preferences, bookmarks, history, passwords, open tabs and add-ons to other devices.
  • Firefox Send is a free encrypted file transfer service that allows people to safely share files from any browser.
  • Firefox Monitor allows you to check your email address against known data breaches across the globe. Optionally you can sign up to receive a full report of past breaches and new breach alerts.

The promotions are minimal and intended to not distract people from getting help with Firefox. So why promote anything at all on a support website when people are there to get help? People visit the support site when they have a problem, sure. But just as many are there to learn. Of the top articles that brought Firefox users to support.mozilla.org in the past month, half were about setting up Firefox and understanding its features.

This experiment is about understanding whether Firefox users on the support site can discover our connected services and find value in them. We are also monitoring whether the promotions are too distracting or interfere with the mission of support.mozilla.org. This experiment is about understanding whether Firefox users on the support site can discover our connected services and find value in them. We are also monitoring whether the promotions are too distracting or interfere with the mission of support.mozilla.org. In the meantime, if you find issues with the content please report it.

The test will run for the next two weeks and we will report back here and in our weekly SUMO meeting on the results and next steps.

SUMO A/B Experiments

This year the SUMO team is focused on learning what to improve on our site. As part of that, we spent January setting support.mozilla.org up for A/B testing and last week we ran our first test!

The goal of the test was to run a series of experiments on individual Knowledge Base articles to:

  • Improve navigation from KB article to KB article (in-article suggestions)
  • Improve design of KB articles to ensure users better understand content and can engage with content faster

The two tests we are running are trying a bunch of different things, such as screengrabs, video clips, highlights, better feedback options on articles, and better navigation.

Version A: Breadcrumbs

  • Screengrabs
  • Ratings at different parts of the page
  • Highlights
  • On both experiments we have a section of related articles at the bottom.

 

 

A breadcrumb menu should make it clearer to users where they are.

 

 

 

 

Feedback points through up/down icons with a follow up question to understand to allow for more feedback.

 

 

 

 

Highlights in the text to help the user see the important areas.

 

Version B: Hamburger menu – Categories

  • One rating at the end of the page
  • No highlights in text
  • On both experiments we have a section of related articles at the bottom.

 

Hamburger menu to allow for users to focus on the content not the menu.

 

 

 

 

Drop down to see wider menu.

 

 

 

The test will run for the next 2-3 weeks and we will report back on here and our weekly SUMO meeting on the results and next steps.

The test is currently serving for 50% of visitors and you can ‘maybe’ see the tests by going here or here.

SUMO staff team