Fighting usability beta bugs

Another quick update from the Wikimedia Usability team — the Foundation team working on user interface and editing system improvements for Wikipedia and the Foundation’s projects.

If you are one of the usability beta users, you might have noticed that dialogues for links and tables, and dynamic collapsible table of contents have been disabled. We regret that we had to take away these features temporarily. The babaco enhancements release which was deployed in February caused text formatting problems. So we decided to temporarily disable these features until we have solid solutions. The plan is to restore at least the dialogue feature mid-March.

The beta opt-in rate in February suffered from challenges as well. It is possible that the decline is related to the formatting issues with the release mentioned above, but we could not pinpoint the correlation. February ended with a total of 571,579 users having tried the beta. Although the monthly retention rate for all projects for the month declined by one percent to 80.4%, the cumulative retention rate since the beginning of the beta in August 2009 across all projects held steady at 79.8% as of February 28. Close to a half million users continue using the beta, so we wish to restore all beta features as soon as possible. The updated beta status by Howie is found here.

Lastly, we have a pretty big release coming up this month. The release nick name is Citron, and it is scheduled in the week of March 15. The main feature of this release is to collapse templates, aka scary double curly brackets in the editor, and provide a form-based interface, so that users do not need to navigate through the templates. Mock-ups, Parul, Hannes, Nimish and Adam worked on, can be found here. Template-collapsing and form-based editing interface will be staged on prototypes soon and we will send out invite for you to play with it. These features are planned to be enabled under user preferences for the gradual rollout.

Naoko Komura
User Experience Programs

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3 Comments on Fighting usability beta bugs

Ivan 4 years

I love Wikipedia working

Emmanuel 4 years

We have patience. Thank you for your hard work.

emijrp 5 years

Hi. Thanks for your effort in the improvement of usaility for Wiki[mp]edia. I am waiting for the collapse templates (and form), although, I follow using standard interface. Nostalgia.

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