Flow is a planned improvement to discussion and collaboration in the MediaWiki software. The project is currently in the design phase and the Wikimedia Foundation is actively seeking feedback and suggestions about how to make the best possible product for you, our community of contributors.
There are many reasons for us to revamp our discussion and collaboration system, but for now we’re going to focus on three primary use cases:
- Users expect and deserve a modern and intuitive discussion interface: Talk pages—as a discussion technology—are antiquated and user-hostile. Experienced editors lose a lot of valuable time dealing with people who can’t figure out how to reply to messages or who need assistance with things like signing their posts.
- Users are surprised by the cultural norms of the community: Many things about the culture that has grown up around talk pages (such as “talkback” templates or being able to change other people’s comments) are confusing or inefficient.
- We believe that a modern user-to-user discussion system will improve the projects: Better methods for collaboration will improve collaboration, which will help good editors be more productive.
We have set up three “portals” where people can go to get more information and to leave feedback. At these portals, you will find links to detailed user tests, use cases and other kinds of research, as well as visions about what Flow can become.
The portals are:
In order to help you get a feel for how Flow might work, we’ve built an interactive prototype. Please note that this is only a demo and is not reflective of the final product, which may look and behave entirely different. Nothing will be saved on the prototype and you can’t really break it so have fun!
Please read more about the Flow prototype, what it can do, what is planned and known issues with it at one of these locations:
How can I help?
I’m glad you asked.
We are actively seeking feedback of all kinds from our user community. This is not restricted to our editors — readers are welcome to comment, too! There are many, many use cases and scenarios that we want to account for and we need to know what those are. We’re interested in hearing about anything that is important to you. Your concerns, your enthusiasm, your ideas for features.
It is very important for us that you be involved in helping to design this bold step, so please go to the portal of your choice and get involved in the conversation.
Brandon Harris, Senior Designer, Wikimedia Foundation