New Readers/Offline

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New Readers
Research and findings
  Finding #1: Access
  Finding #2: Awareness
Updates
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The New Readers team conducted a series of research efforts over early 2016. From our findings, we're hoping to improve the way that readers in our target countries experience Wikipedia through changes to user interface, awareness, partnerships, and community efforts.

This is our active work space as we're brainstorming and developing.

What we're doing[edit]

Web: Building mobile PDF support[edit]

Following 2 rounds of concept testing and evaluation, the Reading Web team built print styles that are customized for mobile devices to support readers who have internet access sometimes, but want access to content while offline. A reader can download a specific page as PDF by using browser print on the mobile device. A specific button to enable downloading as PDF is coming soon. See the task for implementation details: phab:T154964

To see the prototypes, click here and follow the instructions.

Android: Expanding offline support[edit]

Android users can now download and read offline article packs in the Wikipedia app. You can check the phabricator task for more details: phab:T158667

We did design research of initial prototype and found that readers want content packages that we don’t currently have: those that are very small and topic-specific, so we’re pulling back from a full release.

This work was inspired by the research we conducted in 2016 and the proposal by User:Doc James on the Community Tech Wishlist.

See related quarterly goals on MediaWiki.

Advising the Kiwix User Experience Grant[edit]

Anne Gomez, Jorge Vargas, and Toby Negrin are advising Kiwix on a User Experience grant that has been proposed as a Project Grant recently. As part of that, we are offering design, usability, and product support. As we're getting deeper into understanding the fully offline space, we are analyzing past grants to see what lessons have been learned across many offline pilots throughout the years.

Previously, we were advising Kiwix on Offline medical grant and Offline Medical Wikipedia application is available for download on Google Play Store.

Background[edit]

The New Readers team's work is grounded in research and experimentation. We started with deep research in 2016, which brought 24 findings. We're acting on three of those. The following summarizes what we've learned and how we're thinking about the Offline space.

Findings[edit]

People are increasingly getting information online, then consuming or sharing it offline. (Finding 20)

Users are frequently moving what's online to offline for repeated viewing, printing, or sharing. These behaviors are growing along with the tools that make them possible.

Patterns:

  • Nigeria: “Sideloading” and music/video sharing are common practices among the digitally savvy, helping users save on data costs (especially when sharing large files) and making technology and media discovery more social. As a result, file-sharing apps (e.g. Xender) are very popular.
  • India: Offline modes of retaining and exchanging information are gaining popularity. Most commonly cited exchange apps are Xender, SHAREit, and ShareApp. Downloading to print information is another form of offline transfer. Downloading online content, including videos and songs to watch or listen to later, and school assignment materials to print for use or submission, is a widespread behavior. However, saving Wikipedia articles for later was not observed beyond one instance.
  • Mexico: [to be added?]

Concept testing for mobile web[edit]

We completed two rounds of evaluative research to support the development of offline features for the mobile web.

To see the prototypes, click here and follow the instructions.

Personas[edit]

Personas are used in product development to ground ideas and implementation in real goals, desires, and limitations that we saw from interviews in the field research conducted in early 2016. We'll be using these personas to drive our strategies from design, messaging, and partnerships. We will be using the following personas:

Industry analysis[edit]

Offline Wikimedia content[edit]

Fully offline[edit]
Offline industry analysis

There are a number of hardware, software, and content providers working on distributing Wikipedia content offline throughout the world. This deck (also embedded on this page) examines this industry from a few different perspectives for a fuller understanding.

It's possible that there are more offline offerings or distributors - please let us know if you're aware of any and we will add them.

Partially offline[edit]
  • The Wikipedia Apps have a "save for later" feature that allows users to bookmark articles. Those articles are later available offline, but can't be shared.
  • Downloading content.
  • PDF
  • Wikibooks
  • Screenshots
  • Progressive web apps
  • Prototypes
  • RFC for an API driven frontend

Other offline support[edit]

Offline sharing[edit]

  • Sideloading
  • Xender allows device-to-device transfering of files (pictures, videos, music, documents, apps). It works 1:1 or 1:many. Available for Android, iOS, and Windows phones.
  • SHAREit (by Lenovo)
  • ShareApp
  • P2P
  • WebRTC based p2p frameworks WebCDN: browser based, researchy, needs coordinator server to establish contact (not fully offline)

What we want to learn about offline users[edit]

Analytics[edit]

There is an open phabricator task to look into how people are already using the "saved pages" features in the Android and iOS Wikipedia apps. This can help us understand if people return to those saved articles when they're offline.

Use cases[edit]

There are many reasons that people might want to use offline Wikipedia, and there are many different constraints and challenges in reaching them. We'd like to know more so that we can design the best solutions for their needs. These are some questions we'd like answers to:

  • How much space do you have on your phone? / ¿Cuanto espacio tienes en tu telefono (GBs)?
  • How often are you connected to the internet? / ¿Con qué frecuencia usas el internet?
  • How fast is your internet connection? How reliable is it? / ¿Cual es la velocidad de tu Internet? Funciona de manera fiable?
  • How do you connect to the internet? Wifi or cell network? / ¿Cómo te conectas a internet? Con Wifi ó con datos móviles?
  • How much internet do you use per month (MBs)? / ¿Cuantos MBs usas cada mes?
  • Why do you use offline content? / ¿Por qué usas offline (contenido disponible sin necesidad de internet)?
  • What content do you use with Kiwix? (what download packages) / ¿Qué contenido usas con Kiwix? Cuáles paquetes?
  • How much does your internet cost?