Design/Whiteboard/LibreOffice Send Feedback

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Summary

This page explains the new "Send Feedback" functionality in LibreOffice.

Selecting the corresponding action in the software, a special LibreOffice website will be opened which provides various feedback options (e.g. filing a bug, taking part in a survey). When calling the website, LibreOffice will embed some parameters, e.g.:

  • Version -> used to identify whether filing bugs still makes sense, or whether the user should update to the most recent version beforehand (e.g. if LibreOffice is older than 2 years)
  • GUI language -> used to adapt the website language and to offer language specific feedback options (e.g. the user survey may only be available for English and German, but not yet for Chinese language)
  • Organization name -> used to inform the user whether TDF is responsible for that software

The parameters provided by LibreOffice will get interpreted by a special link redirector that takes care to guide the user to the desired website. This link redirector will be designed in a way, that the website targets can be fully adjusted by the website administrators (e.g. if the website structure changes in a few years), and that it can handle any website link call from within LibreOffice.

The new website pages that offer the user to provide feedback will also be made available via the standard LibreOffice website.

Since the functionality also targets less experienced users, the website content has to be well understandable and needs proper localization and error handling.

Status: Whiteboard in Work

Topic Team Member
Development  ???
Design (User Experience) Christoph Noack
QA Rainer Bielefeld
Accessibility (todo)
Documentation (todo)
Website Content (todo)
Website Administration Christian Lohmaier, Florian Effenberger
Other Contributions

Requirements and Constraints

The functionality is based on the previous work described at:

Design

Overview

Bug Report Assistant Integration.png

Definition "Help Menu Integration"

An additional entry needs to be added to the LibreOffice Help Menu (all applications), see the mockup at Overview. Executing this entry will open the link redirector link incl. the required parameters for the feedback functionality. Please note that some menu items have been moved/renamed to clean up the menu a bit.

Configuration: The system must provide to remove/hide the "Send feedback..." functionality. -> Rationale: Corporations will need to disable that functionality.

Definition "StartCenter Integration"

This section extends the Definition "Help Menu Integration".

Design Whiteboard SendFeedback Idea StartCenterIntegration Markup.png

An additional button needs to be added to the StartCenter (see image). Executing this button will open the link redirector link incl. the required parameters for the feedback functionality.

StartCenter footer icons (tooltips):

  • Existing: Get more templates for $PRODUCTNAME
  • Existing: Add new features to $PRODUCTNAME
  • Existing: Get more features about $PRODUCTNAME
  • New: Send feedback about $PRODUCTNAME

Definition "LibreOffice Parameters"

The following parameters need to be embedded when calling the link redirector (see Definition "Link Redirection").

Required for the landing web page:

  • Type of link from within the software (Proposal: "SendFeedback") -> Rationale: To enable multiple service links to be used from within LibreOffice.
  • Organization name (Proposal %ORGANIZATIONNAME) -> Rationale: Check whether TDF is responsible for this version of LibreOffice. If not, it may be displayed in the error website.
  • Product name (Proposal: %PRODUCTNAME) -> Rationale: Decide on the websites to be shown. It may happen that we offer feedback options for downstream products. If not, it may be displayed in the error website.
  • Product version (Proposal: %PRODUCTVERSION) -> Rationale: Check what feedback options are still available for "ancient" versions of the office suite.
  • Current GUI language (???) -> Rationale: Decide for the website language and the feedback options for the given language / country.

Additionally required for the bug handling:

  • Component
  • Subcomponent
  • Operating system

Note: Available parameters are described in the OpenOffice.org Text Styleguide, Variables

Definition "Link Redirection"

Redirection URL and Parameters

Note: The mail by Christian Lohmaier describes the concept in detail.

Requirement: A "never ever changing URL is needed" to be used in the distributed software to not necessarily provide the same service during all that time, but at least direct the user to an appropriate site with further information/where to find the replacement for the tool/stuff that was originally referenced.

Link redirection URL and parameters:

http://hub.libreoffice.org/<type>[?parameters]

Examples:

Notes:

  • Would be rewritten by mod_rewrite (or by the CMS, doesn't matter) to the actual pages, for the "bugs" type, it could direct directly to the bug-assistant or a feedback landing page
  • I (Christian Lohmaier) also prefer to use (get) parameters instead of having them as part of the actual path, as it's much easier to just ignore all the get-parameters for old versions than to maintain a complex redirection table.
  • An additional advantage is to offer generic links (e.g. hub.libreoffice.org/support) that would be able to resolve the language automatically. This makes remembering individual URLs for different languages obsolete. (Source: private mail by Christian, 2011-11-12)

Redirect Behavior for "SendFeedback"

The following logic will handle the "good cases" and "error cases" (incl. offering helpful information for the user to not get lost, and - if it makes sense - to download LibreOffice). The basic idea is to check the parameters given by LibreOffice and to select the most appropriate website page in the desired language. If the website is not available in the requested language, then the fall back is the international LibreOffice website in "English".

Type Parameter Website Target Page Description
organization name product name product version (range) GUI language
feedback valid valid valid valid and website language available Website "Send Feedback" (localized)
feedback valid valid valid invalid or website language unavailable Website "Send Feedback" (English)
feedback invalid (don't care) (don't care) valid and website language available Website "Unsupported Version" (localized)
feedback invalid (don't care) (don't care) invalid or website language unavailable Website "Unsupported Version" (English)
feedback (don't care) invalid (don't care) valid and website language available Website "Unsupported Version" (localized)
feedback (don't care) invalid (don't care) invalid or website language unavailable Website "Unsupported Version" (English)
feedback (don't care) (don't care) invalid valid and website language available Website "Unsupported Version" (localized)
feedback (don't care) (don't care) invalid invalid or website language unavailable Website "Unsupported Version" (English)
invalid (don't care) (don't care) (don't care) valid and website language available Website "Page Not Found" (localized)
invalid (don't care) (don't care) (don't care) invalid or website language unavailable Website "Page Not Found" (English)

Definition "Website Services"

Structure

todo

Note: It is strongly suggested to restructure the LibreOffice website before adding the feedback functionality. UX-wise, the current structure doesn't make sense anymore, because it grew over the last moths.

Website "Send Feedback"

Location: todo (maybe: feedback.libreoffice.org)

Content: The primary goal is to let the user select the kind of feedback he wishes to provide. If he is unsure, we need to make him aware of the community support ... or simply closing the window.

Links:

Name Link Status Description
Tell about Yourself Example: LibreOffice Survey Branding Test Proposed Links to recent user surveys currently provided via Björn
Report a Problem https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/bug/ Proposed Links to the Bug Submission Assistant
Request a Feature (none) Idea Anybody remembers the great OOo UX Idea Handling page? :-)
Get Support http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/ Proposed Should be finally replaced with user-friendly support options like forums etc.

Mockup: Already contained in the graphic in the section overview, so here just a duplicate ...

Bug Report Assistant Integration.png

Website "Unsupported Version"

Location: todo

Content: The user called the page with an unsupported version of LibreOffice or another (downstream) product. Thus, we offer him to download a recent version of LibreOffice (if he knows LibreOffice already), go to the LibreOffice start page (so that he can get information about the product if he is unaware of what LibreOffice is), or to request community support (which is always kind to users). Finally, the user may safely close this window.

Links:

Name Link Status Description
Download LibreOffice http://www.libreoffice.org/download/ Proposed A recent version of LibreOffice
Get More Information http://www.libreoffice.org Proposed The LibreOffice start page
Get Support http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/ Proposed Should be finally replaced with user-friendly support options like forums etc.

Mockup: todo

Website "Page Not Found"

Note: This could be an improved version of the already existing "page not found" page on the LibreOffice website.

Location: todo (Example: http://www.libreoffice.org/404

Content: The user called a website of an unknwon "type". Thus, we offer him to go to the LibreOffice start page (so that he can get information about the product if he is unaware of what LibreOffice is), or to request community support (which is always kind to users). Finally, the user may safely close this window.

Links:

Name Link Status Description
Get More Information http://www.libreoffice.org Proposed The LibreOffice start page
Get Support http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/ Proposed Should be finally replaced with user-friendly support options like forums etc.

Mockup: todo

Implementation

Procedure

  • (in work) Finalize whiteboard page [Design Team, QA]
  • Check what kinds of "feedback service" can be provided [Design Team]
  • Provide link redirector [TDF Admin Team]
  • Create English "Send Feedback" page [Website Team, support by Design Team]
  • Rework application menu and integrate "Send Feedback..." link [Development]
  • Translate / adapt "Send Feedback" page (if required) [Local Teams]
  • Test, test, test [All, especially QA and Local Teams]

Open Questions and Known Issues

  • Open Question: What about the version tag displayed in the About dialog? Can these be also used for the landing page and the bug form?
  • Open Question: Is it possible to "tunnel" the component and subcomponent via the "feedback.libreoffice.org" site, so that the user can finally decide to file a bug report via the bug submission assistant?
  • Open Question: What "data conversion" is required for the LibreOffice Parameters to be used on the website or the bug tracker system. Who will provide these hash tables?
  • Open Question: Is an URL like "link-redirect." better (in terms of understandability for plain users) than "hub." for the link redirector?