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Grants:IdeaLab/Make Wikipedia simpler to use

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Make Wikipedia simpler to use
The help for Wikipedia is very inaccessible: written in "programmer style" and poorly structured. Start a project to rewrite and restructure the help section.
idea creator
this project needs...
community organizer
created on05:57, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

I think few women edit Wikipedia because of its extremely steep and thorny learning curve. Maybe I should mention that I’m a man with some good computer experience, but no taste for technical jargon. I have done quite some Wikipedia editing, but no "larger" projects. I think I have created only one article from scratch, mainly because I know from experience that it takes lots of time and persistence to get things done on Wikipedia, because while working, all the time new little problems seem to come up and I have to wade through all the details on those enormous help pages until I find what I need. And the "deeper" one gets into those help pages, the more complicated everything seems to become. Maybe this is the result of many people working on it without proper mutual coordination, but actually my guess is that it’s 1. because there is no good central structure—or at least it’s not obvious and 2. because too many programmer minds have been writing those help pages.

What is your solution?[edit]

Get one person to design a new help system. I really like Apple’s manuals, so you may want to adopt their guidelines for your help system, or get some input from them. Make a wizard for creating a new article: a form much like this one where one can enter title, summary, and other sections in various fields, which data then goes through an automated check; errors are indicated clearly and can be corrected until all is OK. But make the window for that form resizable—it’s been a headache to write my text into these 4-line field windows. Actually, maybe you have such a wizard already—but then make it easier to find!


Get Involved[edit]



  • This is an issue for bringing in any new editors, which diversification requires. Finding common things like a list of templates, general table format, and reference formats, takes a bit of digging around. The help pages are redundant,not fully cross linked and not well indexed. Bcharles (talk) 17:40, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I tried to get more into Wikipedia a while ago, but it's really really confusing. Raptortech97 (talk) 18:24, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

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