Growth/Constructive activation experimentation

As part of the Growth team 2024/2025 Annual Plan, the Growth team will explore various ways to increase constructive activation on mobile. This project page documents Growth team experimentation related to the Wikimedia Foundation 2024-2025 Annual Plan, specifically the Wiki Experiences 1.2 Key Result.

Current Status

  • 2024-06-19: planning and sharing the initial hypothesis
  • Next: start initial design exploration and community consultation with our pilot wikis



Current full-page editing experiences require too much context, patience, and trial and error for many newcomers to contribute constructively. To support a new generation of volunteers, we will increase the number and availability of smaller, structured, and more task-specific editing workflows (E.g. Edit Check and Structured Tasks). The Growth team will primarily focus on Structured Tasks, while working closely with the Editing team to ensure our work integrates well with Edit Check.

This project aims to address the following user problem:

Getting started editing on Wikipedia is difficult and especially frustrating on mobile devices. I want the editing interface to provide the in-the-moment policy and technical guidance I need, so my initial efforts aren't reverted.

This project aims to achieve the following user outcome:

As a new Wikipedia volunteer, I feel confident and enthusiastic about contributing to the Wikimedia movement by editing Wikipedia articles. The tools provided guide me step-by-step, limit distractions, and allow me to learn progressively so I can successfully contribute on my mobile device.



How does this work fit into the Wikimedia Foundation's Annual Plan?


Wiki Experiences 1: Contributor experience Objective


Under the Wikimedia Foundation's Infrastructure Goal, and within the group of objectives focused on Wiki Experiences, is an objective related to improving the experience of contributors:

Wiki Experiences 1: Contributor experience Objective: Both experienced and new contributors rally together online to build a trustworthy encyclopedia, with more ease and less frustration.

Wiki Experiences 1.2 Key Result


Under the Contributor experience objective, is one key result focused on increasing newcomer constructive activation on mobile:

Wiki Experiences 1.2 (WE1.2) Key Result: Widespread deployment of interventions shown to cause #% increase in the percentage of newcomers who publish ≥1 constructive edit in the main namespace on a mobile device, as measured by controlled experiments. Baselines to be established in T360829.

Several Wikimedia Foundation teams are committed to working on projects under the WE1.2 Key Result: Draft_Hypotheses.

Wiki Experiences 1.2.3 Hypothesis


The Growth team's initial focus is surfacing Structured Tasks to newcomers in new ways:

Growth team hypothesis Timeline Phabricator epic
Wiki Experiences 1.2.3:

If we conduct user tests on two or more design prototypes introducing Structured Tasks to newcomers within/proximate to the Visual Editor, then we can quickly learn which designs will work best for new editors, while also enabling engineers to assess technical feasibility and estimate effort for each approach.

July 1, 2024


September 30, 2024


Wikimedia Foundation teams are approaching annual planning more iteratively this year, so rather than committing to larger year-long projects, our first hypothesis is fairly narrow in scope. This should allow us to deliver value in smaller increments throughout the year, while also ensuring we have the flexibility to pivot as we learn. So WE1.2.3 is just a first step, future Growth team work will likely relate to implementing what we learned from WE1.2.3 user tests, and possibly developing new types of structured tasks later in the fiscal year.

How are we defining constructive activation?


For the WE1.2 we are focusing on brand new account holders on mobile, so constructive activation is defined as a newcomer making at least one edit to an article in the main namespace of a Wikipedia project on a mobile device within 24 hours of registration on a mobile device and that edit not being reverted within 48 hours of being published. This will be measured on a per platform basis (we will measure mobile web and mobile app activation separately).

What research and data inform these experiments?


This work is guided by the following observations and associated data and research:

The majority of new account holders on Wikipedia never complete even an initial edit.

Task-specific, structured workflows cause more newcomers to publish a constructive edit.

Newcomers struggle with noticing, understanding, and applying the policies that shape Wikipedia.

Fewer new editors are registering on Wikipedia.

The majority of Wikipedia pageviews are from mobile.

Community Discussion


We have discussed the broader concept behind this project with communities as part of the WMF annual plan Product & Technology OKRs discussion, but we will also initiate a more detailed community consultation with our pilot wikis (Arabic and Spanish Wikipedia) as soon as initial designs are available to share.



Measurement and Results