Road to Rediscovery
First of all, thanks for your patience in waiting for this update. We can’t believe how quickly time has passed! You may have also noticed that we haven’t posted any release notes since release 3.3, last December, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been plugging away at our to-do list.
We haven’t forgotten about the updates that were remaining from 2020, which are:
- More tweaks to the Showcase to help you learn by example
- Boosting reviews in dry voting areas
- Improvements to the reviewing experience
But here’s what we’ve been up to, and you’ll see where and why we’ve postponed the remaining 2020 roadmap items:
- Refactoring code and tackling tech debt - We decided late in December that we would hunker down to update our stack for a more reliable experience. This couldn’t wait any longer. This is a pretty big task, but we’ll also be weaving in a few quality of life updates/tweaks along the way.
- Re-envisioning the Wayfarer experience - In January, as we reflected on your feedback and our own aspirations for Wayfarer, we felt the need to take a step back and re-evaluate both the submission and review experiences holistically, and dig deeper into the root of your pain points.
- Evolving the Wayfarer Mission - Mapping the world together is a complicated, but exciting mission for us. We are always thrilled at the level of passion folks put into this collective experience. Now it’s time to take that mission and your passion to think about how we evolve and we’d love to hear from you! If you have opted in to Niantic marketing emails, some of you will have received a survey to share your thoughts on the Wayfarer experience. Please take a few minutes to fill that out, or continue to use the Forum to share your thoughts.
- Focusing on India - As you may have heard, Niantic is putting a spotlight on India! We are so excited to collaborate with the Indian Wayfarer community later this month with the Wayfarer Challenge. We’ve also been reviewing submissions in India in order to fast-track the decisions in the queue . We’ll continue to do this for the entire month. See here for details about the India Challenge and the forum category.
So what’s coming this spring/summer?
- Showcase updates - We’re adding some Wayspots that we love from around the world. So in addition to popular Wayspots near you, you’ll see some of our favorite Wayspots from other countries. We always love reviewing Wayspots submitted from around the world, as it gives us a little sense of adventure. We want you to feel that too!
- Minor updates to the Criteria page - We’ve heard your feedback on the consolidated set of criteria and plan to enrich it with clarifications and more examples. Please continue to let us know how we can help clarify the Criteria!
- Improvements to the submission experience - We know it’s disappointing to submit a new Wayspot in Pokémon GO only for it to get rejected because as a duplicate of what we already have. We understand it's frustrating not knowing what other nominations are live or pending review in the area and we are working on providing this information. We intend to improve the flow by providing you with the right info at the right time.
- Improvements to the review experience - We also know the reviews can feel onerous and sometimes confusing and frustrating. We want to do better for you and are holistically exploring options here. For example, we could consider a more customizable experience so that you can do as much or as little as you’d like, while making our policing mechanisms a little less disruptive.
- Better notifications - We also want to bring more predictability and reliability into the notifications experience when there’s a decision on your nomination or edit. The email notifications have been troublesome as of late and it’s important that we get this right.
More details to come, as this is part of our whole re-envisioning exercise.
- More Wayfarer Challenges (countries to be announced soon!) - We’re eager to give many other communities the opportunity to participate in a Wayfarer Challenge! We’re working on expanding the challenges to the communities we know need a little more love.
- Continuing to Address Emerging Issues - We are working on building out a larger team internally to better serve you. This includes staffing for the Forum as well as the Wayfarer development and support team. All of this is in service of your experience, continuing to address emerging issues in a more timely fashion.
That’s it for now. We hope you are all well!
- Wayfarer Team