VisualEditor/Stats fun

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Assessing impact of the visual editor against the wikitext editor is a complicated picture. Here are some quick graphs to try to investigate.

Data for November 2015 for the French Wikipedia taken from https://edit-analysis.wmflabs.org/compare/

I picked the French Wikipedia as their data is representative of wikis which have VE enabled for all users and its large scale; the data for 18 November is highlighted for ease of reading the scale; this data unfortunately hasn't been calculated since December so I don't have more recent numbers yet, but we're working on it.

"Bounce rate"[edit]

This is the rate at which people click "edit", and then leave without trying to save. Ideally this number should be quite low, but in practice it's been very high for years (around 95%); it also is generally about the same as the "bail rate" (see below), which more broadly suggests that clicking "edit" is something many people do out of curiosity, not because they wish to immediately begin editing.

State: The visual editor bounce rate is ~70% (i.e., out of every 100 times people click "edit", 30 times they will go on to make a change) and mildly improving; the wikitext editor rate is ~95% (i.e., out of every 100 times people click "edit source", 5 times they will go on to make a change) and stable.

Editing metrics - bounce rate - frwiki, 2015-11.png

"Bail rate"[edit]

This is the rate at which people who have clicked "edit" load the editor, make a change, and then leave without trying to save. Again, this number should be low, but in practice it's been very high for years (higher still than 95%), which again suggests that either editing is too intimidating or the prominence of the edit functionality is higher than it needs to be for readers.

State: The visual editor bail rate is ~75% (i.e., out of every 100 times people load the editor and starting making changes, 25 times they will go on to try to save) and mildly improving; the wikitext editor rate is ~95% (i.e., out of every 100 times people load the editor and starting making changes, 5 times they will go on to try to save) and stable.

Editing metrics - bail rate - frwiki, 2015-11.png

Save button success rate[edit]

This is the rate at which people who have clicked "edit" load the editor, make a change, and then try to save successfully do save. Things that stop this are user-end issues like their Internet connection failing at a bad moment, Wikimedia-end issues like the site breaking, anti-spam measures like CAPTCHAs or AbuseFilters that they can't pass. It is not necessarily a bad thing if this is not 100%; we don't actually want spam to get through, for instance. We'd also expect these to be almost identical in between different editors.

State: The visual editor success rate is ~90% (i.e., out of every 100 times people try to save, 90 times they will succeed) and stable; the wikitext editor rate is ~88% (i.e., out of every 100 times people try to save, 88 times they will succeed) and mildly improving, mostly caused by an AbuseFilter early in that month which was too aggressive but didn't catch the visual editor users as much.

Editing metrics - success rate - frwiki, 2015-11.png

Overall success rate[edit]

This is the net rate at which people who have clicked "edit" load the editor, make a change, and then try to save successfully do save. This is not plotted in the above graphs, but can be trivially calculated: .

State: The visual editor success rate is thus roughly 25% x 90% = 22% (i.e. out of every 100 times people click on 'edit', 22 times they finish with a saved edit); the wikitext editor success rate is thus roughly 5% x 88% = 4% (i.e. out of every 100 times people click on 'edit source', 4 times they finish with a saved edit) – about five times less for the wikitext editor than the visual editor.

When you calculate these numbers on wikis where the visual editor is not available to all, and people have to have an account or even actively opt-in, the numbers differ quite substantially. For the English Wikipedia (on for all accounts that aren't opted out, but not for IPs), the comparative values are 46% x 94% = 43% against 4% x 85% = 3%, and on the German Wikipedia (on for a few accounts who have opted in, but not for most accounts or any IPs), the values are 36% x 97% = 35% against 3% x 96% = 3%.