People who learnt wikipedia syntax

27 Jul 2009 - 6:30pm
7 years ago
2 replies
680 reads

Hi All,

Wikipedia has had such wide-spread acceptance despite the fact the it
expects the user to learn a new syntax. Of course one needs to learn
that only if one wants to do some formatting, add images etc.. but
one would quickly need those tools when writing articles.

I am wondering if there is any material available on how this new
language was adopted. Was it that the early adopters were much more
tech savvy and quickly learnt? was the help content great? is the
syntax itself very natural? Something else?

Alok Jain (AJ)


28 Jul 2009 - 4:25am
William Hudson

Alok -

When you say 'widespread acceptance' you need to bear in mind that only
a very small number of people create or edit Wikipedia postings. By
comparison, there are huge numbers of people using Dreamweaver and
Contribute (for example).

Wikipedians are also highly motivated - that in itself can make the
clunkiest system work well. (Not that I am say that Wikipedia is clunky
- I have only edited articles a few times.)


William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
Design for Usability
UK 01235-522859
World +44-1235-522859
US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
mailto:william.hudson at

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985).
Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon
OX14 2DS.

Confused about dates in interaction design? See our new study (free):

12 UK mobile phone e-commerce sites compared! Buy the report:

Courses in card sorting and Ajax interaction design. London, Las Vegas
and Berlin:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: new-bounces at [mailto:new-bounces at] On Behalf Of
> Alok Jain
> Sent: 27 July 2009 17:31
> To: discuss at
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] People who learnt wikipedia syntax

3 Aug 2009 - 5:14pm


Your point is right, I am trying to understand more at historical
level on how that motivation was built.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new

Syndicate content Get the feed