This is an introduction to how we build our web products here at Grist.org. I hope you find it interesting whether you work at Grist, are just curious, or want to decipher some of the jargon involved.
1. Good ideas
People have ideas for features and changes on grist.org all the time, which is awesome. All of these are evaluated and if possible merged into the overall product plan by the product owners (currently Scott, with some help.) The product owners are people who are responsible for the overall direction of grist.org. However, good ideas come from everywhere around Grist — if you have one, draw it out on a piece of paper, write about it on Basecamp or in an email … let people know about it, refine it and sell it (i.e. — let everyone know how it will help us advance toward our goals — growth, engagement, influence and impact.)
Once an idea is sufficiently well defined it becomes a feature request, and is entered into pivotal tracker, our project management software in a place called the icebox. The product owners regularly review the contents of the icebox and the overall product roadmap, promoting those i... Read more