Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.
Because of the holidays the next issue of Tech News will be sent out on 6 January 2020.
All mobile site users now have new features. Features include: tabs for page/discussion; an expanded user-menu; direct access to history pages. These features were initially part of the "advanced mode".
Changes later this week
There is no new MediaWiki version this week or next week.
Thanks for your help with translations and your other contributions here at MediaWiki.org. I offer this plate of traditional American Christmas cookies to show my thanks. (The ones on the left, with the big w:Hershey's Kisses in the middle, might be the best, as long as you're not allergic to peanut butter!) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:57, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
A training for mentors has been published. The training was first tried with the Czech community, and went well.
Growth team features have been deployed to Hungarian, Ukrainian, and Armenian Wikipedias. If your community is enthusiastic about welcoming newcomers, we encourage you to contact us so that we can verify together whether your wiki is eligible. Then you can go through the checklist to start the process of configuring the features.
The results from our user tests showed us that newcomers are likely to do more suggested edits if they can choose articles related to a topic that they're interested in, such as "science", "music", or "sports".
On January 21, we deployed topic matching on our pilot wikis. Newcomers are now using it. We expect it to cause more newcomers to try suggested edits, and to keep making more of them.
In the coming weeks, we will be making improvements to the accuracy of the algorithm used to topic matching, which is part of the ORES project.
Prototype of how the help panel will "peek" from the bottom of the page to offer guidance on mobile.
Because we are seeing positive results from newcomer tasks, the Growth team plans to concentrate our efforts on improving the workflow and encouraging more newcomers to use it.
Guidance: next, we will be using the help panel to provide guidance to newcomers as they do suggested edits, and to prompt them to do another edit after completing their first one. In user tests for this feature, demo videos were one of the favorite features, and we will think about how these might be added.
Starting the workflow: only about 20% of newcomer who visit their homepage begin the newcomer tasks workflow. We are going to be trying out different layouts of the homepage to encourage more newcomers to try newcomer tasks.
Additional task types: we are researching methods to recommend more specific tasks to newcomers, such as specific links to add, or images that could be added to articles from Commons.
Sketch of an idea for a structured workflow for adding links to an article. The goal is to help newcomers edit at high volume.
We are looking for community input on a new project to make it easy for newcomers to make real article edits.
In our previous newsletter, we talked about the productive edits coming from the newcomer tasks feature. Those good results have continued: about 900 newcomers made over 5,000 suggested edits so far. We've learned that newcomers are interested in receiving suggested edits.
Now, we are thinking about how to supply them a feed of easy edits that will help more of them be successful quickly. We have a new idea called "structured tasks". This would aim to break down edits into steps that are easy for newcomers and easy on mobile devices.
In the past, certain kinds of editing tasks have been structured. For instance, adding categories through HotCat. Now, we are thinking about how to structure the editing of articles. The goal is to allow newcomers can make large content additions, especially from their mobile devices.
Please visit the project page and respond to the discussion questions listed on the talk page. You are welcome to show this project to others in your community. You can help by translating the materials to your language so that more voices can join in. We will be having this conversation until June 18.
We have expanded to six new wikis, and are looking for more interested communities.
In the last two months, we deployed Growth features to six new wikis: Ukrainian, Serbian, Hungarian, Armenian, and Basque Wikipedias, and French Wiktionary. Newcomers from these wikis have already contributed over 600 edits through Growth features.
We want to expand to more wikis in the coming months, and we are looking for interested communities. French Wikipedia already agreed and will be the next one to join the experiment. We will contact several other wikis in the coming weeks to offer them to participate.
Do you think the Growth Team features would be a good addition to your wiki? Please see this translatable summary of Growth features. You can share with your communities and start a discussion. Then, please contact us to begin the process!
Work continues on improving newcomer tasks and the homepage.
In March, we deployed an upgrade to the topic matching in newcomer tasks. The current version offers 39 different topics using new ORES models.
In April, we completed an A/B test of two homepage configurations. We learned that more newcomers will attempt suggested edits if the module is made more prominent. We are implementing those learnings in our next test. See the full results here.
We are currently working on guidance for newcomer tasks. It will use the help panel to guide newcomers through completing easy edits.
Our next step is to create new configurations of the homepage. The goal is to encourage more newcomers to begin doing suggested edits.