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Product Update: Roadmap 2024 and Beyond

Avatar: Decidim Product
Decidim Product

Hi! 👋 After launching version 0.28 just before the end of the year, we have been preparing the planned developments for 2024 and looking beyond as well. So, in this post, we provide an update on:

  • Roadmap 2024

  • Future Roadmap

Roadmap 2024

As a result of the contract tendered by the Barcelona City Council, these are the planned developments for this year, prioritized in the following way:

From April to June

We will mainly focus on incorporating pending aspects of the new design, to meet the objectives set for release 0.29, as we explain below. Some of these changes include:

  • Implementing sticky buttons on mobile for the main CTAs (e.g., supporting a proposal).

  • Implementing a drawer for related content.

  • Implementing a grid view for proposals with images.

Additionally, we will work on the redefinition of two underused functionalities, not because they are not useful (on the contrary!) but due to a usability issue.

  • The first is proposals with co-authorship, which will replace the current functionality of collaborative proposals, which has been identified as problematic on several occasions. This is a widely debated improvement in the community that will simplify and enhance the ability to have proposals resulting from the collaboration of several participants.

  • The second, polls, is a decoupling of the polls functionality currently linked to online meetings and developed during the pandemic. After some time, we have realized that it is not a very used functionality, despite the value it offers in being able to launch questions and answers to an audience in real time. The use cases are many, perhaps the most obvious is the ratification/approval or not of the agenda items in an assembly. Some organizations used the Consultations module for this task, and now that this space is deprecated, we will redesign Polls to make it more useful and easier to use.

  • Related to the latter, we are already adapting the voting module with Vocdoni to the new design, and we will likely use it in the next general assembly of the association.

From July to September

In this quarter, we will work mainly on:

  • Significant improvements in debates, both in design and functionality, expanding the types of debate according to the type of deliberation to be proposed.

  • The improved geographical layer incorporated into new components, such as the Accountability component outcomes.

  • Greater abstraction and flexibility of the classification systems in Decidim (scopes, areas, categories, hashtags). We have some initial hypotheses, but this definition will be addressed in a specific session with various types of organizations.

From October to December

The highlights of this period will be:

  • Extracting the participatory texts functionality into its own module. We already have some prototypes and ideas of what the interaction will be like, but we will also hold an ad-hoc session to complete the definition of this new module.

  • Review of the initiatives creation flow.

  • New mechanisms of direct verification and ephemeral participation.

In addition to the developments defined in the Barcelona contract, we have an agreement with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to develop the data work capabilities of Decidim:

  • Review and improvement of the open data CSV file

  • Publication of survey responses

  • Socio-demographic data module

  • Integration with Grafana

  • Review and update of the new data to the GraphQL API

  • Development of a writing API for Decidim

  • Update and improvement of the API documentation

To conclude, in each quarter we will also add improvements mainly in the administration panel.

Note: as you will see, the GitHub board is divided into four quarters and not three. We will update it once we know the exact start date of the contract. Probably, the developments planned for the last quarter will move to the beginning of 2025.

Release Plan

We have this schedule for the next two versions, with the following objectives:

Release 0.29

Scheduled to be released at the end of May. As you know, in Decidim we maintain the last two versions, so from the launch of version 0.29, as we understand that many installations may not have been able to update yet, support for 0.27 will focus on security issues.

The priority of this release is to improve and stabilize the new look and feel introduced in version 0.28, applying changes in the UI that we had designed, but were not in time to implement, and also design iterations based on the results of tests with participants. This, along with a general review of the participant experience from mobile, is the main goal of version 0.29.

The launch will not be delayed for a specific functionality, although obviously, this version will also include several functional improvements that we are already incorporating and also the resolution of several bugs.

Release 0.30

Scheduled to be released at the end of the year (date to be specified). Version 0.30 will incorporate much of the developments planned for the second and third quarters, so we anticipate that it will be a release with quite a few novelties.

Workshops with Key Actors

As we advanced in the previous point, this year we want to review some modules in depth, and for this, we will conduct three (series of) workshops on the following functionalities and in this order of priority:

  • Classification systems: We want to rethink the functioning of the current classification systems (categories, scopes, and areas), with the goal of simplifying their management. In this workshop, we will focus on analyzing the needs when classifying content in Decidim, to be able to explore systematic solutions that allow us to have a more unified and coherent classification system.

  • Participatory texts: This workshop will focus on detecting what functionalities the new participatory texts module must incorporate to make a quality leap. The goal is to take full advantage of this module, making it adaptable to different contexts and procedures.

  • Data visualization: The current data visualization system has many deficits, both graphically and in the data presented. During the workshop, we will analyze how other software presents data and prioritize the improvements to be made.

These will be internal product sessions, but inviting some partners and organizations that can enrich and provide key feedback to this redefinition. For operational reasons, we will try to keep the number of participants small, but we will publish the progress of each workshop as they are carried out. The final result will be the definition of user stories that will be implemented later.

Future Roadmap

There is no shortage of voices criticizing the idea of having a roadmap, and even more so if it is a long-term roadmap, but from the Association, we find it important to have a clear horizon on the evolution of Decidim as a “product”, and to share it to add points of view and perspectives that we may not have considered.

The other day we shared with the project partners a first approximation, with more questions than answers, but with a clear direction: to make Decidim even more modular, flexible, and customizable to become the standard infrastructure of democratic governance in any organization.

Here we link the presentation with the strategic points to be developed to achieve the goal. This has a direct impact on the technological governance of the project because it will only be possible to carry it out with a collective effort and commitment. This vision starts from the premise of an even closer collaboration between the Decidim Association and its ecosystem of service providers.

Once this vision is agreed upon, we must translate it into phases and concrete actions. During this year, we will propose some debates to guide the drafting of a strategic development plan.

We leave it here for now 😊. Until next time!


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