Submissions/Wiki Usability – The low-hanging fruits

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This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 3070 - T3
Title of the submission
Wiki Usability – The low-hanging fruits
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Martin Kraft
Language of presentation
E-mail address
Martin Kraft
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Martin Kraft // Interactiondesign
member of Wikimedia Deutschland
Personal homepage or blog,
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)
Over the last 15 years, Wikipedia has grown up to become one of the most interesting and most frequently visited websites in the world. Sadly, its design and usability did not keep up with this development, so that Wikipedia (especially the desktop skin) appears to be anachronistic in today's web.
There where some large-scale projects (e.g. ‘’Flow’’ or ‘’Winter’’), targeting these usability issues in the past. Sadly, many of them failed or never went live – either due to the complexity of the task and the necessary development or due to differences between the Wikimedia Foundation and the editing community. 'Official' development currently tends to focus on aspects like the mobile skin or the mobile app, where progress can be achieved more easy. The desktop skin, the home environment for most of the editors, is left behind, becoming increasingly less attractive for badly-needed new contributors.
Maybe it is time to focus on the low hanging fruits; to address small problems, with small solutions, improving the user experience step by step. The results may not look as perfect as something derived from a big master plan. But it can keep our project evolving – and that is really necessary right now.
Being a designer by profession, I am used to looking at things not just from the inside (like long-time Wikipedia editors do), but also from the outside (which is our readers' and other off-wiki-stakeholders' point of view). I am convinced that this switch of perspective will help us to identify any hurdles and barriers that exist within our project.
This talk will showcase some of Wikipedia's key usability problems and sketch possible solutions that may be implemented with relatively little effort.
What will attendees take away from this session?
The aim is to start a diskussion about this issues and motivate the attendees to tackle usability problems themselves.
Theme of presentation
Technology, Interface & Infrastructure
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
experienced users as well as newbies
hopefully some members of the WMF design team
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Interested attendees

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  1. --Gnom (talk) 08:06, 12 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Wuselig (talk) 11:12, 12 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. --Freddy2001 (talk) 11:48, 12 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Thiemo Mättig (WMDE) (talk) 13:43, 12 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 13:47, 12 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. --Cirdan (talk) 19:39, 12 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 20:01, 12 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]