As mentioned in the Annual Plan and past Metrics and activities meeting
updates, this year the Wikimedia Foundation has been actively working to
refresh the organization’s website ([1] It has
been a long time coming, as the current version was created more than 13
years ago. We are incredibly excited about this new opportunity to help us
speak more clearly and easily to donors, new partners, future employees,
members of the media, and the public.

The Communications department has been working since June 2017 with Mule
Design, who specialize in helping nonprofit organizations utilize online
channels to educate the world about their work. We are still a few months
away from a new website, but wanted to share the research we have been
using to inform our decision making and an update on our overall progress.

The current Foundation website—which contains more than 4,500 content pages
and 19,000 pages overall—has remained largely untouched in scope and
overall design since its initial launch as a wiki in 2004. We have grown a
tremendous amount during that time, but this particular communication
channel has not been revised to match those changes and support our
objectives. Many of us have discussed for years about how we not only could
do better, but needed to do better.

Mule began by speaking with people across the movement to determine the
needs of our site. This work, known as Discovery, involved interviews with
dozens of staff, volunteers, donors, and movement partners. It was one of
the largest Discovery processes we have ever undertaken for a
communications project. Those initial findings and recommendations were
used to make decisions around the design, content scope, platform, and
target audiences. We are posting Mule's summary of the Discovery process on
Meta-Wiki if you are interested in reviewing it more in-depth.[2]

So what will this new website be? We hope something that helps each of you
in clearly conveying both our work and the mission of the Wikimedia
Foundation. This is not just a rearrangement of the existing wiki, it’s an
entirely new site with new intentions and content. Specifically:

* Audience-centered design meant to improve navigation for people
unfamiliar with Wikimedia or the Wikimedia Foundation
* Expressive content (photos, type, and articles) that clearly communicate
our mission and impact
* Multilingual switching to allowing reading and navigation across many

The new site will be built on WordPress—a free and open-source content
management system that many in the movement have been using with great
success. We will be archiving pages which are no longer active and have
caused confusion. We will also be moving some content to more collaborative
places like Meta-Wiki. We will continue to rely on MediaWiki to support
on-wiki documentation and collaboration.

With our technical, content, and design scopes finalized—we are beginning
to build the new site. We have reached out to department leaders within the
Foundation to help identify who we will be working with on the site’s
content strategy and creation. Up next:

* We will be developing a content strategy through this and next month
* We will proceed to content creation later next month followed by
* We are working towards a formal site launch before the end of the fiscal
year (June - July 2018)

Thank you to the dozens of staff, volunteers, supporters, and partners from
around that world that have already been involved in this process, and to
the dozens more who will be involved in the months to come!




Gregory Varnum
Communications Strategist
Wikimedia Foundation <>
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