User:Sputniza/OPW proposal round 9


Wikipedia Education Program need-finding research[edit]

OPW 9 Project Proposal: Wikipedia Education Program

Name and contact information[edit]

Anke Nowottne
Berlin, Germay


The task is to improve the function, usability and design of the course pages for both professors and students. Wikipedia Education program supports the use of Wikipedia in the community of teaching. It therefore provides a structure and a lot of advice to implement work on/in Wikipedia in a university course curriculum. For my contribution I was working with Sage Ross (WikiEdu).

Possible mentors
Sage Ross, Andrew Russell Green

Project schedule[edit]

Deliverables are follows:

Month 1: December 9 - January 9
December 24 general research to get more familiar with the ecosystem. Development of a interview guide line (voice call) and documentation plan
January 9 leading and documenting need finding interviews with professors and students
Month 2: January 9- February 9
January 24 evaluation and analysis of the interviews
February 9 peer review of the results and summary of deducing implications
Month 3: February 9 - March 9
February 24 »translating« the ideas into a design draft
March 9 extract as a final report on the results of the survey, advanced suggestions and examples for design solutions

About you[edit]

Education completed or in progress
  • 11| 2008 - 04| 2009 Graduate School for the Arts and Sciences, University of the Arts, Berlin, Certificate
  • 10| 2002 – 07| 2004 Photography, Departement Media and Arts, Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland, Diploma with distinction
  • 09| 2001 – 09| 2002 Graphic design, State Academy for the Arts and Design, S.Petersburg, Russia
  • 10| 1998 – 08| 2001 Photography, University of Applied Sciences an Arts, Dortmund, Germany
How did you hear about this program?


Please describe your experience with the organization's product as a user and as a contributor (include the information, as well as a link or an attachment, for the required contribution you made to the project you are interested in here)

Wikipedia has become inherent part of the life of every curious and ongoing learning person, as I consider myself. It is starting point of nearly every research or interest I´m following up and I´m using the encyclopedia in different languages (german, english and russian). I have not yet started in contributing at the editorial level, but I´ll definitely start to try this. During the research and work for my contribution (mostly in the education program), I became more and more fascinated by wikipedia not only as an endless source of knowledge but as an lively organism providing the opportunity to participate in writing world´s history in a non hierarchic structure to everybody. (To nearly everybody, considering, that there are still people in the world, having neither access to computers, nor even the access to education to learn how to read and write.)

Will you have any other time commitments, such as school work, another job, planned vacation, etc., during the duration of the program?

The time of the next period of OPW would be perfect for me, as I do have an upcoming commitment starting at the end of march. I´m working in Berlin and I am dependent on child care hours, but I anticipate that I'll be able to schedule 40 hours of uninterrupted work a week. I might be a bit limited in my time planning around christmas holidays starting from Dec 22 until Jan 2.

We advise all candidates eligible to Google Summer of Code and FOSS Outreach Program for Women to apply for both programs. Are you planning to apply to both programs and, if so, with what organization(s)?

I'm only applying to OPW.

Past experience[edit]

Please describe your experience with any other FOSS projects as a user and as a contributor

As accessibility of tools and knowledge, the means for participation are issues of growing importance in modern world, I started to overthink some of my habits. I am aware, that I didn´t »choose« the tools I´m using (as a designer), these are just the tools I was taught to use in university (and the ones available in the late Nineties).

So I became interested in learning more about open source and the possibility of a free toolchain as an option to flatten the monetary differences in the world. I installed Ubuntu on my computer and started to get familiar with alternative tools in graphic design and photography. I used GNOME only occasionally and consider myself an beginner in FOSS projects (enthusiastic though). The OPW would offer me the precious time and network to really get it going.

Please describe any relevant projects that you have worked on previously and what knowledge you gained from working on them (include links)

Having done quite some university teaching myself, I feel familiar with the field of research (education) in the task. I did numerous design projects, including the conceptual work. I gained strong communicational skills, teaming up with my clients (and often other professionals like programmers) and helping them to understand their needs and strengths and translating them into clear design solutions. Regularly working for big institutional clients e.g. Helmholtz Association, I am able to pursue a scheme and to keep records of my completed work, as well as using different tools for data transfer and online collaboration.

E.g. I was responsible for the design supervision of the App for the science exhibition »Ideen 2020«, Helmholtz Association. The team consists of project managers, exhibition designers, developers and web designers and the work process included off line as well as online collaborations.

What project(s) are you interested in (these can be in the same or different organizations)?

My project proposal comes from the featured project idea: OPW 9 Project Proposal: Wikipedia Education Program more precise: »Conduct need-finding interviews, then create a new design for course pages that better meets user needs. (This could be strictly a design project, or both a design and development project.)«. I am also interested in the GNOME Design project. I was in touch with Jakub Steiner and Lapo Calamandrei and could imagine working with them too. Lapo Calamandrei suggested the following project to me: »Implementing the gnome visual identity for«

My contribution[edit]

For my contribution I was working with Sage Ross (WikiEdu). The task is to improve the function, usability and design of the course pages for both professors and students. Wikipedia Education program supports the use of Wikipedia in the community of teaching. It therefore provides a structure and a lot of advice to implement work on/in Wikipedia in a university course curriculum. As the task (»Conduct need-finding interviews, then create a new design for course pages that better meets user needs.«) is not so easily divided in smaller micro-task, Sage asked me to get familiar with the training for the education program and the use of the course pages and than come up with some ideas and a better mockup (revising the existing one) as a starting point.

Results, mockups and soe thoughts at this point:

The mockup (two states) for a new course page layout, cannot be more than a sketch at this point. It needs a lot of research and concept work (on functionality and ux) before you actually get to »draft«. So this is an experimental state.

Before I want to point out some thoughts (I had in mind) and some questions (I think, need to be answered) -

design thoughts

  • confusing for non-frequent wiki-users (from the editors side) is the similarity in the look of all the pages, what makes orientation and navigation somehow demanding. Design solution suggested:

--> trying to keep contents and functionality close together. strengthen the »single-page-feeling«, working with modularity and providing accessibility from »everywhere to everywhere« --> using some kind of highlight-icons, which give quick orientation on the page in addition to text (and maybe in photos)

  • example (mockup)

--> in my draft, I suggested two different layers of functionality (there might be more) - one is the »information layer« (talk doesn´t fit in. I just left it for now) with the buttons under the title area, which can be expanded or collapsed similar to the summary at the moment. It is basically static after all the information was fit in at the beginning. The other one is the »action layer«, the functionality, the tools I´m working with, when I lead (or take part in) the course. These »tools« are connected with very simple Icons (sketches!) in my draft. To help identifying them quickly while they move around. They have a small »widget-state« in the right column (as in the former mockup), but they can move to an extended state (full content) in the main content area on the left (and back). In the widget-state, they usually show the most recent or important Infos.

open questions to really get started

  • Where is the future course page (and the whole education module) going to be integrated - Wikipedia? EduWiki? Stand-Alone?
  • How can we make the relatedness visible without having it mixed up with everything else. (the structure of institutions and products (wikipedia, wikimedia, mediawiki, eduwiki, ...) is not very lucid for an »outsider«. I did a sketch of an organizational chart for myself)
  • Of course the results of the need-finding interviews of the students and instructors, who already worked with the module will be very precious.

See also[edit]

FOSS Outreach Program for Women/Round 9