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After the Umbraco UK Fest I'm keen to find ways of encouraging more non-developers to join the Umbraco community.
Please posts your thoughts and ideas here and we can have a dicussion.
Some suggestions that came up at the festival were
I think the trouble is that a lot of these topics aren't directly related to Umbraco. Is project managing an Umbraco project much different from project managing any other website project? Is (front-end) UX for an Umbraco site much different from any other site?
So, in my experience, PM and UX guys have their own forums / conferences / meetups etc where they discuss this. What specifically can an Umbraco community offer that they aren't already able to access? What is specific to Umbraco for them?
That's not to say we shouldn't welcome everyone, but if you want to encourage more non-developers then there has to be a demand that needs satisfying. I can see how it would be good for devs to get their input, but what would they want? I think you need to ask them, not us :)
I'd like to see some non dev focused hackathons, so maybe a design-athon or a ux-athon for creatives to suggest and mockup potential ui improvements.
I'd like to see this too, but I'd also like to see "cross discipline" hackathons where you work in teams, such as starter kit hacks that need design/coding and UX
I think Our feels very "developer" focused, at least from an initial visiting point of view. I'm not sure what would be good to change here but something might need to be adjusted to help welcome new people :-)
I know things like categorising posts is hard but, and it might need some more moderators/moderator abilities on Our, but if we could could group queries/have different types of queries it could help.
There's been some discussions about this in the past in how users are generally pretty bad at selecting the correct thing for tagging questions and the like which is why part of me things it could be part of a volunteer moderator team.
Maybe a couple of "Question Templates" might make it easier, such as "I've got a developer question?", "I've got a question about Designing for Umbraco", "Help, someone made me a site and I don't know how to do this?".
*sorry bit of a ramble.
Yes, the Our homepage doesn't do much to market the Umbraco community itself.
Could also implement personalisation if we asked people what they were interested in at signup.
I like the setup that SitePoint have for their forum - https://www.sitepoint.com/community/categories
They actually have a community part to the forum and a design/ux part.
I think meetups should have more non-dev topics too and this is something I'm going to try and do more of for the Edinburgh Meetup. Invite designers / Project Managers / Account managers to events.
Just a dump of my twitter reply.
I would really like to get more content editors involved.
Why? I'm trying to rewrite my own site but I am terrible at actually writing anything other than documentation or manuals.
If I was sat with a Content Producer, we could help one another as we enable to them take their stuff further with Umbraco (styles, content block use etc) and we can learn about how they produce content (creative method) and how they want to output it (editor experience).
How? Invite them to the meetups and maybe do a wee workshop. Even just getting them in for a chat, see what can be created from it.
hope ya'll having a great day!
Great idea. This could lead to more content oriented part in (or seperate) the manaul how to setup some pre-defined content parts. We could take a few cases and describe how to construct them.
Based on that, I could imagine Umbraco having some more predifened elements all together for the 'starter' editor.
Thanks for getting the question out there again. I have been working with Umbraco in my company for 10 years. I am a fan of Umbraco, and have always missed that part. In the early days I asked U HQ what I could do. 'Translate the manual' was populair answer ;-)
The community events I visited (not only Umbraco btw) I always asked upfront if it would be interesting for non-devs as well. Reply has always been : 'Yes, enough, come on over' . In effect it mostly was one or 2 sessions (maybe 3) that actually were. Often programmed to overlap, so could only visted one :-). The sessions that were for non-devs, are always interesting and I love them...but...they are mostly NOT about Umbraco. Great talks about UI/UX, about testing skills and procedures, about 'what is important in life' or how to be proper company. Not much Umbraco.
I am fully aware how difficult it is to keep everyone happy, and I can only applaud all the organisers as they do a great job on all these events.
So yes, something needs to be done, and it needs to be organised by non-devs I think.
This is what triggered me to contact DUUG as I want to setout to create (@henkboelman, sorry was ill...will contact you shortly ;-) ) a non-developer event or bigger track. A track that can be attended by project managers, but also by 'almost-customers' and editors. The ones that need to get the work done after developement is done, or before development starts. This means the ones runnig huge corporate websites, but also the teacher in a school that runs the tiniest school website and only uses the CMS twice a month.
Getting this done, needs input from us and our (would be) customers and editors. Let's start there. But most of all it will also need another community portal from Umbraco.org. A low threshold community were even the most basic newbie editors can ask questions in a non-dev environment. Where documentation, knowledgbase, feature requests meet daily usage. And ofcourse this portal will need the input of all us non-dev enthousiasts to get this going.
So yes, I volunteer ;-) Happy to organise an event in coop with others to get it started. I have a small conference location in NL we can use, and could even facilitate as small 'non-code cabin' in Belgium.
But also happy to come over to the highlands!
Let get something going.
That would be fun! I would certainly be interested in that!
+1, an area on Our to foster a community of CMS end-users and (almost) customers is a fantastic idea Melvin. A place they could go to get their questions answered and suggest features/improvements.
Thanks :-), hope we can take ot that level in the near future.
Credits to Owain for the sparks that seem to light a fire!
I saw a tweet earlier linking to Kubernetes' "Introducing the Non-Code Contributor’s Guide"
It may offer some insights?
Thanks, it will. Thanks for sharing.
My first insight : if you want to motivate non-dev's to participate, don't show the info about it in the Kubernetes way. Almost clicked it away. Took me some time to realise it was actually for non-devs ;-)
Or is that just me...?
Great ideas now flowing!
I will be hosting a non-dev Umbraco meetup with Steven next Wednesday and so far, it's looking to be one of our most popular meetups!
I'll post more information about how it goes next week but I'll be taking some ideas from this thread for sure.
I agree that this sort of thing maybe needs to be taken on by the editors but I thought I'd kick things off as I would really like to see the Umbraco Community expand past just devs.
Meetups with non-dev dates are a start but imagine 3 full days of non-dev talks at CodeGarden! Not just the odd talk here or there, that is the dream. After the talks imagine the conversations that could be had in the evenings. Ideas could become reality and this in turn helps improve the CMS.
I keep on looking for a better category or name for non-devs, any suggestions? It's a tough one as it should include everyone from users, to UX designers to content editors!
So is the initial feeling that there is a barrier currently to editors / customers / non-devs when it comes to being part of the Community? Is that barrier Our? Is it something else?
Nice, I will follow your example. Besides my recent effort to arrange a 100% non-dev track in NL, I will start a meetup as well. I will plan this for january or february. Love to here about your experiences, hope afterwards you would like to do a quick chat with me?
=>I hope a NL fellow non-dev-umbraco-lover will jump in with me. <=
About the barrier Our. Yes, do you mean : your.umbraco.org as a logical next step?
I've also been thinking about this since the UK festival.
My idea is for an "Umbraco Practitioners" meetup for people who are involved in the conception, creation or delivery of Umbraco sites.
This could include
Could be a physical or virtual meetup (or both?) to allow people to attend from wherever they are.
The meetup could cover things like:
The purpose would be to:
Obviously, there's more thinking to be done about the best way to do this kind of thing, who might be interested, how to source speakers/topics etc. - it might also be worth checking with HQ to determine how far to take the scope, what would be useful/productive etc.
Very happy to be involved - would be really interested to hear what comes out of your meetup tomorrow.
Thanks Mike, great feedback there and lots to think about.
I don't have the answers right now as to how far this can go but I think it can go really far.
I'll give a full update after the meetup to tomorrow but so far, it's looking to be the busiest meetup we have had yet, which is really encouraging. It shows that there is an interest from non-devs in Umbraco and that they are looking for somewhere to discuss Umbraco.
I like the idea of virtual meetups and physical meetups for Umbraco Practitioners (I also like that name!)
Hi Owain,( Mike..Dave, and all others)
Absolutely anxious to hear how it goes with the Meetup. I am very much up for a real or virtual discussion on how to make this work as blueprint for others. And discuss what is needed to get a better base.
Sorry I haven't updated this thread after our meetup - I'll try and update things later today - it's been a bit manic the past week :)
OK, so I just set this up:
I know there was some discussion about the name, but I'm going with this for now, to see if there's any interest or traction.
Hopefully, the event page explains it properly (let me know if you think it needs any changes!).
Also, tweeted here: https://twitter.com/UPractitioners
I'll take any help on offer!
Also, still super-interested to hear how your meetup discussion went @Owain.
So, firstly, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Work has been mental since the meetup and I've just not had time to reply in here and keep this ball rolling.
I will admit that the tweet from Umbraco Practitioners did catch me by surprise and it's what brought me here to try and find out who had setup the account.
The meetup went well and we had some really interesting conversations. The title did come up and we thought the title of just Umbraco User covers things pretty well, but that's what happens when I don't reply as quick as I said I would and the community drives on :)
The thought was that we target 1 specific user group initially, say Content Editors. Do talks that engage them, get their input in to specific things and do demos of how the editor experience can be improved. Do a Q&A session to show them how quickly the editor experience can be improved etc.
Then once there is buy in from that group and they becoming part of the community, then we move on to say designers. Again, do talks for them etc.
At the same time though, never losing sight of keeping the development community interested and engaged.
The Edinburgh Meetup will be doing more of these Umbraco Users events and we will continue to try and get more people involved from a non-developer aspect.
We felt that trying to target everyone in one go was too big a remit. Trying to get everyone in a catch all tweet or post is very difficult to do, so start small and grow from there.
I'm interested to see how the virtual meetup goes.
At risk of getting into "naming the band" territory, I did think about User, but I'm not sure it really describes (for example) a UI designer who is tasked with designing a website that is going to be built in Umbraco when they don't actually touch (or 'use') Umbraco themselves. I suppose you could say the same is true for "practitioner", though, so...
Name aside, I totally hear you about trying to do too much too soon. I suppose my rationale for just pressing forward with the broad approach to start with is that I guess I'm just not sure where the numbers are. I thought that keeping it broad to start with might help to steer the topics in the direction where the interest and value lies, and it would find its own direction organically.
I can definitely see the benefits of providing value for specific user groups, but I also think that a lot of topics that have value to one group would provide value to others, or provide others with a context and awareness of other roles that could be of benefit.
Anyway, it could totally die on its arse :-) but it'll be an interesting exercise for sure. There's a while before the first meetup, so it gives me a bit of time to take on some thoughts/feedback. That first one in January is primarily intended to thrash some of this stuff out and see how people want to proceed. I'm pretty open-minded and excited about it.
If you (or anyone else) has any thoughts, or ideas for topics or presenters or interviewees or issues to look at, I'd be really interested to hear them.
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