Wayfarer Roadmap Community Update

Hello Explorers!

We have had a pretty eventful past few months, haven’t we? Here’s what we’ve been working on.

Gathering user feedback and Reimagining Wayfarer

While we were refactoring code and tackling some tech debt on the engineering side, we also invested a ton of time into gathering your feedback on your experience -  And wow, your responses were overwhelming! We had over 13K respondents from around the world. Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your honest feedback on both the good and the bad. 

This was the first time since Wayfarer’s official launch in Nov 2019 that we also included user interviews while gathering feedback, and it was really a pleasure to meet some of our community members in person. Thank you! Believe it or not, we are a pretty small team within Niantic, but we’re hard working and dedicated to making Wayfarer more fulfilling and enjoyable for each and every one of you. We’re really excited about the future of Wayfarer, thanks to your insightful feedback!

Here’s a snippet of what we heard in your open comments:

  • What’s most interesting about Niantic Wayfarer?
    • 28% - exploring the world virtually
    • 27% - mapping the world together
    • 17% - nothing or negative sentiment
    • 13% - miscellaneous other reasons
    • 11% - improving gameplay
    • 4% - that it’s community driven
  • Describe one big thing to fix
    • 55% - fix the system (review system, the criteria, abuse, inconsistency etc.)
    • 25% - make it feel more impactful (to me, to the game, to the community)
    • 19% - help me skill up and succeed
    • 2% - build a standalone Wayfarer app

Wayfarer Challenges

We are so excited to have been able to squeeze in two Wayfarer Challenges since our last update, and you blew us away with your participation both times! We know we had a few hiccups with the rewards following the Russia Challenge, but we’ve learned from that and are planning to run a tighter ship next time. Thank you for your patience!

  • India Wayfarer Challenge: March 16-26, 2021
    • 4.1K new Wayspots added
    • Collectively reviewed 210K Wayspots, averaging 1.1K reviews per day
  • Russia Wayfarer Challenge June 1-16, 2021
    • 8.4K new Wayspots added
    • 13K participants that reviewed over 301K nominations and edits

Support materials

One of the key takeaways from our listening exercises as well as your ongoing feedback from the forum was that onboarding to Wayfarer has a lot of room for improvement. Tackling that problem will mean addressing several parts of the experience including how new Explorers learn about Wayfarer, how it works, and how to succeed at contributing. In the past we’ve created informational videos and resources,refreshed the Wayfarer criteria, and centralised this information on the Wayfarer website. Our goal is to try new educational formats over time to more effectively reach more Explorers more strategically, so please do share with us what you think! Here’s the latest we produced

New In-game features

We launched two in-demand features in Pokémon GO as well: the PokéStop image gallery and the Upload Management feature that lets you upload your image submissions or AR scans later while you’re at home and on WiFi. Please let us know what you think of these features! And pssssst - we’re working on several more updates to your entire contribution experience for both Ingress and Pokémon GO. 

What’s in store for the next few months

  • Team expansion: We’re growing! Expect us to engage with you more often in the coming months through the forum and social media.
  • Future events: The next Wayfarer Challenges of 2021 are being planned right now. We’d love to hear your thoughts on where you’d like to see it travel to next!
  • More educational content in more places: We have new ideas in place on what content and tools to help you succeed as a contributor, and will start to release more over time.
  • New features: We’re innovating the  contribution experience in-game, including the ability to see what Wayspots have already been approved during the Wayspot nomination process in Pokémon GO. 
  • Rewiring the onboarding flow: Newly eligible Explorers will soon be required to learn the Wayfarer criteria before being allowed to submit contributions as well as review them.
  • Nomination Management: Big improvements are coming to the nomination management experience including (drum roll…) the ability to appeal rejections! Stay tuned for more details as we’re still working them out.
  • Email notifications: We haven’t forgotten about our promise to fix the email notification experience. The experience will tie much more closely to your Nomination Management page in Wayfarer. We want to ensure you know exactly where to go for details about your contributions and what you can do next. 
  • Reviewers: A new product design for the reviewer’s experience 
  • Community Forum: We’ve been testing out a few quality of life improvements for the forum as well and will be rolling out a few small but impactful changes

-The Wayfarer Team

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