I'm sorry to tell you that Naoko Komura, Wikimedia's Head of User
Experience Programs, has decided to leave the Wikimedia Foundation.
Naoko has just wrapped up the Stanton Wikipedia Usability Project for
us, so this is a natural moment for her to decide to leave. The
Wikipedia Usability Project is a major accomplishment, and one Naoko
should be deeply proud of.
As many of you know, last year, the Stanton Foundation generously
funded a project to improve Wikipedia's usability and user experience.
Naoko ran that project -- building the team from scratch, initially
working from a satellite office because we had run out of space. She
instituted project management and QA processes, user experience
research as part of the development cycle, regular reports and blog
updates, and so forth: it was the first project of this scale that the
Wikimedia Foundation had ever undertaken, and it required her to
create new processes for communicating and collaborating with
Wikimedia editors, and for assessing user acceptance. Naoko worked
long days and nights, and ensured that the project was successfully
Two weeks ago, the project resulted in English Wikipedia changing its
user experience significantly for the first time in many years. We are
confident that these and further upcoming changes will make Wikipedia
easier to contribute to for its millions of users. This historic
change is the direct result of Naoko's passionate commitment to see
the project through to success, and I am grateful to her.
I'm sad to see Naoko leave, but she's assured me that she will
continue to stay involved as a volunteer. She's also open to
discussing future project opportunities, and I'll certainly take her
up on that offer.
Naoko's last day with us will be June 17. Please join me in
thanking Naoko for her many contributions to the Wikimedia
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
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