Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/Quarterly check-ins/Audiences2 Notes January 2018
Present (in the office): Katherine, Toby, Jon Katz, Danny, Grace, Josh, Jon Robson, Abbey, James, Eileen, Jaime, Joady, Lisa, Tilman
participating remotely: Michael H (notes) (thanks, Michael!), Sam S., Charlotte, Adam, Anthony, Chelsy, Chris K., Cooltey, Corey, Cormac, Heather, Joaquin, Joe Walsh, Maggie, Mark H., Matthias, Max, Natalia, Nirzar, Olga, Piotr, Quim, Ramsey, Rita, Sharvani, Stephen, Bernd, Carolyn, Dmitry
ACTION FIXME: Slide says "October", should say "January".
JK: A lot of stuff came back that impacted managers: transitioning to Toby as CPO, Nirzar as Design Mgr for all of Audiences
JK: (more team-wide issues not to be covered by other teams later) - new Android PM, Charlotte! - Disco moved into Readers. We are actively looking at their projects to determine their future. Maps in particular is under-resourced and presents challenges. (MapZen out of business...)
-- MapZen was a Samsung subsidiary that ran a tile server and had a hosted solution we planned to use. No more! -- Note also that Maps is #1 on community wishlist :(
- Mobile website moving away from being a pure reading web team project b/c it has broader implications for our site. Working more closely across departments with Tech - Wikidata description controversy (over usage in the apps) -- we got a compromise that will allow us to keep WD descriptions in the apps. (Thanks to Danny for facilitating!) Eventually WD descriptions should move toward being locally hosted.
Toby: On the positive side (and this is a positive outcome): we didn't get a blanket denial in English WP; and the solution is kind of similar to the Wikidata federation model currently in use in Commons. Will allow us to implement for enwiki along similar lines. JK: There were some hardliners who didn't want Wikidata content there at all, but most had specific implementation concerns ("isn't there yet")
Unexpected things: Things took longer than expected; MapZen shut down. What do differently next time: Work more closely with Tech from the start
Struggles: - Still working on issues around our analytics - When the community has concerns about things, can be hard for PMs to know where to draw the line (?) - Multi-client service coordination; Reading lists is the first feature going out on multiple clients simultaneously; takes a greater degree of coordination than we're used to - Reading Web team has a considerable legacy tech maintenance burden Toby: There are code stewardship guidelines in the works
- Web team focused on a couple of things: Page previews -- we were preparing for final deployments to English and German, is deployed everywhere else (about half of traffic, or a bit more than half) Working with Reading Infrastructure on improving output (did a/b testing, will publish report) Plan to complete releases this Quarter
(Example before-after page preview rendering) -- this example applies to both web and the Android app JK: This is built in a way that will be useful for third parties as well
Olga: We'll be publishing a/b test results soon
- here are some previews: - decrease in pageviews (n.b. the feature is designed to save users from clicking through to content they don't actually care about) - total interactions (pageviews and previews) increased - we did a third fundraising test, found no effect on fundraising
JK: We never get double-digit increases in overall usage
?? (Abby?): noting 1.7 billion previews shown per month ("generated"); a lower number are shown for more than 1 second by users, which we call "seen".
Lisa: Doing the same on mobile? JK: Did on Android, might on iOS native, hard to think about for Web with links not going until you? double click might be odd.
Olga: Something that we probably will continue with, which is a community request, is reference previews. WMDE will be working on this next quarter.
Toby: If we can get this (?) to work on mobile web it would be great
Olga: Also worked on our new PDF renderer. We had lots of issues with retiring the old service, OCG. Replaced with Electron, but then found last Q that it wasn't meeting our needs. The new service looks promising to be a permanent solution.
Next steps: Deployment this Q, then handoff to Reading Infrastructure
JK: Was it three quarters that it took to sunset OCG?
Olga: Yes, but a big part of that has been trying to find a replacement that works and meets our needs. There's also the question of books, which is a feature that the community is very interested in but we're not sure how we'll support.
Olga: New mobile website project ("marvin"): we did a lot of development work last quarter, then ran into some roadblocks communicating what we were doing and how to work with Tech department teams. Came to the conclusion it's probably best to pause development and focus on the communication aspect. We want to develop a more collaborative process so everyone knows where they fit in and who does what.
Toby: Thanks for committing to working with the Tech team, appreciated by me, Victoria, the Tech team
CF: Updates on services we've been working on
- Reading list service:
- minor correction: this is the second cross-platform service, the first was the announcements endpoint - We decided to go forward with deploying simultaneously to Android and iOS, this ended up pushing things back a bit. We plan on releasing by EOQ.
- Page content service:
- Development of 3 APIs was completed last Q - This quarter we will be focusing on shared CSS - Will facilitate code sharing as well as allow style updates with no deployments needed
- Page library
- Where we share styling code across platforms - Image lazy-loading is a good example: - Developed by Jon R for web last year - Integrated by Stephen N into pagelib, now available to the apps - We intend to integrate this into PCS to further reduce the work clients need to do
CF: Why page library is important:
~4k LOC, but replaces 2, 3, or even 4 different implementations of the same feature on different platforms, thereby frees engineers to do other things - 2 major features currently supported: - lazy image loading - color theming (e.g., dark mode)
CG: Android worked with New Readers and Reading Infrastructure for side-loading of Kiwix offline content packs
This feature is code-complete and ready to be launched pending some analytics updates
We got a nice downloads bump from the campaign that New Readers ran in Nigeria. We want to capitalize on that momentum with a pilot of Android app advertising in Nigeria.
Will also be a/b testing our descriptions in the Play Store to see if there are further lessons for expansion in African countries
KM: There will be a new person in Comms who can help with that soon
CG: Release last Q focused on stickiness. Updated the feed considerably, expanded Wikidata descriptions to most languages.
Wikidata descriptions: we had over 120,000 wikidata description edits (this represents 10% of all manual description edits in languages where the feature was active)
Release 12/8/17 was well received; we got good feedback from the community. One user used the new Randomizer feature for 159 hours(!)
By popular demand we released a black mode optimized for AMOLED devices (which includes most Android flagship devices). 32% of people who opened the theme chooser choose this mode.
The new On this Day card is the most popular on the feed.
Rita wrote a great blog post on the team's design process; it got a great response from the community and on social media.
- Toby: Special thanks to Melody Kramer for guiding us through blog initiatives like htis
JM: Doing user evaluative testing of synced reading list feature. A bit more of a challenge than on Android since the Android app already had a placeholder implementation in place.
iOS app was named an Editor's Choice app (highest possible distinction from the Apple Store). This is a quasi-permanent distinction rather than a one-time feature. Special mentions of accessibility and design quality.
We were named one of the Ten apps for iPhone 10
Got black mode out quickly and efficiently due to the Page Library theming work.
Fundraising in the app went up tenfold YoY
We also had our first major gift through the app
JK: Note: fundraising banners are only showing to a fraction of users
We had our first-ever apps offsite in Philadelphia.
Portal work: The portal is where people land when they type www.wikipedia.org. We decided to put development of it into maintenance mode. This past quarter we decided to automate some things on it that needed automating.
Maps: working on map styles, fixing bugs, trying to figure out a stable path forward. Thanks to Guillaume, Paul N, MaxSem for work on this.
KM: we've been talking about the solution for the maps server for several checkins now? Yes, but now we're really zoning in on the solution;)
RI: Multimedia updates
- Commons now supports MP3! Special thanks to Kaldari for setting up the admin groups allowed to upload MP3s. (It's limited to trusted users for now to prevent abuse.) - 1360 mp3 files uploaded since launch in Dec.
RI: 3D file support is almost there. Technical and legal problems are sorted out. We're moving forward and looking at deployment.
Last quarter we started by focusing on UploadWizard, but then began to focus on the various other ways things can be uploaded to Commons.
We have a new patent warranty template that's responsive to user input.
A number of WMF staffers went to WikiDataCon in October 2017, where we interacted directly with WMDE staff as well as the Wikidata community.
Working on the new MediaInfo extension for Wikibase to support structured data. Coding is pretty much complete; will be deployed to Cloud VPS instance for testing.
This quarter we'll have prototypes for people to play with and to propose upcoming funcitonality. Our designer, Pam, is producing wireframes for things like changing how File pages look, how UploadWizard looks and works, to facilitate entry of structured data during the upload process
(sample UploadWizard design -- note that it's already old because of rapid iteration in this area!)
Note that this doesn't *look* radically different from what we have today, and that's intentional; we're working with the community to ease in changes and make them painless
JK: Points out that this is an incredibly complicated project with many pitfalls
Toby: Like a software iceberg. Ends up interacting with many levels of the software.
Grace: Audiences Operations - that's me.
Focusing on improving collaboration between Technology and Audiences
- Launched search for 2 new PMs in Audiences
- Launched associate PM search for Apps and for Contibutors for another, helped with the Apps offsite, advise the Audiences and Technology Working Group, driving drafting of DACI (less confusing than RACI) document in Contributors and Multimedia, improve SoS attendance, managed feedback from office move
Next Q priorities:
hire PMs support ATWG
Experimenting with weekly reporting on goals dependencies in SoS so we don't only consider them at ends of quarters.
Toby: Thanks to Grace for helping us coordinate our work across the org better.