81

This process is deprecated/on indefinite hold.

See this Meta post for updates from the DAG team, and this other one for more context on the changes in the process.

On a weekly basis, the Community Team vets a handful of feature requests to be sent over to the engineering team and estimated, scheduled into next month's plan, and built (or sometimes rejected for technical reasons).

We try to select things that we think can make the most people happy, and can also be done in about one to three days by a developer. Or, in other words, something relatively self-contained that doesn't require an elaborate spec, a lot of discovery by/with many other teams, and doesn't really alter the product itself in major ways. We usually send over around 10 of these a month.

Some of these are grabbed from the various Metas across the network, some are written by the Community Team themselves.
Some have a lot of visibility in all sites of the network, some are only minor tweaks to background stuff, some are improvements to moderator tools, and some are improvements to the tools the Community Team themselves use.

The team keeps track of these in a Trello board that looks like this:

The Community Team's feature requests Trello board

We'll start posting monthly updates on what features from that board were built, rejected, or punted, as answers to this question (one answer per year), with the objective of giving you some insight into our process.

  • 3
    And I quote: "\o/" – Jason C Feb 14 '17 at 18:12
  • 9
    It's a shame we can't actually read what is on the board :/ – DavidPostill Feb 14 '17 at 18:21
  • 18
    I'd like a higher def version of that screenshot – Magisch Feb 14 '17 at 18:24
  • 1
    @Magisch You'll just have to wait and see what we do over the next few months. – Taryn Feb 14 '17 at 18:26
  • 9
    @DavidPostill Well just zoom in, duh. See? Totally readable! – Jason C Feb 14 '17 at 18:52
  • does this process mean that any feature that can take more than three days by a developer is off the radar? – gnat Feb 14 '17 at 20:11
  • 1
    @gnat That means that it's too big for our weekly features, but it's not off the table to be done. – Taryn Feb 14 '17 at 20:19
  • 1
    Just wondering, was the decision to use Trello influenced by the fact that Joel is the co-founder of the company that created Trello? – dorukayhan Feb 14 '17 at 22:17
  • 7
    @dorukayhan Not really. We have Trello, but no teams are necessarily forced to use it. We continue to use it because we've found it to be a useful tool and fits our needs. If we weren't satisfied with it, we'd find something else in the same fashion as the Community Team using ZenDesk instead of FogBugz for email support. – animuson Feb 15 '17 at 1:35
  • 2
    Thanks so much for sharing this! It's great to have more visibility into what y'all are considering/working on. (I see "give PPCG better close reasons" in the inbox. If that means what I think it means, Worldbuilding would also be very interested in that.) – Monica Cellio Feb 15 '17 at 2:09
  • 3
    This is straight up awesome to see! – enderland Feb 15 '17 at 2:43
  • 5
    This is the first thing I have seen through my much lower activity level that has made me have any interest in becoming active again. – durron597 Feb 16 '17 at 17:54
  • 3
    As per the answer here, the Community Request queue has been deprecated and all of its tasks assigned to the DAG team; their updates are at 2018 monthly product team updates. This question's answer hasn't been updated since 2017. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Oct 30 '18 at 19:36
43

Features in the "built" lists marked with a "" were in the QA phase at the moment the post was edited. They'll appear on subsequent months' "built" list if further work was warranted, or won't if they just cleared QA successfully.

November '17

We’ve always known that we have some technical debt that would eventually require payment; work on Teams has revealed that the extent of this debt reaches quite a bit further than we hoped. As integrating Channels requires us to dig into every system supporting and surrounding Q&A, we’d like to ensure that we don’t add anything else to the pile while we get things sorted out. To that, we’re going to be putting a freeze on all new features while we start paying off some interest.

Note that this doesn’t include work on testing the new ask question templates or bugs that surface while we straighten out some messes - those sorts of things will still get the attention that they need. What we can’t do is introduce any new complexity into what we’re currently sorting out, which involves quite a bit of things both supporting and surrounding our core Q&A product.

We appreciate your patience during this period, and we’ll update you again as soon as we have a better ETA on when we’ll be able to start scheduling new features.

Unless a feature from the "punted" list at the bottom of this post gets built or rejected, this post won't be getting any new updates either.

  • Built: (0)

    • Nothing! (╥_╥)
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing! \o/

October '17

Updates for this month are pretty much the same as last month's, unfortunately :\
Stay tuned for updates on what the DAG team's been working on here.

  • Built: (0)

    • Nothing! (╥_╥)
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing! \o/

September '17

The Community Team sent over a few features to the DAG team after discussing them (added to the bottom of the post, in the "punted" section), but unfortunately nothing got built this month.

  • Built: (0)

    • Nothing! (╥_╥)
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing! \o/

August '17

  • Built: (7)

    • When unregistered users are prompted to sign up when trying to comment, let them know they'll have to earn 50 rep too;
    • Anonymizing Mod Messages, Part 2 — point users to the "contact us" form more clearly Relevant Meta post;
    • Create a new tab on the Review Ban list page to show a list of users who previously had a review ban — Relevant Meta post;
    • Prevent users from re-flagging a comment multiple times for the same reason — Relevant Meta post;
    • Remove downvotes on auto-VLQ flags if the post is upvoted — Relevant Meta post;
    • Show rollback link for users with full tag wiki editing privileges — Relevant Meta post;
    • Automate the profile deletion process more — There are a lot of cases in which a human who works at SE is needed to intervene when a user wants to delete their account, and we want to try to reduce that.
  • Rejected: (1)

    • Add downvote to LQR queue possible actions — Relevant Meta post, which has been answered with the outcome of our discussion.

July '17

Update! Woo! A lot of stuff got built. And as a spoiler for next month, another six items on the list are presently being worked on too!

  • Built: (10)

    • "Area 51 Winter Potpourri" — a mix of tweaks and improvements to Area 51: include closed proposals in the 3-day check for removal, redefinition of "activity" for auto-close checks, change "add comment" to "suggest improvements" in the example questions listing, changes to what bumps "activity" in the example questions listing, and changes to proposal close-descriptions;
    • Add Link to questions in the revision note for duplicate question changes — Relevant Meta post;
    • Add guidance to authors when they can override an edit review — Relevant Meta post;
    • Add "comments are moderated" note to new-user guidance — Relevant Meta post;
    • Make it clearer why the edit button is greyed out — Relevant Meta post;
    • Differentiate between registered and unregistered accounts on IP lookups and X-refs — for mods;
    • Make "How to tag" more helpful for new users — Relevant Meta post;
    • Build in new interstitial with response times into the "contact community team" option in the mod menu on a user's profile;
    • Make comment flags less confusing — Relevant Meta post;
    • Make sure disassociated posts don't show up in the network profile.
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing! \o/

June '17

Update! Welp, turns out our prediction from April's update was a bit off: we did see thing ramp up in May, but June turned out to not be our "back in full force" month...

However, the new Developer Affinity & Growth team is now officially... well, a team — they have a clear structure and goals! That means we might be closer to figuring out what "a normal month" in this process looks like with this new team.

That being said, and to avoid falling into a pattern where we consistently try to predict what that looks like (and possibly fail at doing it), I'm not gonna estimate when we'll be "back in full force" again. Instead, I'll tell you what we're predicting July will look like: we're gonna have a set of extra hands helping out in trying to cut down that "on wait list to get built" list at the end of this post significantly — three of the items on the list are already being worked on at the moment!

Hopefully, we might be able to normalize the rate of requests we handle monthly, but we'll see what we think August's gonna look like when I post July's update! :)

  • Built: (0)

    • Nothing! (╥_╥)
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing! \o/

May '17

  • Built: (5)

    • Anonymizing Mod Messages, Part 1 — Relevant Meta post;
    • Changes to the way annotations are propagated to other sites, or overarching network account — Relevant Meta post. This one has been split into multiple parts, and work on some of them (work on chat profile annotations propagating to the overarching network account [only visible to CMs at this point] is now complete) have been built;
    • Fix yodeya.com redirects — Relevant Meta post;
    • Show warning when question title is similar to many closed/downvoted questions — Relevant Meta post;
    • Change guidance when trying to self-delete question with upvoted answers — Relevant Meta post.
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing! \o/

April '17

Update! Our new PM concluded his onboarding process this past week, so April didn't see a lot of feature requests get built — as expected, and accounted for in March's update. This should ramp up in May, and be back in to full force in June, though.

  • Built: (2)

    • Allow post owners to override suggested edit decisions — Cleared QA, after undergoing extensive testing. Relevant Meta posts here and here;
    • Changes to the way annotations are propagated to other sites, or overarching network account — Relevant Meta post. This one has been split into multiple parts, and work on some of them (work on chat profile annotations propagating to the overarching network account [only visible to CMs at this point] is undergoing) have been built.
  • Rejected: (1)

    • Automatically generate inbox notification explaining what downvoting means when a low-rep user gets their first question downvote — We've shelved this one for now, aiming to tackle it along with some future work on the ask page. Relevant Meta post

March '17

Update! A new PM just started last week, so hopefully we'll see an increase in the volume of features that get built monthly (maybe not in the first month, but hopefully in the subsequent months)! \o/

  • Built: (10)

    • "Add customizable hero for international users" — Built last month, but still needed some tweaks only stumbled upon on QA;
    • "Redirect non-English speakers trying to ask on SO to a localized site" — Since Stack Overflow requires registration before asking and the localized Stack Overflows do not, we want to let people know that not only can they ask in their own language, but they can do it without having to sign up yet;
    • Improving the wording of the "Too Broad" close reason — Relevant Meta post;
    • Allow badge-holders to add/modify duplicate links — Relevant Meta posts here and here;
    • Changes to the way annotations are propagated to other sites, or overarching network account — Relevant Meta post. This one has been split into multiple parts, and work on some of them (all annotations propagate from each community to the overarching network account now [only visible to CMs at this point]) have been built;
    • Tweak mod flag filters to hide flags where the community review process hasn't yet been completed;
    • Make closing of a question end the grace period for edits — Relevant Meta post;
    • Copy changes in the election results page;
    • Hide suggested edit spam from review — So spammers cannot show whoever's paying them a page with spam;
    • Allow post owners to override suggested edit decisions — Relevant Meta posts here and here.
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing! \o/

February '17

Update! As Tim mentioned, we don't currently have a PM for Q&A, which means prioritizing and scheduling the features in the "punted" list below is currently not as easy as it usually is. Since February was the first "full month" in which we were PM-less, we had fewer features implemented and that list grew in size. And unfortunately, we might have to stick to this kind of volume 'til we (hopefully soon!) hire a PM.wink

  • Built: (5)

    • Tweak filters to reduce incidence of false-positives in "suspicious voting" moderator tools;
    • Add an extra blurb to users submitting answers for the first time on Programming Puzzles & Code Golf — Relevant Meta post;
    • Add PostNotice data to SEDE;
    • "Targeted message for non-English users who have come to Stack Overflow from a search engine X times" — We try to route users to international Stack Overflow sites if it looks like they're not finding what they want on Stack Overflow, and we know they speak one of the languages we have localized Stack Overflow in (so Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish), by inviting them to ask their question and get answers in their own language in a small message displayed right above the answers;
    • "Add customizable hero for international users" — Allow for the ability to customize the big "Join the Stack Overflow Community" banner we display on Stack Overflow to invite users we know speak the languages we have localized Stack Overflow in, so they can be invited to join the international Stack Overflow communities instead.
  • Rejected: (0)

    • Nothing \o/

January '17

  • Built: (6)

  • Rejected: (1)

    • "Allow users to delete network profiles when there are no per-site profiles" — upcoming changes (which should cause the network profile to be automatically removed in these instances) makes this request obsolete.


Punted (or already discussed, on wait list to get built): (28)

  • Generate warning when number of active moderators falls below threshold — Make sure we (the Community Team) are notified about this;
  • Keep "Friendly tag name" feature, expand to all sites, show in tag pop-up — "Friendly name" here being a thing we rolled out for Docs (on SO). For instance, [sql-server] is "Microsoft SQL Server;"
  • Change "add a comment" to "suggest improvements" on Interpersonal Skills, observe results — Relevant Meta post;
  • "Implement Cross-linking Question UI" — We already have the ability to link duplicate questions between languages (eg., if there is a Russian version of an English question we can link the two questions so someone who speaks Russian will see that there is a Russian-language version of that question) but no proper UI do to so, so let's build a "review queue" for this in the International SOs;
  • Don't hard-delete votes when accounts are merged — instead, leave a trail of invalidated votes;
  • Changes to the way annotations are propagated to other sites, or overarching network account — Relevant Meta post. This one has been split into multiple parts, and some of them are queued ((1): making sure previous annotations are copied over to recreated profiles; (2): showing more network context on users who've been suspended in the past year to mods who are about to contact them);
  • Label/Remove Strings for Inactive Features on Transifex — Since we ask the International SO communities to help translate strings, having an increasingly large number of strings which may not be relevant to the users trying to translate them (as is the case for things like Triage/Documentation which aren't live for the International SOs) means added work for the community volunteering to do this work;
  • Move the mod info out of the margin and into the post — Relevant Meta post;
  • Add a lock reason that only locks comments — Relevant Meta post;
  • Add the ability to retract comment flags — Relevant Meta posts here and here;
  • Add a create chat with user option to the mod tool menu — Relevant Meta Post;
  • Add on-site contact method for prospective pro-tem initial contact — When the community team first reaches out to a prospective pro-tem candidate on sites that aren't yet able to hold their own elections, we have to do it via email. We want to be able to do that on-site instead, so doing so leaves a trail attached to the users' profiles, along with an annotation on their overarching network account (only visible to CMs);
  • Create a new tab on the profile page under all actions to display protected/unprotected posts by a user — Relevant Meta posts here and here;
  • Automate Elections I: Automate Q&A question collection — Automatically create the Meta post to collect questions for the community, instead of a CM having to post it manually;
  • Automate Elections II: Submission form for Q&A questionnaire — A lot of manual editing and digging around Meta involved in elections here for the CM handling elections, so trying to simplify it by making this step a simple form submission;
  • Automate Elections III: Automatic effects following questionnaire submission — Automatically create the election chat room, update the election page, etc.;
  • Show more "recent names" to mods;
  • Modify the placeholder search bar text on Programming Puzzles & Code Golf — Relevant Meta post;
  • Give Programming Puzzles & Code Golf better close reasons — Relevant Meta post;
  • Give Programming Puzzles & Code Golf better bounty reasons — Relevant Meta post;
  • Make the Teacher's Lounge (network-wide moderator-only chat room) "team whois" smarter — Relevant Meta post;
  • Leave record that stars were cleared in a chat message history — Relevant Meta post;
  • Require acknowledgement of blacklist warnings before posting — Relevant Meta post;
  • Separating reversed events in the reputation history — Relevant Meta post;
  • Add daily count vote to achievements dropdown — Relevant Meta Post;
  • Add option to retract flags to API — Relevant Meta post;
  • Auto-import translations from Transifex — New strings that need translation on International SOs need to be manually imported by a CM, and we'd like to change that.
  • 1
    Does the lack of PM issue mean that there are no full-time Q&A devs, and that a PM is necessary to schedule someone to work on Q&A for x hours? – Stijn Mar 21 '17 at 11:00
  • 2
    @Stijn There are Q&A devs, but they're currently being managed by PMs in charge of other projects. It's not a complete roadblock, but it's enough of a complication to slow things down. The good news is that we have a Q&A PM starting this week! It's gonna take some time for him to ramp up on what's going on, though, so I would expect the next while to still be a bit slow on the CR side. – Adam Lear Mar 28 '17 at 2:45
  • What is "the QA phase"? – Rand al'Thor Apr 3 '17 at 21:42
  • Quality Assurance, @randal'thor. Basically, testing by the Community Team to make sure what was built is working as we'd intended it to work when we wrote up the feature request. – JNat Apr 4 '17 at 8:37
  • 2
    Two months, nothing was done. Is something going on? – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Nov 1 '17 at 13:33
  • "Nothing was done" is not really an accurate description of reality, @ShadowWizard — plenty got done, it's just that, unfortunately, nothing got done through this particular process. – JNat Nov 1 '17 at 13:45
  • Can a December '17 update be made now? – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Dec 30 '17 at 6:48
  • Did you read the November update, @gparyani? There won't be any more updates unless there's actually something to write about. – JNat Jan 2 '18 at 9:08

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