Research:Mobile Strategy Research/USA

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We partnered with AnswerLab for our mobile research in the USA.


Moderator Script[edit]

30 minute Phone Interviews[edit]


In Person Interviews[edit]


Highlight Videos[edit]

Hosted here.

Executive Summary of Findings[edit]


• Users value consistency and Wikipedia’s uncluttered look and feel; maintain the simple aesthetic of the interface across all platforms • Users cite the need to quickly read the article overview/lead and then skim the rest of the article; ensure users can quickly and easily access article overviews/leads on all mobile devices


• Typing is more difficult on the mobile platform and current search results require exact search terms; improve the mobile search functionality to include predictive and corrective search functionality


• Give users reasons to interact with Wikipedia on their mobile devices beyond simply referencing articles from a Google search; enhance discoverability of the main page on the smartphone platform (e.g. by giving the main page a home icon on the website or app toolbar) to surface this content • Users are spending increasingly more time accessing and interacting with content from their phones; drive awareness and adoption of editing by providing a way for users to log in and make edits from the mobile platform


• Provide a way for editors to log in and access their Watchlist, check recent changes, make changes to userpages, and participate in discussions across various Wikipedia namespaces • Allow users to make edits from their mobile devices o These may be smaller edits or simply copyedits but match editors’ expectations that editing should be possible on a mobile device Navigation • Consider ways to improve the task of skimming an article or its contents on mobile devices; provide access to a table of contents, especially on non-smartphones Apps • Drive initial awareness of the Wikipedia app by prompting users on the mobile site with an unobtrusive but easily discoverable link • Provide an engaging experience by incorporating improved navigation and interaction functionality, as well as features not available via the web, such as offline access or editing functionality 11/14/2011 5 Wikipedia Mobile Ethnography – Final Research Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – PLATFORM­SPECIFIC OPPORTUNITIES Non­smartphone Mobile Web • Create a mobile version of the homepage to avoid frustrating users who navigate to this page • If possible, always display the full overview/lead on the first page (i.e. avoid page splits in the overview) • Provide a table of contents on the first page of each article (e.g. immediately following the overview) • Improve the search functionality to include suggestions and corrections when users don’t know the exact term they are seeking or mistype their search • Don’t sacrifice speed, especially on the non-smartphone platform Smartphone Mobile Web • Smartphone users were observed to have higher frequency and depth of interaction with the Wikipedia mobile site vs. non-smartphone users in the US, and apps were used less universally compared to the mobile web; if resources are limited, development for the smartphone mobile web should be a primary focus • Even on smartphones, users struggled with typing, and some avoided searching Wikipedia directly due to the limited search functionality; improve search by adding predictive and corrective search to the mobile web • Users appreciated the progressive disclosure offered by the initially collapsed sections; maintain this design principle and also consider including a table of contents • Many users reported emailing articles to themselves or others; provide a simple way for users to share articles via Email, SMS, or a list of social networks • Multi-language users, although few, expressed frustration with accessing articles in other languages from the mobile devices; allow users to switch languages from within articles • Increase the text size for BlackBerry and Android devices, and consider adding text size control on all devices Smartphone App • An app that delivers a superior experience will delight frequent users and allow those who prefer apps to have the optimal experience • One of the largest perceived advantages of apps vs. web is speed; ensure that the perceived speed of the app is faster than the web equivalent • Similarly, users perceive apps as being more streamlined and easy to navigate; provide additional navigation such as a table of contents and home screen with main page content (e.g. “Did you know”) • To increase awareness and adoption of smartphone apps, prompt users to download the app via a link on the mobile web • Many users indicate they don’t always use an app when accessing Wikipedia content because they also want to reference other sources via Google; mitigate this factor by providing a way to search Google directly from within the app (similar to Wikipanion) • Consider giving users the ability to save articles for offline viewing when cellular data is not available (e.g. during subway commutes) • Sharing from within the app can prove difficult because a web link is not available; provide a simple way for users to share articles via Email, SMS, or a list of social networks • Provide existing editors with the ability to log in and access their account (e.g. Watchlist), edit articles, and participate in discussions; this may also serve as a way to encourage current non-editors to create accounts Tablet Web • Tablet users expect to be able to access the full version of Wikipedia via the browser; continue to keep tablet interactions in mind when making changes to the full site, and always test against the tablet platform just as one would test against various browsers Tablet App • Tablet owners have high expectations that an app will provide all of the web functionality with a faster, touch- friendly interface and additional features (e.g. features detailed above for smartphone platforms) • Tablet app development should focus on creating an engaging experience with particular attention toward gestural touch interactions, navigation, and the reading experience; location-specific features are secondary • Separate apps for phone vs. tablet can confuse users and lead to discoverability issues; create one universal app that supports both phone and tablet for each platform (iOS and Android); consider removing “Mobile” from the title for the same reason 11/14/2011 6 Wikipedia Mobile Ethnography – Final Research Report Wikipedia Mobile Ethnography – Final Research Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT Note: The following outline summarizes additional ideas to consider for increasing user engagement outside of what was observed in users’ current interactions with Wikipedia and other content. • Users currently perceive Wikipedia as a go-to authority for reference, research, and fact-checking • On the mobile platform, users primarily engage with Wikipedia when in “situational” usage modes, i.e. when they are looking to answer specific questions Ways to increase the “stickiness” factor and boost engagement include: Hyper­Specific Content / Recommendations • One way to encourage users to explore and interact with content other than what they search directly is to provide recommendations based on the article being read as well as their viewing history • Recommendations could take the form of a “What to read next” layer at the bottom of each article or an individualized start page section within mobile apps to suggest possible articles of interest “Fresh” Content • Current mobile usage indicates that few users interact with main page content on a regular basis; surfacing this main page content that is already updated daily is a way to draw users to spend more time exploring and learning about additional content • Examples of ways to surface this content are pushing to social media channels (as referenced below), making the main page a prominent feature in mobile apps, or partnering with other entities that would broadcast this information to their audience Social Media / Sharing • Consider viral hooks that can be leveraged to raise awareness of when readers engage with Wikipedia across social streams – for example by publishing daily “Did you know” content via “official” channels on Twitter and Facebook • Provide quick and easy ways for users to share content from every page in both mobile web and apps, whether by email, SMS, or social media Location & Context • Users are currently searching for information via a standard text search even when they may be close in proximity to the subject of interest; consider ways to encourage users to “browser where they are” – for example by calling attention to the existing location-based feature in the Wikipedia iPhone app, or partnering with other location- based services (e.g. Foursquare or Yelp) to integrate Wikipedia content • Using Wikipedia as a travel reference (both before, during, and after a trip) was a commonly cited activity; consider various ways to allow users to embark on a Wikipedia-based “tour” that would provide facts, history, and other information via a mobile device to someone visiting an area for the first time (or even learning more about where they live) Rich Tablet Experience • Tablet users are delighted by experiences that feel immersive by inviting users to interact via touch gestures and drawing their attention with large, high-quality visual elements (including photos, video, and the overall user interface design) – FlipBook is one such example • Compel tablet users to interact with Wikipedia outside of simply searching for information by providing an app experience that surfaces the “fresh” content referenced above along with large images and a reading experience that takes advantage of a tablet’s large screen • Consider a textured app interface (such as Apple’s Notes or iBooks apps)

Full Length Videos (and notes)[edit]

San Francisco[edit]



Final Report[edit]