GettingStarted provides newly-registered Wikipedians with suggestions of how to help improve Wikipedia. We want to make sure every person who registers an account is given an idea of what to do and how to do it, so they have a good first experience with editing the encyclopedia.
How it works
After registration, newly-registered people are sent back to the page they were viewing before signing up (the "returnto" URL parameter). If there is no known return destination, they are sent to the Main Page.
On that page, a call to action appears, which invites them to either
- contribute to the page they are on right now (if it is editable), or,
- try editing a suggested article. These articles are derived from our simple category-based suggestion system, and if no copyediting category is set for a wiki to derive tasks from, only the first call to action is provided.
Only those who return to Special pages, like Search, will be completely excluded from seeing any calls to action, since we cannot guarantee correct behavior on Special pages. If the editor is on a non-article page, they are given the same call to action as on non-editable articles, which is just the call to try editing a suggested page.
Next, if the person elects to edit the page they are on, they are given a simple guided tour. If the person elects to try a suggested task, they are taken to a recommended article from the category of pages tagged for copyediting. The article appears with a toolbar which describes the task, allows them to jump to another recommended article, and has a "Show me how" button to reactivate a guided tour that walks them through making simple spelling and grammar improvements.
Editing either the page they are redirected to or a suggested page results in an edit tag, "via Getting Started edit suggestions". You can actually see all edits made via this interface and help welcome new contributors, if you like.
Try it out
For now, task suggestions are only delivered to editors right after they sign up for their account. If you already have an account, you can test this by adding
?gettingStartedReturn=true to any page except Special pages. If you cannot edit the page (like the Main Page), you will only see one type of editing suggestion. If you add it to an editable article, you will see two types of suggestions.
Extension:GettingStarted was first deployed on 13 December 2012, and is the work of the Growth team at the Wikimedia Foundation. Your feedback about how it works is most appreciated, especially if you are new to Wikipedia. You can leave comments on the Talk page here, or contact Steven Walling.