I happened to look at <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Design> earlier today and 
I noticed that the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. design team is about 24 people 
these days. I found this very surprising, as that's quite a few people. And 
it's even more perplexing if you have visited Wikimedia wikis previously, as 
they're somewhat infamously not known for cutting-edge design. The vast 
majority of the content is very simple headings, body text, and sometimes 
thumbnails, all wrapped within a site skin that very infrequently changes.

If we assume that each design person's salary is $70,000/year USD, which I 
think is a very conservative estimate, that's about $1,680,000 of donor money 
spent per year on just design team salaries. Again, the actual figure is 
probably much higher.

When $1.68M of donor money is spent each year, what are we getting in return? 
Concretely and specifically, what is the return on this very large amount of 
money being spent every year? I see the various titles listed such as design 
researcher and user experience designer, but I can't wrap my head around what 
all of this money is being spent on, having personally used Wikimedia sites and 
services for more than 15 years.

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