For the past year, I’ve had the pleasure to work with Ushahidi to gather feedback from people all over the world who have put the platform to work. I’ve found it incredibly inspiring to learn about their implementations and see how Ushahidi has evolved in response to their needs.
Hearing what works, what doesn’t, what is missing and what could be improved is essential to the ongoing development of Ushahidi. Feedback also plays an important role in building and growing a thriving community. Participating in this process is one way that those who have benefited from using Ushahidi can give back and help us build a better platform for future users. Feedback can include bug reports, technical difficulties, and feature requests as well as strategic insights and practical considerations.
A sample of feedback we have received includes requests for: language localization; customized themes; better configuration of email, SMS, and RSS alerts; improved alerts functionality such as the ability to subscribe to alerts for more than one location at a time or for a specific category; enhanced reporting tools to produce reports, graphs, bar charts…and more. You can see how these suggestions were incorporated into the roadmap for the Mogadishu release by visiting our wiki.
We also launched our community resources page in response to feedback from non-technical users.
We glean feedback from a variety of sources: we encourage our users to exchange information on our forums, welcome guest posts to our blog and appreciate when people who have deployed Ushahidi take time to complete our online surveys. In fact, we are currently revising our install survey and our post-implementation survey. Please feel free to let us know what you think of the questions. Do they make sense? Anything else we should ask?
Also, as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our capacity for gathering feedback, we are currently seeking volunteers to join our team. We are particularly looking for bilingual (English + local language) volunteers from Central and South America, Europe and Asia. If you are interested in learning more about how Ushahidi is used in the field, becoming a feedback volunteer will give you the opportunity to engage and interact with deployers who are actively using the platform. It’s also a great way for people without technical skills to contribute to shaping and improving the platform. If it sounds like something you might enjoy, please contact me via email to sarah [at] ushahidi [dot] com.