By Rita Ho

Image by Rizzelli Stefania. Taken from Commons, licensed under CC-BY-SA-4.0.

When the average person hears that I’m the designer on the Growth team for Wikipedia, there’s a common misconception that it’s about growing the number of readers, the more commonly thought of “Wikipedia user”. However, our team was formed almost three years ago with a different challenge and audience as our focus. This article aims to tell the six-part story of how and why we started this team, and all the failures, learnings, and successes we’ve had since.

  1. Identify the problem

Bringing Wikipedia to the homescreen on iOS
Bringing Wikipedia to the homescreen on iOS

By Carolyn Li-Madeo and Deepak Mantena

When Apple introduced an update to widgets with iOS 14, the Wikipedia iOS team was excited to take the opportunity to rethink our own. With the ability to place widgets right on the home screen, the team was curious about how we could highlight Wikipedia content in a way that was visually engaging, glanceable and up-to-date. …

The Android app team improved one of their core features- searching for articles on Wikipedia. While we were making discovery more intelligent, personalized and efficient, we experienced a surprise.

polar bear on the search
polar bear on the search
Original image by Alan Wilson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Robin Schoenbaechler

In a recent project, the Android app team decided to improve one of their core experiences: searching for articles on Wikipedia. Community feedback and previous usability tests revealed, that the app’s search functionality was perceived as inconsistent. Our goal was to make the discovery process for readers more intelligent, personalized and efficient to present the right result at the right time.

With a market share of 72%, Android is by far the most used Mobile operating system worldwide. The Wikipedia Android app team builds features for more than five million active readers per month. And it’s not…

(image by Pau Giner)

Using remote international research to ensure diverse user groups are represented at the earliest stages of product development

By Eli Asikin-Garmager

A bit of context for starters

Anyone with an internet connection can now access around 40 million articles across more than 300 languages on Wikipedia. However, depending on which language(s) you read, the amount of knowledge you can access may differ. For example, if you read English, you have access to over 6 million articles; over 1 million articles are also available in about 20 other languages. In contrast, Wikipedias in some languages have far fewer articles — for example, someone speaking only Lao, a…

Making design research more accessible to our wiki project contributors and to the global design community

The Design Strategy Team is pleased to announce the launch of a new site which makes years of design research more accessible to our wiki project contributors and to the global design community. While most of this work is specific to the user experience of content creators and readers of Wikipedia on our various platforms, some of these studies are more generally applicable — for example, work related to online social behavior and use and training of machine learning applications may be of more…

How making page issues more visible on Wikipedia mobile helps foster trust and participation

By Alex Hollender

Today when reading a Wikipedia article on your phone you might see a notice at the top:

By Lucy Blackwell

I started working at the Wikimedia Foundation as a Senior Design Manager in March of this year, just after the lockdown began in London, UK where I’m based. Whilst this design team has always been a fully remote team, they annually get together in person for a few days somewhere in the world for a team offsite, but this year, all travel was cancelled! This blog post will share a bit about how I set up a remote offsite for the team and what I learnt in the process.

1. Defining the goals

It was a difficult time to organise an…

By David A. M. Goldberg with Pau Giner

The Wikimedia Foundation [WMF] has established the ambitious vision of making the sum of the world’s knowledge accessible to all the world’s people, by 2030. This vision necessitates a focus on scale: how to scale up content production, globally, and how to scale up access to this content in emerging contexts. Behind this need to scale is a critical design challenge: how to ensure a useful, usable and consistent reading experience while enabling rapid growth. To meet this challenge, WMF’s small but mighty Product Design team has developed a set of best…

This diagram represents the hierarchy and escalation flows between different groups of moderators across language versions of Wikipedia worldwide.

By David A. M. Goldberg with Claudia Lo and Margeigh Novotny

There are over 6 million articles on the English language version of Wikipedia, and 217 million more across the 731 other wikiprojects worldwide. These are mind-boggling numbers when considering the scale of human effort it takes to improve and police this much content, let alone monitor their online activities to detect and mitigate harassment. …

How designers at the Wikimedia Foundation are ensuring that all the world’s knowledge is accessible to everyone.

By David A. M. Goldberg with Volker Eckl

Activist and political theorist Dr. Angela Y. Davis once stated that the most ethical way to assess the health of a society or institution is in terms of how it treats those who have been marginalized. Put another way, Dr. Davis is arguing that outliers are the true measure of a system’s values, not those who are assumed to be “typical,” “average,” “healthy,” or “normal.” More often than not, such adjectives describe the degree to which a person conforms to a system’s requirements, not a system’s ability to accommodate the diversity of…

Wikimedia Design

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