Research:Wikistories Indonesia Concept Testing
Currently, there isn’t an easy way to create or curate a visual narrative from Wikimedia content in a short snackable format for mobile devices. The goal of this project was to collaborate with Wikimedia Indonesia and gather feedback from Indonesian wiki editor communities (Indonesian, Balinese, and Javanese Wikipedias, etc...) on early concepts and designs for WikiStories, focusing on the experience of potential WikiStory creators, especially those from the existing communities of Wikipedia editors. We are grateful for the involvement of Indonesian editors and the support of Wikimedia Indonesia, as well as independent researcher Ari Natarina.
The 2030 Movement Strategy lays emphasis on the need to focus attention on the equitable distribution of knowledge sharing opportunities across Wikimedia Communities around the world. Among the many initiatives, the Inuka Team is working on the Wikistories Project, which is focused on visual representation of content available on Wikimedia sites, and workflows that can serve contribution and discovery towards such content.
Visual and short forms of online content have grown globally in the last decade, with both young and newer internet users being introduced to visually engaging content as their primary internet experience. We assume that given their habits around engaging with quick snackable content on other properties, they may engage with a new content format on the Wikimedia projects, especially Wikipedia, that promotes visual content that meets the Wikimedia values of trustworthiness. If we experiment in a new visual form to engage with knowledge, we can allow underserved users to create and engage with it in patterns they are used to and that work well on mobile as their primary device. Currently, there isn’t an easy way to create or curate a visual narrative from Wikimedia content in a short snackable format for mobile devices. The goal of this project was to gather feedback from Indonesian editor communities (Indonesian, Balinese, and Javanese Wikipedias, etc...) on early concepts and designs for WikiStories, focusing on the experience of potential WikiStory creators.
The overarching questions we aimed to answer fell roughly into three categories: content, support, and ecosystem.
- What types of content are potential WikiStory creators interested in? (e.g., topics, length, balance of visuals and prose, etc)
- What types of support do contributors need to curate this content?
- Should there be a single WikiStory for each article, or many stories per topic?
- Should stories be written individually or collectively?
- How do WikiStories fit within the current ecosystem of Wikipedia content and snackable mobile content?
- Should stories be tied to Wikipedia pages?
Methodology and materialsEdit
The project was carried out through a collaborative effort between Inuka product management, design, design research, and Wikimedia Indonesia. Moderated 90 minute research sessions fifteen participants using a smartphone allowed an opportunity for existing editors of Indonesian language Wikipedias to use interactive prototypes of early contributor flows for the Wikistory curation process. In addition to these observed tasks/interactions, sessions included targeted questions throughout the task observation, as well as pre- and post-task questions. All sessions were conducted in Indonesian and/or a mixture of English and Indonesian, based on the participant’s preference.
The fifteen participants in this study represented Wikipedia editors who contribute to a language version of Wikipedia spoken in Indonesia: Indonesian (id), Minangkabau (min), Javanese (jv), Sundanese (su), Balinese (ban), Banjar (bjn). Potential participants were recruited in coordination with the Indonesian Affiliate, who recommended particular individuals to participate. These individuals then completed a screener survey.
There were a total of eight female and seven male participants, all of whom were under the age of 34. These participants have professions ranging from writer, teacher, content creator, recent graduates, or students. Four of these participants frequently edit Wikipedia several times a week. Another four participants edited wikipedia articles a few times in a month, while seven participants only reported editing wikipedia a few times in a year. Yet, all (except for one) participants are involved in other wiki projects either as editor, contributor or moderator, such as Commons, Wikisource, Wikiquote, Wikidata, and Wiktionary.
Highlights of ResultsEdit
For the full report of results and recommendations, please refer to the complete Wikistories Indonesia Concept Testing and Usability Final Report. The section below is not intended to be inclusive of all project results; instead, it contains some highlights of project results and recommendations.
Overall feedback on the concept of Wikistories was positive, where all participants expressed their interest in creating Wikistories as a way to share their contributions to Wikipedia and Commons. Their goal was to share Wikistories on social media platforms to share facts about certain topics from Wikipedia articles in a short snackable format, with the hope that people would be interested in learning more about the topic by visiting the Wikipedia articles after experiencing the Wikistories. A number of design changes were made after the first round of sessions to address critical gaps identified in the first round. Overall, all participants preferred the Main (Creator) prototype over the Automated prototype because they enjoyed creating Wikistories where they had the options to select images and texts to express their creativity, highlighting the importance of creativity, personalization, and expression in the potential value proposition of Wikistories for creators.
A full breakdown of results for each of the concepts tested, along with recommendations, can be found in the full report, along with a description of design iterations made in between the first and second round of research sessions. This report also discusses detailed feedback around the automated story creation prototype that was tested alongside a more manual creation process approach.
Moving to a more global level discussion, in regard to the entry point strategy for Wikistories, visibility and ease of discovery should be considered as the most important element. Further concepts to consider include the availability of entry points across wikis and other platforms (e.g. social media). Participants’ most-frequently-asked question was “Where will Wikistories be available?” They were curious to know if Wikistories would be available on Wikipedia (either on a Wikipedia article or via the Wikipedia mobile application), or if they would be available as a separate mobile application. Some participants would even like to see Wikistories linked to other social media platforms, where they could create a Wikistory directly from the social media application. While entry points to other wikis and social media platforms is beyond the scope of this research, it is clear that an obvious and persistent entry point would allow users to easily find Wikistories, and potentially attract them to curate more Wikistories.
Finally, the remainder of this section focuses on a general discussion of the three main overarching questions we aimed to answer in the project, related to Content, Support, and Ecosystem'.
- Content - In general, participants’ expectations of Wikistories were similar to products on other social media stories. Some participants would like to create stories about current events, places that they were visiting, or things around them. For example, one participant created a Wikistory about public transportation because he saw a public transportation vehicle in front of him. Other participants created stories based on their topic of interests, such as culture, traditions, culinary arts, and many others. In these instances, their purpose in creating Wikistories was to present and introduce facts (that can be found in Wikipedia) to share with the general public. One participant mentioned that they would like to share one fact a day using Wikistories. The participants also created Wikistories based on topics they had previously edited in Wikipedia or topics for which they had contributed photos to Commons. However, there was one potential problem noted, namely the difficulty in creating Wikistories for certain topics, e.g. math, because it was hard to find relevant pictures.
- Support - The participants questioned whether they could create a Wikistory that combined pictures and texts from different Wikipedia articles instead of only taking images and text from one Wikipedia article. For instance, one participant wanted to create a Wikistory about a dolphin and they would like to add facts from a Wikipedia article about dolphins and another article about mammals. Another participant was interested in creating a Wikistory about dances. They would like to add images from articles about several different types of dances, as well as texts that are relevant to the images (which would also come from different Wikipedia articles). The participants also had differing opinions on how many images one Wikistory should have. On average, participants would have around 5 images in one Wikistory, with a minimum of 1-3 images and a maximum of 6-10 images.
- Ecosystem - Participants expected to share Wikistories, like Instagram Stories, with the expectation that their friends and followers would read their stories. They hope that by experiencing the Wikistories, more people would be interested in reading the full article and visiting the Wikipedia page. They also were concerned that if the Wikistory was only available on Wikipedia, it would not really be functional since people are already there to read the article, so they do not have the need to read the Wikistories again.
Another reason for sharing Wikistories on other social media platforms was because participants thought Wikistories would make it easier for them to share with other people about the topics that they have curated on Wikipedia or Commons. One participant mentioned that they would like to share the Wikistories so his friends could see his name on the CC licensing. Some participants also mentioned that they never share Wikipedia articles they edit because they did not have the confidence since Wikipedia articles use formal language, so they were afraid of making mistakes or being thought of as arrogant. However, they would definitely share the topics they edited through Wikistories because they can personalize them and use informal language. Furthermore, they thought their friends and followers would be more interested in reading a short snackable content compared to reading a long Wikipedia article.
To close, the overall feedback on the concept of Wikistories was positive, but it’s important to emphasize the importance of personalization of images and text. The two most frequent words that the participants used to describe Wikistories in their own words were: simple and summary. To conclude, the participants perceive Wikistories as a way to share their contribution to Wikipedia and attract more people to read Wikipedia articles due to the following reasons:  Wikistories can be personalized, and  Wikistories are short and concise.