Sounds of the Silent

Search for and tell stories about people, not just data.

The lifespan of an open-source product is a funny thing. It starts with an idea that is shared with the world and from there, if the product gains a bit of traction, there is no way of knowing what will become of it.

The rise of tools like GitHub have made it really easy for a product to be shared, and for many communities to be formed. People reach out, report bugs, suggest new features, but it’s easy to forget that this vocal audience might only be tiny fraction of the whole userbase.

If we only listen to comes up on our immediate radar, we’re effectively letting a small percentage of the users shape how the rest will experience the product.

It is important that we go out of our way to understand how a product is being used.

People will always come up with creative and completely unexpected implementations of the original idea. Reaching out to users, conducting research and user interview sessions is a great way of ensuring that your silent userbase is represented and have a say in the future of the product.

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash.



By Tiago Noronha

Web Designer, Developer and Computer Geek from Coimbra, Portugal. I work for Automattic.