Design/Archive/Wikimedia Foundation Design/Principles
Some design principles that are aligned with the Wikimedia goals and define the direction in which to go with design in the future (still under discussion). This is a brief deck explaining Agora:
Users are interested in content, not the UI. The UI should support consuming and contributing different kinds of content (text, images, sounds, video, etc.) in a transparent way. The UI should appear only when it is needed and not distract the user.
- A user reading a Wikipedia article sees a wonderful picture of a mountain. The user clicks in the picture and he arrives to the image description page where metadata and the UI are more prominent than the image itself.
- The user accesses a text based list of his contributions where it is difficult to visually identify which articles he has contributed to.
- Direct manipulation. Use media to represent content.
- Emphasize content over the UI.
- Avoid distracting details. Avoid lines and borders when they are superfluous.
Look as a reliable source of information
Presenting information in a consistent style reinforces the credibility of content.
- The use of icons of different styles.
- Standardized set of UI building blocks that developers can use.
- Pattern collection as a common place for designers to discuss their solutions and find a common direction.
Easy to participate for newcomers of different cultures, languages and devices in a responsible manner. Workflows should be designed to be simple to make it easy for users to participate in them. Unnecessary steps should be reduced to the minimum.
- A user wants to share a picture, he needs to go to a different site and provide information upfront. When he fails in providing some detail such as the picture category, he is not provided assistance on how to recover.
- Multi-device. Use interaction techniques and components that work for different kinds of devices or can adapt to them.
- Make it direct. Postpone secondary actions to focus on the main goal for the user.