SUMO sprint 2012.4

Kadir Topal


This is a quick update on what we are currently working on in the 4th SUMO sprint of this year, the results of this sprint will go live between February 28th and March 6th.

Our dev goals for this quarter were to get the SUMO KPI dashboard up and running, and to switch to a new search engine that would allow us to implement all the improvements suggested by the ongoing taxonomy/ux research and the usability research before that.

We have recently turned our new search engine (Elastic Search) on for 50% of our site’s users, and the early results are very promising. The Click Through Rate, our main success metric at this point, of the new engine is already better than that of the old one. Currently we are gathering more data to get reliable results, but if the final results agree with our preliminary findings, we’ll switch to Elastic Search 100% in early March and start improving our results. One big issue we’ll tackle soon is the performance of Elastic Search, currently it is much slower than our old search engine. However Will already has ideas that will hopefully give us significant improvements in this area, starting with sprint 5.

Our KPI dashboard is nearing completion, thanks to Ricky. We already have many of the metrics we set out to present and few are left. This sprint will give us the Army of Awesome numbers, the number of unique visitors we have at SUMO and our localization coverage.

One change that seems small, but will hopefully have a big effect, is the change of our font, colors and sizes. We had numerous complaints that our text was hard to read and links were easily overlooked. Bram, our UX designer, and font expert extraordinaire, came up with a new style that uses stronger colors for links, changes the gray on white of our body text to a darker black, and moves us from serif to sans-serif. The latter change is significant, there is a large body of research on what is better for readability serif, or sans-serif, and amid a lot of myths there are arguments for both sides. However it seems clear that there is only one factor that reliably affects readability: familiarity. Of the top 100 websites today only 4 use a serif font for body text. Since users today are so much more familiar with sans-serif our hope is that this change will contribute to the overall readability of SUMO.

Another thing we have been working on is several customizations of our contributor forums, so they could be used by the Firefox Aurora and Beta communities. Expect more activity in those forums very soon.

As always, there is a good number of new features and fixes for smaller bugs:

ID Summary
730065 Allow sort by original post date
718813 let people add screenshots when asking a question
726037 Combine some of the KPI dashboard graphs
645546 How to contribute articles overview in the dashboard
724833 Change AoA signposts
625841 Reword email notifications for Questions
720226 We need reviewing rights for en-US and other locales
724483 remove en-US part from link in ‘ready for localization’ emails
725287 Use One Mozilla breadcrumb style (revert bug 716018)
726112 Allow entering a message for recent contributors, even if you approve your own revision.
722697 Show contributor sidebar in the questions app
706948 In some cases, a question displays “No replies” with a reply below
722509 notification about private message has localized URL
728307 Please add {for} support for fx12, m12 and add Firefox 12 to the dropdown UI, remove Firefox 9 from the UI