Mobile/Research/Qualitative Studies/India

From Strategic Planning



The Research was conducted across Bangalore & Delhi to provide us the opportunity to cover several Indic language readers and editors (English, HIndi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, perhaps Malayalam as well)

The Process

The Research ensured multiple touch-points with the participants – Readers (current mobile readers and potential mobile readers) and editors.

  • Pre-interview tasks through online diaries, activities
  • Face-to-face individual ethnographic interviews with a contextual, Show & Tell
  • Some post-interview online tasks, reports after testing out Wikipedia on their mobiles
  • A workshop where we brought together readers & editors (mainly the Bangalore participants, with 1 participant from Delhi) plus some experts from the mobile space

Here is the copy of the screener.



A total of 31 ethnographic interviews were conducted across Delhi and Bangalore amongWikipedia Readers and Editors. We took care to ensure spread across gender, age, life-stage, as well as cover Wikipedia editors from both English and Indic languages.

Interview Script

SECTION 1: Introduction (Consent forms to be done by recruiter prior to interview start) [5 mins]

Thank you for having us in your home today. I am __(name)________and along with ______ and _______ . We’re working together on this project and we’re conducting it all over the country. We are very interested in getting to know you better, learning how you feel about your home, about life, family, friends, work, routines, getting help, information, and participating online. I really appreciate this opportunity to be with you today.

Before we begin, let’s sit down and take a minute to go over what is going to happen today.

  • While we talk, my team is going to be using a video and a camera to help use remember our observations today. We will also be taking some notes.
  • These recordings may be posted on the internet under Creative Commons licensing, so they’ll be available for anyone who’s interested in this research to view at least part of them. (They should have signed this off with the recruiter... Confirm signed and that they agreed it is okay. Note you should know if they initialed it for name and thus any video will be labeled with your first name. If you’d rather we didn’t, we’ll label it with a made-up name instead.) Do you have any questions?
  • Great, let’s talk a little about what were going to be doing here today. We’re going to start with a few questions about some general things.
  • We want to hear about how, where, and why you use Wikipedia and other websites on your computer and your mobile phone and if/how you might be interested in a better mobile experiences.
  • Basically, I’ll ask you some questions and we’ will also ask you to use your computer and mobile. We will video how you use them.
  • The whole thing will take about 2 hours. Is that anything that will prevent us from working together for the next few hours? (If there is a barrier to the timeline, end the interview, and reschedule if necessary.). If there are others in your household that you would like to introduce or encourage to participate as part of our session today. Please ask them to join in and we will include when we feel it’s appropriate

Here are a few guidelines to make our time productive:

  • Say what you believe - there are no wrong answers
  • Speak as loudly as I am so the tape recording can pick us both up
  • Don’t filter your comments - let them come out naturally - like when you are talking to your family or good friends - a little comment you won’t say could be the doorway to some new learning for us!
  • I’m going to ask you to turn off the radio TV, CD etc so the tape just gets our voices.
  • When we walk round your home or sharing things let me know if you have any ah ha moments... something you just thought of... that just came up today, let us know!
  • Do you have any questions before we get started?

Section Two: Who are they? What makes them tick? [15 minutes]

This section should provide a deeper understanding of the participants, beyond the Homework Tasks. We want to know more about their lives, dreams and frustrations, what they love doing, and their priorities and how they are changing. We’d like to capture an understanding of their online and offline behavior and how they intersect.

Use some judgement on time.

First, Thank for sharing about yourself through the homework assignments. Gather any thoughts about their completion.

  • Tell us a little more about yourself.... (spontaneous) Note what their source of identity is. examples family, work, career, community, etc. Capture obvious routines and their relationship to the household.
  • Tell us what you love doing....... and why?
  • What are your priorities today? How are they different from yesterday and how are will they change in the future. (past - present - future)
  • Understand their online behavior..... How do computers / Internet fit into their lives. First computer.... how experience has evolved online.... at home - at work... type of connections.... Interrelationship with other parts of their life. Get a history of their connecting to the internet... their motivations.. .their favorite internet sites..... Get an understanding of where they have access.... what drives them to use the computer.. or mobile....
  • Thinking about your ideal life, what would that be like? Describe in as much detail as possible. In this ideal life how would you learn about new things? What information needs do you feel you would need to be satisfied on to live the ideal life?
  • And what do you do to have fun or for entertainment?? How do you pass time? PROBE ON TV and INTERNET VIEWING / CONSUMPTION - INCLUDING VIEWS ON ADS, GAMES, HOBBIES etc. Where do they see / access if not available at home.

Section Three: Computing Experiences Across Devices

Objective: Understand what they use computers and mobiles for. You should plan this session to be show n tell. Be set up to capture screen shots where appropriate.

In this section: Make sure you capture enablers and motivators. Why do they go online? Why use one device versus another. What are the pain-points or frustrations they experience? Do they have any barriers or hindrances relative to their online experience?

  • What type of computer do they have - how long had? Desktop / Laptop... Where is the primary place of use? What type of internet connection. View equipment... dongle, broadband etc.... WiFi? Is this or any computer they have shared? Who do they share with...? Do they have access to multiple computers? Home vs Work? Show n Tell... Key programs and time spent. The role of multitasking if any?
  • Bring in the phone.... Computing tasks in some cases also happen on the phone today. Can you tell me what type of phone you have - view - what sort of plan? Confirm whether or not they have a data plan. Confirm the rate, carrier etc. How long have they had the phone? How has this latest mobile phone helped change your life? Re mobile find out key apps used. Do any of these applications use location information? If so... how has that impacted or changed their mobile experience. Similarly, what sorts / types of notifications do they get on their phone. (Eg from a game or from a website etc.)
  • Thinking about computing and internet...... Can you contrast for me... what tasks are done on the computer... vs on the phone.... What do you view on the computer vs on the phone? Perhaps in the course of a day or a week you can give me an average of where you use one device or the other... CLOCK.... And then purpose and what you see or visit. Which things do you do on both devices? Do you prefer doing things on one device versus the other- why? Capture examples (particularly looking for “reading” or “editing” contrasts)
  • Do you manage privacy / security or log-in details differently on your phone or computers? For all sites or specific sites?
  • Which sites do you visit most frequently? Computer or Phone.... Are there particular aspects of these sites that you visit? What is your HOME PAGE? or Home Tabs Make sure you capture orientation. What are your bookmarked URL’s? View! Which sites do you contribute to? Update to? Capture difference between mobile and PC usage. Check for blog, media uploads, torrents, messenger clients, any special software.
  • Now thinking more broadly about communication, friends, social, work, hobbies etc.... How do you manage your networks? How would you describe your networks... Are these online only or online and offline? If there is a wikipedia network explore in more detail...

Section Four: Using Wikipedia

Objective: How did Wikipedia enter their life

  • Wikipedia - How did you get involved? How did it happen - that first experience? What were you reading? What did you find there? How long ago was that? What happened with that first visit? (eg was it exploration, was it sharing, was it fact checking etc.... )
  • Is yours a typical first experience? What other types of first experiences are likely? (interested in points of access - whether from google or another startpoint vs who starts at Wikipedia).
  • Since then.... how have you and Wikipedia changed? Track the changes over time... When did you become an editor? Is this a long split in time? What events led up to it? What were the circumstances around editing your first post? Why was editing important to you? What happened after you posted it. What were you feeling at the time?
  • Tell me a little more about how often you are on the Wikipedia site. Eg time - per day, weekly etc. What do you use it for? How do you use it? Are there favorite sections? topics. Do a Show n Tell... Take me on a typical visit to Wikipedia on your PC. Where do you go. Talk me though the pages you are showing me.
  • Navigate us around a page and the site. Please talk about this as you go. Moderator to make sure to explore the “discussion” talk page and understand whether or not they have used it and their experience or perceptions. Plus a commentary on the sidebar and search box etc....
  • If in English. Probe for any other language options. Note whether or not they were automatically signed in. If not ask them about signing in. When do they sign in?
  • Can you tell me... as a reader of Wikipedia - What is great about Wikipedia - in your opinion. As a reader what is difficult? Can you show me a screenshot - example?
  • If you had to compare Wikipedia to anything - what would it be? How is it similar? How is it different? Better or worse? What is competing with Wikipedia?

Section Five: Editing Wikipdedia:

Objective: Understanding editing and how they see their role. (if reader only then this discussion should focus more on their understanding.... what would get them involved, and their current level of understanding.)

  • What was the last thing you edited (reading)... a show and tell of what they are working on... or have recently worked on... Get some sense of the time they put into Wikipedia....
  • Get them to show and describe the process.... and how often it takes place....
  • If not answered above.... What got you started as an editor (reader)? What was the experience or event that caused you to contribute (read) for the first time. What happened after you updated that first edit or authored post? Was this an english post or another language? What were the hurdles to getting started
  • What is the role of an editor (focus readers on their understanding of the edit button - and lead in from there)? How and when do you contribute? Can you tell me more about the role of an editor as you perceive it? Is an editor different to an author? How do you evaluate standards? What must an editor do well?
  • Can you tell me something about the total time you put into wikipedia. How much? The times of day, location, activity types? eg reading, referring, editing etc. Get as a diagram.
  • How do you see your involvement in Wikipedia changing in the future? How does it continue to hold you attention? What would make it more rewarding? How has your engagement with wikipedia changed? / evolved? Can you tell me more about the role of an editor as you perceive it? Is an editor different to an author? How do you evaluate standards? What must an editor do well?
  • Can you tell me more about the organization and how it works. How do you think about your relationship with Wikipedia? What do you know about wikipedia? Where do you get your information? Do you have stats on what you write or contribute? How does what you do fit into it all? What do these facts tell you? If any?

Section Six: Who Reads Wikipedia? Who do you write for?

Objective: Understanding of their audience

  • What can you tell me about the people that read wikipedia? Who reads and why? People have different reasons... What reasons, what other factors may affect these things.
  • THE importance of language. Does language matter?
  • So where does wikipedia fit in the broader eco system?.... eg chart wikipedia in the middle.... some people start directly at wikipedia.... where do other visitors come from? Or how do they visit the pages you write/edit? get to what you wanted to see/read?
  • Where do you think Wikipedia really excels? Why? Do people keep coming back... or are they driven back by links? Want to get to the different types of people that read wikipedia.... eg those for general knowledge and those that want facts on location on a archlogical site vs those that want it for a class answer. What are their beliefs?
  • On what criteria do people rate wikipedia on?......... How do you evaluate things like readability, or organization?
  • Do you feel as an editor that you “write for readers” or “write to record history and facts”? Or something else? What is important?

Section Seven: Wikipedia on the Mobile:

Objective - Understanding of Mobile Content and Implications for a Mobile World

  • Turn to mobile..... Have you looked at your articles / content on the mobile (similarly for reader)? How does it read? If yes and you know they use the internet to access on their mobile then review a recent article they have editied live on their mobile..... Alternatively, use a mobile with internet and let them search for their recent article. ... use your mobile or theirs if internet connected and access wikipedia mobile. Start at the home page in this case...
  • Make sure to check... whether they are on the mobile site or the full site.
  • Can you take me through... different ways I may access your edited wikipedia content on the mobile? Get them to discuss the importance or not of mobile access and data. When and why is mobile important? What are the limitations?
  • Importance of search to getting to an article..... can you tell me more about it?
  • How does reading / browsing experience on the mobile differ from the desktop?
  • When editing.... are there any rules or approaches that should be taken into account for how it may show on the mobile?
  • How does the Wikipedia experience compare with other experiences you have on your mobile? What is different about those other mobile experiences (especially sharing, networking mapping/location type actions). How should Wikipedia adapt to the rapidly changing mobile world? Get examples.
  • What do you think would change the Wikipedia Mobile experience in away that would get people to use it more?

Mobile Editing:

  • Can you / have you edited Wikipedia on your mobile? Please describe the experience and process. What would make it easier, better?
  • What would enable you or motivate you to edit while mobile? Check whether or not they have tried. What barriers or hindrances are seen? What editing functions are most transferable? Can you break mobile editing tasks down - prioritize?
  • Any other comments on the mobile site?

Section 8: Wikpedia Wrap-Up [5 minutes]

  • Are there any other likes or dislikes about Wikipedia that you would like to share? Any questions that you would like to ask me?
  • If you could tell the people working on the WIkipedia site and / or Mobile site one thing.... what would it be?
  • Finally is there anything that you think I should have asked you... that I didn’t? What would that be? --- And how would you answer it?

Research Report

Here is the research prepared by our contractor, Moscoi/Convo, for WMF.

Taking Wikipedia Mobile Final Report 01 06-2011