Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-04-08

Attendance

IRC Name Present Apologies
_chrisfl Chris Fleming y
Eugene Eugene Usvitsky y
Firefishy Grant Slater y y
mkl Mikel Maron part y
RichardF Richard Fairhurst y y
rweait Richard Weait y
samlarsen1 Sam Larsen y
stevenfeldman Steven Feldman y
toffehoff Henk Hoff y
TomH Tom Hughes y
twain47 Brian Quinion y
wonderchook Kate Chapman
Also attending
IRC handle Name
zere Matt Amos
apmon Kai Krueger
Blackadder Andy Robinson
SteveC Steve Coast
erjohan Erik Johansson

Minutes (draft)

  • Proposed by: Steven Feldman
  • Seconded by: Eugene Usvitsky
  • No objections. Minutes of 01 April 2011 accepted as written.
  • Old business
  • response from board re Budgeting Proposal
  • no official response from board.
  • SWG unclear on next steps, pending board approval.
  • Steven volunteered to assist Treasurer for a year on budget paperwork and process.
  • Mikel to advise board of SWG recommendation that Treasurer run budget process, and Steven's offer.
  • Tiles
  • No tiles feedback from Board
  • Budget proposal
  • no board feedback on budget proposal
  • Routing
  • No feedback from Board on next steps for routing.
  • Agenda
  • renewal of OSM.ORG front page discussion.
  • OSMF Articles of Association Update
  • AoA sub-committee did not meet and has not changes to report
  • SWG advise sub-committee to engage with community and review previously stated concerns about AoA.
  • next AoA sub-committee meeting TBD
  • osm.org web site front page.
  • discussion of osm.org font page purpose.
SteveC's summary met with support, "The frontpage fails to communicate what the project does and why it does it effectively. The controls are confusing for new users (lots of random tabs and sidebar). In addition, it totally fails to connect new users to others around them and thus create a community."
  • discussion to continue next meeting
  • next meeting Friday 15 April 2011 @ 1600UTC

IRC Log

(12:00:24 PM) rweait: ** Logging begins **
(12:00:26 PM) mkl: apmon ... at least we have momentum
(12:00:35 PM) rweait: welcome all
(12:00:50 PM) rweait: SteveC are you going to chair? 
(12:00:55 PM) SteveC: rweait: pls answer my emails
(12:01:13 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: you are n
(12:01:16 PM) SteveC: rweait: given this is my first time, no...
(12:01:22 PM) SteveC: doesn't seem to make sense
(12:01:41 PM) stevenfeldman: woops stevec: you are board member in residence
(12:01:43 PM) rweait: "Not it"
(12:01:47 PM) SteveC: huh
(12:01:48 PM) SteveC: ok
(12:02:17 PM) ***Blackadder contemplates "bored member in residence"
(12:02:23 PM) rweait: previous minutes for consideration and approval  http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Working_Group_Minutes/SWG_2011-04-01
(12:03:15 PM) stevenfeldman: proposed
(12:05:59 PM) rweait: come on, somebody to second please?  and somebody to chair today?  I nominate stevenfeldman.
(12:06:58 PM) stevenfeldman: It is meant to be an OSMF board member who chairs in event that mkl is absent
(12:07:13 PM) SteveC: I can do it
(12:07:14 PM) rweait: stevenfeldman: not available.  
(12:07:27 PM) rweait: or available.  Shall we then?
(12:07:41 PM) stevenfeldman: If stevec just wants to observe I will chair
(12:08:09 PM) stevenfeldman: ffs someone 2nd minutes please
(12:08:25 PM) SteveC: I wasn't there :-)
(12:08:50 PM) Eugene: rweait once said "his is like pulling teeth." :) I'll do
(12:08:57 PM) Eugene: *this
(12:09:12 PM) rweait: I wrote 'em, I'll second them.  Any objections?  No of course not nobody is reading this stuff. 
(12:09:21 PM) rweait: Thanks Eugene.
(12:09:31 PM) erjohan [~erik@109-124-151-214.customer.t3.se] entered the room.
(12:09:44 PM) stevenfeldman: 1 correction perhaps we have a couple of people attending and apologising, surely not?
(12:10:13 PM) rweait:  stevenfeldman:  that is accurate.  They did both.  Sometimes not fo the ahoel meeting. 
(12:10:26 PM) rweait: s/ahole/whole/
(12:10:33 PM) stevenfeldman: no response. OK lets move on to quick review of pending stuff from minutes
(12:10:51 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: can you advise board actions on budget process
(12:11:11 PM) rweait: erjohan: welcome.  PLease send us a quick email on strategic@ to id yourself
(12:12:01 PM) SteveC: Not from memory, we're rearranging the board a little as most of the members find it hard to attend meetings
(12:12:31 PM) SteveC: IIRC we discussed the tile stuff but not the budget
(12:12:55 PM) stevenfeldman: OK, we will note that and wait to get some concrete feedback from board on how they wish to proceed with budget stuff
(12:13:19 PM) stevenfeldman: any news from AoA sub group?
(12:14:23 PM) rweait: re AoA Henk is out for the day, Chrisfl is expecting to update us?
(12:14:51 PM) stevenfeldman: can't see chrisfl: is he expected?
(12:14:51 PM) SteveC: *** _chrisfl [~chrisfl@chrisfl.vm.bytemark.co.uk] has quit [Quit: _chrisfl]
(12:15:07 PM) Eugene: rweait: Chris is not present. We didn't manage to meet this week.
(12:15:29 PM) Eugene: So everything stays the same.
(12:15:40 PM) rweait: Eugene, any news on AoA outreach to those interested in the AoA discussion previously?
(12:15:57 PM) rweait: Or outreach to community in general for the AoA discussion?
(12:16:16 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: I assume there was also no furrther feedback on routing?
(12:16:40 PM) SteveC: stevenfeldman: it's kind of difficult to summarise a circular discussion without minutes
(12:17:17 PM) stevenfeldman: we are priveleged to have rweait: who summarises our ramblings so concisely
(12:17:53 PM) stevenfeldman: OK then we can only note that no movement on AoA or routing and move to the snake pit of web site and front page
(12:17:58 PM) Eugene: rweait: as far as I can see, everything is written in SWG previous minutes and minutes of AoA sub-committee http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Working_Group_Minutes/SWG_2011-03-28
(12:19:41 PM) stevenfeldman: I suggest we give AoA team say 4 weeks to try to engage with the others who have expressed an interest in the topic and then come back to SWG with something for discussion and potentially recomnedation to board
(12:20:25 PM) mkl left the room (quit: Quit: Leaving.).
(12:21:06 PM) Eugene: stevenfeldman: Thanks. Anyway, we are to update SWG every meetng about our progress.
(12:21:41 PM) stevenfeldman: anyone want to start the front page discussion?
(12:21:46 PM) rweait: Eugene:  no meeting date set for next AoA? 
(12:22:00 PM) Eugene: stevenfeldman: Besides that, our meetings are open and happen in the same channel so anyone can take part here or write in strategic@ . Noone has done it yet :)
(12:22:37 PM) Eugene: rweait: it should have been next Monday, but Henk can't make it. So we hasn't set the new date yet.
(12:23:48 PM) Eugene: I believe meeting for 2 is not a real sub-commitee meeting so we'll try to get Henk in when he can.
(12:24:03 PM) stevenfeldman: Nothing we can do on AoA today so lets try to make a start on front page
(12:24:26 PM) Eugene: +1
(12:24:56 PM) Blackadder: Eugene: Will PM you a list of those who had an interest in Articles previously, though they do date from May 2009
(12:25:01 PM) rweait: erjohan we haven't seen id from you yet.  Please ID or leave the channel
(12:25:39 PM) Eugene: Blackadder: Thanks.
(12:25:41 PM) _chrisfl [~chrisfl@chrisfl.vm.bytemark.co.uk] entered the room.
(12:25:47 PM) stevenfeldman: rweait: erjohan: is Erik Johannsen
(12:26:01 PM) ***_chrisfl got a puncture on the way home :(
(12:26:24 PM) Eugene: SteveC: What happened to main page usability testing you've done some years ago?
(12:27:13 PM) SteveC: couldn't get anyone interested and was bored of taking the flak from all the bozos so I let it drop
(12:27:37 PM) Eugene: That's optimistic :)
(12:28:13 PM) SteveC: Well I tried and did a bunch of things, what did you do?
(12:28:27 PM) apmon left the room (quit: Read error: No route to host).
(12:29:06 PM) stevenfeldman: Even if no one appears interested in changing the front page do people think there is a need to at least consider whether it is fit for purpose (which means working out what it's purpose is)?
(12:29:23 PM) SteveC: oh of course
(12:29:27 PM) SteveC: there's tons to fix / change
(12:29:31 PM) SteveC: and lots of good ideas
(12:29:36 PM) _chrisfl: I think we do need to push on and sort out the front page.
(12:29:42 PM) SteveC: you just have to prepare for people going non-linear about it
(12:29:51 PM) Eugene: SteveC: I'm not accusing you, come on! I meant that no result from that past can't give us anything we need no.
(12:30:13 PM) SteveC: Eugene: I don't understand the double-negative in the second sentance?
(12:30:19 PM) apmon [~anonymous@207.224.49.221] entered the room.
(12:30:45 PM) stevenfeldman: would some user requirements/feedback help to give us something to focus on?
(12:30:59 PM) mode (+o rweait) by ChanServ
(12:31:06 PM) SteveC: stevenfeldman: yes and no
(12:31:17 PM) SteveC: because you can't really design by committee, right?
(12:31:35 PM) Eugene: SteveC. Sorry. We have no result of that tests so we have nothing we can use now.
(12:31:42 PM) SteveC: so it would be better to have competing designs that are each a vision in their own right, but, driven by some basic guidelines
(12:32:07 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: agreed about design by cttee but we could gather some feedback that might help anyone who was willing/interested in implementing change
(12:32:13 PM) SteveC: Eugene: well, anyone can spend 5 minutes with their mum using the website and list about 100 broken things so it's no great loss
(12:32:14 PM) Blackadder:  box that flashes up for new users which a question asking if they wish to answer a question or two at the end of their visit might draw some useful data with time
(12:32:26 PM) Blackadder: which/with
(12:32:32 PM) _chrisfl: you can't design by committee, but you can test different designs and having a "group" to push things through is better than a single person?
(12:32:35 PM) SteveC: Blackadder: that's what I was attempting to do
(12:32:47 PM) SteveC: _chrisfl: agreed
(12:32:50 PM) Blackadder: SteveC: yep
(12:33:07 PM) SteveC: In the post-Anthony world perhaps this will be easier
(12:33:10 PM) stevenfeldman: blackadder: I assume even that needs some cooperation from tech folk?
(12:33:19 PM) Blackadder: always
(12:33:25 PM) SteveC: stevenfeldman: TomH was happily helping there
(12:33:29 PM) SteveC: IIRC
(12:33:46 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: sorry "IIRC"?
(12:34:00 PM) SteveC: if i remember correctly
(12:34:14 PM) MagicGoogleBot [~5771eea6@shenron.openstreetmap.org] entered the room.
(12:34:19 PM) Blackadder: This isn't something that has to be fixed yesterday (though it would be nice), its something that needs to at minimum trickle forwards so that it slowly seeps onto the radar of folks
(12:34:31 PM) MagicGoogleBot: Hi stevenfeldman! The answer you were looking for is: International Internet Relay Chat
(12:34:34 PM) MagicGoogleBot: oh bugger.
(12:34:35 PM) MagicGoogleBot left the room (quit: ).
(12:34:35 PM) SteveC: which is what Andy's been doing
(12:34:51 PM) SteveC: er
(12:34:54 PM) SteveC: that was odd
(12:34:59 PM) apmon: SteveC: It might be good to write some of those "spend 5 minutes with their mum" experiences down. The last time gravitystorm did that. A whole bunch of improvements came out of that
(12:35:10 PM) stevenfeldman: tomH: if someone puts together a short questionnaire can we get that appear on front page?
(12:35:42 PM) Eugene: I think we should start a user design contest, ending, let's say, July 1st, on OSM's 8th birthday. Then everyone will have plenty of time to create some new desings and later (upto SotM) they can be discussed by OSMF/community.
(12:35:44 PM) SteveC: stevenfeldman: it's more advanced than that - there already exist websites that you pull in to do this testing, and we built a questionaire
(12:36:09 PM) Blackadder: apmon: how about a wiki page "5 mins with grandma" or something and folks are encouraged to sit with new users and pose a simple set of questions to them
(12:36:20 PM) Eugene: I know some people who would like to create a new design. I'm sure there are a lot of them here.
(12:36:24 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: can you share the questionnaire with us?
(12:36:35 PM) SteveC: Eugene: August 9th  not July 1st....
(12:36:49 PM) SteveC: stevenfeldman: I'd have to go find it but yeah
(12:36:59 PM) SteveC: Blackadder: makes sense
(12:37:14 PM) Eugene: SteveC: Ok, you better know :) So someone should fix a Wikipedia article.
(12:37:23 PM) SteveC: Eugene: whois openstreetmap.org
(12:37:26 PM) Blackadder: record responses on the wiki, colate, report via the lists etc etc
(12:38:08 PM) stevenfeldman: Do our web logs give us a profile of users, time on site, features used, editors vs browsers etc?
(12:38:27 PM) ***SteveC senses a job for zere
(12:38:28 PM) samlarsen1: maybe we can have a competition where people can mock up the landing page & the community votes or notes aspects within pages that they like
(12:38:38 PM) erjohan left the room (Kicked by rweait (erjohan)).
(12:38:43 PM) Blackadder: SteveC: reminds me, .org domain needs renewing this year
(12:38:47 PM) ***SteveC is surprised RichardF hasn't jumped in yet
(12:38:52 PM) ***RichardF was just tyipng
(12:38:53 PM) RichardF: typing even
(12:39:08 PM) RichardF: asking the community (via the usual community channels - i.e. wiki, mailing lists) to decide stuff usually ends up in disaster
(12:39:13 PM) SteveC: yup
(12:39:16 PM) SteveC: and I love you beans
(12:39:20 PM) RichardF: those too
(12:39:38 PM) Eugene: RichardF: +1
(12:39:38 PM) TomH: you'll get roughly 2n divergent opinions if you ask n people....
(12:39:56 PM) stevenfeldman: A few facts would be a useful starting point before we dive into do you like design a more than design b stuff
(12:40:04 PM) RichardF: I'm all up for a great new design that's approved by the People Who Do Stuff and the (democratically elected, remember) OSMF Board. But I really don't want to see something put to talk@ and subjected to endless mithering from the -- ---s of this world
(12:40:16 PM) Eugene: But I'm sure we can ask for designs and later decide what is needed and what is not by ourselves, without asking a community again.
(12:40:30 PM) SteveC: Andy has this nice strategy of changing things slowly
(12:40:42 PM) RichardF: yep
(12:40:53 PM) apmon: Given OSM's past  "success" on larger step changes, it might be good to try and work on the UX of the current design in parrallel to any larger redesigns
(12:40:55 PM) Blackadder: getting design(s) isn't the problem here. Its where to start
(12:41:11 PM) erjohan [~erik@109-124-151-214.customer.t3.se] entered the room.
(12:41:48 PM) erjohan: rweait: ID done, I was AFK.
(12:41:51 PM) stevenfeldman: blackadder: which is why some usage data plus some feedback to a simple questionnaire might help, beyond that strategic should leave to designers and coders
(12:41:55 PM) rweait: erjohan: thanks fo the ID.  Welcome.
(12:42:35 PM) RichardF: stevenfeldman: at the risk of stating the really obvious, the useful research isn't mainly "hey, person who is visiting our site, what do you think of it?" but rather "hey, person who isn't visiting OSM, why not?"
(12:43:04 PM) Blackadder: RichardF: Do you have a bag of them somewhere?
(12:43:11 PM) RichardF: Blackadder: what, love beans?



(12:43:17 PM) Eugene left the room (quit: Read error: Connection reset by peer).
(12:43:47 PM) ***_chrisfl things that it's the people who come to the site but subsequently never sign up or edit that need to be targetted.
(12:43:49 PM) stevenfeldman: richardf: agreed but at least getting feedback and understanding from thoose wo do visit site is a starting point and much easier to accomplish
(12:43:50 PM) Eugene [~eugene@79.126.66.55] entered the room.
(12:43:53 PM) apmon: RichardF: Well, http://www.gravitystorm.co.uk/shine/archives/2010/10/04/quick-and-dirty-usability-testing-of-osm/ was fairly useful and it was kind of asking people who were visiting our site
(12:44:08 PM) RichardF: yep
(12:44:51 PM) stevenfeldman: chrisfl: that is true if objective of site is only to get more data created but should there be other use cases?
(12:44:55 PM) apmon: We probably have more than enough issues to address for people who do come to our site to not having to worry as much about the people who don't yet
(12:45:08 PM) stevenfeldman: apmon: +1
(12:45:50 PM) apmon: The attracting new people to our site is probably more of a media campain issue than a website issue. (although retaining them to OSM is)
(12:46:23 PM) Eugene: apmon: +1
(12:47:14 PM) _chrisfl: if we get people to the site but they don't stick then (some) of the work that goes into a  media campaign is  lost.
(12:47:42 PM) stevenfeldman: when people arrive on the site (1st time or repeats) what do we want the site to do/be able to do?
(12:47:49 PM) Firefishy: CycleStreets did some UI testing and posted suggestions as bite sized bugs to trac.
(12:48:00 PM) RichardF: yep. there's some good stuff in there.
(12:48:04 PM) rweait: _chrisfl: and we already know that we lose half-ish at each step.  1) see web site, 2) join 3) make first edit....
(12:48:19 PM) RichardF: rweait: definitely, but s/edit/correction/
(12:48:52 PM) _chrisfl: rweait: those  would be a great metric to try and improve. 
(12:49:10 PM) rweait: _chrisfl: indeed at any one of those steps.
(12:49:25 PM) Eugene: stevenfeldman: We don't know and what is more important can't know without any special research. Will OSMF pay for it?
(12:49:41 PM) apmon: rweait: But we don't necessarily know why people drop out at each step and if there is something we can do to stop them droping out at that stage
(12:49:54 PM) stevenfeldman: suggestion - can we collate all of the usability suggestions from gravitystorm, cyclestreets and anyone else plus any web stats, the previous questionnnaire etc and get it all in one place that we can all see?
(12:50:13 PM) SteveC: you know I'm unconvinced 'research' is needed, isn't it fucking obvious what's wron?
(12:50:23 PM) _chrisfl: *I* think we need to decide what metrics we want to measure and then test out/try different design's/changes and see how they fare. 
(12:51:01 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: gulp
(12:51:06 PM) _chrisfl: SteveC I'm with you, lots of things are obvious. It would be good to measure the effect. But I measure stuff for a living so that might just be me.
(12:51:12 PM) Blackadder: SteveC: I know its wrong but I would not say I was comfortable about what should be changed or the change to make
(12:51:24 PM) Eugene: SteveC: No, it isn't. We as people who use this project for long time just can't know what people want from it when they first see it.
(12:51:28 PM) apmon: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Minor_web_front_end_UI_Fixups was used to coordinate gravitystorms suggestions. So perhaps we can revive that page
(12:51:32 PM) RichardF: SteveC: humour me - in three sentences, what would you say is wrong?
(12:52:05 PM) Blackadder: s/sentences/words ;-)
(12:52:09 PM) SteveC: ha
(12:52:12 PM) SteveC: gimme a sec to think
(12:52:18 PM) SteveC: need to compress it down
(12:52:26 PM) RichardF: Blackadder: <richard_mottram>
(12:53:32 PM) Blackadder: *****
(12:53:41 PM) ***_chrisfl decided to get a beer
(12:53:46 PM) stevenfeldman: 7 mins left people
(12:53:52 PM) apmon: SteveC: If you can distil your suggestions into small byte size improvements like those on the "Minor web front end UI fixes" or the UI trac tickets for P2, I suspect they are much more likely to get addressed
(12:54:00 PM) rweait: we'll have same/same next week. 
(12:54:07 PM) SteveC: The frontpage fails to communicate what the project does and why it does it effectively. The controls are confusing for new users (lots of random tabs and sidebar). In addition, it totally fails to connect new users to others around them and thus create a community.
(12:54:12 PM) SteveC: How's that for starters?
(12:54:24 PM) Blackadder: +1
(12:54:30 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: f888ing good
(12:54:31 PM) Blackadder: I can associate with that
(12:54:34 PM) apmon: SteveC; Those are no small byte size concrete improvement suggestions
(12:54:41 PM) RichardF: that's starting to crystallise stuff, that does help
(12:54:59 PM) rweait: apmon, those mightbe good section headers for the bite-sized stuff.
(12:55:01 PM) SteveC: apmon: you think steve jobs wanders around thinking of small improvements? What would be the point of that?
(12:55:13 PM) stevenfeldman: question for stevec: would be "is it our only objective to make new visitors into editors?"
(12:55:23 PM) rweait: stevenfeldman:  yes.
(12:55:36 PM) rweait: and get others off to where they can find what they seek.
(12:55:41 PM) Blackadder: stevenfeldman: good ambition to have
(12:55:50 PM) Blackadder: rweait: +1
(12:55:51 PM) RichardF: it's our 97% objective, yes. Probably our 3% objective is to provide data about the project
(12:55:58 PM) apmon: SteveC: Yes, Steve Jobs probably does tell its UX team to tell its developers: Those buttons have to be 3px further to the left...
(12:55:59 PM) rweait: do we need a "front page" sub-committee ?
(12:56:07 PM) SteveC: my point would be small improvements have got us here, I like Andy's approach as a way to get things done, but not as the goal as well as the method
(12:56:14 PM) Blackadder: RichardF: I'm learning with time that the two are interelated
(12:56:59 PM) RichardF: Blackadder: I mean that 97% of visitors are potential mappers; the other 3% just want to download planet.osm or give us some money or sue us or something
(12:56:59 PM) SteveC: stevenfeldman: personally, yes I'd like to see more editors via simpler explanations, hand holding, more community and simpler small tools. As I suspect would a lot of clueful people right here :-)
(12:57:15 PM) Blackadder: RichardF: agreed
(12:57:18 PM) stevenfeldman: How do we move forward and who will take this on?
(12:57:20 PM) apmon: SteveC: Adding a tile layer takes 6 months, discussing a front page takes more than 3 years, not leading to anything. Gravitystorms method got a whole lot of (small) improvements in a few days
(12:57:24 PM) stevenfeldman: stevec: +1
(12:57:37 PM) apmon: So even if a wholistic approach is probably better, it won't work in our current setting
(12:57:43 PM) RichardF: apmon: and sitting here mithering about "you can't propose things it'll never work" is _why_ it takes 6 months!
(12:57:59 PM) SteveC: you know it all comes down to actually doing coding though
(12:58:09 PM) Blackadder: as always
(12:58:22 PM) Blackadder: Give the devs a carrot and it usually happes
(12:58:28 PM) stevenfeldman: and not everyone can code but it doesn't mean there views should not be considered
(12:58:31 PM) rweait: DO we have a task to assign / volunteer for next week re: fornt page?
(12:58:34 PM) Blackadder: happens
(12:59:01 PM) apmon: SteveC: It comes down to codeing something that ends up being acceptable
(12:59:05 PM) Blackadder: rweait: maybe all go away and ask someone else to navigate the site and give some comments
(12:59:33 PM) stevenfeldman: a concrete action from blackadder: can we all do that for next week?
(12:59:41 PM) Eugene: Blackadder: Good idea.
(12:59:56 PM) stevenfeldman: signals of agreement pls
(01:00:02 PM) stevenfeldman: +1
(01:00:33 PM) stevenfeldman: tap tap
(01:01:13 PM) SteveC: apmon: well, since coders are volunteers and you have no power to say no to people doing the work, in reality 'being acceptable' is a bit meaningless?
(01:01:25 PM) stevenfeldman: In absence of any -1's I will take that as a collective action for next week
(01:01:25 PM) Blackadder: suggests not everyone is convinced at that small step
(01:01:50 PM) stevenfeldman: time to wrap up
(01:01:52 PM) SteveC: RichardF: why don't you wave around that forum link?