Reviewing the Competition

After gaining an understanding of open source contributors and their experience with joining new projects, I reviewed the websites of 5 open source communities along with webcompat.com. The goal was to assess each site’s content as it relates to attracting new contributors.

I initially began with a list of three projects but decided to approach the process through the eyes of one of my personas. During the ‘Discover’ stage, as outlined on my experience map, a potential contributor searches for and or reads an article in order to find an open source project to join. As such, I found an article listing the “10 most exciting, active new projects” in open source. I then picked two additional communities that potential contributors could alternatively join.

The six websites were listed in a spreadsheet along with assessment criteria. The content to be reviewed was defined by taking into account previous research about open source contributor’s motivations and roadblocks. For example, some contributors join a project in order to self-promote and build their own brand. If they see current contributors acknowledged on the website, they may be motivated to also join.

 

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After walking through each website and adding notes to the spreadsheet, I created a high-level overview in Illustrator. Mapping out a visual snapshot of the spreadsheet highlights any content gaps.
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I wanted to gain fresh input but also prepare for the final user testing that will take place with the prototype. Webcompat.com was compared to Emberjs.com by running a few semi-structured user tests with a convenience sample—i.e. adult family members.

A script to read to the participants was drafted along with questions and tasks to complete on each website. I recorded the screens and feedback of each participant for later review.

Insights gleaned from the competitive analysis and user reviews were arranged in a slide deck to give a high-level summary of the findings.

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