In March 2021, the Android team held a virtual offsite to evaluate past projects and features. We also evaluated the needs of different app user groups and where the Android team would focus building out for the next 3–5 years.
Our goals through the completion of this roadmap are to:
- Equitably fill knowledge gaps (help editors find and add missing information)
- Increase quality contributions to Wikipedia
- Retain and “graduate” app users (give them tools to become editors in varied ways)
- Grow engagement in underrepresented countries
The roadmap is a multi-year effort broken into six phases to improve, expand and create functionality within the app, as well as parity with other platforms – have more of the same functionality in the app as on the mobile web or on desktop. Throughout the implementation of the roadmap, the team will work with existing and new community members and app users to ensure we prioritize the most pressing needs of editors and readers using the app, as well as those impacted by edits made in the app.
The phases of the roadmap include:
- Phase 0: Architectural assessment
- Phase 1: Communication improvements
- Phase 2: Quality contributions
- Phase 3: Quantity contributions
- Phase 4: Customized consumption
- Phase 5: Giving pathways
Roadmap Phase Descriptions
Phase 0 Architectural assessment (May 2021 - June 2021)
Phase 0 of our roadmap will take place May 2021 through the end of June 2021. During that time we will conduct a gap analysis of the app's current architecture to evaluate critical parts that need improvement and what features need to be removed or arranged to so that we can improve notifications and new feature elements such as modes, curation, graduated onboarding, and customized tooling for patrollers, microcontributors, invited users and organizers. At the end of our assessment we will share a gap analysis and draft workflow for our primary target audiences within the Wikimedia Foundation Product department, existing community members and aspirational (future) Android app users. We will also establish baseline metrics for measuring progress towards equity and report any gaps in accessibility.
Phase 1 Communication improvements (July 2021 - September 2022)
To significantly increase contributions and suggested edit task types on Android, we must prioritize basic functionality for communication between users within the app and editors who encounter their edits. The first steps towards this communication functionality began in 2018 with notifications in the Android app and was improved in early 2021 by implementing native talk pages (talk pages in the app itself) and watchlist. That work can be found at Wikimedia Apps/Team/Android/Communication. We will do further work to make sure notifications work well for everyone, so they know when they are being contacted, and continue working on the talk page.
Starting July 2021 we will begin working on Phase 1 of our roadmap building on previous work of communications functionality with the goal to retain our primary audience in the Wikipedia Android app. We will do this by making sure users can have a functioning two-way communication with other contributors without leaving the Android app. We want to make communication work as well as possible for mobile users. We will know we were successful if we achieve the following:
- Newer contributors can successfully request and receive meaningful and timely guidance, encouragement or feedback within 30 days of their first 10 edits and view said feedback without leaving the app
- Organizers report an increase in engaging with invited users directly in the app instead of using third party options
- Decrease in reports from users of leaving the Android app to communicate with other users
Phase 2 Quality contributions (October 2022-March 2023)
In 2019, the Android team explored a new task type called Wikimedia Apps/Suggested edits. The task was popular amongst users in countries that are underrepresented on the wikis and new editors. Suggested Edits inspired the creation of Structured Tasks on Mobile Web by the Growth team. The suggested edits have been successful in finding ways to fill content gaps, but the communities have pointed out that patrolling the edits made through the suggested edits tool has been challenging on Commons and Wikidata. As a first step to investigate this, the team is letting a Commons community ambassador grade edits made through the feature, so that we can collaborate with Commons community in developing interventions to improve the quality of edits. This work is being tracked on Phabricator in task T271727 and began in April 2021.
With the challenges of patrolling edits made through the app, requests for patrolling tools and our desire to ensure quality edits are made through the app, as well as our knowledge that a decent number of experienced editors use the Android app, our team made the decision to prioritize creating patrolling tools and other mechanisms for quality control within our roadmap.
By prioritizing quality control, we hope to build trust with experienced contributors so that edit quality can be maintained while we expand microcontribution types in the next phase of our roadmap. We will know we were successful if we achieve the following:
- Adoption of patroller tools that results in reports of increased efficiency and moderate-high satisfaction for guarding against vandalism
- Decrease experienced community dissatisfaction surrounding edits made from suggested edits tool
- Increase edit retention rate by 10% within the first 30 days of new and junior contributor onboarding
Phase 3 Quantity contributions (TBD)
With quality control mechanisms in place, the Android team will set out to build on the groundwork set by Suggested Edits and Structured Tasks by building more microcontribution task types and curation tools. This phase of our work is rooted in data that reveals Suggested Edits and Structured Tasks are successful in increasing engagement amongst new editors as well as contributors in underrepresented countries, where we have fewer editors.
Our goal is to ensure microcontributors are able to meaningfully edit and fill knowledge gaps based on interest and community identified needs. We will know we are successful when we observe:
- A decrease in disparity of edits for content about underrepresented groups
- Tasks curated by 5 community organizers or affiliate groups completed by at least 100 editors
- Increase in retention for newly logged in Suggested Edits editors by 3% on day 14
- Increase in edits from underrepresented communities by 5%
- Increase in new editors ease and knowledge of editing all parts of an article
During this phase of our work, we will also focus on making sure editors are able to navigate editing all parts of an article, except for creating a new article. We will also ensure there are pathways to graduate app users from a reader, to a novice editor, to an expert contributor.
Phase 4 Customized consumption (TBD)
The reading interface has been an area of focus for the Android app since the start. As early as 2017, the iOS and Android apps created features such as reading lists to enable users to control elements of their reading experience. To continue supporting our lifelong learners, and those that desire to share information, the Android team will build features that expand customization capabilities for reading. We will know our features are successful when there is a:
- 10% Increase in pageviews from underrepresented countries
- 20% Increase in app downloads from underrepresented countries
- 10% of users that use new consumption experience, convert into engaged editors at faster rates than those that do not utilize new consumption experiences
Phase 5 Giving pathways (TBD)
The Android app has a high rate of logged-in users, who commonly request an ability to donate within the app. Once the team has increased downloads and engagement through phases 0–4 of our roadmap, the team will focus on ensuring those that would like to donate natively in the Android app are able to do so. We will monitor what impact enabling this functionality has on donation rates and if it allows an increase in pathways for donations by mobile devices.
Work with us
In order to do all of this and ensure we are going in the right direction we must partner with community members that use the Android app, and editors who are not app users but are impacted by the edits that come out of the Android app. Below are a few ways to collaborate with us
- Follow the updates on this page to stay informed
- Comment on our talk page
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- File tickets on Phabricator and tag #wikipedia-android-app-backlog
Understanding different users
The Android Mobile App has had consistent growth Monthly Active User count year over year, averaging 5,331,200 each month for the past fiscal year.
Android app downloads by country:
Focusing on geographic app distribution, we have seen changes in mobile app downloads by country year over year, with significant increases in downloads and active users from Germany, replacing India as the top download country from the previous fiscal year. The increase in downloads from other countries - UK, Japan and Spain - has pushed Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Philippines off the top 10 list. Strategies for increasing user exposure in emerging countries will be explored in future app improvements.
Android app pageviews by country:
US app users have the highest pageview counts, India is second highest with Japan, Germany, Italy, UK, France, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia in the top 10 pageview countries. The ratio of downloads to average pageviews are highest with users in the UK at 25.6 pages per app, Japan at 20.8 and US at 19.6. The lowest of the top 10 countries is Turkey at 6.7.
Android Wikipedia edits by country:
The top 10 countries of origin for in-app edits are Germany, US, India, Italy, Turkey, France, Japan, UK, Spain and Indonesia.
Android Wikipedia edits by language:
Edits from India (3rd top country of in app edits) are mostly made on the English language Wikipedia, with the US, UK and Canada adding to English language Wikipedia edits. English language edits are 27.5% of all edits, the next highest is German at 7.3% Spanish, Turkish, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese and Arabic are the next most used languages.
Android Edits by Wiki/Project:
By percentages of total edits Wikidata (34.7%) and Commons (14.3%) are in the top 3 most edited Wikis, with English Wikipedia in the middle at 18.1%. Italian (itwiki), Spanish (eswiki), Chinese (zhwiki), German (dewiki), Japanese (jawiki), French (frwiki) and Korean (kowiki) make up the rest of the top 10.
Android Suggested Edits:
The Android Suggested edits program encourages users to edit article descriptions and translations (Wikidata, 75.5%) and image captions, translations and tags (Commons, 24.5%). Suggested Edits editors are much more frequently registered users (91% compared to 59% for non-Suggested Edit edits. The revert rate for registered SE edits is significantly lower than registered non-SE edits. This is with the caveat that Wikidata and Commons edits are patrolled less than edits on Wikipedia. This data will be used to drive improvement of onboarding tools for new editors, and to improve the Suggested Edits interface to provide more guidance and feedback for new editors.
Comparing Android usage to iOS app and Mobile Web data:
The iOS app shares some of the Android top 10 pageview and download countries (US, India, Japan, Germany, Italy, UK, France, Russia, Brazil and Spain) but iOS replaces Brazil and Indonesia with Canada and Australia. Mobile Web shares the same top 10 countries with Android in a slightly different order.
Edit and editor comparison by platform:
Our analysis shows that edit revert rates are significantly lower for logged in users across all platforms. 73% of Android edits are made by logged in users, iOS is 60% and Mobile Web is 56%. Android and Mobile Web have similar percentages of 1 edit, 5-10 and 11+ edit editors. iOS percentage of 5-10 and 11+ edit users is slightly lower, 1 edit users are higher. OS average editor retention is slightly higher than Android. Mobile Web editors have lowest retention rates - 14 day retention is 10% for iOS, 8% for Android and 5% for Mobile Web.
Roadmap goals Equitably fill knowledge gaps (help editors find and add missing information) and Retain and “graduate” app users (give them tools to become editors in varied ways) were advanced this quarter as app version 2.7.50341 (2021-02-02) added user access to Talk Pages and Watchlists, both tools that improve Reader and Editor experience, allowing for communication with other editors and greater insight into how the Wikipedia contribution process functions. Ongoing data analysis into usage of these features will drive these feature improvements for Phase 1 of our roadmap.