Mozilla Event Menu Lite

With a little over a week of digestion since the Mozilla Foundation All-Hands, I’ve revised the event menu shared a few weeks back.

The most resounding feedback was: “great to see this overview, but there’s too much stuff!”

So much of the revisions in version 0.2 are about cutting back. We asked ourselves what are the clear calls to action for participants versus an overview of all the event types the Mozilla Foundation is working on.

Version 0.2

To that end, this new version is a cleaned-up, “lite” menu (pdf).** Rather than paralyzing people with too many choices, it’s about giving simple options — which of course can be hacked and remixed as preferred. This is hopefully a step towards making this model more accessible and scalable.

Together with colleagues Jess Klein, Ben Simon & Matt Thompson, we spent a while crafting the language. Let us know what you think!

Criteria

Criteria for the event names included:

  • Comprehension. Mozilla has a history of rapid neologisms. We tried to stick with words commonly used, even outside of the Mozilliverse. While we are assigning specific meaning to some of the terms, many people can at least grasp part of the word and decipher what the term as a whole could mean. This is especially important for events, which will invite in a lot of new people who may not be familiar with our jargon.
  • Current Usage. That said, we didn’t want to default to names not in use at Mozilla. So we tried to strike a balance between quick comprehension and currency among existing projects. That’s why “fireside chat”, “learning lab”, and “hack jam” have been retained: we’re already using these terms in our programs.
  • Localization-friendly. We recognize parts of the event names are a little Anglo-centric, but we hope that at least the general term is readily translatable into other languages. If you have suggestions or feedback about this aspect, that is particularly helpful. We hope that these events are accessible across many languages and cultures as well.

Event Types

We’ve kept the same structure as Version 0.1, but focused on five events, instead of a baker’s dozen:

  • Meet Up — A fun, local gathering for people with shared interests in webmaking. Meet friends, new and old, to discuss projects in a relaxed setting. 2hr – until drinks run out.
  • Fireside Chat — Thoughtful, informal presentation from a subject matter expert followed by discussion. Learn about a program or webmaking idea. Online or in person. 1 hour.
  • Learning Lab — A simple learning activity for the classroom, a workshop, or the pub. Learners become teachers. Suitable as a one-off or part of a curriculum. 15 minutes – 1 day.
  • Hack Jam — Design, code, and build solutions to real-world challenges. Bring skills together. Test and iterate with users. Share outputs with global community. 2hr – 2 days.
  • Mozilla Festival — A yearly celebration of webmaking that blends the activities above and then some. It brings together hundreds of passionate people to explore the open web and to chart the way for the future.

Each of these events will have resources that pull from Mozilla’s webmaking programs: journalism, video-making, and youth education.

As an example, you can do a Hack Jam for video-makers by plugging in the Popcorn module into the general hack jam kit. We’ll provide quick recipes for how to do that. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can then remix the event further by adding in a youth education module or a Learning Lab kit, depending on your need and interests.

At events Mozilla directly organizes, we’ll also follow the same recipes, which not only makes life easier, but also helps us understand if these tools and resources work. Dogfooding the menu, if you will. ^^

What’s Next

My goal over the next month is to work with community members and colleagues to scope the supporting resources and the platform around events so that organizers and participants have a simple way to get involved, give feedback, and run with this stuff.

A huge thanks to Henrik Mitsch and Alina Mierlus for their suggestions on this version!

Next up, I’ll share an alpha version of the Hack Jam for video-makers kit, plus give an update about the Mozilla event calendar and plans for make.mozilla.org, our new home for webmaking galore.

Images: “Meet the Makers” by Mozilla Popcorn team and “Paper Prototyping at NYSCI hack jam” by Mozilla Hackasaurus

7 Comments on "Mozilla Event Menu Lite"

  1. thornet says:

    Already some great feedback from Gunner:

    Keep up the menu metaphor in the sidebar. Size is relative to participants vs. organizer. Using words like “appetizer” and “entree” instead of “small” and “large” to signal what scale the event is.

    Remove the “Want to learn! Want to make!” columns. Maybe replace with “reviews”.

    Add a new column: “Come into the kitchen.” No menu can meet the needs of every palette. Add an invitation to hack the menu.

    Each item on the event menu has a “nutritional facts” which explains why value it brings you. For example, when to use Popcorn Hack Jams (and when not to).

  2. I agree that the Menu Lite is more clear for the potential participants and more actionable for Mozilla (easier to focus resources in less event formats).

    Also agree that the “want to learn” “want to make” looks awkward there but I think it’s important to add it somewhere, as it’s an important reference for who’s considering attending (a non web-developer might ask herself if she can take place even if she cannot program… and it would fit the “want to learn” category). Maybe you can keep it in the descriptions (something like “suitable for those who want to learn more about…”, “suitable for those who want to make etc etc”).

    About the “food” argot, I suggest you don’t go down too heavy with it, as it might get confusing and after a while just a bit ridiculous. “Small”… “Extra large” give a pretty clear message while “entree”, “main course”, etc can be ambiguous and imply a certain logical succession (first the entree, dessert for last) which is not really necessary in real life (I might want to jump a few formats and participate in others out of sequence).

    I wrote about the Event Menue/Lite con Conference Basics as I find it’s a great way to visualize the possibilities to interact and for event organizers a great way to focus in the event formats which are better for particular goals: http://www.conferencebasics.com/2012/01/event-menu-mozilla/

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