VisualEditor on mobile/Usability improvements


This page describes the Editing Team's ongoing work to make contributing on mobile, using the mobile visual editor ("VE"), a more usable and focused experience. We think our work will help contributors feel more confident their actions are having the effects they intend them to.

Making usability improvements to the mobile visual editor sits within our team's larger effort to promote and support mobile contributing, as described in the Foundation's 2018–2019 annual plan.

There are a couple ways you can immediately get involved with this work:

  • Watch this page: This is a good idea if you are interested in following along with our progress. We will post updates as they happen in this page's "Updates" section.
  • Tell us your ideas and problems: Have there been moments when using the mobile visual editor led you to feel confused or frustrated? Please let us know on the talk page. We are keen to know how the mobile visual editor can be made to help you maintain your focus while editing.


29-April-2019: The initial set of usability improvements we will be addressing are now listed in Phabricator. See task: Mobile VE usability improvements


Difficulty selecting text using mobile VE.

This year, we are committed to helping contributors be more successful contributing on mobile, using the mobile visual editor. Core to their success, is contributors being able to maintain their focus throughout the full course of their edits, a key finding of the Design Research team's Mobile Contribution Research.

The trouble is, as our heuristic evaluation revealed, the mobile visual editor – as it currently exists – can behave in ways that contributors do not expect. This causes them to lose their focus and, in some cases, to abandon the edits they were making.

This usability improvement work is intended to make using the mobile visual editor feel more predictable and to help editors feel more confident that their edits will work. We think doing so will help contributors more easily remain focused on their task at-hand, ultimately leading them to be more successful publishing the edits they set out to make.

What is a "usability improvement"?[edit]

In this context, a "usability improvement" is an improvement we think will noticeably improve contributors' ability to focus during the course of making common edits on mobile, using the mobile VisualEditor. Considering the other work we are committed to this quarter, we are prioritizing improvements that do not require extensive effort from design or community engagement and improvements that can be resolved, or meaningfully advanced, without involvement from other teams.

The GIF to the right [hopefully] shows the kind of work that fits within the scope of this project.