How will we use multimedia on our sites in three years?

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Multimedia team was formed to provide a richer experience and support more media contributions on Wikipedia, Commons, and MediaWiki sites. We believe that audio-visual media offer a unique opportunity to engage a wide range of users to participate productively in our collective work.

To inform our plans, we’ve created a simple vision of how we might collaborate through multimedia by 2016. This hypothetical scenario was prepared with guidance from community members and is intended for discussion purposes, to help us visualize possible improvements to our user experience over the next three years.


The best way to view this vision is to watch this video:

Multimedia Vision 2016, presented by Fabrice Florin at a Wikimedia Meetup in San Francisco on Dec. 9, 2013.

You can also view this five-minute video in other file formats on YouTube and Vimeo, or browse through the annotated slides at your leisure.

Multimedia Vision Slides

Our vision tells the stories of two fictional users: Kim, a reader; and Jan, an experienced editor.

Kim’s story:

  • Kim visits Wikipedia and views media-rich, informative content.
  • She gives feedback on images and joins a media contest.
  • She contributes a video from her mobile device and shares it.

Jan’s story:

  • Jan searches for relevant media for an article.
  • Jan curates a file, then uses Kim’s video in his article.
  • They collaborate to create a mixed media slideshow together.

This vision shows one possible example of how our tools could engage users through multimedia − and support productive collaborations in the process. This would be similar to what we do today with text… but with more compelling media that can engage more people.

This particular scenario explores ways to integrate Wikipedia more closely with Commons, so that Wikipedians could contribute or curate more easily to our free media repository, wherever they are − with a smoother user experience.

Join the discussion

This presentation is intended for discussion purposes, to get community feedback on goals we are considering. To that end, we would love to hear what you think of this vision.

Please join our discussion − or add your comments below − and help guide our development plans.

Note that the designs shown here are only meant to illustrate a possible experience − and any final implementation may be quite different. We expect to adjust this vision from time to time, based on your feedback and our own findings.

To see what others have told us already, check our reports on recent roundtable discussions with community members about our multimedia plans.

Next steps

This multimedia vision also provides a useful framework for what’s needed to make this experience come to life:

  • Better viewing experience
  • More video & audio
  • Smoother uploads
  • Structured data
  • Easy feedback
  • Group editing
  • Social interactions
  • Cross-wiki integration

In coming months, we will host special discussions to focus on some of these requirements. We hope this vision can inform these conversations by showing how these features all tie together into a unified user experience. We believe this rich media experience is key to engaging more users and supporting their diverse learning styles, as modern culture shifts towards more audio-visual content delivery.

For more information, visit the multimedia project page; you can also learn more about multimedia goals on our planning page.


Multimedia Team members

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks who have contributed to this vision, including Jared Zimmerman, Howie Fung and Rob Lanphier, as well as Aaron Arcos, Mark Holmquist, May Galloway, Gergő Tisza, Brian Wolff, Bryan Davis, Gilles Dubuc, Keegan Peterzell, Tomasz Finc and Erik Moeller, to name but a few.

We’re also grateful to all the community members who helped shape this vision, through a series of roundtable discussions held by video conference, in person and over IRC. If you would like to participate in future discussions, we invite you to join our multimedia mailing list.

We look forward to more conversations with you in coming months.

Happy new year!

Fabrice Florin, Product Manager, Multimedia
Pau Giner, Interaction Designer
On behalf of the entire Multimedia team
Wikimedia Foundation’s Engineering and Product Group