Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Firefox Support Next Steps

The Firefox Support working group has made a great deal of progress in our effort to improve support for Firefox users. After getting feedback on our support plan overview and product requirements document, we are now ready to put the plan in action. In this post, I will give a brief overview of our implementation timeline, with a focus on our two most important next steps: staffing and the support platform.

In order for this plan to happen, Mozilla needs an employee (at a minimum) who is dedicated full time to our community based Firefox support. We currently have an open job for someone to coordinate the day to day operations of Firefox support. Please pass this along to someone you know (or apply yourself!).

Support Coordinator (apply at careers@mozilla.com)
Brief job description:
The Support Coordinator will be responsible for the definition and implementation of highly leveraged global support strategies and programs to improve Firefox’s user support.

Develop support platform timeline with working group and drive implementation of Firefox support platform on Mozilla.com
• Work with UI, marketing creative and user education teams to take ownership of roll out of certain aspects of the support platform
• Oversee content migration, population and editing
• Establish best practices for knowledge base, forums and live chat
Mobilize volunteers for successful platform roll out and continued support
Spearhead efforts to recruit and train more volunteers
Develop and track metrics to ensure quality user support and healthy support community
Identity, develop and support volunteer community
Upgrade support platform as necessary
Develop and implement formal feedback loops
Serve as primary interface for support between marketing, product, QA and engineering
Responsible for overall user care efforts (including responding to letters, voicemails, etc.)

Choosing a platform
We have decided to build a prototype of the support platform using MediaWiki to power the knowledge base and Drupal to power the forum and other interfaces. These open source solutions, with their current plug-ins, should give us many of the features that we require, along with the flexibility to customize to the needs of our project. MediaWiki powers most of the other Mozilla wiki's as well as large scale sites. Mozilla currently uses Drupal for spreadfirefox.com.

Building a beta knowledgebase
The first phase of our prototyping will be a knowledge base beta with a main search interface. The development of the knowledge base will have two components that will run concurrently: content as well as design and development. If you would like to participate in this development process, please contact me at jt at mozilla dot com (really looking for someone with MediaWiki experience).

Firefox Support Timeline v1

Knowledge base style guide and inventory complete
Knowledge base design
Content migration, development and editing
Support coordinator on board
Beta version of knowledge base and support interface live

As always, your feedback and participation is important. I look forward to hearing from you.


Pavel Cvrcek said...

Looks good. I have some questions. How about localizations? Will be there in first phase? If so how will they be organized? Will it be just "here is english text, just translate it" or it will be more community? Thanks.

JT Batson said...

great question. the beta will be initially be in english, but we will move very quickly to offer localizations. i think they will be a combo of "english text for translation" and of "community." Ideally, every locale would have a support community that is vibrant enough to support the users there. But even in that ideal case, there will still always be documentation and information that will need come from Mozilla that will help the community provide support. Quick summary: localization is a top priority and the exact details are still being figured out. If you have ideas or thoughts, would love to hear them.