Grants:IEG/Easy Media Uploader

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Easy Media Uploader

project contact:



Aislinn Dewey


Make photo and video uploading from the article page simple and easy to do by anyone.

engagement target:

Wikipedia MediaWiki and Wikimedia Commons Upload Wizard integration with Wikipedia pages across all languages.

strategic priority:

Increasing Participation and Improving Article Quality

total amount requested:

USD 30,000

2013 round 1

Project idea[edit]

Why, given 65 percent of the population are visual learners[1]are there so few photos and videos on Wikipedia article pages? How many steps do users have to go through to add visual information to articles? Why can't a user upload a photo or video in context of the article page they are editing? This project aims to remove the key barriers that inhibit users from easily contributing photo and video content that could improve the understanding and overall quality of articles on Wikipedia.

Project goals[edit]

The primary goal of this project is to remove the need to upload photos and videos from Wikimedia commons before being able to insert them into an article page. To accomplish this goal, I intend to improve functionality of the existing insert image tool that can be accessed in the editing tools palette on all Wikipedia article pages. Removing barriers to easy and immediate uploading of photos and videos will increase the amount of visual content therefore improving article quality and providing better accessibility to Wikipedia's diverse community of users. This project will leverage the existing Wikimedia Commons Upload Wizard that was built as part of the Multimedia Usability project, as well as previous and current efforts related to this goal (see below).

Project plan[edit]


Scope and activities[edit]

Phase 0 (before grant is disbursed):

  1. Reach out to past developers of Commons Upload Wizard and Add Media Wizard

Phase 1 (March 29th - Aug 2013 - grant disbursed)

  1. Find and hire 1-3 engineers (front end and backend) to build out article page flow to upload multimedia to Wikimedia Commons from the context of an article page (leveraging Commons upload wizard)
  2. Create design assets, wireframes and flow documentation of intended media upload process to guide implementation
  3. Create a Community wiki with the project plan, team members, and a discussion area to get feedback throughout the development process
  4. Meet with community members (meetups/remote) for input

Phase 2 (Aug - Sept. 2013 - Wikimania is Aug 7th-11th)

  1. Demo a prototype of the upload functionality at Wikimania and meetups
  2. Launch beta test of improved uploading process with subset of Wikimedia community users

Phase 3 (Sept-Oct. 2013)

  1. Refine and finalize implementation of upload wizard
  2. Rollout article page uploading functionality to all Wikipedia article pages (assumes testing and QA passed)
  3. document process and next steps to continue development of any unresolved issues
  4. submit final report

Tools, technologies, and techniques[edit]

  1. Meetup of community members that have been involved in MediaWiki projects related to content uploading
  2. Meetup with the core team that developed the Wikimedia Commons Upload Wizard to provide context
  3. Access to Wikimedia Commons uploading technical and licensing requirements (API) and Wikipedia pages technical and licensing requirements
  4. Upload gadget and icon for media uploading for wiki article pages
  5. Collaboration with any UX and Community members at the Foundation or the greater Wikimedia community to align on any existing strategies for evolving the Editing tools

Related projects[edit]

1.Multimedia Usability Project 2009 [1] Implemented Commons Upload wizard

  • Developed the Commons upload wizard that exists today. This work will be leveraged for this proposal, but access the wizard from the article page versus Commons
  • This project, as is described in its final report, did not complete its goal of enabling media uploading from an article page, however 'The upload wizard is not yet accessible from the edit window, but it was built in a way that would facilitate its future integration in the editing workflow on projects like Wikipedia, as opposed to requiring users to visit a separate website. '

2.Media Wiki Upload Extension [2] Enables uploading of multiple files

  • this project relates more to the upload use case from Wikimedia Commons and not via the article page where the imagined use case is uploading a single photo at a time

3.Media Wiki Add Media Wizard [3] Experimental and discontinued plug-in supporting uploading and searching existing content from Commons and third-parties

  • The functionality that was tested here overlaps somewhat with the goals of this project in it enabled uploading from article pages. However, the focus was around searching existing repositories of images (Commons,, and and selecting content to upload. The Easy Media proposal is primarily focused around uploading unique images not yet on Commons. This project could build on the initial work that was done to create an uploading infrastructure from the article page, however in reaching out to the developer of the Add Media Wizard (mdale), it may be more fruitful to build off of the Wikimedia Commons Upload wizard and work on integration of that Wizard on the article page.

4.Media Wiki mobile web upload [4] Foundation project in development to improve uploading from

  • Any relevant background work and research from this project will be leveraged for the Easy Media Uploader. There are significant differences in the needs of mobile web uploading given limited input abilities in a mobile browser compared to the desktop scenario. Although relevant in its ultimate goal, the mobile uploading project has more technical constraints and potential risks for mis-licensing then the desktop uploading flow. Any backend integration developed for mobile uploading from the article page that saves media to commons will be used if possible so that there is a common platform across desktop and mobile web.


Total amount requested[edit]


Budget breakdown[edit]

1. Front and backend engineers (1-3) $27,000

  • estimating an hourly rate of $75/hr for 350 hours (approx. 8 week project with two 2-week sprints) This could be higher/lower based on scope.

2. Product/User Experience designer (Aislinn Dewey - pro bono - reduced fee) $3,000

  • $3,000 is just to cover travel to demo article page uploader at Wikimania to get community feedback
  • adhoc user research, wireframing, flow documentation and prototyping of UI probono
  • For reference, see the Multimedia Usability project grant budget that scoped a year long project for 300k here. I think this budget was higher than necessary (inflated admin costs, a PM, and user research that could have been done for very little). This proposal also has a team member working pro bono (UX and Product design).

Intended impact:[edit]

Target audience[edit]

Everyone! The addition of visual imagery to the world's largest encyclopedia will increase access for those with low literacy but high visual comprehension of content. It will increase the potential of new users joining and contributing to Wikipedia given multimedia content generation has eclipsed text-based content generation in most of the world. It will also make Wikipedia more relevant to a younger generation of media consumers.

Fit with strategy[edit]

Increasing Participation is the main strategic priority this project addresses. The current barriers to contributing multimedia content are high and as a result, article pages are lacking visual descriptions that often illustrate content more universally then relying solely on text. Lowering barriers to participate in content generation by creating a simple and intuitive sharing process (now status quo for most media generation platforms), a second strategic goal of Improving Quality of articles will also be met. The combined effect of increasing engagement and improving articles makes this an extremely high impact project.


The hope is this project will be a start of something that will be continually fostered by the community and refined to ensure easier uploading is possible across mobile and web. It is essential there is collaboration with those that worked on unsuccessful attempts to accomplish this goal as well as those that built pieces of this that can be leveraged for its success. The project should ideally grow to encompass richer functionality such as searching and selecting from existing images uploaded to Commons (in the vein of the Add Media Wizard), automatic encoding of other media formats such as movies and mp3s to an open standard format and allowing simple photo editing before uploading and inserting the image into the article page. Getting the functionality to upload will provide the foundation for richer media tools in context of article editing.

Measures of success[edit]

The core metric for the project is measuring the baseline uploads per day of different media types across channels (mobile and web) from the article page and from Wikimedia Commons. Measuring an increase from the baseline to set benchmarks after the project is released to the community will shed light on its success. An initial goal of increasing uploads by 30% is the target, although over time, we hope to double current photo and video uploads from where they stand today as it is made more accessible to all user types.


Aislinn Dewey I am a passionate product and user experience designer with over 6 years of experience working across large and small companies (IDEO, Yahoo!, Google and Fitbit) to make products better meet the needs of everyday people. I have managed projects as well as being lead product designer. My work can be seen at I always aim to make a positive impact with my projects, whether it be helping someone understand their home's energy use, take their medication on time, be more active and healthy or understanding more about the world they live in. I am an editor and contributor to Wikipedia and Commons (one of the photos I uploaded)



Community Notification:[edit]

Please paste a link to where the relevant communities have been notified of this proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions, here.

  • Notified Village Pump [5]
  • Notified MediaWiki San Francisco group [6]
  • Notified Wikimedia Commons Upload Wizard talk [7]
  • Notified Media Wiki Extension Add Media Wizard talk [8]


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  • This would be an immensely useful featureVictorgrigas (talk) 04:50, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Seems a very good idea, hope it would materialize :) More at talk page. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 21:17, 31 January 2013 (UTC)