Connecting End Users and Developers With the Requirements Bazaar
Requirements Bazaar is an Open Source project developing a social continuous innovation platform on the Web to bring together users, developers and operators. It is available at https://requirements-bazaar.org. End users can enter their ideas, requirements or bug reports by providing short descriptions including textual descriptions and images. The requirements can then be voted and shared. Developers may take up ideas at any time to transfer the accepted requirements to an issue tracker like GitHub Issues. At FOSDEM 2017 we would like to present our ongoing work in keeping our responsive single-page Web application performant using Web Components, and discuss new ideas with the crowd!
As developers, we have to acknowledge, that in most software projects there is a huge imbalance between millions of users on one hand, and a small amount of developers on the other hand. Additionally, we experienced that our users are our most precious source of innovative and often disruptive ideas about how to improve our software. That's why we are convinced it is important to provide feedback mechanisms so that users can easily report bugs or feature requests. In many of our development projects we tried out various means to do just that: users were guided to issue trackers like the ones provided by GitHub or JIRA, forums, emails or simple app store comments. The solutions were either not easy enough for users or simply did not scale well for developers. Commercial solutions didn't exactly fit our expectations or budget. Then we came up with Requirements Bazaar! :) Requirements Bazaar is an Open Source social continuous innovation platform to bring together users, developers and operators. It is freely available under https://requirements-bazaar.org and is currently hosting multiple interesting projects. Besides managing the innovation of our research projects, we see users adopting it for various exciting societal purposes like the digitalization processes of Afghanistan or creating the new IEEE standard for Augmented Reality learning.
This is how our Web app works: End users can enter their requirements by providing short descriptions including use cases, screenshots and other images. The requirements can then be voted and shared. Then, developers may take up ideas and transfer the discussed requirements to an issue tracker like GitHub Issues.
At FOSDEM 2017 we would like to encourage Open Source developers and designers in rethinking the way requirements are currently gathered from the crowd. How do we want to collect new software ideas or simply feature requests from our users? Is it effective to provide feedback forms in our apps’ “About” menu? Do our users think in terms of issues like we developers do? How can gamification be used to reward actual end-users of software? We hope Requirements Bazaar can answer these questions and fill the gap!
We are also happy to talk about our experiences developing a performant responsive single-page Web application with Web Components using Polymer.