[Foundation-l] Commons Usability

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Wed Mar 31 16:03:48 UTC 2010

I am quite pleased to correct you because you are wrong. The usability
initiative is based on the findings of usability tests that indicated many
issues with the old user interface. Some of these are cosmetic but that does
not make the change any less effective.

The objective of the usability initiative is officially to improve the
English Wikipedia. As such it does not address the many issues that exist
with Wikimedia Commons. They are to be addressed with a follow up project
that aims to improve the usability of Commons.

Even though the English Wikipedia is the target of this first project, this
initiative provides real benefits for Wikipedias in other languages. A
recent addition in functionality is support for the characters used in the
Bengali language (Hebrew is already supported).

It has been observed that it order to improve the usability, it is essential
that the software that makes up the Usability Initiative is localised. This
is done best at http://translatewiki.net . You can help yourself and your
language community to check out the status for your language.

The choice of Commons and the English Wikipedia is in my opinion opportune
because it not only prepares the way for the implementation on all the other
Wikipedias, it also functions as a reminder how important it is to get the
localisation of MediaWiki and its extensions done.

Finally this new functionality and skin provides the basis on which the work
for Commons will be build.

On 31 March 2010 17:34, Amir E. Aharoni <amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il>wrote:

> Hi.
> If i understand correctly - and please correct me if i'm wrong - the
> current
> big Usability project is essentially a rather cosmetic change of the
> default
> skin. It is not really bad and i'm not really opposed to it, as many other
> users are, but it seems that it doesn't address a very big usability
> problem
> - the fact that Wikimedia Commons is hardly accessible for people who don't
> English well.
> Sure, it's possible to translate to translate templates and system messages
> to other languages and set the default language in the preferences, but
> this
> is very far from actually achieving the goal of making Commons the main
> media repository for all other WMF projects in all languages.
> And it's kinda symbolic that Commons will be the first project where the
> default skin will be switched.
> Now, before i start writing about the problems that i found in detail, this
> is probably something that was already discussed. If it indeed was, please
> point me to it (thanks in advance). If it was not discussed deeply, i'll
> probably start a discussion page somewhere.
> --
> אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> Amir Elisha Aharoni
> http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> "We're living in pieces,
> I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
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