Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Redesigning the Python Package Index

In April this year a new version of the Python Package Index (PyPI) was released, an effort made possible by a generous award from the Mozilla Open Source Support program.

A major change in PyPI is the new user interface - something that had not seen any sizeable updates for over ten years. Understandably there have been questions about what’s next for the new UI, which as the designer of Warehouse (the project powering PyPI), I would like to address.

The PyPI homepage

The new design

PyPI’s new design is a reflection of the Python community - modern, welcoming and inclusive.

The design emphasises inclusion by providing extensive help documentation, user friendly interfaces, accessible font sizes and a high-contrast color scheme. The entire site works across all resolutions, meaning that you can now use PyPI on any device.

These features are no accident, as the goal of the redesign is to make PyPI a success for as many users as possible. This a big challenge as over 15 million people from 236 different countries visit PyPI.org each year (Aug 2017 - July 2018).

While the new design is informed by usability standards and user experience best practices, it’s now time to take PyPI to the next level: informing design improvements by engaging in community research and user testing.

Next steps

The first area we are looking to improve is the project's detail page (view example), which is - as the name suggests - the page where the details of a particular project can be viewed.

This is by far the most visited page type on PyPI. In July 2018 alone, 76.59% of page visits were to a project detail page, or 3,594,956 visits from a total page visit count of 4,693,561. The majority of users arrive on these pages direct from Google or other sources, bypassing the PyPI home and search pages.

Given these numbers, even a small improvement in the efficiency of this page would return great results for the community. The question is: how should we decide what to change? What one user might think of an improvement, others may consider a regression.

Conducting user research

In an effort to better understand what our users want from the aforementioned page, we ran a design research exercise (full writeup) asking Python community members to rank the importance of different pieces of information on the page. 1,926 people participated in the exercise. These were the results:

From this research, we can ascertain that many users highly value the project description, information about the required version of Python, and links to the project online. In contrast, few users value the trove classifiers, list of maintainers, or instructions on how to see statistics about the project.

Such insights are essential in driving the redesign in a way that prioritises important information for the largest number of users.

Running user tests

In conjunction with this research we are also establishing a user testing program, where PyPI users will give their feedback to the team via a remote video call; answering specific usage questions or completing certain tasks on the site.

Our goal is to run these sessions with a diverse group of users, accounting for the different people, places and ways that Python is used, while establishing major “pain points” with the current design. From this, we can open issues in the issue tracker to address problems, as has happened before with previous rounds of user tests conducted on the project management interfaces.

User tests can also be used to test new design concepts, compare the performance between old design vs new proposals, and ascertain if the proposed design solutions are truely performant.

Help us help PyPI!

So - how can you help us take PyPI to the next level?

If you’d like to participate in user tests, please register your interest. Depending on your profile and availability, we will be in touch to organise a testing session.

If you have a background in design/research or are interested in facilitating user tests, please contact me on nicole@pypi.org. All help is welcome!

We appreciate new contributors to the Warehouse project, with reserved issues for new contributors and love donations to the Python Packaging Working Group as these help us build a more sustainable model for Python packaging.

Finally, if you are interested in participating in future rounds of user research, please follow PyPI on Twitter or keep an eye on PyPI.org for future announcements!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

PyCon 2019 - Call for Sponsors

It seems like PyCon 2018 was just last week, but the 2019 edition will be here before we know it. We want to say thanks to all our sponsors who helped make the conference a huge success. This year, we welcomed 3,260 attendees from 48 different countries around the world, strengthening the connection in our beloved community even more. 
The invaluable and generous support of our PyCon sponsors enables the Python Software Foundation to help and improve the Python community worldwide by promoting sprints, meetups, events, projects, fiscal sponsorships, software development, open source projects and the Python Ambassador Program – which helps the creation of communities where Python is not well known. 
PyCon sponsorship enabled us to award $118,543 USD in financial aid to 143 attendees in 2018. It also generates 80% of the PSF's revenue, making financial aid, conferences, workshops, and training support possible. As a result, in 2017 $271,138 was awarded to grant recipients in 34 different countries and we are on track to meet or beat our total from last year.
Your sponsorship helps keep PyCon affordable and accessible to the widest possible audience. 
Here is a sample of the many benefits from being a sponsor:
  • Being part of the biggest Python conference in the world
  • Visibility to those who could potentially become new customers or employees
  • Increasing your brand exposure and elevating your corporate identity within the community
  • Expose your products to more than 3,200 attendees
  • Enhance your company’s reputation by supporting and investing in Python and the open source community
Depending on your level of sponsorship, packages may include complimentary conference passes, booth space, lead retrieval scanners, speaking opportunities, and participation in the Job Fair. Our current sponsorship prospectus can be found here. Sponsors in the Diamond, Platinum, Gold or Silver categories will receive additional tickets to the conference.
We want to hear from you! Contact us anytime - we are flexible and willing to build a sponsorship package that fits your needs. Only you know your business, how you measure success and what you're looking for. For more information please contact betsy@python.org or pycon-sponsors@python.org.
We proudly want to announce the organizations that are already sponsoring the PyCon 2019!
Huntington Convention Center - Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo Credit: Mike Pirnat https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikepirnat
PyCon 2019 will be held at Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio, from May 1st to May 9th.
If you would like to share information about PyCon 2019 sponsorship, please share with this tweet:
Support @ThePSF by sponsoring @pycon 2019! More information can be found here: https://us.pycon.org/2019/sponsors/prospectus/. #pycon2019

PyCon 2018 Staff.
Photo Credit: Mike Pirnat https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikepirnat

Here’s what our attendees say about the PyCon US experience:

#PyCon2018 was my first PyCon. I have had an INCREDIBLE time! I've listened to inspirational speakers; met some of the most amazing people and have made lifelong connections. Most of all, I had FUN! Thanks to the brilliant @pycon team for working tirelessly to make it a reality!
- Julian Sequeira (@_juliansequeira)

PyCon has been my gold standard for conference accessibility as long as I've been attending, they do a great job and the community here really reflects it. I appreciate all your hard work @pycon, keep it up.
- Jonan Scheffler (@thejonanshow)
#pycon2018 was incredible. The support and hospitality from #Cleveland was stellar. Lighting all the downtown buildings in blue and yellow was a class act. I can’t wait to come back next year for some Mabel’s BBQ and the amazing @pycon community
- Jenn Basalone (@pennyblackio)
One of more understated benefits of @pycon is the economic and social impact in the surrounding communities it takes place at. In the case of larger cities, might not a big deal. In smaller locales, like Cleveland, that impact can be huge!
- Ruben Orduz (@rdodev)
Just got back from @pycon. Was delighted by the inclusiveness and thoughtfulness I saw there.
- David Vandegrift (@DavidVandegrift)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland, Ohio
Photo Credit: Mike Pirnat https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikepirnat
PyCon is underwritten by the Python Software Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization set up to manage the growth and development of Python worldwide.