Starting point to collect potable and syndicatable data

Problems → Goals → Design Process → Challenges → Results


Wikia had a Special:Promote feature to ask users to add Community Metadata such as a wiki image, title, and description. It is very important for Wikia to understand what individual wikis on their network are about, and to promote the wiki in search results across all of Wikia. However, the problem is that this feature is barely used because it is optional. In addition, Special:Promote was very buggy and expensive to be maintained.


Business Goal(BG): We want to collect Community Metadata (CMd) entries at least twice: a wiki image, title, and description. This will allow us to retire the old source of CMd — Special:Promote.
User Goal(UG): I want to let other people know what my wiki is about and to visit my wiki.

Design Process


Wiki community development flow

Key findings

  1. We can get a wiki name from “Create a wiki” process that requires users to add their wiki name and to choose a category.
  2. Requiring users to add more metadata in “Create a wiki” flow can affect increase in the drop off rates of “create a wiki”.
  3. The main page of a wiki is the place to promote the wiki and its content because it is a starting point for readers to browse content.
  4. The more a wiki grows up, the more a description on its main page can be refined and sophisticated.


By surfacing Community Metadata (CMd) entries on wiki main pages, we can drive users to enter their wiki’s metadata, which will at least double the amount of CMd.

By adding Hero header to the main page of wikis, we can have polished and consistent design look across Wikia Network.


Exploring several options for Hero module interactions

User Flow


Wireframes for interactoins

Visual Design

Visual Design



In the process of setting up a business goal, KPI, and test goals, we had to factor in two different target audiences with different personalities: users who create a new wiki and users who have built existing popular wikis. The former is open to new updates and the latter has a very strong ownership of their wikis and are conservative. There was a lot of back and forth regarding how we approached those target audiences. I contributed to clarifying and defining an iterative and incremental test plan, in addition to the goal of individual tests.

Prototype quality

There is controversy over our prototype qualified for user tests. Our product manager wanted to collect data from real users with an unpolished prototype for a variety of reasons. However, one of the stakeholders asked us to keep the minimum quality of the prototype for user tests if it was supposed to interact with real users, which ended up delaying our test schedule and was the main blocker of this project. What I learned from this dispute was that, in the beginning of a project, a designer and a product manager should be on the same page on what is a qualified prototype for user testing and what is MVP acceptable to all stakeholders.


First of all, our goal was to double the amount of metadata gathered previously by Special:Promote. It turns out that after 3 weeks of experiments (keeping in mind the limited release) we’ve increased this number twelve times instead of the planned two.

​The red dashed line illustrates our initial goal (double number of metadata delivered by Special:Promote).

Secondly, the feature was enabled at the beginning of March on 10% of new created communities. In addition, we’ve added Hero Image to WikiFeatures / Wiki Labs allowing all communities to opt-in / out. At the moment it has been adopted by 2698 communities from which 409 opted-in. 725 community filled in all metadata which gave us above a 20% adoption rate.

Lastly, 90% of power users gave positive responses to this new feature. It is very important for us that they must be satisfied with every new feature Wikia suggests because, without them, Wikia can’t survive.

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