Log 4b: Interface in Real Life

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/external/readwriteweb/2008/12/03/03readwriteweb-wikipedia_gets_grant_to_make_editing_easier.html

It is safe to say that anyone with Internet Access has paid a visit to the website Wikipedia. The company, The Wikimedia Foundation, has just recieved a grant of $89,000 with the objective of making ta new user interface to assist inexperience contributors to making a contribution to the website.

I took a screenshot of the editing screen for the featured article of the day (Texas A&M University).

Wikipedia

Upon first look, I agree with the sources in the article. This is not exactly intuitive. If someone had a vast knowledge on World War II and wanted to edit the article, there is reason to believe they wouldn’t have the same vast knowledge in coding. Some of the buttons are familiar: Bold and Italicize.  However, while I know the affordane of those buttons, how would they work within this jumbled coding? Wikimedia admits that their contributors are all at leats moderately proficient in coding, which excludes a good number of people who wouldn’t be able to contribute.

I think that this is a good idea. This page currently needs mapping and visibility. As I look at this with now coding experience, I have no idea where my first step would be. Any natural mapping are non-existent. I wouldn’t be making slips, I would be making calculated mistakes based on thought processes and guessed. The type would be showing up, but I wold get no real feedback to if I was doing this correctly or not. This interface was designed by someone who didn’t keep the user-central design in mind. In fact, they alienated a majority of potential contributors because they are not tech-savvy enough for this.I hope that the new interface designers that are coming in are better at opening the gates for more users.

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