Product Principles



The Wikimedia Foundation designs and develops software so that people can further the movement's mission: to empower and engage individuals around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

These shared Product Principles define the kind of products and experiences that we aspire to build.

Wikimedia Products should be...[edit]

  1. Community-centric: enabling welcoming, vibrant communities where new and experienced people come together to create, share, and discover knowledge through collaboration.
  2. Usable for all: promoting equity through usable, useful, and inclusive tools and services that meet the needs of a wide range of people and machines across user experiences.
  3. Intentionally transparent: demystifying the knowledge creation process and encouraging participation by giving everyone visibility into how information is created, verified, and improved over time.
  4. Extensible and sustainable: creating the conditions for people and machines to use, reuse, and build on top of our platform, extending free knowledge and supporting a sustainable future for Wikimedia.

Why these Principles?[edit]

Wikimedia is a place, not a database: We believe that Wikimedia is and must remain a vibrant place on the internet. Welcoming spaces are vital to the work of building and maintaining the wikis. Providing readers a place to consume and engage with free information is more indispensable than ever. So, we must build tools that promote collaboration and support vibrant knowledge communities.

Usability is an equity issue: These principles also rest on the notion that free software isn’t free unless it’s usable. We seek to make Wikimedia software usable and useful for people and machines. We will break down the software barriers that prevent participation while giving users the tools to customize their experience. In short, we will “make the simple things easy, and the hard things possible” for as many people as we can.

We must serve more than just facts: Finally, these principles rest on the movement strategy's assessment that we play a vital but poorly understood role in the knowledge ecosystem. Our products will make knowledge literacy a part of everyone’s experience of Wikimedia, exposing people to how information is created, verified, and improved, and encouraging civil participation in the process.


See Product Principles/Process.