User contributions or Right Navigation Areas are meant to reflect the results of ones edits back to them. Notifications only tell you if you're edit was reverted. There are key stages in the life of an article. If you contributes to an article these milestones will be meaningful to you. Caveat - What matters to a user may depend on the length of membership and their engagement.
Design Theme - Reflect and ContinueEdit
1. Allow a user to finger the impact of their edits (Key Notifications that are presented as a reflection back to the user)
2. Allow a user to contribute to areas that he cares about (Using watchlist, suggestbot, flickr plugins, wikiprojects etc)
First Mockups and IdeasEdit
We can create a space where users see their contributions but slice them up in ways that are more actionable than the current desktop view. Some sample use cases might be - An article you started is a featured article > add categories An article you edited now has a lead image > Curate the image