This spring I spent time contributing to The WordPress Governance Project. WordPress has grown a lot over the course of my career. I have been working with WordPress and working on the web since 2004. Like many others, I have sacrificed personal time while feeling fortunate to be able to contribute back to the community in various roles. I currently work as a Consultant and UX Architect with some distinguished teams.
Let’s Talk About the “word” Governance
Let’s talk about the “word” Governance. As a consequence of this work I have been talking with a wide range of individuals in the WordPress ecosystem. It seems the actual word “Governance” sometimes causes confusion. Expressions like, “Governance sounds so controlling, dominating, or negatively political in its influence. We are an open source community we are reluctant when we hear the term Governance. So we’ll keep and eye or an ear open about it but that sounds kind of negative.”
Others, (many with previous positive experiences in their professional lives regarding Governance models) voiced support, “Wow, that is much needed, we really need help with useful conflict resolution, getting better at including dissenting opinions, inclusive design practices, accessibility standards, roadmaps, community representation, ethics, decision making, codes of conduct in the project (not just at WordCamps), inclusive, fair participation, .com and .org confusion, and influence on bigger topics about the future of the web – especially since we are now over 1/3 of the web.” I have learned so much and this process has been very enlightening. I think the work we have been doing will benefit the entire ecosystem and the larger web too.
I personally believe the larger web needs WordPress to get this right.
The interviews, mind maps, personas, scenarios, and journey maps we have been contributing are useful for facilitating important conversations. They are also useful for helping us to collectively identify problems and frustrations our community struggles with as we scale and grow.
I do not have all of the solutions. I do find myself in the unique position of being able to facilitate important conversations so we can work together to support the project and our beloved community better. We have started by executing tactics to reveal actual evidence, isolating and identifying problems that are in need of solutions, researching other governance models, and having conversations about what is not working well and how we could make it better. Good governance models can support and empower projects. I think it is important to understand this when we hear the “word” Governance.
If you would like to share an experience that you have had contributing, volunteering within the project or using the program that you think would be useful to visually map. Let us us know in the WP Governance Slack Channels or on the WPGovernance website so we can continue the work together. The upcoming hypothesis work will be important too!
In my opinion we are at the cusp of a new era on the web. These topics for for example: Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It by Mike Monteiro. A lot needs to change for the better especially as things scale. Designing a better web takes intention and resources. My teams work hard to remove frustration and confusion across a wide range of business models, platforms and applications. Open source projects like AMP, Drupal, Firefox/Mozilla, and WordPress get some things right. Let’s take the opportunity as we move the web forward to do it better. We are all stakeholders with a lot to be proud of and EVERYONE wins when we succeed. Let’s get this right, together.
Our UX work is/will all be published at WPGovernance website too. Here is a look at some of the UX tactics we are conducting. Props to and Morten Rand-Hendriksen and Rachel Cherry for launching this important initiative and to all the teams working in their free time too. There are too many of you to call out individually – you know who you are! Thank you
Each map is a link to the actual journey map for viewing and scrolling through the journey at scale.
Language, Geographical, and Culturally Diverse – complete
Individuals & Educators – complete
Additional Migration Experience Map – complete
Site Owners for Hobby & Pastime Websites – complete
Small Business – complete
Consumers or Audiences – complete
Accessibility Required …in progress
Publishers …in progress
Enterprise – complete
Freelance Developers & Designers – complete
Makers & Entrepreneurs – complete
Past, Present, & Future Innovators – complete
The WordPress Project: Some Paid and Some Volunteer – complete
WordPress Community Supporters – complete
Grouping of Stakeholders WPGovernance MindMap | Stakeholders – complete