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:


Emphasize content[edit]

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.

Problem illustrated[edit]

  • 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.

Principles proposed[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Presenting information in a consistent style reinforces the credibility of content.

Problem illustrated[edit]

  • The use of icons of different styles.

Principles proposed[edit]

  • 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.

Encourage participation[edit]

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.

Problem illustrated[edit]

  • 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.

Principles proposed[edit]

  • 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.