On 20/01/16 10:41, Jane Darnell wrote:
Moving forward, more attention must be paid to
documenting existing reader
and editor workflows, gnarly as this may sound to achieve. Once done
however, optimization of such workflows should be much, much easier. After
viewing that video from Mexico Wikimania of a mobile-user's editing
workflow with the Visual Editor I was shocked to think that there are
people out there trying so hard and moving so slowly to achieve their wiki
goals. We really need to spend time on this, because mobile will only
become more and more important. I for one don't see myself making the
switch to Visual Editor any time soon, though I do use several other
websites regularly on mobile.
As far as asking the WMF only to "build what the community wants", I
strongly disagree. I have become a regular user of Facebook to augment my
onwiki work, and a few years ago if you had asked me whether I would find
Wiki(p/m)edians on Facebook I would have said "No Way!"
I would entirely agree. Deployment practices have definitely been an
issue, with a notable example in particular being VE's initial premature
release, but where things also tend to particularly fall short is
research into what people are actually doing with the projects, and why.
We talk about community consultations and notifying all the users ahead
of time, but the fact of the matter is that most of the community
doesn't give a shit, nor should they. They don't want to leave what
they're currently working on to go comment on things, they aren't
watching for stuff to jump on; they have limited time and they want to
spend that just working on what they want to work on. This is what the
WMF should be supporting, and when it succeeds, when things just get
better without requiring extra effort on the part of the users, users
tend to be pretty happy about it. And we don't hear about it because
they usually express that happiness by continuing to putter around
writing stuff or fixing categories or whatever it is they were doing in
the first place. And that's good. We need them to do that.
The problem is when changes make it harder for these users, and that's
when they get mad and quit working on their stuffs and start yelling.
This is what happened with MV - despite being a concept a lot of us
really did want (because the primary use case clicking on pictures is
indeed just to see it bigger), in particular its implementation simply
did not account for the reality of how files are documented or how the
use cases of different projects, well, differ.
And looking at these things should be the first step. You look at what's
on the wiki, at what the users are doing, actually doing now, and you
work with that, talk to some of them, address the problems they've
noticed they have, as well as the problems they haven't noticed they
have but that still slow them down, that's useful. That's how you fix
broken things and build valuable tools, but that's just not what a lot
of Wikimedia's development and design has been (that VE has been doing
this I think is a good chunk of why it's so powerful now). No, the ideas
don't need to come from the community, it certainly doesn't all have to
be 'what the community wants' (like with facebook, helpful things are
often not what occurs to anyone off the bat), but it should be helpful.
And the WMF should have the resources to determine what would be helpful.