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This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2005, Frankfurt, Germany.




Usability of Wikipedia


About the author(s): Heidi Fischer-Ritter studies German, Romance languages and cognitive science at University of Freiburg, Germany. Zeno Gantner is a contributor to the German Wikipedia and member of Wikimedia Deutschland. He studies computer science at University of Freiburg. Hendrik Tessendorf is computer science student at University of Freiburg. Dr. Christoph Hölscher is researcher at the Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Freiburg.

Abstract: In a seminar about human-computer interaction at University of Freiburg, we conducted a small study on the German Wikipedia's usability.

We present

  • motivations for more usability research on Wikimedia projects,
  • (briefly) different usability evaluation methods,
  • several guidelines for good user interfaces and
  • some of our results.

We used a method called heuristic evaluation, developed by J. Nielsen. As Wikipedia offers many different features, we only looked at functions that are available to all users. We did not analyze the usability of MediaWiki as a program. Instead, we examined the strengths and weaknesses of http://de.wikipedia.org/ as one website. This is not limited to the software itself, but also takes into account server infrastructure, setup, and content.