Welcome to the ninth newsletter from the Growth team! This newsletter is also distributed on wikis.
The Growth team‘s objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects.
Opening Growth features to more wikis
The Growth team has existed for about one year. During that time, we have developed several features that we think can help increase retention. Though we are still gathering data to detect scientifically whether the features increase retention, we think that some of the features are ready to be deployed on more wikis that want to experiment with them.
If your community is enthusiastic about welcoming newcomers, we encourage you to contact us so that we can verify together if your wiki is eligible.
Then, go through the checklist to start the process of getting these features:
- Help panel: allow newcomers to find help and ask questions while they edit.
- Welcome survey: learn what topics and types of edits newcomers are interested in.
- EditorJourney: learn what workflows newcomers go through on their first day.
- A new quarter of the year has started, and the team has set our goals for the next three months. The most important goals are:
- Newcomer homepage: increase activity through a task recommendations module. Now that we have seen several weeks of positive activity on the newcomer homepage, we think that the most important thing to add is a way for newcomers to find tasks to work on. The challenge will be recommending the right kind of tasks at the right point of their journey.
- Newcomer homepage: increase feature discovery rate by 100%. Right now, only 20% – 30% of newcomers ever visit their homepage. We want to double that number by making sure all newcomers know how to find it.
- Help panel: increase usefulness through improvements to affordance, search, and UX flow. We have looked closely at data and anecdotes from the usage of the help panel, and we plan to pursue specific improvements to increase its effectiveness (see accompanying image of a feature that helps newcomers find responses to their questions).
- Wikimania is coming up next month, which includes a “Community Growth” space. We hope to see people from all communities there to talk about how to bring newcomers into our movement.
- We have started to deploy features to our team’s fourth target wiki: Arabic Wikipedia. That wiki is the biggest one we target, it has a high percentage of mobile users, and also is our first right-to-left language. This will help us make sure that our features are valuable for as many types of users as possible.
Mobile homepage and early analysis
- The mobile version of the newcomer homepage was deployed to Czech, Korean, and Vietnamese Wikipedias. Now, newcomers can access their homepage from both desktop and mobile devices.
- We have published our first set of data about the performance of the newcomer homepage. In summary, we are happy with the homepage’s performance so far. We see about half of visitors clicking on something, and the majority of them returning to the homepage multiple times.
- Because we see positive usage of the homepage, we will deploy several small features in the next two weeks that help more newcomers discover their homepage (see accompanying image of a feature that helps newcomers discover their homepage from their empty Contributions page).
- As listed in our goals above, we’ll be starting to focus on adding task recommendations to the newcomer homepage. We’ll be publishing early thoughts on this feature so that community members can give their thoughts and advice.
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