The Growth team's objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects.
May was a busy month, and we apologize for a slightly late newsletter.
The Growth team will begin to work with the Arabic Wikipedia community as a new target wiki. This is in addition to Korean, Czech, and Vietnamese Wikipedias.
Several members of the Growth team attended Wikimedia Hackathon. To see what we worked on and learned, read this update (in English).
Wikimania 2019 is coming up in August. The conference will include a "Community Growth" space, for sessions about how our communities expand through software and programs.
Early results from newcomer homepage release
The newcomer homepage was deployed in Czech and Korean Wikipedias on May 6 for desktop users. It is deployed in an A/B test, so that half of newcomers have access to the homepage and half do not. They access it by clicking on their username in their personal tools along the top of the window.
After about a month of usage, we see a few interesting trends. We think that the usage is going well so far, as we continue to work on the feature
About half of users who visit the homepage click on a link or button.
About half of users visit the homepage more than once, with about a fifth of users visiting on multiple days.
Users are interacting with all the different modules on the page -- there is no clear favorite.
Users have been asking questions to their mentors -- but not on the help desk.
Next steps for homepage
Because we are seeing good reactions to the homepage from the first users, we are prioritizing work that helps more users find their homepage:
Features to aid discovery: only a minority of newcomers who have a homepage will find their homepage on their own. The team is designing features that help newcomers learn where to find their homepage. The most important feature will point to the homepage link using a GuidedTour.
User tests showed that the most important thing to add to the homepage are clear task recommendations to help newcomers get started with editing right away. This is the module that we will be working on next.
Future of team in the next year
The Growth team has been working since September 2018, and we're now planning for the work we'll be doing for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.
Though we have not yet developed a feature that clearly increases growth in our target wikis, we believe that the features we have been developing have high potential to increase growth if we continue to work on them.
Therefore, the team will continue to work on the features we have started, and we will develop related features that improve the overall newcomer experience. These features may include:
Improvements to how newcomers can build their user pages and develop their on-wiki identity. See initial notes here.
Improvements to how newcomers receive notifications on-wiki and through email, so that they quickly find out if other users are contacting them.
Processes that help newcomers get awards or recognition for good work.
Ways for newcomers to see the activity on the wiki and find others who share their interests.
We will start discussions with communities to help us define these ideas before we work on them.