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Behind the Scenes: Developing the new and improved Extension Quality Program

Magento Team

They say, “Feedback is a gift,” and the Magento Marketplace Product team agrees. They started hearing from developers in the Magento community that process flow and usability concerns were keeping them from submitting extensions to Magento Marketplace. The mission of Marketplace is to provide Magento merchants access to authentic, high-quality extensions and themes to enhance their ecommerce sites, so this issue had to be addressed head on.

 

The team immediately rolled up their sleeves to identify the issues, and more importantly, how to fix them. Their plan was to engage the Magento community to help gather practical and actionable insights that would lead to a better experience when using Magento Marketplace. The result would be a new and improved Extension Quality Program (EQP).

 

 

Initial Discovery

 

It was clear that the submission process needed to be reviewed end-to-end. The ultimate goal was to understand how the community ideally thought marketplace submissions should work, and what changes were most feasible to implement. The first step was to understand the community’s expectations, in order to prioritize which areas were the most important to them.

 

Card sorting_EQP blog.jpgThe team devised a card sort exercise to help understand the ideal process and specific gaps with the current one. To set the stage for the card-sort exercise they broke down the submission process into “atomic units” – the smallest parts of the process, such as code review, marketplace review time, and creating marketing material. Cards were then labeled with each step.

 

At Imagine, they engaged developers who have submitted or planned on submitting products to Magento Marketplace to participate in the card sort exercise. The exercise involved arranging the cards in a logical flow. The result was a map of their ideal submission experience, supported by their reasoning, and entirely independent of the current flow. It was awesome.

 

Immediately, common patterns began to emerge. Participants shared valuable insights and innovative process flow suggestions, including steps that could happen in parallel and which steps took the most time for them to complete on their end.

 

 

Solution Design and Validation

 

The data gathered at Imagine was analyzed as a part of a cross-functional product team in order to start designing a solution. First up, was developing a prototype interface, used to validate the flow and determine that the design met developer’s needs. Then came a larger usability testing effort to ensure the UI was intuitive enough to be used by novices and domain experts alike. Usability testing participants showed how they would go about actual submission tasks via the prototype. After several iterations, they found a version that had clarity across the board.   

  

 

The Magento Marketplace Product team is now actively working towards implementing changes including, an optimized submission flow, improved submission review times, and enhanced developer reporting.

 

Based on the enthusiasm and guidance provided by our users and developers, we can’t wait to roll it out. Be on the lookout for a new and improved Extension Quality Program in the near future.

 

Join us at Imagine 2018 to get all the details about this and other enhancements to Magento Marketplace.