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SUMO Development Roadmap 2009 -- Making the vision for SUMO a reality!


Improve performance (SUMO 0.9 — Q1)

  • Motivation: In our community meetings, a key reason for frustration among volunteers is the poor performance of the SUMO website.
  • This milestone will focus on improving the performance to eliminate this concern among our contributors.
  • Bug list

Clear l10n overview and polish (SUMO 0.9.5 — Q1)

  • Motivation: This is the second most common feedback from localizers; the lack of a clear, prioritized l10n overview makes it hard for localizers to contribute.
  • See separate PRD: Support/l10nPriorityPRD
  • Create dashboard for localizers showing a clear overview of which parts of the site is localized and which isn't, ordered by priority
  • Localized support forums for locales that request it
  • Fix remaining l10n bugs
  • Bug list

UI/UX polish (SUMO 1.0 — Q1)

  • Motivation: There are many small things on SUMO that are unintuitive, buggy, weird and sometimes downright stupid. This is making it unnecessarily hard for volunteers to contribute, or users to get support.
  • See UX audit: Support/UX/Audit
  • Improve SUMO user and contributor experience
  • UI polish and usability testing
  • Fix all those small and annoying bugs that we never have time to fix
  • Bug list

Other noteworthy things to fix in Q1

  • Optimized SUMO start page to reduce bounce rate and increase number of people who find the solution to their problem
    • Motivation: We currently have a >50% bounce rate and <25% search rate on the SUMO start page.
  • Browse KB by "category" with a nice tag cloud
    • Motivation: Research has shown that not everyone is comfortable searching.
  • Logging in as contributor should take you to the contributor home page to ensure our contributors are getting the information they need to contribute
    • Motivation: Many contributors aren't aware of where our contributor communication is taking place simply because they don't make it to the contributor home page.
  • Ability to subscribe to e-mail notifications about locale-specific KB edits (so localizers can easily watch their own locale)
    • Motivation: Localizers want a simple way to track changes being made in their locale only. This is currently not possible.


Screencast support (SUMO 1.1)

  • Motivation: Screencasts make documentation accessible to a wider audience since it often is easier to watch a video than follow written instructions. We've had a batch of 50 screencasts ready to be used on SUMO for almost a year and it's time to start using them.
  • Implement screencast support for the Knowledge Base per specification finalized in Q4 2008
  • Bug list

Automatic metrics dashboard (SUMO 1.2)

  • Motivation: We spend an increasing amount of time every week analyzing metrics and looking at trends as a way to optimize the support program. As both the number and complexity of the queries increase, an automatic dashboard is a better one-time investment than to spend time on metrics gathering every week.
  • See PRD and list of metrics to collect
  • Implement automatic metrics dashboard combining Omniture & TikiWiki DB stats, including CSAT
  • Automatically generated weekly dashboards
  • Ability to run simple queries like start and end date for custom reports
  • Bug list

Web based Live Chat (SUMO 1.3)

  • Motivation: Currently, Live Chat helpers need to download a third-party software to help users. This adds complexity and reduces our chances of attracting casual helpers. Furthermore, this software is poorly integrated with the rest of SUMO, making Live Chat helpers unnecessarily disconnected from other areas of support.
  • Replace Spark with a web based client that seamlessly integrates things like the backchannel #sumo and info relevant to Live Chat helpers:
    • List of common issues with instructions on how to troubleshoot
    • Info about upcoming or ongoing releases with list of known issues
    • Prominent links to places like the Contributor Forum and other info we want to promote
  • Bug list

Other noteworthy things to fix in Q2

  • Weekly metrics for increasingly popular search terms
    • Motivation: Instead of just looking at the top search terms, we should be looking at the search terms that has had the biggest increase in popularity since last week, as a way to spot early trends
  • Automatic plug-in detection and notification when a user visits SUMO with old plugins
    • Motivation: A large amount of problems and security issues in Firefox are caused by old versions of plug-ins. We should make sure that everyone that visits SUMO are upgrading to the latest versions of their plug-ins.
  • Shared login for Live Chat and rest of SUMO
    • Motivation: Having two separate logins for one single support website makes little sense and creates an unnecessary barrier between Live Chat and KB/forum helpers.


Streamlined WYSIWYG editor (SUMO 1.5 — July)

  • Motivation: Wiki syntax is unnecessarily hard to understand compared to e.g. blogging. Switching to a WYSIWYG editor à la WordPress would significantly increase our chances of getting casual Knowledge Base contributors.
  • New Knowledge Base article editor with:
    • WYSIWYG editing
    • Simplified no-nonsense UI
  • Bug list

Karma system (SUMO 1.6 — August)

  • Motivation: Support is incredibly important, but we don't show enough appreciation towards our community to make contributors feel important and proud. With a proper karma system, we would be able to show in a very real way just how much impact their work has to our massive user base.
  • Implement Karma system, including personal and encouraging stats (e.g. number of people you have helped)
  • Make the community and user account profile more personal
    • Photo avatars of contributors shown at the bottom of KB articles rather than just their user names
    • Thank you notes where appropriate, e.g. when saving an edit, when posting a proposed solution to a forum thread, or when ending a Live Chat session with a user
  • Bug list

Live Chat in other languages (SUMO 1.7 — September)

  • Motivation: Live Chat is a powerful way to provide direct support and with the web based Live Chat client (SUMO 1.4), we should be able to expand our community. Adding multiple language support should be a fairly minor effort with the potential of significantly increasing our quality of support.
  • It should be possible for helpers that speak other languages to log in and specify which languages they can provide support in
  • Users would then see a list of languages corresponding to the currently logged in helpers, and would be able to check the languages he/she can accept help in
  • This also includes localized UI for Live Chat and possibly separate backchannels (e.g. so the Japanese community can speak with themselves without mixing their chats with the en-US channel)
  • Bug list

Other noteworthy things to fix in Q3

  • RSS feed for incoming forum support questions
    • Motivation: Instead of having to log in to SUMO in order to read the latest incoming support questions, a convenient alternative would be to just subscribe to an RSS feed (also known as Live Bookmark in Firefox). This way, people could set their mail client (e.g. Thunderbird) to notify whenever a new question is posted.
  • Smart forum thread filters
    • Motivation: When browsing the forum today, all questions are listed, including the ones that are already answered. Many contributors are more interested in looking at threads that haven’t been answered yet. Others might want to see only the threads they’ve responded in. We should allow for an easy way to filter the forum view based on what’s relevant for our visitors.


Live Chat scheduling solution (SUMO 1.8 — October)

  • Motivation: Live Chat depends on having several helpers logged in at the same time in order to achieve a high quality of support. Since our resources are limited, we need to ensure that helpers know when other helpers are going to log in to Live Chat so they can use the service at the same time.
  • We need something that will allow people to commit to specific time slots that are convenient for them, while still seeing which slots other people have offered to take or would like to take — think of it as a shared calendar.
  • The official hours of operation could then be based on the confirmed schedule time slots, rather than predefined hours
  • Bug list

Polish and bugfix release (SUMO 2.0 — December)

  • Motivation: Based on the number of new features in SUMO being developed in 2009, a lot of small leftover bugs will be inevitable and this milestone will attempt to fix most of them.
  • Another milestone focusing on catching up on the many small bugs we've likely been forced to push back on over the year
  • Bug list

Untargeted 2009 goals

These goals should be merged with the above quarterly sections.

  • Single login for SUMO and other sites
  • Single account and karma for Firefox/Thunderbird support + other Mozilla-hosted implementations of SUMO
  • Bugzilla / SUMO integration