Teahouse/LayoutDevelopment

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Here is where an outline of what we want to build for the Teahouse will be.

See the overview of the Teahouse Project here

Teahouse Pages[edit | edit source]

These are the four main pages of Teahouse (the ones that guests will see, anyway. Pages meant primarily for hosts are not included here). We may add more pages, or more page features to pages, later on. Jtmorgan 00:51, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


Main Page[edit | edit source]

Overview: this is the Teahouse landing page. From here, new editor will be able to navigate directly to one of the three main sub-pages: the Q&A page, the Host Introductions page, and the Guests Introductions page. None of the content of this page is meant to be directly edited by new users.

Features:

  • Recent questions: a (transcluded template) box which contains one or more questions that were posted recently on the Q&A page. This box should also contain one or more links to the Q&A page.
    • Design considerations
      • should a new user be able to click a link to jump directly to each of the example questions in the "Recent Questions" box? Or should the box only provide a single "Find the answer here" link, which will go to the top of the Q&A page?
      • should this box be manually updated on a periodic basis by Teahouse Hosts, or should we create a bot that automatically refreshes the questions in the box on a daily basis with recent questions from the Q&A board? How difficult is this?
  • Featured guest(s): a (transcluded template) box which contains a picture, username and a short biographical blurb of one or more Teahouse guests, submitted on the Guest Introductions page.
    • Design considerations: should be easy enough for hosts to update this manually. We should make it hard for new users to accidentally (or possibly, maliciously) edit this content. Lock template page?
  • Featured host(s): a (transcluded template) box which contains a picture, username and a short biographical blurb of one or more Teahouse hosts, submitted on the Host Introductions page.
    • Design considerations: should be easy enough for hosts to update this manually. We should make it hard for new users to accidentally (or possibly, maliciously) edit this content. Lock template page?
  • Teahouse on IRC: (not yet fully scoped) and not currently scheduled to be implemented at launch--if we do IRC, we want to make sure we do it right (i.e. IRC channel is regularly staffed by hosts, guests are given some information on what IRC is, and how to use it.

Guest Introductions[edit | edit source]

Overview: this is the page where Teahouse guests will introduce themselves. New editors will be encouraged to create a templated introduction that says something about themselves. Guests can also browse other guests introductory "blurbs". Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for guests to create an introduction for themselves, and to edit that introduction later. Since we're explicitly inviting guests to edit this page, we should make it very clear how to do so, and what parts of the page are meant to be edited.

Not sure what other info we want on this page, or how guest profiles should be displayed and organized. For instance, should new profiles default to the top or bottom of the list? Should profiles be displayed in one or two columns? Or some other way? Should we have some static text encouraging guests to contact one another on their user pages?

Features:

  • Introduce yourself: a call-to-action feature that allows guests to create pre-formatted introduction box (a substituted template?) for themselves. I was thinking that a button would be a great mechanism for this, but open to suggestions on particulars of implementation.
    • Design considerations
      • if we make it a button, what happens when the user clicks it? Are they taken to another page where they are invited to fill out a simple template with basic information (e.g. user name, real name, personal description, picture)? Or do they create their profile on the same page?
  • Guest profile: a a pre-formatted profile box (a substituted template?) where guests can put a little information about themselves. The profiles should contain some number of distinct fields, which could be either optional or required.
    • Design considerations
      • fields could include user name (which could be automatically formatted to link to the guest's userpage); bio blurb; picture (possibly with instructions on how to select from an option list, select a photo from commons, or upload a personal photo to commons to use); interests (e.g. copyediting, zoology, JSON); real name; location.
      • template should have its own "edit" button, so that a guest can go back and easily change their profile information later.
  • Table of contents: a table of contents would be useful on this page, since we intend the number of guest profiles to grow.
    • Design considerations
      • I would prefer the TOC be displayed as a sidebar, so that it doesn't push the main content of the page (the profiles themselves) below the fold. Possibly the TOC could also be hidden by default?

Host Introductions[edit | edit source]

Overview: this is the page where Teahouse hosts will introduce themselves. Hosts will be encouraged to create a templated introduction that says something about themselves. Guests who visit this page will want to browse hosts introductory "blurbs". Our goal is to allow hosts to present themselves as knowedgable, friendly, fun and above all as real people. We do not want guests to edit this page directly, but we do want to present them with some information about what the "host" role is all about. We may or may not want to explicitly encourage guests to contact hosts directly via the host's user page... one the one hand, we want to direct questions to the Q&A board. On the other, if a guest sees a host who shares their interests, they should be able to talk to that host. Hosts may also desire to directly mentor interested guests.

Same layout considerations as Guest introductions page: Not sure what other info we want on this page, or how host profiles should be displayed and organized. For instance, should new profiles default to the top or bottom of the list? Should profiles be displayed in one or two columns? Or some other way?

Features:

  • Meet your hosts: static text that explains who Teahouse hosts are, what they do. Possibly also a reminder that questions are answered on the Q&A board (with link to same)
    • Design considerations
      • since we don't want to clutter pages with text, this should be relatively short.
  • Host profile: a a pre-formatted profile box (a substituted template?) where hosts can put a little information about themselves. The profiles should contain some number of distinct fields, which could be either optional or required.
    • Design considerations
      • fields could include user name (which could be automatically formatted to link to the host's userpage); bio blurb; picture (possibly with instructions on how to select from an option list, select a photo from commons, or upload a personal photo to commons to use); interests (e.g. copyediting, zoology, JSON); real name; location. Anything, really, but we should keep it relatively simple.
      • possibly template should NOT have its own "edit" button? since we don't want guests to edit this page directly, and hosts know how to do it without hand-holding.
  • Table of contents: a table of contents would be useful on this page, since we intend the number of host profiles to grow.
    • Design considerations
      • I would prefer the TOC be displayed as a sidebar, so that it doesn't push the main content of the page (the profiles themselves) below the fold. Possibly the TOC could also be hidden by default?

Q&A Board[edit | edit source]

Overview: This is the most interactive page on Teahouse. Our goal is to make this page a natural "first stop" for new guests. The page should make it easy, comfortable and desirable for guests to ask any kind of question they might have, without having to search an archive, or read a FAQ... or think at all, really. Plain and simple, they should be able to see that questions are getting answered promptly and politely, see that they are invited to ask one now, and be able to just do it.

Features:

  • Ask a question this is one of the most important features of the Teahouse! Users should be able to press a button, fill in a subject line (section heading) and a free text field (ideally, one that is free of markup) and click Submit/Edit. Their question is then posted to the board.
    • Design considerations
      • in order to make Teahouse accessible to the new users we're inviting (for instance, newbies who created their account less than 24 hours ago, and have made 10+ edits), we need to present them with as few hurdles as possible. A button is much more user friendly than an "edit" link to people who aren't wiki-savvy. A free-text field is much more friendly than a page full of wikitext.
  • Static introductory text this should be minimal. It should not take up very much screen real estate: actual questions submitted by actual users should be visible above the fold. Contrast this with the Help Desk, or many other Q&A spaces on WP, which display hundreds (thousands?) of words of 'helpful' instructional material before the user is given the option to ask a question.
  • Comment board this is where all the questions and comments live, each question will be the start of a new page section/comment thread.
      • when the user asks their question, should it be added as a new section at the top of the board, or the bottom? On the one hand, we want the newest questions to be the first ones a user sees. Also, posting new entries to the bottom may be counterintuitive to newbies: in most social media, and in many forums, newer stuff is listed first. On the other hand, most discussion boards on WP post newer stuff at the bottom, including other Q&A boards like the Help Desk. Are there precedents for a newest-first sort order on WP discussion boards?
      • hosts and new users should be able to respond to other users questions by clicking an "edit" link next to the section heading for that question. We probably don't need to make this a special feature, though, since hosts and more experienced newbies will be confident using normal talk page discussion conventions.
  • Table of contents a table of contents will be essential on this page, since we expect there to be many comments, and want users to be able to browse them easily
    • design considerations
      • I would strongly prefer the TOC be displayed as a sidebar, so that it doesn't push the main content of the page (the questions themselves!) below the fold. Must on-wiki q&a spaces have an insane amount of cruft above the actual q&a board, along with a big ol' TOC. This results in several screens of text above the questions themselves, necessitating much scrolling and gnashing of teeth. We want to avoid this!
  • Topic-based archives although we don't want to force users to read the archives before posting a question (or even strongly suggest that they should), some topic-based archives where good examples of newbie questions + host answers are posted could be valuable.
    • Design considerations
      • this could be a sidebar (we don't want it to push the q&a 'down'). Adding a search box could be helpful.
      • keep the number of topical archives small, to avoid overwhelming new users with information, and should be presenting in plain language. For instance: "Negotiating people, policy and process", "finding collaborators and ways to contribute", "requesting technical help".
      • these archives can be manually curated by hosts. They don't need to contain every previous Q&A thread. We can set up automatic archiving to keep the main board to a reasonable length, and those automatic archives could be visually de-emphasized in the design (since we don't expect to refer new users to them very often).
  • Notification system (not fully scoped yet) it would be great if there was some sort of automatic notification function. For instance, a new user could get an email or a post on their user talk page when someone responds to their question, containing a link to their question. This would help us bring people back to the Teahouse after they've asked a question, and hopefully encourage more interaction. I suspect we could do something like this with a bot, but am unsure how much work that would entail.