Growth/Communities/How to get the Growth experiments on your wiki

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Projects: Understanding first day (EditorJourney) Personalized first day (Welcome survey , Newcomer homepage , Newcomer tasks ) • Focus on help desk Community resources (Get the tools , Resources for communities )

Help contents: Use the tools: (Help panel , Enable the Homepage , How to claim a mentee )

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The Growth team experiments with new features on a small set of "target" Wikipedias (Czech, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic). When we believe that features likely have a positive impact, we allow other wikis who want to try new things to deploy those features. As of January 2020, the features that are included in this set are:

  • Help panel: allow newcomers to find help and ask questions while they edit.
  • Welcome survey: learn what topics and types of edits newcomers are interested in.
  • EditorJourney: learn what workflows newcomers go through on their first day.
  • Homepage: a personal special page for newcomers, were they can find help, impact of their edits and, soon, suggested edits (suggested edits are not available at the moment).

The newcomer homepage is the next feature to be part of this list. This page also includes steps to configure the newcomer homepage, though the team is not yet sure it is ready to be deployed on more wikis.


As detailed on our focus, we will work with the following wikis by order of priority:

  1. Wikipedias we in the set of our "target" wikis (Czech, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic) – we address all the feedback they give us.
  2. Mid-sized Wikipedias – they get the features as they are, but we may consider suggestions of improvements from those wikis.
  3. All other Wikimedia projects – they get the features as they are, and the team will not have time to prioritize improvements specific to those wikis.

Bug reports will be prioritized by the Growth team.

Features will all be deployed (no substitutions), as "experiments". Experiments means that a portion of newcomers will receive the features (the treatment group), and a portion will not (the control group). By comparing these two groups, we will be able to measure the impact of the feature on newcomer retention. Some wikis may not have these groups, at the Growth team discretion.

The prerequisites to get the experiments are listed below and they are summarized in the Phabricator template.

Phabricator task template[edit]

Communities that have the features deployed[edit]


The following tasks are the same as the ones listed in the Phabricator template.


To get the experiments you have to:

  1. Develop community consensus
    • it is a discussion organized by the community
    • that discussion must explain:
    • The discussion must lead to a community decision to get the features deployed
  2. Contact the Growth team (in English) to show your interest and inform the team about the start of the process
  3. Do community building
    • identify community members who the Growth team can contact with questions or needs while deploying features[1]
    • make sure there are community members ready to help with answering questions on the help desk
  4. Create a Phabricator task using the template. It will include the following elements:
    • Translations: say if they are done and provide the aliases
    • Configuration: list all necessary links and language
    • Add the Growth-team Phabricator tag to the task

Please note that the Growth team may not be able to deploy some features on a given wiki. Some of the reasons can be (among others not listed):

  • if it takes too much time to implement some features on a wiki (requesting a specific deployment, or fixing something),
  • if there are not enough community members to answer newcomer questions.


Translations of the following elements are mandatory to start the deployments:



  • Provide the help desk title

Help panel[edit]

  • What is the URL of your help desk?
    • Is your help desk a traditional page or a Flow page?
    • How is your help desk archived? By bot? Manually? Weekly? Yearly? Does it has a special configuration, like subpages Wikipedia:Help desk/2020-01 or a template like Wikipedia:Helpdesk/{{Y-M|0}}?
  • What are the 5 most important help pages newcomers should have access to, and what are the labels for those links.
    • We advise you to review those pages and enrich them. For instance, check if the page is well illustrated, if it presents the different steps needed to achieve something or if it explains how to edit using the visual editor.
    • We recommend including a link to a step-by-step tutorial.
    • We recommend including a link about how to add images to articles. It is a popular request.
    • Those pages can be changed after the deployment. We can provide you some data about how popular they are.
  • Which namespace(s) and/or categories the help panel search should look in, e.g. the "Wikipedia" and "Help" namespaces, or any pages with "Category:Help document".
  • What is the wikilink to the main help page


  • Everything that is done for the Help panel, plus:
  • What is the wikilink to the tutorial about editing
  • What is the wikilink to the list of newcomers
  • Mentors:
    • Create a page where experienced users can sign up to be mentors.
    • The format of the page is a list of mentors, using wikilinks (format is ([[User:Name]]|Description)
    • Protect that page, so that only experienced users can sign-up
    • We recommend having one mentor for every 500 new accounts per month, i.e. if your wiki has 5,000 new accounts per month, you should have 10 mentors signed up in order to handle the volume of incoming questions. Have more mentors than the recommended threshold will decrease the effort needed.

Understanding First Day[edit]

  • The list of namespaces that contain sensitive behavior that we don't want to record (0, 1, 6, 7 are mandatory).

Configuration values[edit]

As information, these are all the configuration values we set when deploying to a new wiki (newwiki in the sample below):

'wmgUseGrowthExperiments' => [
	'default' => false,
	'newwiki' => true

'wgWelcomeSurveyEnabled' => [
	'default' => false,
	'newwiki' => true,

'wgWelcomeSurveyPrivacyPolicyUrl' => [
	'newwiki' => '{needs to be obtained per wiki}',

'wgWelcomeSurveyExperimentalGroups' => [
	'newwiki' => [ 'exp2_target_specialpage' => [ 'range' => '0-9' ], 'exp2_target_popup' => [ 'range' => 'x' ] ],

'wgGEHelpPanelEnabled' => [
	'default' => false,
	'newwiki' => true,

'wgGEHelpPanelSearchEnabled' => [
	'default' => false,
	'newwiki' => true,

'wgGEHelpPanelNewAccountEnablePercentage' => [
	'default' => 0,
	'newwiki' => 50,

'wgGEHelpPanelReadingModeNamespaces' => [
	'default' => [ 2, 4, 12 ]

'wgGEHelpPanelHelpDeskTitle' => [
	'default' => '',
	'newwiki' => '{MW Help desk title. Can use a template, e.g. 위키백과:질문방/{{Y-M|0}}',

'wgGEHelpPanelViewMoreTitle' => [
	'default' => '',
	'newwiki' => '{MW Title for help contents}',

'wgGEHelpPanelLinks' => [
	'default' => [],
	'newwiki' => [
			'title' => '{MW Title}',
			'text' => 'Display text',
			'id' => 'unique-identifier-for-event-logging',
                // 4 more of the above

'wgGEHomepageEnabled' => [
	'default' => false,
	'newwiki' => true,

'wgGEHomepageNewAccountEnablePercentage' => [
	'default' => 0,
        'newwiki' => 50,

'wgGEHomepageTutorialTitle' => [
	'default' => '',
	'newwiki' => '{MW title for the homepage tutorial}',

'wgGEHomepageMentorsList' => [
	'default' => '',
	'newwiki' => '{MW title with list of mentors for homepage feature}',

Additionally, for UnderstandingFirstDay, we need:

'wgWMEUnderstandingFirstDay' => [
	'default' => false,
	'newwiki' => true,

'wgWMEUnderstandingFirstDaySensitiveNamespaces' => [
	'default' => [ 0, 1, 6, 7 ],
	'newwiki' => [ 0, 1, 6, 7, 118, 119 ],

Finally, we need to define Special page aliases:

$specialPageAliases['newwiki'] = [
	'WelcomeSurvey' => [ '' ],
	'Homepage' => [ '' ],
	'Impact' => [ '' ],


  1. The only requirement is to understand enough English (for instance, be able to understand the current page) to communicate with others. Perfect grammar and spelling are not required -- many people involved in our project are not native English speakers!