At the recent WikidataCon I organized a workshop in which we would document each other’s workflows. The method needs some felt pens, some A3 or larger paper and at least two participants. It’s result are documentations of how participants do a particular task using your software (or not!)

Have a look at to see a detailed description. If you are interested in trying a similar format, I look forward to your ideas and experiences!

Jan Dittrich (WMDE), Wikidatacon ux participatorydesignworkshop 08, CC BY 4.0

This is great Jan! The pairing process seems simple but really effective.

Do you have the feeling that this documentation and discussion process may have itself helped the participants to improve/optimise their workflows somewhat? Did anybody talk about that?

Will this documentation be adapted into manuals/tutorials for Wikidata?

I explicitly planned for that to be possible in the application for the session. No participant mentioned the learning effects directly after the session (I did not expect this to happen, either).

I am not certain of how to proceed, but I assume showing the workflows in a more structured way than a picture collection and giving an example analysis would be a nice step to make it more accessible.

A good question. I m not very involved in writing the documentation.

All in all I hope this to be an easy-to-understand documentation of the diversity and cleverness of workflows, but I hope to bring this out more clearly soon.

I wonder if there may be a way to encourage the participants to build on this as a skeleton to create blogs/tutorials documenting their workflows?
For example, if you transcribe the handwritten notes, and then provide them to the participants with an invitation to add screenshots etc, and publish them wherever they normally publish stuff on the web.

I don’t know what kind of an infrastructure you have, or what the culture of Wikidata is, so I don’t know whether contacting each participant directly and asking them would be more effective, or posting the written notes in a public forum where you can all encourage each other to publish your documentation, or something else, or a combination.

Yes, this is a great idea! We already have done something similar:
We provided some examples of user workflows and asked community members to document similarities and differences to their workflows. It gave us rich data: Some following the idea directly, others opening totally new scenarios.

I think that your ideas would work as well. I hope to summarize and transcribe the data as soon as possible, so we can try how people will use the results.

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Analyzing workflow commonalities and differences via color coding:
WikidataCon_2017_Workshop_Workflows_Analysis_1-1 (original photo, Jan Dittrich (WMDE),WikidataCon 2017 Workshop Workflows Analysis 1, CC BY 4.0 )