Submissions/Human-centered design for free knowledge

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

This session will take place at 12:00pm on Friday, August 8, in Auditorium 1.

Submission no. 1049
Title of the submission

Human-centered design for free knowledge

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)

Presentation with some workshop components :)

Author of the submission

Jessie Wild Sneller, Jonathan Morgan, and Yana Welinder

E-mail address;;


User:Jwild, User:Jmorgan (WMF), User:YWelinder (WMF)

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

WMF (Note that depending on the interest in this session, we will reach out to local design-thinking experts to potentially lead this discussion)

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Human-centered design (HCD), also known as user-centered design, is an approach to designing products, processes and services that focuses on the needs, wants, and contexts of the end-users at every stage of design and development. Many of us in the Wikimedia movement work on projects to support a given group of individuals: for example, a geographically based chapter supporting local editors, or a Wikipedia administrator supporting their language editors, or a university's Wikipedia Ambassador supporting the students in a classroom. The methods of HCD help designers match what is desirable from a human point of view and what is technically and economically feasible. Finding this intersection involves several stages which will be explained in this session: hearing, creating, and delivering (or "listening, understanding, making").

This session will be focused on teaching the basics of human-centered design, as well as understanding how and when to use human-centered design methods. We will facilitate conversations on how HCD might be a relevant process for our movement. For example:

  • what training might be necessary for individuals with new online roles (e.g., admin, check-users)?
  • What should the Wikipedia mobile interface look like to attract new readers in different parts of the world?
  • How should we design an online space to promote ideation and collaboration?

If this session garners sufficient interest, we will bring in some experts in the field of design thinking to share their experiences with the application of these methodologies, and brainstorm with us on how we might apply it to the Wikimedia movement.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

Presentation slides with notes are available on Commons. For more information on human-centered design, see the HCD information page on Meta.

Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Ocaasi (talk) 23:10, 6 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Netha Hussain (talk) 09:42, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Quiddity (talk) 19:57, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. the wub "?!" 22:57, 13 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Slowking4 (talk) 01:14, 1 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 11:28, 3 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. JSahleen (WMF) (talk) 13:21, 5 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Vignesh (talk) 12:31, 8 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Sshhiivv (talk) 08:30, 8 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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