Going from Awesome to Awesome-r

Our Army of Awesome is off to a fantastic start. Since we launched a little over a week ago, over 200 people have sent 700+ replies to Firefox users on Twitter. That’s pretty amazing.

I talked with several Mozillians using the Army of Awesome site to get feedback on how to improve the app. I’ve identified some “paper cuts” that most users are experiencing, and there are some quick ways we can improve the usability of the page. It’s also a good time to think about the next stages for the site and how we can develop it from an occasional tool for users into a true community of awesome helpers. I’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Usability enhancements

  • Indicate which tweets have been replied to, showing the name of the first person to reply to each tweet
  • Be able to view replies underneath tweets
  • Add a “Load more tweets” button that shows an additional 20 recent tweets each time you click it

Several people using the Army of Awesome page have asked if there’s a way to see which tweets have replies. They’re mainly interested in replying to tweets that don’t have responses yet, so I think it’s important that we show it in the next version. We originally chose not to include this in the design because we think it can be really awesome when someone tweeting a Firefox question or issue gets multiple responses. However, I can understand how showing the number of replies next to each tweet can help our community respond to the most people possible.

Showing replies to tweets can also make a big difference for both those helping and those being helped. Community members can jump in with new tips or comments even after the initial response. And if the person being helped responds, someone from the Army of Awesome can reply with more advice or information.

Others have also asked to see more tweets on the page. Going through the 20 tweets on the page only takes a couple minutes and it can sometimes take a while for newer tweets to appear. Being able to go back and see older tweets makes sense.

Big ideas for future versions

Improve our filter: we currently filter out retweets, replies, and tweets that contain a URL. This means we’re currently showing only a third of tweets that mention Firefox. Tweets with URLs is by far the biggest filter, and we chose this to reduce the noise of viewing tweets linking to news articles or blog posts. We could improve this by cross-referencing URLs with a news search engine or by keeping a list of tweets with URLs and only showing the first tweet that contains a given URL.

Show stats: we could show individual stats, aggregate stats, and a leaderboard. This would make the page more interactive since the stats you’d see would constantly change and you could see how many tweets our community is responding to. Since the app connects with your Twitter account, we could pull in your followers and show how many people your friends are helping. We could also offer badges based on participation and types of replies.

Offer additional filters: we can allow users to select different views based on how they want to help. Some users want to respond to the most recent tweets while others want to focus on tweets that don’t have replies. We could also filter by language, keyword, or the type of message based on our best prediction (eg: questions, praise, feedback, frustrations, support issues).

What would you like to see?

What do you think of these ideas and how would you improve the Army of Awesome page? What’s most important to you? Let me know in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Going from Awesome to Awesome-r

  1. I’d like to see the replies to (and retweets of) the #fxhelp tweets. For example, I was happy to see http://twitter.com/#!/jruderman/status/27214636219 retweeted, and http://twitter.com/#!/jruderman/status/27218373472 got a “thanks for the idea!” reply. It would be cool if these successes were shown off to potential army-of-awesome recruits.

    I’d also like it to not redirect me to Twitter every time I visit.

  2. The replies thing is key. I don’t want to repeat someone else… and I wouldn’t want to accidentally swamp a poor user who wasn’t expecting be be attacked by an army.

  3. It would be really nice to have a few links on that main page for basic support links like the “Basic Troubleshooting” page, MozillaZine’s “Problematic Extensions” page and a few specific forums where people might get more expanded help. That way the “Army” can respond with those links more quickly without having to dig around Google or their bookmarks to find them. There are also a few very common problems like Flash games not working in Facebook, and toolbars or toolbar buttons disappearing that probably deserve a spot on that list as well.

  4. I wish there were permalinks. Sometimes I want to see the person’s other tweets, or retweet something rather than reply to it.

  5. Group Captain Lionel Mandrake

    Has it occurred to anyone that any support that goes beyond “Double click on the Firefox icon” requires more then 140 characters?

  6. David, completely agree that it’s key. Showing replies + number of replies will be added in this week’s update. You can try it now on the Army of Awesome staging site.

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