There are two main use cases for language selection across Wikimedia projects: the language of the content, and the language of the interface. In this article, I am reviewing a few examples of tools related to language selection on MediaWiki websites, and particularly on Wikimedia wikis.
I have previously explained why the current setup of the Wikimedia bug tracker is not ideal. I have also advocated for a more managed & scientific software development strategy. This article aims to discuss an appropriate tool to support this strategy, and at the same time fix what is broken.
Our human resources are currently focusing on what happens after the code has been written: we review it, we try to ensure quality, we try to automate testing, we file bugs, etc. However, there is little preparation before the development is actually done. This has led to a developer-driven design, resulting in an interface based on the implementation model. We need a more systematic approach to User experience and development management if we want to scale up properly.
Over the years, the design of MediaWiki has been solely driven by software developers. This has caused an unfortunate technology-based approach of the front-end and the features (implemented or missing), relying mostly on the implementation model. The consequence is that the interface & features are too far from the users’ mental model. The Wikipedia and Multimedia Usability projects have tried to address the most pressing concerns resulting from this hiatus between the software and the users’ expectations.
During the past few weeks, I have been thinking about how to improve (or rather, kick off) a more structured way to manage software and product development within the Wikimedia community. The result is a list of ideas and recommendations I have compiled and submitted to the relevant staff members at the Wikimedia Foundation. I am also publishing them here in order to allow for a wider feedback. This article is the first of a series dedicated to this topic.
I will be available on IRC to answer questions related to the Multimedia usability project this Thursday, February 4, 2010 @ 1700 UTC. Please join us in #wikimedia-office on Freenode
Where our hero gets a new job and moves to the other side of the world.
As part of the Multimedia Usability project, in collaboration with illustrator Michael Bartalos, I led a project to design a licensing tutorial with the Wikimedia Commons community, and integrate it into the new UploadWizard on Wikimedia Commons.
I follow a set of RSS feeds related to user experience and interaction design. Until now, I have been reading them for my own benefit; but with my new job, it makes sense to pick a few interesting pieces of information for Wikimedians who want to better understand the work of the Wikimedia usability team(s).
Where our hero flies to Germany and dives head first into C++/Qt development, helped by a team of passionate KDE developers who can also cook.