The 2030 Movement Strategy lays emphasis on the need to focus attention on the equitable distribution of knowledge sharing opportunities across Wikimedia Communities across the world.

Among the many initiatives being lined up, the Inuka team is preparing for a project focused on visual representation of content available on Wikimedia sites, and workflows that can serve contribution and discovery towards such content.

This initiative is being served under the FY21-22 annual plan of the Wikimedia Foundation, and is expected to be a visual learning experience based on research, community & subject matter knowledge, and design & technical exploration. Details related to this project will be added to this page as it progresses through the next 12 months, and we expect interactions to happen on the project talk page.

Inspiration and short history[edit]

Visual content has played a big part in how Wikimedia project content is consumed. Pictures, audio, video enhance the experience of something as simple as reading a Wikipedia article, and contribute immensely in preserving visual memory through the millions of multimedia content that grows each day in Wikimedia Commons. Campaigns such as Wiki Loves Monuments enrich this global mission, while at the same time provide the fundamental support system to projects like WikiSpecies or Wiki loves butterflies that are run by small groups of volunteers.

With a shift in technology over the last few years, visual forms of engaging with content online have grown globally, with both young and newer internet users being introduced to visually engaging content as their primary internet experience.

Connecting these two aspects, the Inuka team found a potential opportunity to expand how Wikimedia content can be adapted for a more visual experience. Through design experiments and usability studies that contributed towards projects such as Wikipedia KaiOS app and Wikipedia Preview , this exploration progressed in small steps.

With the growing emphasis on designing our products to be more meaningful and inclusive for audiences across regions, demographics and their digital habits, it seemed like a good time to take this exploration further through a project that has been named Wikistories.

Goals & Objectives[edit]

The goal with Wikistories is to provide a suitable content format alternative for subjects that are not well served by long text or require advanced levels of prior knowledge.

The Wikistories tool will:

  • allow users to engage with Wikimedia content both as consumers and creators in a way that matches contemporary internet experiences.
  • be visually appealing, easy to contribute to, and meet reader needs with visual knowledge and be shareable.
  • provide a way for quick contribution and consumption of visual knowledge from an information source that is reliable
  • reach a larger and more diverse audience, both in contributors and in readers

The objective of Wikistories is to support contributors to curate and engage with knowledge on Wikimedia projects in an experience that is image/visual led. This new form of content contribution will take into account the constraints editors in emerging digital communities face when contributing content, and make it easier/more welcoming to contribute to knowledge successfully through mobile phones.

The objectives we would like to accomplish through Wikistories are that:

  • an increase in visual content will lead to increased contributor & reader engagement with encyclopedic content in emerging digital communities
  • underserved users can create, curate, contribute and engage with knowledge through visually driven experiences.

Feature highlights[edit]

Wikistories on Wikipedia user flow
Wikistories on Wikipedia user flow

Design Research[edit]

User research in four countries (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia) allowed us to validate the early creation and consumption experience of Wikistories. Qualitative user research with clickable Wikistories prototypes in Indonesia with existing contributors gathered feedback from Indonesian editor communities on early concepts and designs for Wikistories, focusing on the experiences of potential Wikistories creators coming from the editing community (Wikistories Indonesia Concept Testing Research Report). Qualitative user research with clickable Wikistories prototypes in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with new/potential contributors investigated the behavior of content creators and consumers in three African countries with distinct user behaviors and context especially relating to Wikimedia (Wikistories Africa Research Report). In total, we tested 4 prototypes which included the following

  • Use Wikipedia articles to create a story.
  • Use images from commons to create a story.
  • Create a story using an automated creation flow.
  • Create a story by combining information from a Wikipedia article and Commons.

Learnings from user research helped us prepare the product scope for MVP & future versions of it.

Early Explorations[edit]

Wikistories - WMF Inuka team initial exploration.pdf

We based the concept on the hypothesis that if we provide an easy way for contributors who primarily contribute using their phones, then we will see an increase in the diversity of content being contributed. This can particularly be important for smaller or emerging communities of contributors, whose languages and topics of socio-cultural interest have remained vastly underrepresented on the Wikimedia platform.

A very early version of a design concept was attempted in late 2020 and then again with more details in May 2021.

Example of how someone could highlight text for Wikistories


Please visit FAQ page

Status update[edit]

October to December 2022[edit]

October 2022

  1. Product Improvements:
    • Image and visual Improvements on Wikistories
      • T318627 Background glitch when opening Story Viewer
    • Contributor/Reader experience
      • T308255 Have a way to provide feedback about Wikistories in the StoryBuilder and/or StoryViewer
    • Text improvements on Wikistories
      • T310038 Improve Wikistories text display for readers and creators
  2. Events & Campaigns:
    • Concluded the Wikistories GLAM competition in Indonesia with 386 stories created and 900+ photos added to Commons by participants.
    • The 5th Wikistories Community offline campaign in Indonesia held in Denpasar on the 8th of October.
  3. Communication and Feedback:
  4. Qualitative Research:
    • Commenced a Wikistories Moderated Usability Testing & In-depth Interviews in Indonesia.
    • A summary of all the Wikistories Early Adopters Survey Feedback have been published here; this feedback was used to guide all the initial product improvements before user interviews commenced.

July to September 2022[edit]

September 2022[edit]

  1. Product Development:
  2. Events & Campaigns:
    • The 3rd Wikistories Community offline campaign in Indonesia was held in Padang on the 10th Sept.
    • The 4th Wikistories Community offline campaign took place in Jakarta on the 24th of September.
    • GLAM in Indonesia competition to increase cultural heritage content using the Wikistories tool commenced on 17th Sept till 8th October.
  3. Communication & Feedback:
    • On 29th September: an Office hour was held with the Indonesian community to answer questions and further discuss enabling Wikistories on Indonesian Wikipedia.
    • The team is exploring “Wikistories on Commons” and is beginning the process of engaging with the community members; a documentation page in MediaWiki is available.

August 2022[edit]

July 2022[edit]

  • Product Development:
    • Several bugs and fixes were done after the June 30th launch; others are currently in progress.
    • Suggestions of product improvements received on the talk page.
  • Events & Campaigns:
    • Kicked off community campaigns in collaboration with Wikimedia Indonesia.1st Wikistories offline workshop happened on the 23rd July, 2022 in Yogyakarta.
  • Communication & Feedback:
    • Announcement on Diff (community blog) made on 25th July, 2022
    • Community communications in collaboration with Wikimedia Indonesia including announcement on Indonesian Wikipedia village pump, social media, mailing list, community WhatsApp group and even their website where they published a blog announcing Wikistories release.

April to June 2022[edit]

June 2022[edit]

  • Wikistories pilot testing preparation in progress.

May 2022[edit]

April 2022[edit]

January to March 2022:[edit]

March 2022[edit]
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development still in progress:
  • Wikistories pilot testing preparation update:
    • Pilot Wiki finalised to be the Indonesia Wikipedia.
      • Wikistories team is collaborating with the Wikimedia Indonesia affiliate for a pilot testing of Wikistories through a community-based campaign. Wikimedia Indonesia will also be working with the Wikistories team to run a professional Development Event for GLAM institutions in Indonesia.
    • Planning of a community-based campaign that will use the Wikistories tool to create content in progress
February 2022[edit]
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development progress update:
    • MVP requirements scope on editors' experiences finalized. The scope includes but not limited to:
      • Wikistories discovery
      • Editor onboarding
      • Story builder
      • Editing a Wikistory (text and image)
      • Language support
      • Content moderation
    • Wikistories MediaWiki extension development in progress
    • Content consumption evaluation strategy for measuring key metrics in Wikistories during the pilot testing in progress.
January 2022[edit]
  • Design research for Wikistories Indonesia project: Report completed
  • Design research for Wikistories Africa project: Report completed
  • Wikistories Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development in progress

October to December 2021:[edit]

December 2021[edit]
  • Design research progress:
    • Sessions for the Wikistories Indonesia project 100% complete.
    • Sessions for the Wikistories Africa completed, 96 total research sessions.
    • Wikistories Prototype version (1.1) ready for the second round of the research session (Indonesia project)
    • Sessions for the Wikistories Indonesia project are 50% complete. The team is reviewing data so far and coordinating for the second half of sessions with updated prototypes and concepts.
    • 82 of 96 total research sessions for the Wikistories Africa project are complete. The team continues to review fieldwork updates, with analysis and reporting starting next.
  • Started developing the Wikistories Prototype update version(1.1). The update is based on feedback from prototype testing sessions which will focus on but not limited to:
November 2021[edit]
  • Completed the development of the Wikistories Prototype (version 1.0)
  • Started the Wikistories prototype testing sessions with the Wikimedia Indonesian Community using the first version of the Prototype
  • Had consultations with experts - WikiCommons curators and the Communications Committee.
October 2021[edit]
  • Continue with the Wikistories Prototype development
  • Prepared for the Wikistories prototype testing sessions with the Wikimedia Indonesian Community
  • Planned consultation with experts - WikiCommons curators

July to September 2021[edit]

From July to September 2021, the Inuka team plans to do the following for the Wikistories project:

  • Continue exploration of the Wikistories concept
  • Talk to experts - within and outside the Wikimedia Movement
  • Formulate workflows and prototypes for research and feedback
  • Finalize the concept for the first phase of this tool

Participating in Wikistories[edit]

The Inuka team is currently gathering more information and use cases about the Wikistories concept.

If you would like to participate in a research oriented conversation or try out early prototypes when they are available, let us know on the talk page and we will get in touch with you.