Introducing the Joomla Experience Team (JXT)
The Joomla Experience Team is a new working group (and hopefully soon, an official Production team) intended to replace the former JUX team, which has sadly been inactive since 2017.
Reimagining UX in Joomla
Why the new team name?
The meaning of UX has changed over the years. The abbreviation still means “user experience”, but many people think of it as UI—the layout and design of the interface. While that absolutely plays a part in the usability of Joomla, the team must have a broader focus and be able to justify advice and decisions with research.
When discussing the formation of this team, we realized also that Joomla is so much more than just a CMS: there's a community of enthusiasts, developers, and volunteers, not to mention the many websites that help support the day-to-day operations of Joomla and its community. All of these pieces play a part in someone's experience of Joomla, so we have to take them into account.
Thus, the Joomla Experience Team was born. For UX, and beyond!
What will the JXT do?
We have developed a three-pronged approach to improving the experience of the Joomla CMS and broader ecosystem:
- Damage Control and Quality Assurance: Bring attention to current bugs and issues to improve the experience in the CMS as it exists now, review PRs when necessary or requested. Track common issues and questions to help discover usability bugs.
- Guidance and Best Practices: Produce research-based strategy and documentation to help guide other teams with their decisions in order to ensure a consistent Joomla experience across the ecosystem as a whole.
- Visionary, Long Term Thinking: Assist with roadmaps and goals for future releases and decisions, in order to ensure the sustainable and consistent growth of the CMS and Joomla Ecosystem.
You can see the minutes from our first meeting here, which includes how we established this approach, as well as our current short-term goals.
How will things be different this time?
UX efforts in Joomla have always been well-intentioned, but rarely had the impact we had hoped. Part of this was because we were a Working Group (non-voting team), and lacked the involvement and direction we needed to be heard by the project in general. In order for UX to be successful, it needs to be a commitment across teams.
One of our goals is to act as an advocate for the many diverse groups of people using Joomla. It is hard to act as an advocate if you are unsure your voice will be heard. If we get enough active members, the JXT will be given the opportunity to become an official team in the Production Department. As an official team, the team lead will have voting rights and a voice in Production Leadership Team meetings.
In addition, the Production Leadership Team is already working the JXT into official processes for new features and releases, with more to come.
We need your help!
In order for us to become an official team, we need at least 5 active and consistent members. Right now, we have 4 (Elisa Foltyn, Angie Radtke, Peter Martin, and myself).
We're looking for people who could volunteer a couple hours (more or less) per week in one of the following roles:
- Information Architect
- UI Designer
- User Researcher
- UX Engineer
- UX Writer
- Back End Developer
If you'd like to help but aren't sure how, or can only commit to one-off tasks,
I am so excited for what this new team will bring to Joomla. If you have any questions about the JXT, comment below! What do you hope for the new team?