The first Genesis Shapers meeting of 2020 is now in the books, and as we begin the new year and a new decade, I’m excited for all of the great things in store for WordPress and Genesis. I’m also looking forward to sharing new developments and insights with the wider community of Genesis users as we move forward.
Before diving into the details of January’s meeting, here are recaps from the 2019 Shapers events, if you’d like to catch up:
With that, here’s the Genesis Shapers meeting recap for January 2020
As a reminder, the Genesis Shapers are a global, hand-selected, and diverse group of people representing companies from across the community who share a representative voice for the strategic direction of Genesis, which is combined with the feedback we receive directly from customers across social channels, and through Genesis WP on Slack.
January’s meeting set a great tone for the year with another strong showing from members of the group. The focus for this particular meeting was on translations and community engagement, with a sneak peek at Genesis ~4.0.
The Genesis Shapers as of the date of this meeting, included:
- Bill Erickson,
- Carrie Dils,
- David Decker,
- Gary Jones,
- Greg Boser,
- Jennifer Bourn,
- Jon Brown,
- Jonathan Jeter,
- Lauren Gaige,
- Lee Anthony,
- Mike Hemberger,
- Nahuai Badiola,
- Remkus de Vries,
- Robin Cornett,
- Anita Carter,
- Sridhar Katakam,
- and Ryan Murray.
The meeting was led by Studiopress Director of Marketing Chris Garrett, who kicked off with the first question:
Genesis 3.3 (planned beta launch on January 29th) will include automatic downloading of Genesis translations for non-U.S. English sites. Do you have any questions or concerns about this feature?
Nahuai Badiola was the first to answer, saying, “I’m really happy you could add it to 3.3. I’ll be happy to test it once the beta is available.”
Jon Brown added, ”My only concern is that it works correctly on existing multilingual sites… which I trust it does, but looking forward to testing.”
David Decker also responded, “Of course I will test once the beta is available, but in general it is great to have this language pack feature on board – it makes these things easier and saves some time.”
Robin Cornett was the last to reply, saying, “In general, the more automation, the better for users, I think. I was just remembering my early WordPress days where updating WP required removing and uploading all the files with FTP, and how making that automatic was life-changing.”
Responding to Robin, Chris said, “Taking care of things so the user doesn’t have to feels on-brand to me.”
From there, Chris posed the next question:
Are you seeing any frequent feature requests/problems that your agency/theme store customers didn’t have in the past? If so, what?
Anita Carter was the first to respond, saying, “I am seeing a lack of consistency with adding a logo. I know that probably will change by the theme designer. But it’s something I see in theme support.”
Robin Cornett added, ”For users who were familiar with the widget-based front pages, I think there is still confusion about using a static page instead, built with blocks.”
Nathan Rice responded, “Do you feel like there’s anything we could be doing, but aren’t, that would make that transition easier for folks?”
Robin replied, “I think the one-click setup/onboarding helps with that if you’re building a new site, but if you are updating an existing site, then everything is different. And browsing the themes list in the store doesn’t show you what themes are updated to use that v. a widget-based front page; not sure if you would know that until after buying and having access to the docs?”
After a few additional responses, Chris asked the next question:
Are there any areas in the Genesis support documentation which could be improved?
David decker responded first, saying, “When logged in to the customer area on StudioPress it needs to be improved— I would also prefer a public resource without login.”
Carrie Dils also responded, saying, “This has been mentioned in the past, but consolidation of support links/resources!”
Anita Carter added, “I was going to ask about the Forum being out there as a resource. There are a pages and pages of unanswered posts. A few come in during the day, but over the past month or so, a lot of spam. Do we still need the community forum? Or can it be cleaned up in some way?”
To which Chris responded, “I would for sure like to do more with the forum” and moved to the next question:
We recently included promotions to join the Genesis Slack and Facebook communities as part of our onboarding emails. Membership and engagement in those communities have been increasing as a result. What could we be doing to welcome these folks and encourage healthy participation within the community?
Bill Erickson was the first to respond, saying, “A simple, publicly accessible page on StudioPress that links to every official source of documentation/support would be useful.”
David decker responded, “Exactly. This needs to be centralized, public (no login), with a Developer subsection also, but for the normal user, all documentation collected in categories etc.”
Anita Carter added, “And I think an explanation of how those resources work. Not to exclude anyone from any of them, but the forum seems to be more for the newbies and novice users and Slack is for more advanced, expert-level users.”
To which Jon Brown replied, “The problem is Slack and Facebook are where people go to ASK questions… not FIND information… the forums were/are searchable… we need more good searchable documentation (wiki-style stuff).”
David Decker replied, “First build a central public docs hub and then we can also link to it in Slack, Forum, Facebook etc.”
To which Jon Brown replied, “Yes, sometimes I jump in to be nice and help/answer stuff… but most of the time I ignore/mute that stuff.”
Chris rounded out the thread, saying, “I wonder if we could build a list of most frequently asked questions?” Which garnered a lot of support from others in the Slack channel.
With a note to investigate the topic further, Chris also asked the next question:
We plan to create an experimental plugin (that would potentially become Genesis 4.0) and a new completely block-based starter theme to help the Genesis community adopt the full site editing feature and new theme templating system due to land in WordPress this year. Is anyone interested in becoming an active beta tester for these experiments? Do you have any immediate thoughts or questions about these plans we could take back to inform our product strategy/answer at a later date?
Nahuai Badiola responded first, saying, “I’d love to test the experimental plugin beta and try to report back the best I can.”
After a few others echoed Nahuai’s response, Mike Hemberger asked, “Is it a plugin just for testing, or is it an experiment of Genesis-as-a-plugin as discussed before?”
Nathan Rice clarified the question, saying, “Yes 🙂 ”
As most of the others in the channel expressed in becoming active beta testers, and with that, the January 2020 Shapers meeting wrapped up.
Thanks to everyone for reading our recap of the January 2020 Genesis Shapers meeting. I’m looking forward to what the new year brings for this group! We have a ton of great feedback that we’re already processing and we’re excited to use it as we continue to make an even more powerful framework for you and even more open and helpful community!