Something that sets wikis apart from other knowledge bases is that a broad number of contributors can take part in building and maintaining it.  

Making your mark

We all think of blood as being an essential component to the human body, but in reality it only makes up a small percentage of the overall whole. In the same way, contributing editors only make up 0.05% of our wiki ecosystem and are just as vital. We depend on wiki contributors for new content, improving and curating text and images, and keeping communities flowing socially.

A common struggle for many wikis is bringing talented new editors in. Research from Wikipedia shows that communities require a steady flow of new editors and contributors to keep wikis vibrant even after what they are documenting is no longer producing new information or media.  

Fandom's staff sometimes uses common models of behavior to predict and plan for the experience of a broad stereotype of users. These "personas" help us anticipate typical scenarios and reactions consistently. 

Example: The Chronicler

Chroniclers are fans that want to detail all aspects  of their favorite fandoms and they feel it is their duty to do so. They strive to be appreciated by a community of fans and love to form new friendships with other community members based on their shared love of Fandoms. Leading and teaching other fans is very motivating for them.

The full experience

With powerful processors, full keyboards, and wide screens, desktops and laptops have always enjoyed the richest editing interface.  Whether editing pages visually or with wikitext "source", the new editing interface experiences float as a layer above the page itself. This puts the editor with full context of where they are and what they're doing without directing them to a separate editing page.

An updated VisualEditor

Visual Editor Mockup

An illustrated view of the new Visual Editor

The new Visual Editor for UCP is built on the core feature developed by the same creators as the MediaWiki software. The updated display provides features with increased performance, and the resulting wiki page code is cleaner than could be achieved with earlier versions. The experience has been tested and refined on our Gamepedia family of sites, and we've given it a Fandom-themed spin for consistency and comfort.

An updated wikitext editor

Source Editor Mockup

An illustrated view of the new wikitext editor

The updated wikitext (or "Source") editor is part of our upgrades, too. We have integrated some of the more popular features from Fandom communities into the tool set, and given it a more Fandom-aligned design to match the rest of our tools. You'll find it tightly integrated with the Visual Editor, and should have little difficulty moving back and forth between experiences.

Away from the keyboard

As the capabilities of our devices have grown in recent years, we expect more out of their functions. We often look up information while out walking, on the couch, or anywhere our desktop and laptop computers aren't. While watching movies at home or playing games, our phones are rarely far from our hands. We don't think there should be limits on editing and contributing from wherever you are.

A return to mobile editing

Mobile Visual Editor Mockup

An illustrated view of the new mobile visual editor

That's why we're bringing back mobile editing on Fandom. Working with Gamepedia and the team from Wikipedia has proven to us that mobile editing is crucial to many of our users every day, and we believe the time and technology is right to re-introduce the feature. What we've learned from our partners and family is that editing on mobile is powerful, fast, and far more popular than we anticipated in previous years. Therefore, we are taking our time to make sure it is done right for our users. Mobile editing is being tested now and should be available to our new communities very soon, followed by the rest of our wikis once they make the jump to the new platform. 

The Revolution will be televised

We've got some interesting things planned as we roll out updates to our infrastructure. To talk about the new editing experiences, we have a special Virtual Town Hall that you can attend from home. Our head of User Experience Research will talk more about editor persona models, Mira Laime will be presenting the new editor interfaces, and I will showcase some of our Best Practices for editing and growing healthy wikis. Please join us May 1, 2020 (1500 UTC, 8am US Pacific) for a live video presentation, followed by questions and answers on Discord.

Update from MisterWoodhouse: The virtual town hall has been cancelled.


Isaac Fischer Fandom Staff

Isaac rose from the ranks of Fandom contributors to join the Community Technical team in late 2015. He is now an Editor Experience Specialist, with a focus on User Education. Isaac is a television and book fanatic, a sucker for the great outdoors, and a lifelong learner. He's been coding since before attending school but didn't discover Fandom until 2010. Even now, he's hard-pressed to identify his favorite fandoms.
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