Improved usability in our future

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Earlier today we announced a wonderful grant from the Stanton Foundation – $890K that will help us fund a team of developers and a project manager to examine and ultimately improve usability for the wiki editing interface for Wikipedia and all of Wikimedia’s projects.  Further – the improvements are going to be available to anyone running the MediaWiki software, which means all wikis can share in the changes.
This is great news for those who may have approached Wikipedia with some trepidation in the past, uncomfortable with the technical demands that basic editing may present.  It’s our hope that with these improvements we’ll be able to attract new people with new information, perspectives, and knowledge into Wikipedia and other collaborative projects.
The first steps will start through the new year, as the team is formed and current usage barriers are examined.  Expect to see changes to the editing interface over the coming months. We’ll be happy to spread the news about the improvements as they become available.
We’ve also put together a basic Q&A for the project.  Please take a look and feel free to add any of your questions or comments below.
Thanks!
Jay Walsh, Head of Communications

Archive notice: This is an archived post from blog.wikimedia.org, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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Today I came across some websites with some great webdesign work, beautiful css, good usability and I thought: “what about asking one of the really, really top webdesign agencies ‘How would Wikipedia look like if _you_ had to redesign it’?” Then I read this blog post. And then I read the press release: “The grant will be used to fund a project team at the Wikimedia Foundation’s offices in San Francisco. […] The project team will include three full-time software developers, a user interface designer, and a project manager.” Three hired techies, one UI designer. Where’s the usability expert? Where’s… Read more »

Only not wysiwyg, please!! 🙁

Great news!
I agree with Elian. In some news reports I read some programmers would be hired. I don’t if that is the truth but it would be great if there was also an interaction designer / usability expert involved. Someone who can investigate what is wanted and how to create that.
Good luck with the project!

I agree that not employing usability expert on a usability project is really lame… 🙁

This is censorship!!!

How about a usabilty feedback wiki page ? .. People would give ideas how they want wikipedia work , not as a board chosen expert would for money. There number of spontaniuse feedback pages been removed over the years from wikipedia. Why they would make wikipedia not developing but just growing in size ? Heh?

[…] December 3rd, the Wikimedia Foundation was awarded a grant of $890,000 by the Stanton Foundation to make Wikipedia’s editing interface easier to […]