What's a roadmap?
A "development roadmap" (also called a 'product roadmap') is a theoretical plan that outlines the long-term objectives for the 'product' in the form of deliverable product features.
Is it reliable?
In most cases, not everything on a development roadmap makes it into production, at least not in the format originally conceived, nor in the hypothesized order it's expressed. A roadmap expressed a developer's idealized view of an improved product experience. The process of development will necessarily clarify those ideas, raise new problems, and create new solutions.
Replace the forum we have now with a more robust platform that retains single-signon (SSO), lives on its own server space, and has more opportunity for expanded conversations.
Update the VIDCHAT methodology to a smoother video and chat ecosystem. Easier to view both at once on mobile. Less consumer-grade on the chat. Smoother oversall experience.
Create a methodology for posting vidchats as soon as they're scheduled instead of "at the time", so we can use the comment feature to post questions in advance, and see each other's questions written out in an organized manner.
Giza Gear: Giza branded t-shirts, mugs, etc. Sport your Giza Gear with pride. We're currently taking/welcoming inquiries from designer volunteers via the Support ticket system.
Add the ability to post 'reviews' of Giza, similar to Yelp reviews.
Experiment with additional formats that may include book club or small groups on-screen in vidchats.
Recruit guides who display the Guide Badge and do things like post TOCs (table of contents) for vidchats, point newbs in the right direction, etc.
Gently, slowly, with lots of communication, roll out additional security and log in features. We're starting with a change to the login URL (update your bookmarks!).
- Update theme (again). Current one is more current codebase, but more restrictive than what we want. We've already got a new one in the wings.
- Update ticketing system. This is down the road, and what we have works fast and well, but we'd like to professionalize this even more, if possible.
How can I help?
Simple. Donate to Community Improvements.
Any time frame is going to be theoretical. Necessarily, issues will arise that push out the development time or cause items to be rearranged and some items to be scrapped in favor of temporary improvements, no improvement, or a later theoretical improvement.
Do members get special treatment?
Of course. We prioritize improving the members-only section of the site, partly because we encourage everyone to become a member, and partly because doing that usually yields improvements to the non-member portion of the site as part of the process. It would not be true the other way around.
Can I add something else?
Product suggestions are welcome via the Support Ticket system but, keep in mind, we may not always add something to the roadmap immediately that seems logical, necessary, or even urgent to a member. A buyer may want a new floor in a house he's buying, but it may be ill-advised to prioritize that or even put it on the list if we have an open question on the state of the roof and the time/cost to mitigate any leaks. That said, the best way to get something on the roadmap is a) ensure your email address is current and correct in your user profile, and b) respond to surveys when we send them. It's best when we assemble batches of input all at once for a specific component (like vidchats or the forum) and plan improvements then.
I missed a recent survey!
That's OK. We're not trying to get all possible answers, just enough to see a pattern. We close surveys as soon as we reach our threshold for how much data we need to make decisions. We can't read 800+ answers times 15 questions and make sense of them anyway. So if you/we missed the last one, there'll be another. If you want to ensure you get it and can respond, do these things: 1) verify your email address in your profile, 2) check your SPAM folder and if the last one we sent went there, make sure that stops happening (every email system is different, but there's a method for any such system), 3) if you didn't get it, in SPAM folder, bulk mail tab, or anywhere, either a) you weren't a member at the time, or b) something else is keeping the email from reaching you. All we can do is try again next time. 4) When you do get a survey from us, respond ASAP. We stop looking at responses once it reaches epic proportions.