Growth/Newsletters/05

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Welcome to the fifth newsletter for the new Growth team!  

The Growth team's objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects.

New projects for discussion[edit]

Example mockup of an email communicating to newcomers their impact.
We began the "Personalized first day" project with the welcome survey so that we could gather information about what newcomers are trying to accomplish. The next step is to use that information to create experiences that help the newcomers accomplish their goal – actually personalizing their first day. We asked for community thoughts in the previous newsletter, and after discussing with community members and amongst our team, we are now planning two projects as next steps: "engagement emails" and "newcomer homepage".
  • Early concept mockup of a newcomer homepage, showing modules that newcomers might find useful when getting started.
    Engagement emails: this project was first discussed positively by community members here back in September 2018, and the team how has bandwidth to pursue it. The idea is that newcomers who leave the wiki don't get encouraged to return to the wiki and edit. We can engage them through emails that send them the specific information they need to be successful – such as contact from a mentor, the impact of their edits, or task recommendations. Please read over the project page, and comment on its discussion page with any ideas, questions, or concerns. Do you think this is a good idea? Where could we go wrong?
  • Newcomer homepage: we developed the idea for this project after analyzing the data from the welcome survey and EditorJourney datasets. We saw that many newcomers seem to be looking for a place to get started – a place that collects their past work, options for future work, and ways to learn more. We can build this place, and it can connect to the engagement emails. The content of both could be guided by what newcomers say they need during their welcome survey, and contain things like contact from a mentor, impact of their edits, or task recommendations. Please read over the project page, and comment on its discussion page with any ideas, questions, or concerns. Do you think this is a good idea? Where could we go wrong?

Initial reports on newcomer activity[edit]

We have published initial reports on each of the team's first two projects. These reports give the basic numbers from each project, and there are many more questions we will continue to answer in future reports. We're excited about these initial findings. They have already helped us define and design parts of our future projects.

  • Welcome survey: the initial report on welcome survey responses is available here. Some of the main findings:
    • Most users respond to the survey, giving it high response rates of 67% and 62% in Czech and Korean Wikipedias, respectively.
    • The survey does not cause newcomers to be less likely to edit.
    • The most common reason for creating an account in Korean Wikipedia is to read articles—not for editing—with 29% of Korean users giving that responses.
    • Large numbers of respondents said they are interested in being contacted to get help with editing: 36% in Czech and 53% in Korean.
  • Understanding first day: the initial report on what newcomers do on their first day is available here. Some of the main findings:
    • Large numbers of users view help or policy pages on their first day: 42% in Czech and 28% in Korean.
    • Large numbers of users view their own User or User Talk page on their first day: 34% in Czech and 39% in Korean.
    • A majority of new users open an editor on their first day – but about a quarter of them do not go on to save an edit during that time.

Help panel deployment[edit]

The help panel was deployed in Czech and Korean Wikipedias on January 10. Over the past four weeks:

  • About 400 newcomers in each wiki have seen the help panel button.
  • About 20% of them open up the help panel.
  • About 50% of those who open it up click on one of the links.
  • About 5% of Czech users ask questions, and about 1% of Korean users ask questions.

We think that the 20% open rate and 50% click rate are strong numbers, showing that a lot of people are looking for help, and many want to help themselves by looking at help pages. The somewhat lower numbers of asking questions (especially in Korean Wikipedia) has caused us to consider new features to allow people to help themselves. We're going to be adding a search bar to the help panel next, which will allow users to type a search that only looks for pages in the Help and Wikipedia namespaces.

How to create a good feedback page?[edit]

What is the way to built a good help page? What blocks you when writing an help page? Your replies will help to create better help contents to newcomers, that would be used on Help panel.

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