Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Usability - The Wikia tools

Angela mentioned the work Wikia is doing on usability in a thread on Foundation-l. I had a look and, I am impressed. They have a working solution for the problem with templates.

The problem is that many people get frightened off by templates. Compare the screen shot above, a screen shot with a maximum of information on the template used, with the Wikipedia article "Netherlands".

Wikia has at the bottom of each page functionality that allows you to create a new page. This leads to a Special:Createpage. This is a big improvement from the standard MediaWiki method.

The great thing is Angela's invitation to the Wikimedia Foundation to explore the Wikia code to learn if it is useful. I applaud this. But why wait for the WMF usability project to kick in, would it not make sense for all the people and organisations to start collaborating anyway?

There are many aspects of MediaWiki that need work. There are many people and organisations that will benefit from cooperating.


Anonymous said...

While talking about usability + Wikia you should take a look at our tool to add images too.

We experienced that it's very hard for a new (MediaWiki-) Wiki user to upload new images and place them in an article.

You can test it here - just click on the "Add image" button (small polaroid + green plus).

Fajro said...

I thought that the extension createpage of UNICEF and the CreatePage of Wikia was the same. Which are the main differences?

MovGP0 said...

I don't like this extension, because it supports only a very very small subset of the Mediawiki-Syntax.

GerardM said...

Wikia is not at the bleeding edge. But having said that, the idea is what matters to me. Given that some Wikipedias prefer not to use templates at all in order to gain more contributors, even a subset of template functionality provides an important improvement.

Fajro said...

The wiktionaries could be much more usable with this.