Usability testing improves Kiwix user experience

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During the recent Berlin hackathon in May, Wikimedia Developer Ryan Kaldari and Lead Kiwix Developer Emmanuel Engelhart led a usability study to better understand how to improve the user experience of the offline Wikipedia app Kiwix
We were inspired by a presentation that Trevor Parscal did last year which showcased how easy it is to run a usability study.
With the help of Sumana Harihareswara and numerous others, we conducted seven interviews that highlighted some of the pain points our users were facing.
Some of the quick observations were:

  • Bookmarks are too complicated;
  • Tabs are not intuitive;
  • Some common command key combinations are not supported.

The test script and full results are available, and we’re now using what we learned to guide our next development sprints.
Some of the issues have already been resolved, as they were either in development or quick fixes, while others will require more research.
All the tests were recorded and the videos are already available on Wikimedia Commons.
We’d like to thank our testers who helped us immensely!
It was also great to see how easy it is to run such a study. We have many great opportunities to do research like this at meet-ups, hackathons, conferences, Wikimania, etc.
I’d love to see our community do more informal testing sessions; running just one in a geographic region would quickly surface issues our users are facing.
Are you interested? Don’t wait! Do your own and let us know how it went, or leave a comment below if you want more information.
Tomasz Finc
Director of Mobile and Special Projects


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

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