Survey of target audiences of Open Food Facts - 2015 - General Research

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The questions below are categorised as "general research", the answers can be found by searching the website, or talking from experience, or other unstructured process (as opposed to google analytics or the survey). The ones best suited to answer these are consequently the ones most familiar with the project.

Please click the Edit links and add your responses to each question. Please do not put forward propositions at this stage, the goal is to say: "there is no clear vision because the website/wiki doesn't explicit it" or something along those lines. We do not want to give solutions before we understand the 'problem'. Please also add your name/nickname in between brackets before each of your answers. Despite English is the easier language to deal with for this survey, it is just fine to answer the questions in your preferred language. What matters here is to get the ideas through, whatever the language. So please do feel free to use any language you are more comfortable with.


Are OFF's vision and strategy clear enough?

  • [bcatelin] No. Contributors do contribute for various reasons. We all share, to some extent, some of the visions I believe. but this is not clearly stated for what I can tell.
  • [kyzh] I didn't understood the strategy before talking to multiple people, multiple time.

What are the key skills required to be able to contribute to the project?

  • [bcatelin] well, quite a few at the moment:
    • to be tech-savvy: the mobile app (I only know the iphone app) is simple to use, not. There are no instructions about what should be done, and how it should be done, how many pictures to take and why, which leads to the need of other skills:
      • 'open source' skills: to know how to make your way out of a lot of information available on off websites and other off related ressources
      • social skills: to not be afraid to go register to the communication channels and ask questions
    • need to know how to type fast on a computer, touch typing preferably, as it can be time consuming to enter all the ingredients etc.

What are the additional skills that make contribution more efficient?

What is the minimum infrastructure required to be able to contribute to the project?

  • Internet access
    • There are different ways to contribute to the project, all of them need some internet access _at some point_.
      • e.g. one can take pictures of products with a camera, and then later upload the pictures to the web site
  • Camera or smartphone
    • to take product pictures
  • Smartphone with camera with autofocus and mobile internet connection
    • to scan barcodes and upload pictures directly to the server

Where is that minimum infrastructure available? Where is it not?

  • [bcatelin] in supermarkets you may not have coverage due to Faraday cage effect
    • the minimum equipment being a camera, there is a workaround. but it involves the user having access to a computer later. users may only have access to phones. In some, actually most, countries lot of users have access to the internet only from mobile.
  • In some part of the world (LatAm, Asia, Africa), smartphones are not widely available or limited (e.g. cheap FirefoxOS phones) [stephane]
  • [kyzh] We expect people to upload multiple picture of reasonable quality, internet access on phone is paid by the amount of data exchanged, which can be a lot for picture.

Is the critical information about the project clear and accessible?

  • [bcatelin] no. it is often difficult to find links, or special secret URLs, that actually provide very useful information. they exist, but you can't find them if you don't know about them.

What are the environmental factors that play in the project's favor?

  • [bactelin] by environment I assume it means everything in society.
    • In that case I'd say that big push for open data all around the world is in fashion.
    • open source is an established model that works. Open data is very similar. lot of open data contributors are from the open source community. however it is even better as open data also attracts people who are not from the open source community.
  • All the "Eat better" movement, which takes many forms: local food, slow food, non-GMOs, organic etc. [stephane]

What are the environmental factors that are detrimental to the project?

  • [bcatelin] legal: threat about publishing data that shouldn't be there. Therefore we need to enforce strict rules on what data should be on off or not.
  • [bcatelin] lobbying from big groups?