I think that good design requires a deep understanding of user needs.
Experiencing those yourself is always helpful, very helpful, but you should
be careful that this does not lead you to "design for yourself", and you
keep a broader view.
Our users are the experienced editor on Catalan Wikipedia that creates new
articles about Pritzker laureates, the anonymous reader from Kerala that
has a hard time fixing a typo because the lack of input methods for
Malayalam in her computer, the guy at the Tate museum reading more about
Malevich on his mobile phone, an editor in Nigeria fixing and adding
categories to Commons new uploads through a slow internet connection... It
is seems quite hard to learn about all their needs through personal
Personally I have been involved in our projects in ways I could experience
how our projects work in practise. For example, working on the Content
Translation project I have been translating several articles myself between
Spanish and Catalan Wikipedias in my spare time, but when I started working
in the project I focused on learning by observing how our actual users
(trying to reach a group as diverse as possible) were currently translating
articles as well as going throug research info and policies about
translation in Wikipedia.
All this requiresbtime and you need to be deliberate on what is more
effective. To design an opera house, learning how to sing may not be the
most time-effective approach to learn about the needs of singers and the
So my advice to a new member of the design team would not be to edit as
much as they can, but to learn as much as possible about our user needs and
consider getting involved in the projects as one of the tools to achieve it.
I think that as a team (with the formation of the user research team) and
individually is something which is already in our minds, but it is always
helpful to remind ourselfs.
El 31/12/2014 8:03, "Nick Wilson (Quiddity)" <nwilson(a)wikimedia.org>
It's also good to keep in mind that a huge chunk of being part of the
communities, is just browsing around the "backstage areas", spending time
reading and learning about the ongoing decision-processes, and
workflow-processes, and communication styles, and personal tasks that are
what keep us moving forward. Stumbling across other editors having/sharing
moments of joy, and being inspired by that. Perusing userpages, browsing
(layout!) guidelines, skimming villagepumps, checking noticeboards, and
investigating backlog piles. http://xkcd.com/214/
doesn't just apply to
articles! I had to dabble and explore in a number of areas, before I found
regular tasks that I found consistently enjoyable.
[I know a few of the design team already do this a lot, because they ask
me questions frequently! (Which I encourage). Reading doesn't leave traces
though, so it can be hard for anyone else to get a sense of who is keeping
their curiosity burning at both ends. :-) ]
On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM, Trevor Parscal <tparscal(a)wikimedia.org>
I don't know the answer to this question, but
I do think it is a good
one, and I would be in favor of anyone making product decisions being
encouraged and given bandwidth to immerse themselves in the product they
are making decisions about in it's raw organic form, real active wikis.
I don't edit very much, mostly just on MediaWiki.org
software. I certainly feel like I would benefit a lot from editing more,
and I don't really have any good excuses why I don't. Perhaps I will try
spending some time editing while I'm on vacation.
On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 5:27 PM, MZMcBride <z(a)mzmcbride.com> wrote:
I just spent a few minutes catching up on this mailing list. I noticed
that Nirzar recently joined the design team. That thread seemed very
strange to me. It didn't answer the most basic question: does he actively
edit wikis? And if not, when will he be starting?
This got me thinking about the larger issue. Are people actively editing
the projects? I mean making new pages, fixing typos, updating templates,
etc. on Wikipedia or Wikisource or Commons or another wiki? To me, it
seems like it would be nearly impossible to design well for these
without immersing yourself in them. There's so much left to be done, even
on our largest projects such as the English Wikipedia, and I think we're
failing at communicating this. I talk to people who feel Wikipedia is
and finished(!), but they're completely wrong.
I think good design is a key component to growing the projects, but I
worry that more and more people are involved in name only. People should
be actively editing and I'm not sure that they are. So I'm left
are people actively editing? Do people try to reserve a day a week to
editing? An edit a day? How do people get involved so that they can
understand, protect, and enhance the projects?
I should be in San Francisco in late January and I'm hoping to meet with
some of you. Be assured that editing will be a topic of discussion. :-)
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