Back in the beginning of April, we (the Documentation Curators) organised a surprise Umbraco Documentation Awareness Day on Twitter, giving you all a chance to share your appreciation or perhaps even “depreciation” about the Umbraco Documentation.
A bit of background…
We’d been staring at analytics (i.e. views and length of engagement) for the documentation articles, and realised that any changes we found were pretty ambiguous.
Did less time on an article mean people were finding things quicker, or not finding what they needed and looking elsewhere?
If an article was having more visits would that mean the article was a great resource to keep revisiting, or was the information so poorly explained people kept having to return searching in vain for the answer?
We wanted a way to validate whether progress is being made and boil it down to one main question: is the Documentation getting better?
We know that people have had mixed feelings about the documentation through the years, so the idea was to start conversations and harvest those thoughts and perhaps find that the Documentation has gained the status of ‘not being quite so rubbish anymore’ 😉
So we started an experiment, and we called it #uDAD, the Umbraco Documentation Awareness Day.
As well as learning that ‘udad’ is actually a Danish word for ‘outwardly’ (who saw that coming? 😉), here’s some of what we found.
3 cheers for Pete’s Cheatsheet!
One thing we found in particular is that there is quite a lot of love for Pete Gregory’s Cheatsheet for Umbraco 4.
It got us thinking... why does no Umbraco 8 Cheatsheet exist? 🤔
The syntax has changed subtly for Umbraco 8, and it’s a perfect scenario for a cheat sheet - don’t you think? We definitely think it would be a wonderful idea, and something we’re looking into now, Or maybe since uDAD, there are already one or two in progress? Let us know if you have already got a head start.
As the day sped by, more and more were tweeting about ‘remembered’ old documentation pages, and blog posts that had helped them out in the past.
Along with this came some Umbraco nostalgia, and a real throwback from our MVP Jan.
During uDAD it became clear to us that people have a genuine fondness for the blogs out there that contain a lot of great knowledge and documentation on Umbraco, and a lot of recognition was given to the people that make an effort to share that knowledge generally - not just in the official Umbraco documentation.
When you find something missing in the Umbraco documentation and you work it out; blog about it and share it with others. Many of you out there are already doing this, and it’s wonderful and truly in the spirit of Umbraco!
As curators of the Umbraco Documentation, it also got us thinking…
💭 Is it easier to write a blog post, than provide a PR to the documentation?
💭 Is there a barrier of entry perhaps of not knowing where to put stuff in the official documentation?
💭 Is there something to being recognised as the author of the knowledge? Should every page in the documentation list out the contributing authors?
💭 Should there be a collection of articles by attributed authors, that are then tagged with a taxonomy of subject relevance?
💭 Would it be easier for blogs to be compiled in a central location so it’s easier for people to find, for example people who are new to the community or don’t know which blogs to follow?
🤔... So many questions, thoughts and ideas - a lot of food for thought!
Without being able to give any clear answers to the above as of yet, one thing is for sure: If you’ve worked something out, and it’s not clear in the documentation, let us know via the issue tracker and link to your blog. Tell us about it, and together we can work out how to best fit in information so it’s easy for people to find in the future.
First and foremost - thank you for taking part in #uDAD and getting so involved! #H5YR! 🙌
It’s safe to say that the it's raised as many questions as answers, but that still gives us good stuff to work on.
The conversation on the day slipped out from Twitter into Shimmied, into Slack and even real life conversations with real people (isn’t that refreshing in these times?) While it’s not so scientific, it does feel like progress has been made in the last two years of documentation curation, even if we can’t put a ‘number’ on it.
And remember that you can always reach out to us if you have any further questions or comments!
So really the conclusion is that there is still a lot of work to be done, and though the documentation may never be finished, we’re going to use this feedback to keep doing all we can.
Oh, and we need a cheat sheet for Umbraco 8! 👌