modular innovation review user experience

PBwikis. Sticky for almost 500,000.

pbwiki-logo (part 4 of 7) Wikia, Wetpaint, PBwiki, Google Sites, and Versionate. There are literally hundreds of different wikis available, each offering unique online experiences and presenting different interpretations of what it means to be a wiki. Within this series we explore and discuss the top 3 most popular, free, online wikis and 2 (of many) notable up-and-comers — and, in the end, announce the winning wiki experience.

Website: PBwiki

Briefly: PBwiki is just about to hit 500,000 hosted wikis, with a large core audience consisting of the business and education communities, and ranks as one of the top 3, free, hosted wikis, as determined by Alexa popularity ranking (April 2007). (read more)




  • The interface is both simple and clean.
    • The primary interface allows the user to focus on the user generated content of the page.
    • Many PBwiki features are very well prioritized and made accessible directly from the primary interface, while simultaneously minimizing any sense of information overload. (e.g. page permission control)


  • Users can opt to receive wiki updates by email at customizable frequency. Within the update emails are all changes that have occurred, and what types of changes they were.


  • The widgets, as well as much of the surrounding functionality, present a clear orientation towards improving productivity and collaboration, from spreadsheet widgets to sortable tables and event planning.


Disappointing or Unsatisfying

  • The process of following comment-based discussions across multiple wiki pages is cumbersome and only increases in complexity as the discussions proliferate. While all wiki changes can be followed via email, a user is left having to sign in and check each individual wiki page at which new comments may be found.


  • WYSIWYG editing is appreciated by all wiki users. Some of the formatting bugs of the WYSISYG editor, while infrequent, can prove frustrating to correct (often requiring the user to enter HTML mode to “fiddle with”).


  • Consistency is important within a web product to both (a) provide a pleasing user experience and (b) help the user avoid confusion. Inconsistencies, from missing headers to out-of-place buttons can be founded scattered throughout a handful of pages.

Delete on the ‘Revisions’ page…


Delete and Rename on ‘All Pages‘ page…


Delete and Rename on ‘Upload / view files’ page…



In the next post of the series I will share with you one of the up-and-coming wikis clearly worth keeping an eye on, Google Sites.

Think & Share…

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Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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