audience development

How can Wikimedia integrate audience research into their products and programs?


Design synthesis
Systems mapping
Strategic recommendations


Wikimedia Foundation


Project Manager


Panthea Lee
Adam Parker


Reboot supported the Wikimedia Foundation to develop an organizational strategy for integrating more audience research into their work. This strategy will now be used to kickstart generative audience research with priority audience groups.

Design Synthesis & Facilitation

The Wikimedia Audience Development team conducted a series of five internal Audience Definition Workshops to understand Wikimedia teams':

  • Perception of their audiences

  • Current approach to audience development

  • Knowledge gaps that affect their ability to serve their audiences

Reboot then facilitated a Synthesis Workshop with the Audience Development team to process the findings from these workshops and develop a framework to guide audience research and engagement throughout the Wikimedia Foundation. As part of this workshop we:

  • Aligned on the goals, objectives, and forward work necessary for this project

  • Mapped audience descriptions heard in the Audience Definition Workshops, and segmented them into audience groups

  • Identified tools that would be useful for to guide generative audience research

Systems Mapping

Building on the outcomes of the Synthesis Workshop, Reboot further refined and designed two tools for audience understanding:

  1. Audience Map: Current Understanding which reflects how Wikimedia currently describes their audiences, according to their relationships to other audiences and the roles they play in Wikipedia's production flow.

  2. Audience Map: Attribute & Relationship View which demonstrates an alternative, more dynamic way of understanding Wikimedia's audiences. It maps them against a key attribute that effects their relationship with Wikipedia (how individual or institutional they are) and their level of engagement with Wikipedia (degree of consume to contribute).

As living documents, these audience maps will continue to be updated as more feedback is collected from the movement and generative audience research begins.

Strategic Recommendations

These workshops and maps identified strong areas of understanding, knowledge gaps, opportunities, and challenges in building a common audience understanding across the organization. These findings then became the basis of our recommendations for how Wikimedia can enable their teams to do more user research and make these insights actionable, in order to better serve their broad ecosystem of audiences.

Read more about the Wikimedia Foundation's Audience Research project.