Open source projects inherently require a dynamic exchange between the technology, people and companies involved. Ephox’s customer success team liaises with our internal teams and external developer users on a daily basis, maintaining the conversations that help shape the future of TinyMCE. Building a process that cultivates these interactions since the Ephox and TinyMCE merger has proved to be an exciting challenge.
Here’s what we’ve learned one year since the merger:
TinyMCE is everywhere (and reaches everyone)
It is (almost) shocking to realize how truly widespread and how creatively TinyMCE is applied by developers today. Even after a year of outreach and engagement with our community, the customer success team is still learning. Every project has unique purposes, users, end-users, and so forth. Uncovering, prioritizing and meeting the needs of the community is nothing short of science, and we’re learning as we go. With TinyMCE’s presence growing daily, this is both a happy and unending task.
Millions of users: millions of wants, needs, and communication styles
The customer success team’s first step was to make a connection. Before the needs of our users reach the product team and influence TinyMCE’s development, we proactively encourage community participation in the process. In a world where developers are overwhelmed with calls, tweets and posts, we’re still refining a precise outreach mix that keeps everyone educated and aware without consuming too much of your valuable time. This first year has seen us growing and learning from these efforts.
Hundreds of conversations later, we identified a core set of overarching, developer and end-user needs. Striking a balance between, “ensure every user can use the WYSIWYG … keep a robust suite of editing functionality and enhancement … don’t compromise TinyMCE’s light weight or speed …” and, “there’s a pixel that doesn’t render the way I like in this instance of my form-fill …” hasn’t been easy, but our product team has shown admirable commitment to balancing everyone’s priorities.
Beyond the sheer magnitude of thoughts and requests, are the unique pressures of dually maintaining paid and open source offerings. Ephox’s continued dedication not only to maintenance but to improve the open source version compliments the energy we’ve put into our commercial products. Watching customer wishes translate into our expanding offerings is an incredibly fulfilling process.
After twelve months of research, development and effort, we still have a long way to go. We realize a perfect method of outreach, request prioritization, and eventual product incorporation might not be possible, immediately or ever, but that structures to facilitate it might be.
To this end, we’re building a new community engagement portal. Our aim is to ensure every user consumes the information relevant to her, in her preferred format. At the same time, our team will have the ability to learn what matters most to our community. This level of commitment is a challenge but is worthwhile if it improves user experience and helps create a superior TinyMCE.
An eye to the future
We’ve come to find it’s the listening, the conversations, and dedication to learning that makes Ephox and TinyMCE as a combined entity so powerful. We are so much better together and yet, still capable of so much more.
The incredible growth TinyMCE achieved over the past year makes our work more complex daily. We understand our community of developer’s work is just as involved (if not more so), but knowing TinyMCE makes creating content a seamless experience for you and your users is nothing other than inspiring.
We look forward to staying in touch with all of you and together, improving every aspect of TinyMCE this coming year. It is a privilege to participate in such long-standing project that remains as valuable as the day it launched.
We’re excited to see what we’ll accomplish together in the year ahead.
The Ephox + TinyMCE Customer Success team