Editor campaigns/Activity feed

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Activity Feed Redesign[edit]

The new activity feed design incorporates many ideas from user interviews. Major aspects include:

  • Customization
    • Many users expressed frustration at the lack of flexibility and static nature of the current feed. The new design offers improved flexibility through options for users to specify three variables:
      • The number of days to view (1, 3, 7, 14, or 30)
      • The grouping of activity items (by article or by user)
        • Grouping by article (default) displays items in a per-article order. This view is especially helpful for campaigns that involve tracking the progress of many articles, such as edit-a-thons.
        • Grouping by user displays items in a per-user order. This view is especially helpful for monitoring the specific contributions of individuals, such as teachers tracking students.
      • The type of activity to show (all, new article, edit article, create user page, edit user page, post to talk page, upload media, or edit sandbox)
  • Consistency
    • Some users expressed frustration at the feed not behaving as expected according to Wiki standards. To maintain consistency and simplify interpretation of new options, the new design closely follows the format of a similar existing Wiki feature: watchlists. The similarity between the new customize format and watchlists benefits both users and developers; users can easily transfer knowledge and familiarity with an existing feature to understanding a new one, and developers can leverage existing infrastructure to expedite engineering.
  • Conciseness
    • Another complaint was that the current feed is too cluttered and confusing to understand, especially with multiple courses and users. To simplify the interface, the new design consolidates each activity item into a single line that specifies the user, article, date, number of bytes changed, and edit summary.

The content of the new design is a superset of the current design, as it includes all information from the existing design. The key improvement is that the new design reorganizes the information to be cleaner and adds additional customization abilities.

Wiki Education Foundation plans[edit]

Wiki Education Foundation is potentially interested in contracting a developer to implement this for use with English Wikipedia education program courses, as a replacement for the view activity feed features of course pages.

Step 1: new activity feed design[edit]

JJ Liu's design above is ready to be implemented. It will do much better with meeting the needs of EP extension users; compared to the current feed, it presents essentially the same information, but in a more flexible and compact format. The key element of the design is to take the combined contributions of a set of users and group them either by article or by user. It also uses the same design language as the Watchlist and other activity feeds, which is a big plus for experienced users.

Since this new activity feed design will be useful for Education Program extension course pages as well as nascent editor campaigns, and potentially elsewhere as well, it should be implemented in a way that makes it easy to use beyond the context of the Education Program extension. That may mean it should be built as a separate extension that interacts with the EP extension, or it may mean building it within Education Program extension to begin with but with an eye toward making it easy to port later.

Step 2: inline diffs[edit]

After the initial redesign, we would like to incorporate a feature that is current available for watchlists and article histories via user script: inline diffs. This feature — try it out with Writ Keeper's script if you haven't, it's awesome — would make it especially efficient to monitor the edit-by-edit work of a group of student editors. Something very similar should be incorporated into the activity feed itself (without the need to install a user script), so that the diff of any edit can be loaded without leaving the activity feed.

Step 3: inline replies to diffs[edit]

This last feature is a bit more of a stretch: after loading an inline diff, a user should be able to leave a talk page comment in response (either on the article's talk page, or the talk page of the user who made the edit). The idea is to make it very efficient to leave individual feedback for a large number of newcomers, based on the details of their edits.