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We're creating a new account creation experience to reduce clutter and increase contributions.
On August 2, 2011, the first version of the report came out. You can find it here.
Welcome to the Account Creation Improvement Project, a Wikimedia Foundation initiative, aiming at increasing the number of people who create a user account and actually start editing. This is in line with our strategic goal to increase participation.
The account creation process is the first introduction for people who want to start editing.
Currently, users visit our registration page, and are presented with a wall of text. It looks complicated, unwelcoming, and there's no explanation of the benefits of an account.
Together, we'll research why people create an account and start editing and develop new solutions to improve our experience.
And we want your input and your help to make this as good as we can.
This project aims at improving the process of account creation. It is rooted in the following assumptions:
Wikimedia's core asset is its community of active contributors. The more people contribute to our projects, the better the health of the Wikimedia movement.
At the beginning new contributors are more motivated to learn about the project they sign up for, rather than later.
More people who click on the "create account" link will actually follow through and create an account if the messaging is simpler and more welcoming than today.
People who create a user account on Wikipedia or one of its sister projects are more likely to start editing if they (a) learn more about the benefits of having a user account, (b) if there is some initial handholding and guidance for how to start editing, and (c) if they get the feeling that they are welcome.
During its 8 month timeframe, the project will aim at improving the overall knowledge about what drives people who create a user account to start editing. For this purpose, it will experiment with different methods of welcoming and supporting new editors.
We need your support. Our communities have to get involved to make this a success. Let's ensure that Wikimedia projects can recruit new contributors. Tell your friends and your community about this initiative—every project, every language.
make Wikipedia's "Create an account" page less wordy, with fewer warning signs (those things can be put in other places)
make the user (editing) interface much more intuitive, so that when an editing window opens for the first time, it is not also the last time
moving templates, tables, and footnotes out of the main editing window
adding lots of clickable pop-up help windows
adding a "how do I" selectable set of choices
make it easier to find things that need to be done on Wikipedia (do not only show Wikipedia's good side, but also where Wikipedia needs help, like embedding the newest articles created, orphans, stubs, etc. - also Suggestbot)
connect Wikipedia's account to Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites
Ideally, there is a great influx of new accounts and editors. How should we best measure this? Who would do this?
After how long should we evaluate the results? The project is scheduled to go for 8 months, so any result should be available before then. One factor to keep in mind is that we need some time for the community to get used to this idea, for media to pick up the scent, and for things to change.
Of course, the increase of new editors is its own reward. However, we feel that we may need to even further increase the chances of success for this project. What prizes would you find tantalizing enough for any community that participates in this project? Please list any ideas for prizes below:
paid trip and one week's visit to San Francisco, meeting the staff and presenting your strategy
very good computer/camera
How do we choose whom gets the prize in the name of the community? Please indicate below:
a vote in the community
random of any members of the community who apply to get the prize