Unverified Commit 9dd3c2bb authored by intrigeri's avatar intrigeri
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Make Help Desk's mission match latest agreement

refs #17965
parent 645c53bc
[[!meta title="Help Desk"]]
[[!toc]]
[[!toc levels=3]]
Main purpose
============
Help Desk is handling individual support requests with two primary
goals:
The end-goal of Help Desk, when handling individual support requests, is to
**help improve Tails for a broad range of users** — as opposed to merely helping
one individual user solve the immediate problem they're facing, which does not
scale and does not help anyone else.
1. Gather qualitative and quantitative user data, that can be used:
The output of Help Desk work is then used:
- by the Foundations Team and UX people to prioritize their own
work;
- by our broader community, to improve our understanding of who our
current users are, feed our thought process about our vision for
Tails in the future, and help us build a relevant roadmap.
- by the Foundations Team, Technical writers, and UX designers,
to prioritize their own work;
2. Help the bug reporter resolve the problem they are facing.
- by the broader Tails community, to feed the thought process about our vision
for Tails in the future, and help us build a relevant roadmap.
User support
============
Duties
======
Triaging user support requests
------------------------------
Help Desk receives and triages user support requests by email:
- WhisperBack reports
- private user support requests received on
[[tails-support-private@boum.org|about/contact#tails-support-private]]
Additionally, if Help Desk members feel like it, once the email part has been
dealt with, they may triage user support requests on other communication
platforms, such as XMPP or Reddit.
### Information we are looking for
To achieve its main purpose, Help Desk treats WhisperBack reports and support
requests as a source of information that can teach the project something that we
don't know yet. In particular, we're looking for:
- problems that affect many users:
- software bugs
- UX problems
- feature requests
- hardware support regressions that affect a broad range of hardware
- workarounds for hardware support problems
Once the [[!tails_ticket 17935 description="auto-reply"]] is in place, we'll
stop manually answering support requests that don't serve the main purpose of
Help Desk.
### Relaying information to the relevant teams
If you have spotted new information that you think can be used to improve Tails,
relay it to the relevant teams:
1. Gather information about the context in which the problem
occurs, how important it is, what known workarounds exist.
2. Forward the WhisperBack report over email.
3. File a GitLab issue assigned to the relevant team, referencing the
WhisperBack report ID.
4. If possible, provide statistics about how many people are impacted.
5. The relevant team will take a look and decide what to do about the problem.
### GitLab issue description = the source of truth
We use the description of GitLab issues that are relevant to Help Desk's work
to share and maintain this information:
- standard reply by Help Desk to affected users
- list of information that we need users to provide
For example, see [[!tails_ticket 13576#we-need-your-feedback]].
Then:
- Help Desk points the current bug reporter and future ones to the GitLab issue.
This avoids having to write essentially the same answer multiple times,
which lowers the workload of the Help Desk.
This also ensures the affected users get up-to-date information.
- Some users will find the information themselves on GitLab.
This lowers the workload of the Help Desk.
- Technical writers can improve the phrasing.
This increases the chances affected users can workaround the problem or
provide the information we need.
- Developers can update the technical information.
For example:
- To ask affected users to test a nightly built image that may fix the problem.
- To request more technical information from affected users.
### Sometimes, it's OK to stop answering users
It's OK to stop answering users once we have done either one of:
- gathered the information we will need to improve Tails
- realized that we won't realistically be able to improve Tails in this respect
- determined that the affected use case is low on our list of priorities
### Hardware support problems
In general, our resources don't allow us to solve hardware support problems.
This is why, in this area, we limit our ambitions to:
- Identifying recently introduced regressions that affect a broad range of hardware.
- Documenting workarounds our users have discovered themselves and reported to us.
Standard operating procedure: [[standard reply to hardware support reports for
which we can't do anything|support/hardware]]
Mailing list moderation
-----------------------
Administer and moderate our general purpose public mailing lists:
- [tails-dev@boum.org](https://www.autistici.org/mailman/admin/tails-dev)
- [tails-l10n@boum.org](https://www.autistici.org/mailman/admin/tails-l10n)
- [tails-testers@boum.org](https://www.autistici.org/mailman/admin/tails-testers)
Work organization
=================
- When Help Desk resources don't allow covering every shift, it's OK to:
- Skip some shifts entirely
- Do some shifts in read-only mode: no answers, only skim over reports,
looking for major new issues to report them back to the project.
- Ask for help outside of the current Help Desk team.
- Do user support by email:
- Reply to bug reports received on <tails-bugs@boum.org> (empty reports might
be silently ignored).
- Reply to private user support requests received on
[[tails-support-private@boum.org|about/contact#tails-support-private]].
- Act as a proxy between issues reported by users and the rest of
the project. Don't spend too much time investigating every such
issue, in particular for hardware support problems. Instead,
forward this information to the Foundations Team:
1. Gather information about the context in which the problem
occurs, how important it is, what known workarounds exist.
2. Forward the WhisperBack report over email.
3. File an issue assigned to a Foundation Team member, referencing
the WhisperBack report ID.
4. Ideally, provide statistics about how many people are impacted.
5. The Foundations Team will take a look and decide what to do
(e.g. addressing root cause of the problem, or asking Technical
Writers to document the problem and workarounds, or dismissing
it).
- Follow-up on communications even when not on shift.
- Do user support on XMPP if you feel like it.
General communication watchdog
==============================
- Administer and moderate our general purpose public mailing lists:
- [tails-dev@boum.org](https://www.autistici.org/mailman/admin/tails-dev)
- [tails-l10n@boum.org](https://www.autistici.org/mailman/admin/tails-l10n)
- [tails-testers@boum.org](https://www.autistici.org/mailman/admin/tails-testers)
- Help Desk members are expected to follow-up on communications even when not
on shift.
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