The Path to 2021

Hi folks,

Following our July AMA, we heard from many of you that you’re interested in learning more about what updates we have in store for Niantic Wayfarer, based on your thoughtful feedback. More than that, you wanted to know when these updates are headed your way. Good news: the Wayfarer team heard you loud and clear and is happy to share the following roadmap with you.

Please keep in mind that these are rough timelines, and are subject to change.

Fall 2020

  • Improving Rating Display: We’re introducing a fourth tier that splits up the ‘red’ performance rating on your profile page, as well as moving away from the stoplight color scheme as that really sent the wrong message with respect to the meaning of your rating (i.e. yellow is standard, decent rating, and not ‘at risk’). We’re also adding text (e.g. “Good”, “Great”) to each rating, to improve visual accessibility. This doesn’t change any of the thresholds from “Good” and above, so your medal contributions in Pokémon GO and Ingress should be unaffected.
  • Completing your reviews: We’re updating the messaging when you’ve completed all available reviews to be more accurate and friendly. They previously felt like error messages, but they actually weren’t! As a reminder, the queue of nominations that get assigned to you each time you log-in is populated based on a mix of things like your last-played location or your hometown or bonus hometown setting. So the number of things to review is totally variable each time you log in.
  • New Image review: We’ll be including image submissions for live Wayspots in the review queue, so you can now tell us which submitted images are awesome and which just do not make the cut. What this actually prepares us for is a future where the best image gets utilized in-games. As a reminder, check out the acceptance criteria here.

Winter 2020/2021

  • Rejection criteria: We’re remodeling how we present the acceptance and rejection criteria to you to reduce much of the confusion reported. The criteria aren’t changing, but it’ll be easier to understand where hard lines are drawn for rejection reasons, as well as where there’s leeway for individual judgement and interpretation. Yes, your personal judgement is still required since we’re most interested in your understanding of local places and objects!
  • New Criteria page: With the rejection criteria remodeling, we plan to introduce a new page in Wayfarer strictly for you to brush up on your understanding of the criteria. We’ll include loads of examples and guidelines in a highly visual way.
  • Improving the Showcase: We’re also sprucing up the Showcase to better illustrate what makes some Wayspots great, so that you can learn by example. We’re also excited to accredit your contributions by displaying your codename in the Showcase, from the game in which you’ve submitted the nomination. You can choose to opt out of codename accreditation at any time, with a toggle in your Settings page.
  • Updating the Review Interface: Lastly, we’re going to improve the organization of information and questions on the review page to help improve the flow. We’re also replacing the star rating system with a ‘yes/no/unsure’ response for some questions that are really meant to be checks/verifications, rather than qualifiers.

While the above gets us through the remainder of this year, looking ahead into 2021, our roadmap is still being finalized. We’re reviewing your suggestions in this forum to make sure your feedback is considered in these discussions, but here are some early ideas for what could be coming:

  • Addressing dry voting zones, without introducing new abuse vectors
  • More robust abuse signals and ways to keep reviews honest (not a trivial task!)
  • Providing you with better feedback on your rejected nominations
  • Creating a dark mode for improved accessibility
  • Review streaks and leaderboards (yea or nay?)
  • And much more!

As always, we really appreciate all of your contributions toward sharing your local community with the world! None of this would be possible without you. Thanks for being an amazing and engaged member of the Niantic community!
(originally posted on August 2020)

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