Steven Walling

  1. Inviting anonymous editors to join the Wikipedia community

    There’s a silent majority that edits Wikipedia every day, but who we do not know. Called anonymous or “IP” editors, these are people who contribute to Wikipedia without logging in. They are identified in page histories only by their IP address, a string of numbers used in Internet routing and addressing systems. This month, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Growth team is embarkin... Read more

  2. Typography refresh: A new look for text on Wikimedia sites

    Soon, we’re releasing a small but important update to the typography on the desktop version of Wikimedia sites. All Wikipedia readers and editors will see the change one week from today (Thursday, April 3rd), while other Wikimedia sites will receive the update earlier, on Tuesday, April 1st. We approached this change to Wikimedia’s default typography with the following requirements in ... Read more

  3. New draft feature provides a gentler start for Wikipedia articles

    For most of Wikipedia’s history, we encouraged editors to create new encyclopedia articles by publishing immediately. Just find a page that doesn’t exist, type in content, and after you hit save, it’s shared with the world. This helped Wikipedia grow to the millions of articles it has now, but the project has matured in many ways, and we need additional tools for creating great n... Read more

  4. Try the new login and account creation on Wikimedia projects

    An account creation and login process that is simple and pleasurable to use is a must-have for engaging more contributors to Wikimedia projects. On just Wikipedia’s English-language version, more than 3,000 people sign up for an account on an average day. These interfaces are often the first time a new editor interacts with the site, beyond consuming content. We’re happy to announce th... Read more

  5. Suggesting tasks for new Wikipedians

    If you had just signed up to become a Wikipedia contributor, what kind of experience would you like to have? Would you know exactly where to get started, or would you prefer some suggestions? For most of Wikipedia’s 12-year history, we have done very little to proactively introduce new participants to tasks that are interesting and easy. Right after account creation, for instance, we merely ... Read more

  6. Adding guided tours to Wikipedia

    One of the great strengths of Wikipedia is that community members can employ the same tool used to write the encyclopedia – a wiki – for collaborating on documentation about the project. The downside of this approach is that these pages, written by encyclopedists, tend to be broad and extremely detailed. New contributors to Wikipedia face a daunting list of thousands of help pages, policies, g... Read more

  7. JSTOR provides free access to Wikipedia editors via pilot program

    One of the challenges facing the volunteer editors of Wikipedia is finding reliable sources to use as reference material — in our last editor survey, 39 percent named this as one of the largest problems hindering their contributions. The need was especially pronounced among our most active volunteers, who make hundreds or thousands of edits per month. To address this issue, the Wikimedia Fou... Read more

  8. Fix this broken workflow, and help thousands of Wikipedians

    In the 10+ years since its founding, Wikipedia has become an indispensable source of quality information for Internet users everywhere. Here at the Wikimedia Foundation, we’re very proud to support such a project. Yet, despite being a household name, there remain some issues with our user experience that are deeply troubling. This is especially true for the smaller contingent of people who a... Read more

  9. Testing a new signup page for Wikipedia

    Wikipedia doesn’t require to you to sign up for an account. We like giving everything away for free, and even let people edit without creating an account. But if you’d like to register, there are plenty of good reasons to do so. However, it’s been a long time since the registration process for Wikipedia got any love. In fact, it’s pretty clunky, and it may be contributing ... Read more

  10. Is this thing on? Giving new Wikipedians feedback post-edit

    Figure 1. One of the messages used in the test (confirmation). We recently tested a simple change in the user interface for registered Wikipedia editors. We’re happy to report results from a trial of post-edit feedback that lead to an increase in the productivity of newcomers to the project, while still maintaining quality. The problem The user experience problem was fairly straightforward: ... Read more