Click on the image above to view a brief overview of the project.
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.
- Translate the survey questions
- Attend our weekly meetings and help deciding what the next steps should be
- Participate in the discussion on the project's talk page
- Tweet and blog about the project
- Reach out to other Wikimedia projects and languages. Note: This is perhaps our most urgent need – the more communities get involved, the better
- Get an account on the Toolserver and analyse the existing data. If you are proficient in PHP and MySQL you could also write a tool that enables others to extract data
Our current interface is scary for new editors.
- 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
- implementing WYSIWYG
- 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
- make it more clear why you should get an account by enticing with a preview of features you get (perhaps a video: see w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Screencast/Scripts/Newuseraccount to help draft a script)
- make it easy for new users to join WikiProjects so that they can find other editors with shared interests and get funneled into collaborative projects.
Implementation of ideas
- gather all ideas
- sort ideas according to likelihood of success
- come up with a clever way to inspire people to go through with the implementation of ideas
- find a prize for the Wikimedia project that has the highest success rate (previous account creation and conversion to editors, compared to present numbers for same)
Deployment of solutions
- announce what the plans are, widely
- various Wikimedia projects should try different things so that we can see which measures are the most effective
Evaluation of the results
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