Increasing numbers of users are consuming digital content through mobile devices, so it was essential for Wikipedia to develop a mobile strategy to remain relevant. The Wikimedia Foundation partnered with AnswerLab for help identifying needs and opportunities to inform their mobile strategy across multiple device platforms. They required a deeper understanding of how Wikipedia users access, read, search and consume mobile content, as well as an evaluation of contributors’ editing processes on their desktop and mobile devices.
To help defining Wikipedia’s mobile strategy, the Wikimedia Foundation asked AnswerLab to:
- Observe the role mobile plays in users’ lives
- Determine the notable behaviors, preferences, barriers and technologies that affect usage of Wikipedia through mobile devices and apps
- Uncover how mobile Wikipedia usage compares to other platforms
- Identify the opportunities and threshold for editors’ contributions on the mobile platform
AnswerLab conducted a multi-week field study to observe Wikipedia users across various platforms in their natural environment. Across three metropolitan areas, we conducted introductory phone interviews, collected multiple weeks of self-reported feedback on Wikipedia usage, and conducted two-hour in-home interviews.
AnswerLab research drove decision-making for the Wikipedia mobile strategy by providing platform-specific opportunities. We advised the Wikimedia team on how to improve readability, search, engagement, navigation and the contribution experience on the mobile web for non-smartphones, smartphones and the tablet, as well as for mobile and tablet apps. Read the full Wikimedia report.