[Proposal] requesting retrospective grant funding for Node Operator User Research study conducted by OpenUX

In October 2023, OpenUX began an in-depth study about the experiences of node operators getting started with Rocket Pool. Earlier this year, we published the full insights including recommendations, produced an explainer video, spoke on a Twitter space to explain the findings, and hosted an AMA with the GMC to discuss possible solutions to put into action.

In our original proposal, we requested a budget of $50,000 to conduct the work, but agreed to deliver it at a reduced rate in order to prove the value to the GMC and wider community, with the option to request retrospective funding later. We agreed to execute the research study for $33,300 including research participant incentives. We now wish to make a request for retrospective funding of $16,700 to bring us up to the original cost for the work.

Our goal for the research was to improve the experience of node operators, increase the number of people becoming node operators, and therefore increase the security of Ethereum overall. These are bold but achievable end results, however just having the research findings is not enough to make that so; the end users of our research (Rocket Pool core team, GMC and wider community) must be able to adequately action the findings. And due to the nature of user research in large distributed organizations like Rocket Pool, it can time for findings to turn into action, and results.

As a measure to evidence the effectiveness of our research, we anonymously surveyed GMC recipients to collect feedback on the research. Three people filled out the survey. Specific feedback we received from members of the GMC and community included:

“Very high quality work. In terms of ‘value adding’ to the community, high marks, though in some cases technical realities diminish the low hang of the low hanging fruit.”

“This was a positive experience with OpenUX. It will be interesting to see how many of the suggestions can be actioned by the pDAO or GMC.”

“Very professional and helpful report. The actionable stuff might take some time to massage into something that works for us, but that is not a knock to OpenUX.”

We asked our work to be scored and received the following scoring on 3 measurements: the deliverables being high quality, value-adding, and enabling for the Rocket Pool team.

Feedback was overall positive. Based on all the above, we wish to request $16,700 in retrospective grant funding.

We are interested in any additional feedback on the research, so please do reply to my post here if you have any comments or questions to add prior to the proposal being assessed by the GMC.

You need to post it here: Round 12 - GMC Call for Retrospective Applications - Deadline is May 7

I find it dubious that the work you’ve done now matches exactly the costs estimated up front. So this seems to be a “just pay us what we initially asked for” instead of a “hey, we had this much cost, would be nice if we could get reimbursed”…

Thanks for your feedback, it’s understandable if its not clear that the work is worth the amount we asked for.

When we costed the project, the $50k accounted for all the hours we would need to execute the work. We agreed to do it at a reduced rate because this was the first time we were working with RP and wished to prove the value of the work.

For $33,300 we conducted 302 hours of work (split across 3 individuals), resulting in reduced hourly rates paid to contributors. All of us took a not-insubstantial hourly rate cut. The additional retro funding would be split according to our hourly weighted contributions to the project.

have now done so, thank you