Public Lab Research note

Web Working Group Update 21: January 2018

by warren | February 05, 2018 14:59 05 Feb 14:59 | #15687 | #15687

We've had a pretty wild month in our software contributor community. After an already busy December, a group of contributors has stepped up to really become leaders in our software collaborations -- tackling large new features, welcoming newcomers, and helping to review and support one anothers' contributions.

(This is the first Web Working Group update in a little while, because I've been writing blog posts and other smaller updates instead)

For some numbers from the past 30 days:

Excluding merges, 26 authors have pushed 147 commits. 348 files have changed and there have been 50,994 additions and 3,000 deletions. (see charts below)

More outreach

We've applied to both Rails Girls Summer of Code (which we were accepted to!) and Google Summer of Code for 2018, both of which were great for us this past summer; we've also reached out to new first-timer-friendly websites like to help get the word out that we're here and we're welcoming newcomers!

Our Community Toolbox project has also really helped -- newcomers are now welcomed to tackle projects across Public Lab coding projects, not just on -- and due to all our awesome new leaders, we have a steady supply of first-timers-only issues for them to take on:

More organizing

To better facilitate this fantastic growth, we've been continuing our Software Outreach blog series, this month with a post on modularity -- a key to breaking up big projects into small pieces that newcomers can tackle. Expect more on this soon -- we'll also be at LibrePlanet this March to talk about our work in this space.

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Tackling design

Finally, a big area of growth is design work -- we don't have nearly the community, peer-to-peer process for interface design that we do for coding, and we're seeing a growing need for good UI/UX design that we can tackle in a similar workflow -- engaging newcomers, working in small self-contained projects, and quick iteration. To this end, we've started posting some questions to the site:

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
What are your thoughts about searching for content on the Public Lab website? @Bronwen about 5 years ago 1
Help us refine the search interface at @warren over 5 years ago 6
Looking for input on a simplified "subscribe" design for posts @warren over 5 years ago 9
What are your thoughts on this initial sketch for a Tag page on @warren over 5 years ago 40
How do we address the issue of people posting the same or very similar questions? @stevie almost 6 years ago 5
Browser notifications for answers to your questions? @warren about 6 years ago 2
What do you think about this new design sketch for a Welcome page? @warren about 6 years ago 50
How can I make a tag graph visualization? @bsugar about 6 years ago 7
How do we do user interface design work in a community process? @warren about 6 years ago 10
Who can I reach out to for community science app UI help? @nshapiro over 6 years ago 2
What's one thing that could be better for newcomers about the Public Lab website? @warren over 6 years ago 10
How can we reduce visual clutter on the sidebar of @warren over 6 years ago 4
Need your feedback on Tag pages @tommystyles over 6 years ago 22
Call for input on upcoming Rich Editor and Rich Wiki projects for @warren almost 8 years ago 9

New features

There's really not enough space to list out all the new features we've seen go up this month -- dozens of them -- but I'll just mention that our new People page -- incorporating a huge amount of work on geographic features -- is now live. See screenshot below!

That's it for this month -- thanks!

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