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Community Wishlist Survey/Future Of The Wishlist/Preview of the New Wishlist

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Future of the Community Wishlist Survey

July 1, 2024: The Community Wishlist is re-opening Jul 15, 2024. Here's what to expect, and how to prepare.


The Community Wishlist helps communities surface technical and user experience problems and opportunities, so that the Wikimedia Foundation and communities can prioritize and solve these issues together.

Unlike years past, contributors can surface problems and opportunities by submitting “Wishes” year-round. The Foundation will identify patterns between wishes and propose “Focus Areas” of wishes that share a collective problem, and contributors are encouraged to comment and vote on Focus Areas to highlight the areas in need of prioritization. Then, the Foundation, affiliates, and volunteer developers can adopt Focus Areas and collaborate with contributors to solve these problems.

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to integrating Focus Areas into our Annual Planning for 2025–26. Focus Areas align to hypotheses (specific projects, typically taking up to one quarter) and / or Key Results (broader projects taking up to one year).

The Community Wishlist reopens on July 15 2024 and will remain open.

How to participate


We encourage all volunteers to participate in the Community Wishlist. Volunteers may submit wishes, edit each other's wishes, and comment on a wish's talk page. Volunteers may comment or vote on a Focus Area, or suggest technical contributors. Our hope is that volunteers build up each other's ideas and work together to identify the biggest and most impactful technical needs and opportunities.

How to submit a wish


Participating in the new wishlist is as simple as submitting a wish. Using our new intake form, you can submit Wishes in any language, via Wikitext or the Visual Editor. You can submit as many wishes as you'd like, as well as edit or comment on wishes submitted by others. Here's how to get started:

  1. Navigate to the Community Wishlist home page and click “Submit Wish”. Note that users must be logged into MetaWiki to submit a wish. You can submit in any language.
  2. Complete the following required fields
    • Name: a name for your wish
    • Description: the problem you want to solve.
    • Type: a feature request, bug report, system change, or something else.
    • Project: Wiki projects associated with the wish.
    • Affected users: A description of users who'd benefit from the wish being solved
    • Users may optionally share a Phabricator ticket.
  3. Press Submit. That's it!

I've submitted a wish, now what?


The Foundation will review Wishes on a rolling basis, and mark them with a “status”. The options are:

  • Submitted: These are new wishes. Often, the Foundation will ask clarifying questions on the Wish's talk page.
  • Open: wishes that articulate a clear problem or user need, and are marked for translation
  • Archived: most often, these are wishes advocating for non-technical policy changes or that are too niche.
  • In progress: a team, affiliate, or volunteer developer has adopted the Wish and is working on it

Starting in August, Community Tech will begin grouping wishes into Focus Areas. Community members may vote on a Focus Area, from which the Wikimedia Foundation, developers at an affiliate organization, or volunteer developers may identify and prioritize possible next steps. Note: not all wishes will align to a Focus Area.

How to write a good wish


The best wishes articulate a problem that the proposer wants to solve and leaves volunteers and staff more space for creative problem-solving together. They illustrate empathy and show a user's challenges. This framing helps ensure that wishes can scale from one Wiki to another, and avoids the pitfalls of a wish being too niche or specific, where someone may disagree with the implementation.

In the example below, both the problem-led and solution-led examples articulate a need to improve the experience for new editors. The problem-led example leaves the solution open-ended and invites collaboration, whereas the solution-led example might get “tripped up” by contributors who resist renaming a user sandbox. Thus, the problem-led wish might have a higher chance of being assigned to a Focus Area.

Problem-led Wish (encouraged) Solution-led Wish (discouraged)
Title Make it easier for newcomers to create their first article Rename sandbox to “Draft editor”
Description Especially for new editors, it can be hard to find a user sandbox. Once they find their sandbox, new editors see a number of disclaimers that make it hard to gain confidence in writing a good quality article. This impacts a newcomer's ability to onboard to Wikipedia and feel confident as a contributor.
Wikipedia newcomer instructions
This is in part by design – we need to be mindful of patroller workflows – but the experience hinders our ability to onboard new editors.
The term “Sandbox” is confusing to new users. Let's rename it to “Draft editor” so that people are more likely to open a draft article.
Type System change Feature request
Project Wikipedia Wikipedia
Users affected New editors and, downstream, patrollers who review new edits Editors
Phab ticket optional T123456

Can't wait until July 15?


If you feel compelled to start drafting Wishes, we encourage you to write them in your Sandbox or editor of choice (we can help you review them), and submit wishes through our Intake Form, when the Wishlist reopens.

Community Wishlist Survey is now Community Wishlist


Thank you everyone who has participated in the restructuring and rebranding conversations of the Wishlist so far.

Regarding the renaming, based on your feedback, we will keep the 'Community Wishlist' and remove 'Survey'.

Please read more about the renaming, check out the vote results and learn more about the re-opening of the Community Wishlist on July 15, 2024, in our latest update.

–– Community Tech

June 2024: Update 4


Renaming the Wishlist

We realized that we've outgrown the name “Community Wishlist Survey” in our redesign efforts. With a new approach, we think it's the right time to choose a new name.

We have provided some renaming rationale and also engaged the community in discussions.

Currently, we have opened the polls for the community to choose a name. You are invited to vote.

–– Jack Wheeler, Lead Community Tech Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

June 2024: Update 3


Hello everyone!

Community engagement around the Wishlist's redesign is still in progress to help make decisions ahead of the relaunch of the survey in July 2024. The revised survey will need a new name that reflects its new direction. You are invited to help choose a name.

There are some early renaming ideas like Wikimedia Opportunities Registry, Wikimedia Collaboration Hub and ImagineWiki. Please join the discussions and suggest your own name if need be.

Looking forward to hearing from you on the discussion page.

–– Community Tech

May 2024: Update 2


Summary of upcoming changes

  1. The new wishlist will open in July and remain open year-round.
  2. Volunteers can submit a wish in their preferred language, and do not need to know Wikitext.
  3. Volunteers will be able to submit wishes, review wishes, edit existing wishes, and discuss wishes with one another and Foundation staff.
  4. Participants will vote on “Focus Areas”
  5. Wishes can be categorized by project(s) and by “type” (bug, feature request, optimization, other).
  6. We'll eventually have a dashboard which will allow users to search for wishes and filter by project or wish type.

Hello everyone,

Thank you to everyone who's provided feedback in the Talk Pages, on Discord, calls, and emails. I wanted to share a few updates about our design progress and decisions for the launch of the new wishlist, which we're planning to reopen in an early form on July 15, 2024.

Defining features

The new wishlist will have some defining features that support accessibility and inclusion:

  1. The new wishlist will open in July and remain open year-round.
  2. Volunteers can submit a wish in their preferred language, and do not need to know Wikitext.
  3. Volunteers will be able to submit wishes, review wishes, edit existing wishes, and discuss wishes with one another and Foundation staff.
  4. Participants will vote on “Focus Areas” instead of individual wishes.

Introducing “Focus Areas”


The new wishlist will begin experimenting with “Focus Areas,” which are groups of 3+ individual wishes on a similar problem space. Volunteers can review and support Focus Areas to signal their priorities; Community Tech and relevant WMF teams will then review and adopt Focus Areas to work on. In addition, affiliates and volunteer developers may also adopt and work on Focus Areas.

Focus Areas help us identify and solve as many of the biggest, most impactful problems as possible. Instead of fulfilling one wish, we will connect the dots and spend the same time addressing 3+ wishes by solving the underlying problem.

Here's a tangible example: Quickly Adding Favorite Templates, Quickly Add Infobox, Select Templates by Categories, and Easy Access Templates are all individual proposals that aim to solve an underlying problem of “it's too cumbersome to find and insert the templates I want.” Instead of solving each wish - or only solving one -we're bundling these wishes into a “Focus Area” with “Template Picker improvements.”

In the new Wishlist, here's how the process works:


We will review wishes together to generate Focus Areas

  • WMF staff and interested volunteers will review and identify patterns between wishes to suggest focus areas. Focus Areas will “bundle” like-minded wishes into a problem space, teeing up proposed solutions. Because Focus Areas are more directly connected to how WMF teams will adopt and prioritize work moving forward, volunteers will only be able to support Focus Areas.

WMF teams will prioritize and select Focus Areas to address

  • Groups working on the wishlist, including WMF product and engineering teams, will choose Focus Areas to work on based on community support, team or volunteer expertise, available resources, and the potential impact of the Focus Area. Community Tech will work within WMF to help other Product teams add Focus Areas to their roadmaps alongside work prioritized in the WMF's annual plan for that year. We will measure success by the number of focus areas adopted and completed during a given fiscal year.

Focus Area Collaboration and Delivery

  • Groups working on a Focus Area will collaborate with volunteers – including those who suggested, commented, or supported the topic or individual wish – to build the right product solutions based on the submitted wish proposals and additional research.

I recognize that these proposed shifts around the Wishlist will be controversial to some, since so many of you have expended so much energy in the Wishlist and have strong feelings on how work should be prioritized. We believe that individual wishes should be discussed and workshopped, and that by focusing our energy towards articulating and supporting Focus Areas, we'll be able to make a bigger impact – together.

Discussion is always welcome. Please leave your thoughts or questions on the talk page or, alternatively, join us in a live conversation, where we'll share a few more details and designs over Google Meet.

And, special thanks to (in no particular order): Klein Muçi, Novem Linguae, Bluerasberry, TheDJ, AntiCompositeNumber, Theklan, Sohom Datta, Noé, Xavier Dengra, Townie, Galahad, Ciridae, Robertgarrigos, MER-C, Amadalvarez, Iniquity, Thingofme, GPSLeo and others for your contributions about the Wishlist at large.

Ps. A preview of what the intake form and Focus Area pages will look like:

–– Jack Wheeler, Lead Community Tech Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

Give feedback

March 2024: Update 1


Hello everyone,

In January, Community Tech shared some early decisions about changes coming to the Community Wishlist Survey, and soon after, we invited you to participate in ongoing conversations (please join if you haven't yet) about what a new Wishlist survey should look like.

I have also shared my learnings from talking with volunteer contributors and Wikimedia Foundation staff on the same page as the conversations.

So the question is: how do we fulfill more wishes and make more impact for the Movement? We can start by experimenting with these changes:

  1. The Wishlist should be a forum for volunteers and the Foundation to discuss new ideas and raise awareness of impactful bugs. If we're able to capture all sorts of community needs, large and small at scale, we'll have a clearer picture of volunteer needs, from which we tackle the biggest problems.
  2. We're going to have lots of wishes, but we need to recognize that not every wish will get an intensive review and response from the Foundation. But we will look at each wish and reply within a reasonable time frame.
  3. Our goal is to eventually have more engineers focused on fulfilling wishes, in the areas where they have expertise. This should lead to faster, more impactful development. But, as the revised Wishlist process kicks off, it might not feel like much is changing.
  4. We're not going to close wishes for being “too big” or “too small.” Instead, wishes will remain open so volunteers have an opportunity to work on technical solutions together, even when Foundation teams do not take up that idea. This means that the number of open wishes will grow over time, and that it is treated as an idea space more than a task list.

We want to increase participatory design and achieve the most impact. To do this, we'll need your input.

Preview of the New Wishlist (Potential Modifications)


We're still ironing out the details of the new Wishlist and wishlist process, but I wanted to give you a preview of what's to come. We still plan to launch the pilot Wish intake process by July 1, and will add additional functionality throughout the year.

Key attributes:

  1. The Wishlist will be open year-round. We won't ever “close” an actionable wish, or flag a wish as too big or too small. The Foundation aims to respond to wishes in a timely manner, and will focus on Wishes that can be technically resolved.
  2. Logged in users will be able to access a new “Wish form” and submit a wish.
  3. Users won't need to know Wikitext to submit a wish.
  4. Wishes can be categorized by project(s) and by “type” (bug, feature request, optimization, other).
  5. We'll eventually have a dashboard which will allow users to search for wishes and filter by project or wish type.

Currently Exploring:

  1. Opportunities to integrate with Phabricator
  2. How we might expose the “status” of a wish
  3. How the Foundation and community prioritize wishes together
  4. How to strengthen the role of volunteer developers in granting wishes
  5. To what degree wishes should be editable after they are submitted

I'm so excited to pilot this new process in July with our volunteers.

In the coming weeks, I'll share our Key Results for the Future of the Wishlist and design directions to solicit feedback.

If you have any feedback on this update, please click the blue button below.

–– Jack Wheeler, Lead Community Tech Manager, Wikimedia Foundation