Announcing the Element public roadmap

December 08, 2020

It’s been a busy year for Element. At a glance, so far this year we’ve:

As an open source project, we’ve always strived to default to transparency, working on features in the open with our vibrant open source community. Historically, most of this discussion has happened in our public repositories, like Element Web, or in rooms on Matrix.

However, most of this discussion is quite granular. It doesn't give visibility on the overall direction and is impenetrable for everyone removed from day-to-day engineering efforts. Today we’re rectifying that by publishing a public roadmap.

The roadmap

We’re publishing the Element public roadmap in a new public repository and project board that anyone can access. The board is arranged across a few columns to give low touch, high visibility information on what we have planned and when.

The ‘Now’ column represents features or areas in flight, with subsequent columns arranged by highest confidence and likelihood. Within each column, cards are in ascending priority order. Over time as we do user research, get feedback and conduct technical R&D we'll promote cards further to the left and closer to 'Now'.

The roadmap will be updated regularly, and will evolve over time as we iterate on it based on feedback and usage in practise. It describes larger, multi-week cross-functional development we’re committed to.

If you have issues or feature requests you’d like to submit, the best place for those is still individual repos (linked to from the roadmap) or in a discussion on Matrix.

What's next

Publishing the public roadmap is a major step forward in maintaining and sharing a consistent view across all of what we’re working on. So, what’s next?

Defaulting to transparency

The eagle eyed amongst you might notice some items on the roadmap are private. While we’d love to publicly reference all feature development— it’s understandable why some users like the German Armed Forces require elevated security when planning, sponsoring and executing on development. As we iterate on the roadmap, we’ll also be figuring out how we can better default to transparency when users have exacting demands on security.

Maturing items, scope & direction

Some roadmap items are deliberately ambiguous, which we’ll mature as we conduct more research and development. Additional items will be added from more corners of development— like platform engineering efforts to improve developer experience, and projects from domain experts like cryptographers.

Lastly, we’re working hard on Element and need your help! If any of the features on the roadmap are exciting to you (or someone you know) and you’re interested in joining the team— we’d love to hear from you as we’re hiring across engineering, design and product.

(On a similar note, if you see an item on the roadmap you’d like to sponsor to make a reality in Element sooner then please get in touch.)

As always, if you have any questions or comments, let us know! We’re looking forward to hearing them.

P.S. If you missed it, we also gave a video tour of the roadmap in last week's Matrix Live:

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