Our Community is Important to us!

IMG_29042014_173121 The Ushahidi community has always been at the heart of what we do.
  • Developers and Designers: Every single line of code you commit to ushahidi goes a long way in improving our software for mappers across the globe. Our last 3 bug fix releases couldn’t have been done without you
  • Translators: You help to globalise our software by making it available in more than 42 languages worldwide
  • Deployers/Users: You share your experiences and lessons learned with us, in turn, teaching other deployers through your experiences
  • Researchers: You help us make sense of data collected, and frame our thinking behind data collection and how to structure our tools and strategies.

We sent out this community survey because we care about what you think, and want to understand how to better serve your needs.

A few caveats

We managed to draw in 161 responses to this year’s community survey. However, there are a few limitations that this survey presents:-
  • It may not be statistically representative. We’re working with a very small sample of responses

We’re listening to you!

This is what we’ve heard from you, and we’d like to assure you that we’re taking into account all this feedback as we build strategies around our products and overall community engagement.  We are always looking for ways to improve, thanks to your responses we have some clear steps to take, which we will communicate in future posts in the coming weeks. As always, we will continue to seek your guidance and support as we move forward on improving community engagement, and will continue to communicate more regularly.

Jumping into the results!

Describe your involvement with Ushahidi

This year, we asked respondents of our survey to tell us what role they play in the Ushahidi community. It was interesting to note that most of you consider yourselves as users of our software, as opposed to being “Community members”. This has us wondering about what our definition of community has been. Is it too broad? Do we need to rethink this definition? Describe your involvement with Ushahidi    

Which products do you use?

Ushahidi products you use  

How do you use our tools?

We sought to find out what topic areas attract the highest usage of Ushahidi technology. The top 3 include Crisis Management/Response, Election monitoring and Environmental mapping. Others included compassion mapping, crime and security mapping, education, among others.  

How you use Ushahidi tools

How would you rate your Ushahidi experience?

You all provided some insightful feedback into how you rate your experience using and contributing to Ushahidi software. We took our time going through each of your individual responses to pick out the overarching themes of what you like/don’t like about working with Ushahidi. Rate your experience using Ushahidi  

“I think it's a great product. But being part of the community is great too, it's small enough that it is ‘intimate’.”

“I love Ushahidi, love Ushahidians community and what people do is amazing!” “Even though I am extremely grateful for the tool and it has helped with the advocacy work I think not seeing major upgrades have been disappointing.”

“It was very hard to extend Ushahidi's functionality via creating a plug-ins compared to other platforms. Documentation on how to make plugins and extend the platform is very poor and it's unnecessarily difficult.”

Positive feedback
These are the recurring themes where you expressed satisfaction. We take this as an indication to keep working on these areas, and taking even more initiative to continue being the best that we can
  • Easy to use
  • Broad applicability of the software
  • Active community support
  • Extensive documentation
  • Love that its a small and intimate community
Pain points?
These are the areas that you identified as needing improvement on. We will work towards addressing these issues as we organise ourselves internally to publishing additional blogposts on our direction forward, with more feedback from you.
  • Mobile apps don’t work
  • Rigid platform – no flexibility – hard to adapt
  • Buggy software
  • Installation is hard
  • Upgrades are difficult
  • No major upgrades to the software is about disappointing
  • Transition from old to new Crowdmap is confusing and hasn’t been communicated properly
  • Hard to find documentation
  • Inactive forums
  • Security within the software is still an issue

What are your suggested improvements?

  • Security updates
  • Be more responsive
  • Add workflows
  • Include academia and expand community beyond just developers
  • Bug free software and stable code
  • Build a robust API
  • Increase depth in documentation
  • Streamline communication tools and channels - we’ve got too many that are confusing
  • Add tutorials(written and video)
  • Automatic upgrades(upgrade process is currently a pain)

How can we make improve your community experience?

  • Incorporate important aspects like security into the software. Engage security professionals
  • Get rid of PHP Framework and use Python
  • Notifications on deployments nearby that people can get involved in
  • Automate installations
  • Send short email updates regularly
  • More events featuring top developers in the team and community
  • Rewards and recognition for contributions by community members
  • Establish best practices for deploying ushahidi (toolkits)
  • Better documentation
  • Spread community beyond North America and Africa to Europe(better outreach)
  • Community programmes (leaders, developers, angels)

How can we make it easier for you to contribute?

  • Clear definition of needs for the community to jump into (how to help)
  • More meetups (physical and virtual)
  • Better documentation
  • Social media outreach
  • Newsletters
  • Tutorials

Thank you!

We’d like to thank all the 160+ respondents of this survey for taking the time to share their thoughts with us. Feedback is a continuous process, so do feel free to reach out to us incase you have any further questions, suggestions or comments you would like to share. Onwards!