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Include "Participate in Research" as a left sidebar link below "Wikimedia Shop"
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The link would point to a screener survery located at

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Jaredzimmerman-WMF raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
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Jaredzimmerman-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)

Actually - this is the link to the survey for people to volunteer to participate in research that the "Participate in Research" sidebar link should point to:

(@Jaredzimmerman, the link you provided was created specifically for fundraising. )

Please, let's consider not surveying people.

  • Just a small text box to type in and click 'send feedback'?
  • Could be something to link people to a instance (needs a bit of work to get it running; something similar powers
  • An alternative to sidebar stuff is using a "Feedback" item in menu at the right top, next to the logout button.

@Gryllida - we aren't surveying people about their experience with this
survey, we are inviting them to participate in future research by asking
them to fill out this survey. It is an invitation. We do a bunch of
different kinds of research to better understand people's experience,
needs, goals with wiki, which in turn helps us to design and build
functionality that will improve their experience, meet their needs and help
them accomplish goals in wiki. So, in order to do good research, we need
the right participants for that research (for example, to understand the
needs of new contributors, we need to observe and talk with new
contributors). This link is one of the ways we are reaching out to the
world to ask them to participate in design research.

@werdna how much time do you think it would take to accomplish this task? Is it something you might consider doing?

FYI : The motivation for this is to invite more people to participate in design research (usability testing / understanding what people need, etc.) and to then have their contact information to be able to invite them to research when we have projects they would be good participants for.

Adding a new URL is really easy, you can just edit

It's figuring out the community aspects of that that might not be so easy.

@Quiddity, any suggestions on the best way to proceed with this?

Sidebar? Can we use banners for non-logged users instead?

I think we'd rather go for something that is more of a "slow burn" and cumulative over time rather than a big possibly disruptive campaign with additional site banners. We see it of the same weight as shop, and donate. Having a huge sudden influx of users isn't really necessary.

It doesn't have to be big. It could run at 10%~20% for a few weeks. :)

Thank you Jared, I agree with the slow burn, cumulative over time need. As part of our outreach strategy for inviting people to participate in research, we thought adding a link to our recruiting survey on the Wikipedia front page would be a good idea. We need a steady stream of people volunteering to participate in research, and having a persistent place people can go to sign up, and refer friends to would probably bring in a lot of volunteers. Banners is part of our outreach strategy for future, but we are thinking of using them very judiciously, as they interrupt people in what they are doing on wiki and are not persistent. We might use banners in future if needed (cautiously), but would prefer a place that is persistent.

If there are any hesitations to adding this invitation as a left side bar link, please let us know what they are here.

@Quiddity Do you think we can add a link to front page, instead of the side banner?
@aripstra, are we blogging about this?

Actually, I think tthat "just adding a URL (to a third-party website)" is going to be difficult, because Legal usually requires a warning about going to any site that has a different privacy policy in these types of situations. Instead, you'd have to add a link to an on-wiki page that describes the project.

However, the basic problem with adding anything to the sidebar is (1) it's already overloaded and (2) almost nobody reads it.

@Whatamidoing-WMF OK. That makes sense (about not adding a URL to a third party website). I would be very happy to have the button take people to a wiki page describing design research and inviting them to participate. Then they could clearly choose to go to the third party web site or not. We would have language describing that they will go to Qualtrics, a third party website to volunteer to participate in research. I have already run this survey by legal, so all the required language is right there at the top of the survey.On the same page, we could have an on-wiki way to sign up to participate in research. I have not figured out a good way to do that without creating a lot of work for my team. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

We do need a visible (and stable) place to invite people to participate in research. Our participant database is growing (we are at about 500 now) and we need it to grow more (thousands) to be able to scale and do more frequent research to support product teams. It would be valuable as part of ourtrach to have a place we can refer people to, and where people can refer others.

I would like to see if we can make room, and see how many people do read it. As I have been doing research with people who are new to wiki, I have seen a bunch go to the left nav for various reasons (mainly to seek help). Do we have data about how often anything on the left nav is clicked?

@Moushira blogging to invite people to participate in research is part of our outreach strategy, yes. Have not done it yet, but we are getting started on it. We are already posting to the Wikipedia Fb page frequently, and it bumps up our numbers a bit each time.

I'm guessing that people doing metrics for Fundraising or for the Shop know how much those links are used, for example.
About the "visible (and stable) place to invite people to participate in research". Do you have anything like the page you describe on Meta? Is it marked for translation? Once it lives there, the community will find a way to share it internally (they could import the translated page to their wiki, and then find a good place locally so that the people are aware it exists). Social media are good, but happen not to be so good for internal outreach.

On the same page, we could have an on-wiki way to sign up to participate in research. I have not figured out a good way to do that

Since you're collecting e-mail addresses, I suspect that most people would rather sign up off wiki anyway. Posting an e-mail address on wiki is not usually a good idea.

@Whatamidoing-WMF did you click on the link? no email addresses are being collected or posted on wiki.

@Elitre having it broadly visible where both logged in users and IP users will see it is ideal, posting on meta and being shared internally by the community won't help get a good balance of logged in and logged out users.

I didn't think that would be unclear, but: My comment was in response to a proposal for starting a new, on-wiki signup process. Your current (off-wiki) sign-up process depends upon collecting valid e-mail addresses. This email-address-based signup process would not be desirable for an on-wiki-only signup process.

Unless you're prepared to stop collecting e-mail addresses, then the goal of "an on-wiki way to sign up" might not be worth the required effort and risks.

However, the basic problem with adding anything to the sidebar is (1) it's already overloaded and (2) almost nobody reads it.


If anything, we should be removing sidebar links, not adding more.

That said, local wiki sidebars are outside the scope of Phabricator.

MZMcBride renamed this task from Include "Participate in Research" as a left sidebar link below "Wikipedia Shop" to Include "Participate in Research" as a left sidebar link below "Wikimedia Shop".Mar 4 2015, 12:39 AM

The simplest and recommended process would be to just post a message at saying something like

I'd like to request the addition of this link to the sidebar, in order to find more editors and readers who are willing to help with design research. [link] We've got x hundred people registered already, but we need more in order to not exhaust the current participants, and to have a strongly diverse selection. We've tested it at test.wikipedia here: Ideally it would be in the sidebar for approximately x months. I've also requested adding it to the sidebar at these other projects/languages, in order to try to get a good sampling from all our wikis. Thanks.

The wording for the link, will need to be tweaked (shortened), so that it doesn't line-wrap in the various standard fonts for each OS. (as it does for me)

Note, I don't know how the link the Wikimedia Shop is added, as it's not in the standard page there. So unless that is worked out, the link would appear above it (per my screenshot from testwiki).

@SBecker will check in with CE to see if this is feasible

Would that change only affect English Wikipedia? If yes, be aware I'm going to grunt. :)

Declined per comments. This doesn't seem to be feasible, and may not provide the kind of value we hope for even if it were.