Design/Archive/Wikimedia Foundation Design/Process


This page provides Wikimedia Foundation Designers with a common framework for performing their tasks. This is not an all-encompassing guide on User Experience methods; creating personas and scenarios, contextual inquiry, and other methods are not covered here. Rather, this is a process that informs designers on how to solve fairly concrete problems.

Requirements meeting[edit]

Meet with the Product Manager to identify project requirements and constraints. Gather as much information as you can to inform your design. Focus on these areas:

  • Users
    • Who are they?
    • Experience levels with technology? With WMF projects?
    • How does the product benefit them?
    • What other applications do they use?
  • Community
    • How will the overall community be impacted by the product?
  • WMF
    • How does this product align with our strategic goals?
  • Technology
    • Screen resolutions
    • Operating systems
    • Devices
    • Potential interactions with 3rd party extensions
  • Logistics
    • Timing requirements
    • Deliverable artifacts (CSS? Mockups?)

The PM may also have an existing requirements document (or series of emails, etc.). Be sure this is sent to you.


Produce a timeline of your remaining activities, given Requirements and Constraints. Enter this into whatever Product Management system is in use (Trello, Mingle, etc.).


WMF designers are 100% user-centered and require a vast amount of information to drive their work. Quantitative and qualitative research are both equally valid forms of input. Anecdotes from community members or WMF employees should *not* be your only source of information. Make sure the research you use is well-documented and experimentally controlled.

Wikimedia research[edit]

Explore MediaWiki and Commons for past work on your specific problem; some products in development today were done before, but not completely executed. There may be existing documentation, videos, or quantitative research that will inform your design.

Scholarly research[edit]

Much scholarly work has been done on Wikipedia and related projects. Many products we design fall under the scope of Community-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Search Google Scholar or the archives of the Wikimedia Research Newsletter for these topics, and gather useful papers or presentations where applicable.

Design patterns[edit]

Consider the other applications users use and identify patterns or UI components that could be helpful to your work. In addition, there are many design pattern websites you can use to generate ideas. Here is a non-comprehensive list:





Wireframing and iteration[edit]


Heuristic Evaluation[edit]

Team evaluation[edit]