[Important] Changes to the SUMO staff team

TL;DR

  • Social Community Manager changes: Konstantina and Kiki will be taking over Social Community Management. As of today, Rachel has left Mozilla as an employee.
  • L10n/KB Community Manager changes: Ruben will be taking over Community Management for KB translations. As of today, Michal has left Mozilla as an employee.
  • SUMO community call to introduce Konstantina, Kiki and Ruben on the 24th of January at 9 am PST.
  • If you have questions or concerns please join the conversation on the SUMO forums or the SUMO discourse

Today we’d like to announce some changes to the SUMO staff team. Rachel McGuigan and Michał Dziewoński will be leaving Mozilla.

Rachel and Michal have been crucial to our efforts of creating and running SUMO for many years. Rachel first showed great talent with her work on FxOS support. Her drive with our social support team have been crucial to the support of Firefox releases. Michal’s drive and passion for languages have ensured SUMO KB has a fantastic coverage of languages and that support to use the free, open browser that is Firefox, is available for more people. We wish Rachel and Michal all the best on their next adventure and thank them for their contributions to Mozilla.

With these changes, we will be thinking about how best to organize the SUMO team. Rest assured, we will continue investing in community management and will be growing the overall size of the SUMO team throughout 2019.

In the meantime Konstantina, Kiki and Ruben will be stepping in temporarily while we seek to backfill these roles to help us ensure we still have full focus on our work and continue working on our projects with you all.

We are confident in the positive future of SUMO in Mozilla, and we remain excited about the many new products and platforms we will introduce support for.  We have an incredible opportunity in front of us to continue delivering huge impact for Mozilla in 2019 and are looking forward to making this real with all of you.

Keep rocking the helpful web!

Support Localization – Top 50 Sprint and More

Hello, current and future Mozillians!

I hope you can still remember that last month we kicked off a “Top 20 Sprint” for several locales available on the Support site. You can read more about the reasons behind it here and the way it had been going here.

In September, the goal has been extended to include a wider batch of articles that quality into the “Top 50” – that is, the 50 most popular Knowledge Base articles globally. You can see their list on this dashboard: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/contributors/kb-overview

I wanted to share with you the progress our community has made over the last weeks and call out those who have contributed towards Mozilla’s broader linguistic coverage of support content, making all the possible versions of Firefox easier to use for millions of international users.

Arabic

After the impressive 1st milestone rush by Ahmad, the torch has been picked up by FFus3r, who has been working for the last few weeks on adding new and updated versions of Knowledge Base articles through the Arabic dashboard. شكرا لكم!

Bengali

Another case of passing the work on successfully, this time for Bengali localizers. We’ve had Nazir working hard on the Top 20 articles at first in August, and now we have S M Sarwar Nobin leading the charge in September. I also hear there’s an event for the Bengali community happening soon, so stay tuned for more details from that side of the world :)

Bosnian

Bosnian localizers have been quiet for a while now, so I hope we can hear from kicin again soon, as there is still time to add more content in that locale to our Knowledge Base.

Gujarati

Similarly to Bosnian, there’s not a lot of action taking place in the Gujarati part of the Knowledge Base, but hopefully we can see the localizers rally once more to reach the Top 50 goal soon.

Hindi

Hindi localizers have continued to contribute to the Knowledge Base, but with slightly diminished contributions, there’s still space for more contributions! If you know Hindi and want to join forces with Mahtab and Ritesh Raj, now is the time!

Tamil

It seems that the Tamil side of the Knowledge Base will have to wait for better days and more contributors with energy and time to spare. Here’s to hoping we can see that happen soon!

Telugu

To finish off the sprint part for the “magnificent 7” locales that responded postively to my summer call to action on a high note, I am happy to report that చిలాబు, sandeep, and Dinesh have continued improving the Knowledge Base with their translations and are well on the way of hitting the Top 50 articles if they keep up. ధన్యవాదాలు!

More news from all localizers of the above locales soon… While we wrap up September and move into October.

In the meantime, many other contributors have kept their parts of the Knowledge Base busy and updated… I would like to call out a few of them and thank them on behalf of the millions of users benefiting from their shared enthusiasm and knowledge.

The Czech team of soucet and Michal Stanke keep churning out update after update. Same goes for the Danish tag team of Joergen and Kim Ludvigsen. The unstoppable Artist makes most of the German Knowledge Base possible, together with graba.

Greek Firefox users have a lot to thank Jim Spentzos for, while those who prefer to use Spanish while browsing our site can enjoy high quality content coming from Ángela Velo (with us since 2012!). Jarmo is still looking for more people to help out with Finnish, but that does not stop him from contributing additional translations. The French language is proudly (and efficiently) supported by Mozinet, Cécile, YD, J2m06, Goofy , and Olpouin (a recent addition to the mix there – hello!).

Hungarian localizers Meskó Balázs and Kéménczy Kálmán slowly but steadily enable and improve the Knowledge Base for users over the blue Danube, while  Underpass and Michele Rodaro do the same for users on both shored of Tiber (and way beyond).

Over in Japan, dskmori (also active in Korean!), kenyama, hamasaki, and marsf provide great content for users who seem to (on average) spend the most time on each page they visit. Georgianizator is slowly working through the (obviously) Georgian (also known as Kartuli) Knowledge Base. For Korea, Narae Kim and seulgi work together with dskmori on more updates.

Tonnes (another localization MozGiant, active in the Knowledge Base – and not only – since 2010!) makes Dutch happen, while for Polish we have TyDraniu and Teo. MozBrazilians continue supporting their huge userbase through the work ofJhonatas Rodrigues, Marcelo Ghelman, leorockbar, and wikena (another new name, hello!).
Their tireless Portuguese counterparts on the other side of the ocean are Alberto Castro, ManSil and Cláudio Esperança, while over on the other side of Europe, the Russian trio of Valery Ledovskoy, Anticisco Freeman, and Harry is echoing the hard work of other localizers in the Cyrillic script.
kusavica and marcel11 keep clarifying Firefox in their own words for Slovak users, just like Lan and Rok do for Slovenians. The Turkish language is represented and supported by Burhan Keleş, SUNR, OmTi, and Selim Şumlu.
To wrap the long list of contributors up, we have Bor, ChenYJ, wxie, Yang Hanlin and xiaolu contributing for the benefit of all our Chinese users.
Each one of the people listed above helps countless others through their contributions to the open and helpful web that Mozilla is a part of. Adding their energy and skills to the language rainbow of the web, they help keep the web beautiful in its variety of cultures represented through modern and living languages.
Thank you all and may your weekend be unforgettable! Keep rocking the helpful web!

SUMO Days Firefox 62: you are invited!

Firefox 62 SUMO Days are around the corner! In a week!

On September 5th, Firefox 62 will be updating for both Desktop and Android platforms. Please join the community for the following SUMO Days focusing on answering questions from Firefox users on Twitter and in the Support Forums:

  1. Thursday, September 6th
  2. Friday, September 7th
  3. Monday, September 10th
  4. Tuesday, September 11th
  5. Friday, September 14th.

On these days, Support contributors will be online answering questions live and hanging out. If you do not see anyone active online, please contact Rachel (username: guigs) or another Administrator or Operator in the #sumo IRC channel listed in the wiki.

There is also the two Telegram channels that are active for assignments of tweets and collaboration. You may need an account to participate, so just send a message to social Telegram group – there are guidelines on how to set up Tweetdeck for social if you would like your own workspace, or you can message guigs to add your trello account to the trello board with delegated tweets for the day.

If you do not like live chats, you can check out our forums with all the updates for both social and support forum dwellers to collaborate on: Firefox 62 SUMO Days MozWiki page

Like Twitter and we have not seen you in a while? That is OK!

Welcome back! Please say “hello”! We have some new friends answering questions, you can ask them for help on the live chat IRC channels #aoa or #sumo.

We also have updated Common Responses that you can use when replying with the #fxhelp tweet tag.

If you need a quick reminder of how things work, please use the guidelines to get started again. We can always use your help.

See you online real soon!

Support Localization – Top 20 Sprint and More

Hello, current and future Mozillians :-)

It’s time to update you about the current status of the localization clean up initiative proposed a while ago. After an initial outreach to hundreds of previously registered contributors around Mozilla, small groups of still active localizers were asked to try and reach the goal of localizing the Top 20 articles into their language.

Arabic

With over 70 revisions submitted since the start of the Top 20 sprint, the Arabic locale is looking much better than in the last few months, mostly thanks to the amazing work of Ahmad who single-handedly is leading the Arabic content safely towards this month’s goal and beyond. I would also like to mention Tess and Ruba for their contributions so far. شكرا لكم!

Bengali

Bengali is slowly rising thanks to the efforts of Nazir (thank you!) and hopefully will reach the Top 20 goal by the end of August. I hope to get more contributors involved thanks to Nazir’s very positive example. ধন্যবাদ!

Bosnian

The summer break is definitely not making it easy for our small team of localizers working on improving the situation of Bosnian localization across our Support site. Thanks to kicin the way to the Top 20 is a bit shorter, so we’re all looking forward to a final push towards this month’s goal. Hvala ti!

Gujarati

Kartik is trying to give Gujarati a bit more attention, but without additional help from fellow localizers it may be hard to get things moving. The upcoming regional l10n hackathon may have a positive influence on that! આભાર, Kartik!

Hindi

With Hindi, I would like to call out Mahtab‘s great leadership and hard work on getting started with the whole localization campaign and his ownership of the review process. Not quite there yet, but definitely a great start. धन्यवाद, Mahtab!

Tamil

With Tamil, we are still waiting to see whether there will be enough time and energy available for Support pages to be localized.

Telugu

Two localizers – Dinesh and Veveen) have been continuously working on improving the situation in the Knowledge Base and it shows. I am pretty sure that with the final week ahead, they can get to the Top 20 and then start September setting their sights on the Top 50. ధన్యవాదాలు!

That’s right, once the localizers get to the Top 20, the next step is updating the Top 50 (including the Top 20 already localized, so actually… it could be the Top Additional 30 ;-)).

Of course, there is much more happening in the localization world around Support than just this one initiative. I would like to highlight the great work happening in different locales around support.mozilla.org and call out some of the most active people in the community at the moment.

Chinese (simplified)

Wengsheng has been one of the most prolific editors and reviewers in the recent years and continues to contribute with enthusiasm. 谢谢!

Greek

JimSpentzos is one of our quiet superheroes coming back after the summer break. I hope that with his leadership and example there can be more localizers joining his efforts soon and bringing Greek support for Mozilla’s products to everyone who needs it. Ευχαριστώ!

Hungarian

Kálmán is also still active for Hungarian and keeps making sure that users can find the most important information about Firefox (and more) in their language on our site. Köszönöm!

Polish

A Polish community site moderator by day, Krzysztof does not stop there and (among many other things) translates Support pages into Polish – and I am very grateful I can collaborate on this with him. Dziękuję!

Portuguese

Alberto, Claudio, and (especially nowadays) Manuela are a trio of localization greats that do not stop surprising me when it comes to making sure that Portuguese speakers find solutions to their potential problems with Firefox. Obrigado!

Slovenian

Lan has been around for a “mere” five years, but in that time has contributed to many projects around Mozilla with his localization skills, so I am extremely happy he still finds time to contribute to Support as well. Hvala vam!

Swedish

Andreas is yet another Mozillian that I need to mention and can only applaud for his dedication and involvement over the years. Swedish may not be the most used language in Europe, but with Andreas it’s in good hands. Tack!

Turkish

Ömer has been with us since last year and has already made his mark on the Turkish Knowledge Base, working together with Selim. With those two at the helm, I hope to see Mozilla reach even more users in Anatolia and beyond :) Teşekkür ederim!

So many languages, so many people, so many different stories and places they could tell… But I am very, very happy that a part of those stories would be about their involvement in making the open and helpful web a better place with Mozilla. I hope we will see more people inspired by them, joining the Mozillian ranks to keep the internet multilingual.

Speaking of which, I would like to invite everyone interested in localization at Mozilla to follow the news and updates posted on the official Mozilla L10n Blog – you may see some more Support-related content out there soon ;-)

I wish you all a great weekend! Keep rocking the helpful web!

#5 State of Mozilla Support: 2018 Mid-year Update – Part 5

Hello, present and future Mozillians!

We are happy to share with you the final post of the series, which started with two external research report analyses, moved on to sharing updates and plans for support forums, social support, and localization, and now is about to conclude with our strategic summary.

The presentation that is the source of this post can be accessed here. The document is meant to be a set of recommendations for the Marketing team’s leadership as to the state and direction of Support (the Support team being a part of Marketing as of mid-2018).

An important disclaimer before we dive into the summary: as it is customary with projects and ideas, everything described below as a future move or plan is not set in stone and may not happen or can significantly change in nature or details, depending on many factors. That said, this summary should give you a general idea on where we are coming from and where we are headed to as Mozilla’s Support.

The recommendations are a result of external research, data analysis, and recent experiments. In general, we learned that:

  • Our site is not delivering optimal support the way it could (when compared to other support sites)
  • Our approach should probably be more tuned to specific product requirements (not a “one-size-fits-all” way of doing things)
  • Our community is stretched to its limits and needs more support and growth
  • We need to look into alternative approaches and experimental methods that may contradict our “old ways”
  • We can and should participate in shaping product development through the insights our community and users provide

Thus, the Support vision within Mozilla is evolving from “Partner with the Mozilla community to maximize user success and happiness.” into “People seek out support when they have a problem while using our products. We need to be there for them in ways they expect and in unexpected ways that will delight. We deliver product support that earns user’s trust, helps them take control, and empowers them to do more online.”

There is no reason for alarm due to the “Mozilla community” part missing from the updated vision. Just like all of Mozilla, Support happens in a huge part thanks to the tireless engagement of hundreds of people around the world. Going forward, the community should not be its only engine and driver. Meanwhile, the focus on the user through many different means (sometimes experimental) is at the core of Support’s vision for 2018 and beyond.

Further integration of Support into Mozilla’s overall product strategy means consciously diversifying between solid support for our flagship product (Firefox) while being agile and flexible about new and challenging projects coming from different parts of Mozilla that require support – be it Knowledge Base, Social, support forums, 1:1 or any other format.

For Firefox support, this means focusing on what we already know works and making it work better. For new products, we may want to try new ways of delivering support that step outside of what we have been doing so far. These new, experimental ways may be later expanded into Firefox support. On both fronts, Support will also focus on delivering interesting and impactful insights that shape what the future of Mozilla’s products.

The above is broken down into five separate recommendations, described in more detail below.

Securing the foundation

With a huge number of users visiting the Support site every day for quality help powered by a small group of core contributors, we do not have a stable and solid foundation at the moment.

To avoid running into a one-way street and not delivering support to our users, we want to develop and redesign our community approach with the help of the Open Innovation team. This will come through a series of research explorations and experiments taking place in 2018.

The platform itself should also receive a few tweaks thanks to a more streamlined support from the Marketing Developer team.

Some of the options considered for this segment are:

  • Contextual recognition and unobtrusive gamification for our existing core contributors.
  • Prototyping a DIY learning program and experimenting with changing community communication channels.
  • Combining community coordination with Mission Driven Mozillians and the core Localization team.
  • Experimenting with pay-per-use services as backups.
  • Investing time and resources into pushing Social support to a new level.

Improving user experience

The Support site has not been reviewed or streamlined for user experience in the recent years, resulting in its current design being dated and hard to navigate. With site search hobbled by technical challenges and lack of development, the old information architecture is not enough to help users find the information they need.

Researching the site’s usability and reworking its visual appeal are key to changing the current state. For this to happen, we need to have technical and visual experts within Mozilla make the experience both modern and in-tune with Mozilla’s new aesthetics and back-end requirements.

As is the case in the most recent years around the web, mobile formats keep being an important part of the user experience, so improving site performance for those on mobile devices is definitely a priority in the coming months.

Improving search (both within the site and as SEO for popular 3rd party search engines out there) is also a priority, although we are doing moderately well when it comes to content discovery on the Support site from the wider web.

An interesting direction of experimentation is the idea of having separate product support sites that may all fall under the Support umbrella, but with different content organization and presentation. This is in very early stages of discussion, so at the moment we can’t offer any more details.

The entire process should be as transparent and agile as we can make it, but ultimately it will involve some tough calls on what we need to change that may be outside of the hands of the community. We hope you trust us enough to make the site better based on the data and research available during the redesign period.

Delivering insights, mapping impact

Over the years, we have amassed quite a big stash of data that (if used with the right focus and purpose) could help us make the Support site itself much better, but also help the teams working on Mozilla’s products make well-informed decisions about development and patching priorities.

What we are finding challenging without additional resources is surfacing and organizing all of this data into a coherent set of insights.

For this to happen, we first could prototype improving internal reporting and automate as much of it as possible if the prototype reports prove useful.

Reworking some of our key metrics (for example through adding Customer Satisfaction measurement in all places where Support happens) and improving the technical side of reporting (through deployment of new community dashboards based on Bitergia) is another set of potential developments in this area.

All of the insights gathered and forwarded to either the developers or community members should help us connect the influence Support activities and resources with user retention or other relevant product metrics.

For the above to happen, we need to work on identifying product metrics that the Product teams need from us and then expand the existing dashboards with additional data or representation methods.

Experimenting with new methods

At this moment, the only way support.mozilla.org stays active and useful is through the tireless and humbling engagement by our community members, who easily belong among the most ardent fans of Mozilla’s vision of the web.

This tried and tested method of providing support is not going away – but in order to adapt to the new directions Mozilla wants to explore, Support needs to flex a bit and get out of its “comfort zone”. New challenges mean new approaches, so there is a lot of space for trying things out (and succeeding or failing – we want to be ready for both options!).

What could some of those brave new worlds we want to explore be? The Google App Store experiment worked out quite well, so going further down that road is definitely on the table as an option.

Getting a friendly robotic mind to help out from time to time is also in tune with the future. Automated (but friendly!) support options could include email queues or chatbots. But code is not our only ally out there – we can also consider stepping outside of support.mozilla.org and reaching out with more resources to external communities (for example Reddit’s /r/firefox).

Finally, another area to explore, albeit quite costly from the perspective of time and resource investments, can be found on YouTube, where many people look for instructional or “useful tips” content.

Since these new areas need a lot of preparation, the rest of 2018 is an exploratory and brainstorming period in that respect, with more to come in 2019, especially through collaboration with Open Innovation on participation systems and alternative approaches.

Customizing product support

You could say that Firefox is the flagship product of Mozilla at this moment – and you would not be wrong at all. Even so, it has many faces and aspects that very often require slightly different approaches. But Firefox is not everything that Mozilla plans to offer in the (near) future. New products may benefit more from support solutions that have not been used on support.mozilla.org yet.

With the upcoming new flavours of Firefox and products beyond that, we might want to consider creating customized support strategies and tools for communities (but not only) to get involved through.

Giving new tools and new approaches a chance requires a very good understanding of where we are and where we could easily get without overinvesting time and energy in a complete overhaul of Support. It also means partnering much closers with Product teams on their needs and engagement with Support in the future.

As this is yet another area we are hoping to boldly go into (but have little experience as of now), it’s targeted mostly for next year, rather than 2018.

What are we NOT planning on doing?

Now that you know a bit more and you may start wondering “how could all this possible happen?” (don’t worry, you’re not the only one asking that question), it is good to make sure that we make clear what is not going to happen in the near future.

We are not planning to significantly redesign the current contribution experience and tools on support.mozilla.org (the idea is rather to expand or synthesize it).

We are also not going to invest time and effort into replacing the current support platform, since we have not fully explored its potential yet.

…and more

Being a part of Mozilla is exciting and challenging at all times – and the future is not going to bring anything less ;-) In 2018 and afterwards, the Support site is going to be involved in and impacted by the changes to Firefox as a brand (and as a bundle of interconnected products and services that are not only the browser itself), as well as the continuous integration of Pocket into Mozilla (which means expanding its available locales). Our platform will need to be revised and updated accordingly to match the requirements of the road ahead.

Whatever future steps we take or directions we look into, we want you to be a part of that journey. Together, we have gone through quite a few bumpy moments, and not having you as part of our community would make reaching new horizons harder and less fun. As always, we want to thank you for being there for users worldwide and for making Mozilla (and its Support) happen.

Onwards, towards the exciting unknown! :-)