Wikimedia design guidelines
Design for everyone.
We aim to support a very diverse audience as a core part of our mission. It’s a priority to help users overcome the different barriers between them and the knowledge our projects provide. These barriers include accessibility, language, device capabilities, network, and peoples’ technical expertise — among others. When improving the experience for a given group of people, we need to make sure we are not increasing the barriers for others.
Example: When choosing colors, start by looking at accessibility guidelines. Then you can make aesthetic choices, with the confidence that everyone can participate.
- Accessibility: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Accessibility
Design for collaboration and evolution.
Our projects are collaborative. Discussion and sharing are key factors to consider. To support diversity and a global mission, our solutions need to provide room for extension and customization to particular needs and different perspectives.
- Clear to use
- Simple to share
- Easy to modify
- Ready for wide adoption
Example: When the Wikipedia 15 mark was defined, guidelines were created so that our communities could make their own.
Design for content first.
People come to Wikimedia projects for their content, and our solutions should facilitate its creation, consumption, and sharing—without getting in the way. Our content (facts, images, quotes, etc.) is our most representative element, and needs to be emphasized in our solutions.
Example: When designing t-shirts for Wikipedia 15th anniversary, instead of featuring Wikipedia logos prominently, the Wikipedia content itself (icons and interesting facts) was used to represent the project.
In order to facilitate understanding it is important to rely on familiar concepts. Keeping consistency within our designs, and maintaining common patterns helps people relate quickly and easily.
Be trustworthy yet joyful.
Wikimedia projects provide reliable educational knowledge. At the same time, our projects are a source of entertainment and satisfy human curiosity. This requires us to find the right balance: we need to convey trust with our solutions but still remain entertaining and fresh.
Example: While search and discovery capabilities are provided to help people find information in a formal way, providing ways to explore random articles adds playfulness and organic learning.
- Reinventing the encyclopedia game: http://www.ted.com/talks/rives_reinventing_the_encyclopedia_game
Areas of work
Below are some places that could use design.
- Favicons of various projects
- info action is really ugly currently
- hide behind a URL parameter? a MediaWiki easter egg!
- At MediaWiki
- mw:Design, Wikimedia Foundation User Experience Design group's page.