Sunday, October 23, 2011

#Commons, how about adding some #usability

Working for the #Wikimedia Foundation, I am expected to use Commons for the pictures I use when I blog. To be honest, when I have a new picture I do not mind to upload it and use it. When I am looking for a picture of a "horse" for instance, Google provides me with a useable interface. It gives me pictures, I can select one and get more info, I can click on it to get even more info and do what is needed to get a picture in a usable format.

PS recognise the first picture ?

Now compare this with the interface I get at Commons..

What I am doing is looking for a picture of a horse. All the intellectual activity that produced this text is wasting my time. I want pictures. Pictures of a horse. When I scroll down, I get some pictures..

I am still plagued with too much text, too much white space and pictures that are too small. To make it worse, many of the pictures with horses on them will not be presented because they are hiding in categories.

I am looking for a picture of a horse. I need to be presented with all the pictures I can choose from. I do not want white space, text, categories or anything. My need is to efficiently find the picture that fits my current need.

At this moment Commons is a database with 11,420,809 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute. Yes, it is wonderful that anyone can contribute but please, we are now at a state where there is so much that it is certainly as relevant to have 11,420,809 freely usable media files which everyone can use.

1 comment:

Powers said...

So fix it. You have no less authority than anyone else to make changes to Commons to make it better. But keep in mind that Commons is not just a search engine, but a repository. That imposes additional requirements on our interface that Google does not have.

If you're looking for a picture of a horse, and you don't care about the details, then just use Google. There's no point in Wikimedia reinventing their wheel. We have a lot of other things to do.