Onboarding new Wikipedians/Account creation pathways

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We want to see where users are coming from into the 'Create account' form.

returnto information[edit]

MediaWiki creates the Create account and Log in links at the top right of the page and these include a returnto query string parameter so the user can return from whence they arrived after login or account creation. Some other MediaWiki-generated links have this information, for example links in some forms that say _login required_; also user-created links may have this parameter, though most leave it out.

When someone successfully creates an account we log this returnto parameter. So this is one flow into creating an account. When you provide your own link to the create account form, you should set your own returnto=SomeLandingPage parameter, see Return to document.

Extension:Campaigns provides another way to track creating an account, by including a specific ?campaign=someName parameter in the link.

omitted returnto[edit]

Most links that people add in wiki text to create an account or login do not include this returnto parameter, meaning that after account creation the user doesn't get a "Return to what I was doing".

We should create a {{createacct-link}} template to

  • keep track of all these places linking to Create account
  • makes it easy to provide a returnto to bring people back to where they were
  • makes it easy to provide a campaign parameter
  • consistently use the term "create an account" instead of signup/register/register an account.

top returnto[edit]

As of 2013-06-18, here are the top event_returnTos in the last 5 days (since we enabled extension Campaigns using a revised schema), out of 19,000 accounts created on enwiki.

[log]> select event_returnTo, COUNT( *)
  FROM ServerSideAccountCreation_5487345
  WHERE wiki = 'enwiki' AND event_isSelfMade = 1 AND event_displayMobile != 1
  GROUP BY 1 ORDER BY 2 DESC LIMIT 50;
+-----------------------------------+-----------+
| event_returnTo                    | COUNT( *) |
+-----------------------------------+-----------+
| NULL                              |      3424 |
| Main Page                         |      2827 |
| Special:Search                    |       700 |
| Wikipedia:Username policy         |       373 |
| Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard      |       121 |
| Wiki                              |       103 |
| Wikipedia:Starting an article     |        81 |
| Wikipedia:Articles for creation   |        78 |
| Special:UserLogin                 |        73 |
| Help:Logging in                   |        68 |
| Wikipedia                         |        62 |
| Wikipedia:Why create an account?  |        51 |
| Facebook                          |        45 |
| Portal:Contents                   |        43 |
| Wikipedia:Article wizard          |        38 |
| Special:Book                      |        35 |
| Wikipedia:Request an account      |        33 |
| YouTube                           |        33 |
| Wikipedia:Contact us              |        31 |
| Wikipedia:About                   |        30 |
| Wikipedia:Protection policy       |        29 |
| Wikipedia:Your first article      |        29 |
| Gmail                             |        28 |
| Yahoo!                            |        26 |
| Yahoo! Mail                       |        24 |
| Wikipedia:Tutorial (Registration) |        23 |
| Main_Page                         |        23 |
| Twitter                           |        21 |
| Google Talk                       |        19 |
| Wikipedia:Sandbox                 |        18 |
| Justin Bieber                     |        17 |
| Wikipedia:Introduction            |        16 |
| Instagram                         |        15 |
| Talk:Main Page                    |        14 |
| Father's Day                      |        14 |
| Wikipedia:Community portal        |        14 |
| RocketMail                        |        14 |
| Yeezus                            |        13 |
| Hotmail                           |        13 |
| Portal:Current events             |        12 |
| Blog                              |        12 |
| Special:Preferences               |        12 |
| Account                           |        12 |
| Encyclopedia                      |        12 |
| Email                             |        11 |
| Login                             |        11 |
| Skype                             |        11 |
| Help:Contents                     |        10 |
...

Comments[edit]

  • Wikipedia:Username policy is probably people in the middle of creating an account
  • Special:Uploads [sic], not a real page?
  • Special:UserLogin : probably Part the [Join] CTA and part top right link
  • Help:Logging in : Has a "To create an account..." link

Presumably all the people stumbling from the Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Google Talk, Hotmail, Rocketmail, Skype, and Twitter pages to Create account are thinking that the encyclopedia article about the service is the means to *JOIN* the service. Sigh... and these are just the people who actually got all the way through and created a Wikipedia account. No wonder they don't edit!

returnto mobile links[edit]

FWIW here are the mobile links:

[log]> select event_returnTo, COUNT( *)
  FROM ServerSideAccountCreation_5487345
  WHERE wiki = 'enwiki' AND event_isSelfMade = 1 AND event_displayMobile = 1
  GROUP BY 1 ORDER BY 2 DESC LIMIT 50;
+-------------------------------------------------+-----------+
| event_returnTo                                  | COUNT( *) |
+-------------------------------------------------+-----------+
| Main Page                                       |       182 |
| NULL                                            |       138 |
| Special:Uploads                                 |       131 |
| Special:Watchlist                               |        57 |
| Special:Search                                  |        50 |
| Special:MobileOptions                           |        31 |
| Special:MobileMenu                              |        24 |
| Special:UserLogin                               |        18 |
| Special:Nearby                                  |         4 |
...

Interface messages that link to create account[edit]

w:MediaWiki:Anoneditwarning
This tries to preserve returnto address but BUG it uses Special:Createaccount and the redirect loses the parameter. We plan to add campaign to this

Pages and templates that link to create account[edit]

We should/will add ?campaign to some of these, see Village Pump (proposals) "Let's figure out a little bit more about how new editors are signing up"

Special:PasswordReset
If you supply an invalid username, the MediaWiki:Nosuchuser error message invites you to "create a new account."
w:Help:Logging in
spage fixed this one using w:Template:Querylink, now says "To create an account, click the _Create account_ link at the top right of the page."
w:Wikipedia:About
Has a _Creating an account_ link spage fixed this using w:Template:Querylink to go direct to type=signup
w:WP:Why create an account?
Has a blue box that links to _Create an account now_ and always a second _secure server_ link, plus lower down a repeated _Creating an account_ link. These have a returnto parameter that returns the user to this page, because the rest of the page talks about creating a user page.
w:WP:Tutorial/Registration
Has a blue [Click here to register] box. It returns to itself w:Wikipedia:Tutorial+(Registration).

Linking to the "subpage" Special:UserLogin/signup is better than appending ?type=signup. Something for a {{createacct-link}} template.

Existing templates related to Create account[edit]

w:Template:Createaccount
is barely used with a load of text
w:Template:Creation
barely used
w:Template:Register
etc.
w:Wikipedia:Welcoming_committee/Welcome_templates#For_unregistered_users_only
Yes Done many of these templates have links inviting the user to create an account
"register an account"
search for this in templates, help, etc.

See also[edit]