Working Group Minutes/EWG 2013-12-02

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC nick Real name
apmon Kai Krueger
gravitystorm Andy Allan
iandees Ian Dees
zere Matt Amos


  • hack weekend
    • zere gave a brief report on the hack weekend in London.
    • ACTION: zere to write up blog post / diary entry about it.
  • code4osm
    • gravitystorm pointed out there are no open issues, so it doesn't give any clues about what needs to be done.
    • ACTION: gravitystorm to write up some issues discussed in the channel.
  • user testing
    • iandees and some folks from Chicago are planning some user testing on the OSM site and iD in January.
    • there was discussion about whether it is possible to measure the extent to which the OSM site is communicating the "community" and "data" aspects of the project.


17:32:39 <zere> minutes of the last meeting (pretty short):
17:33:12 <zere> the date is wrong (looks like i forgot that november was the 11th month) but other than that - if there's anything which needs changing, please let me know.
17:33:30 <gravitystorm> I'd like budgets on the agenda please
17:34:01 <zere> yup. anything in specific, above what we already discussed?
17:34:48 <apmon> anything interesting to report from the hackweekend?
17:36:31 <gravitystorm> zere: well for specifics, the at the last MT meeting, there was a request for WGs to submit (calendar year) 2014 budgets
17:36:39 <gravitystorm> so we should make one.
17:36:44 <gravitystorm> that's all I've got to say :-)
17:37:01 <zere> yup, it's on me. sorry.
17:37:10 <apmon> Perhaps we could evaluate how well the 2013 budget worked?
17:37:35 <zere> we did that several meetings ago, but we could go over it again if you like.
17:39:18 <gravitystorm> well for the only new bit - did the hack weekend last weekend claim their EWG funding?
17:39:50 <apmon> Ah, I must have missed that. Looking for the minutes...
17:40:21 <zere> apmon: was most of it, i think, although it's spread over several meetings.
17:41:23 <zere> gravitystorm: no, there was no need - hosting, food & refreshments were all provided (very graciously, i should add, by AOL UK / MapQuest (disclaimer: my employer))
17:43:11 <gravitystorm> OK cool
17:43:54 <gravitystorm> moving on?
17:44:11 <gravitystorm> apmon: I wasn't at the hackweekend, so I can't comment. Anyone else?
17:47:19 <apmon> Did the 2013 budget include "bug bounties"?
17:47:24 <zere> nope
17:48:05 <zere> the hack weekend was pretty good - i'm slightly exhausted now. a lot of good stuff got hacked on, including the site redesign deployment, etc...
17:48:06 <apmon> There was a discussion about having some for the the "top ten tasks"? That was never included?
17:48:33 <zere> i was planning to do a proper write-up diary / blog post with all the details.
17:48:42 <apmon> great
17:49:24 <apmon> Did people actually work together on something?
17:49:47 <apmon> In the past I sometime got the impression that everyone worked on their own thing, thus not really needing to be there in person
17:49:59 <apmon> although the motivational issues is not to be neglected either
17:50:12 <zere> no, there was lots of discussion between people.
17:50:43 <zere> although many were working on their own thing, people were helping each other out - e.g: with fixing bugs, etc...
17:55:57 <zere> was there anything else anyone wanted to discuss?
17:56:57 <gravitystorm> code4osm?
17:57:12 <zere> awesome - anything in specific?
17:57:39 <gravitystorm> nope, more the generalities. There's no open issues so it's hard to figure out what comes next :-)
17:58:26 <zere> the last thing i did was after shaun said it needed a more "user oriented" layout - so the front page with 3 buttons for the 3 things i thought people might be coming for
17:58:57 <zere> but that involved taking off the top navbar... and i'm not sure what happens now about site navigation.
17:59:08 <zere> so i guess there are a few open issues:
17:59:28 <zere> 1) figure out what site navigation makes sense and implement it
17:59:46 <zere> 2) make the site more visually appealing (e.g: a bit of colour would be nice, i think)
17:59:52 <zere> 3) add more projects
18:00:06 <gravitystorm> ok
18:00:11 <zere> 4) add more docs for the projects (more of an issue under their trackers, though)
18:00:38 <gravitystorm> I'd suggest making it easier to jump from code4osm straight to the relevant repository too
18:00:50 <zere> 5) finish writing the "essentials" - the "overview" docs collection which lives with code4osm
18:02:22 <gravitystorm> zere: I can transfer these into github issues if that's helpful
18:02:31 <zere> gravitystorm: awesome, thanks.
18:03:17 <gravitystorm> beyond that, I have nothing else
18:03:18 <zere> i think there's some other small bugs. i'll try and remember to add them as issues with sufficient detail to fix.
18:05:01 <zere> cool. did anyone else want to discuss anything?
18:05:31 <iandees> sure, i was going to point out that i've been working with a user testing group
18:05:35 <iandees> to cover
18:05:40 <apmon> I wonder, if code4osm should have a section explaining the relation between osmf projects and third party projects
18:05:40 <iandees> specifically, this group:
18:06:13 <apmon> i.e. that nearly everything is developed "externally" except for a few core functions
18:06:59 <zere> apmon: something to include somewhere in the section?
18:07:09 <iandees> sorry, apmon's point seems to be related to what we were just talking about
18:07:40 <apmon> under essentials probably seems most appropriate
18:07:57 <zere> iandees: yup, we can take these in turn... sorry
18:08:13 <apmon> it might also include how an external project can eventually migrate to being a core project. Like e.g. notes
18:09:04 <zere> btw, please don't think stuff in code4osm has had much thought as to layout - it was what made sense to me at the time, which probably doesn't make sense to anyone else, or me at any other time either.
18:09:15 <zere> s/layout/organisation/
18:09:57 <zere> in that regard, i'd be happy to get any documentation that anyone feels is useful to (new) developers.
18:10:34 <zere> i suspect it'll all get reorganised, so please feel free to submit a PR and we'll edit/refactor it all later.
18:11:49 <gravitystorm> I've added all the above issues now
18:13:21 <zere> gravitystorm: thanks.
18:13:40 <zere> if there's nothing else... iandees: you were talking about user testing?
18:13:45 <zere> #topic user testing
18:14:11 <iandees> these folks are friends of mine in chicago:
18:14:34 <iandees> and are interested in putting some people in front of and seeing what they think about editing and new user experience
18:14:58 <zere> sounds good. that kind of feedback is always useful
18:15:10 <zere> will they make recommendations?
18:15:42 <iandees> yep. and general information about what "normal humans" think of
18:16:18 <iandees> it'll probably happen in january some time. between now and then i'll probably ask for some suggestions about what to ask or what tasks would be most useful to watch
18:17:13 <iandees> anyway. wanted to let you all know to keep an eye out for that.
18:17:37 <apmon> sounds great
18:18:25 <apmon> In addition to user testing, is it possible to also ask them general questions about OSM?
18:19:05 <iandees> sure. we were thinking about running formalized "do this task and we watch" testing and also a "now that you've used, what do you think?" discussion
18:19:08 <zere> i'm guessing most of them won't have heard of it before the test, right? otherwise they'd skew the results by having already visitied?
18:19:12 <apmon> e.g. see what of the "concept of osm" did they understand, and did they understand what the benefits are compared to eg. google maps
18:19:41 <zere> yeah. might be interesting to see what, if anything, we were able to communicate with the site.
18:20:21 <iandees> yea, the questions we're asking the group haven't mentioned OSM yet, so the chances of getting completely new people is pretty good
18:20:25 <zere> e.g: that it's a community, that they could download the data if they wanted, etc...
18:22:29 <apmon> Given that downloading the raw data is likely not something the "average joe" cares about, you probably want to formulate it a liitle differently...
18:23:08 <zere> sure
18:23:19 <zere> that's why they're the user testing experts ;-)
18:23:22 <apmon> iandees: Do you know what sort of demographics the people who participate are from?
18:24:21 <iandees> all over the place. there's ~700 people in the pool of people that have expressed interest in testing and we'll pick ~20 or so
18:24:32 <apmon> OK
18:25:29 <zere> but i think it's important that everyone visiting the site is aware that all the data is available to any of them, at any time, to download and play with. even if they're unlikely to do it. i guess if we could communicate that benefit of openness, and that we're not a proprietary silo, etc... then it would help both people looking for data and potential contributors who wanted to know that their data could be re-used (under a free and open license).
18:25:34 <apmon> Wenn we do our psych studies, the population very offten comes from a rather narrow demographic of colledge educated "late adolescent", which isn't necessarily particularly representative... ;-)
18:27:17 <iandees> yea, deciding on what sort of people to bring in is kind of difficult. right now we're thinking about targeting people that are otherwise interested in their community
18:27:39 <iandees> people that go to community meetings, members of school boards, etc.
18:28:01 <iandees> theory being that they'll be more interested in seeing their community be correct on a map
18:29:09 <zere> as long as we're going a decent job communicating that on and i have my suspicions, but eagerly await the hard data ;-)
18:30:09 <iandees> :) yep
18:31:59 <iandees> do you all think it would be useful to ask a mailing list? or would that become a squawk fest? "what sort of questions should we ask our user testers" is kind of an open-ended question
18:32:04 <apmon> One of the biggest benefits of open data is the diversity of applications, i.e. that OSM is used from wood carved art work, to games, to sat nav apps. From mapping fire hydrants, to disaster areas, to dog poo bag dispensers, to POIs...
18:32:17 <apmon> but I don't think the website communicates that diversity at all :-S
18:33:04 <gravitystorm> iandees: ask the mailing lists, but don't necessarily fulfill every request you get
18:33:21 * iandees nods.
18:33:30 <zere> right. and it's hard to communicate that, and everything else that we might want to communicate, without it ending up being a giant wall of text/images which then ends up obscuring the rest of the UI.
18:34:25 <apmon> the new about page seems ideal to try and communicate more of those prinicples
18:36:38 <zere> i'm not sure a lot of people click on "about". but we shall find out when the tests are run.
18:37:12 <apmon> We can probably find that out from the log files
18:37:43 <apmon> i.e. do people click on the "Learn More" button that is now fairly prominantly on the main page?
18:38:04 <apmon> at least until one clicks on the close button and has no way of getting it back... ;-)
18:39:34 <zere> there's plenty of sites where there's an initial "pop-over" which has the same properties.
18:40:05 <zere> and i'm sure making the box collapse/expand rather than disappear would be a welcome patch ;-)
18:40:29 <zere> did we cover everything on that topic? was there anything else anyone wanted to talk about quickly?
18:40:32 <apmon> But, even if the website doesn't explain things well, it would be interesting to see what "pre-conceptions" people come in with and what actually needs explaining and what people just know anyway from general tech use.
18:41:11 <zere> yup
18:53:01 <gravitystorm> I have nothing else
18:56:38 <zere> ok. thanks everyone!