Identity, Reputation and Gratitude: Designing for a Community

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B304


How is Wikipedia designing its user experiences? In a larger
sense, how do you design for a collaborative community -- the type of
social network where people make things together? Brandon Harris,
senior designer for the Wikimedia Foundation, explains.


All communities with identity are social networks, including Wikipedia
and the sibling sites under the Wikimedia umbrella. Your open source
project’s communication systems are social networks, too — networks of
collaborative communities. When you’re designing tools for a
collaborative community to use, and places for them to do their work,
you need to understand their motivations and the core components they’ll
depend on to achieve their needs.

I’ll cover:

  • The crucial link between identity and conversation
  • “Evaporative cooling” and the crisis of editor retention and
    engagement that Wikipedia is facing
  • Where to set up “plazas” versus “warrens”
  • What not to do
  • Our plans for helping users gain reputation and share their gratitude,
    but not in an annoying gamey way

Speaking experience

Brandon Harris has spoken at multiple Wikimania conferences and
Wikimedia developer meetings, at Stanford University, and in other contexts.