Information architecture of Wikipedia?


Hey All,

Does anyone know anything about the IA of Wikipedia? Are there any sitemap diagrams or other IA deliverables from the site somewhere? I’ve done a few Google searches and haven’t come up with much.

I’m interested because it has so many links, backdoors, and levels of hierarchy, that I can only imagine the IA must have been a doozy for the original designer.


Hi @aaronmcavinue – I know a few guys that work at Wikimedia. I’ll ask around and see if anyone has anything of use. Interesting question. :slight_smile:

And welcome. Do you currently work in a UX role?


Hi @HAWK, that would be really great if you could get some info on that. It would be very interesting to me.

I’m not currently in a UX role, but would like to get into one. My skills are all over the place but I have experience with front end development, visual design, wireframing, info architecture, and analytics.

How about you?


Cool, I’ll see what I can find out.

I’m not in a traditional UX role – I skirt around the edges. I have a technical background but now work for a community management consultancy.
This is a bit of a side project for me, and it works well because my passion is persuasive community technology, which has deep roots in UX.

Are you actively trying to move into UX at the moment, or is it more of a long term plan?


Do you do UX consulting as your side project? What exactly is persuasive community technology? Totally new term to me :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d like to move into a UX role sooner than later. Right now I’m putting together a portfolio, and hopefully can find something in the visual design, UI/UX, or front end development domain. Something which will get me on board & allow me to grow into a full UX role. So yes, I’d like to move into a UX role now really.


I manage this UX community as my side project. :slight_smile: Persuasive technology (or captology) is essentially designing a habit forming platform (a community platform that hooks people to keep coming back). This is not a good example of one!

Fantastic! Let us know if there is anything that we can do to support you in that.


I did a little research on persuasive tech and it looks pretty interesting. My impression is that it seems like it is similar to UX design, with more of an emphasis on the psychological components, correct?

You’re right about this site though. It’s surprising there aren’t more regular users seeing as how it is the first Google result for “ux forum”.


Yup, that’s the perfect explanation.

I know, right? The experience here is average at best BUT Luke and I are currently in the middle of doing something about that and we’ll be migrating onto my favourite platform – Discourse – in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.

We actually do get a lot of sign-ups here (10-20 per week at the moment) but many of those people are lurkers, which isn’t unusual for a community of practice, especially one that attracts a lot of people new to the field.


What made you decide to migrate from vBulletin to Discourse?
Technical question: How are you going to go about that migration? Does vBulletin have some built-in tools for that kind of thing?

I’m wondering if the forum platform itself is the problem here. Maybe there just aren’t that many UX people who like to hang out on forums? Or maybe it’s a marketing problem of some kind – just not that many people have thought about contributing to forums for UX.


vBulletin is cumbersome, outdated, hard to administer, and buggy. Discourse is open source, modern, and offers a much better UX.
vB provide data dumps, which we run through a customised importer script. You essentially need .json files and you’re good to go.

Potentially a bit of both. This will be the third such migration that I’ve been a part of, and in both other cases we’ve seen an uptake in activity. It is naive to think that a platform change will cure all ills, but one of the biggest benefits of Discourse is timely desktop notifications, and flexible user preferences – all missing from vB.

To be fair, engagement here is healthy. It’s retention that I’d like to work on. Our content (and support structure) has tended to aim towards people that are new to UX, but our early audience has moved past that stage and we don’t do a lot to keep them around.


I see. Well it looks like a pretty well-considered decision. :slight_smile: I took a look at the Discourse site and it does look like a really nice forum.

Any news from those guys over at Wikimedia?


Annoyingly, no. I’ll follow up again now.


I have news @aaronmcavinue !

The Wikimedia guys got back to me with this: and this: