Growth/Focus on help desk/Help panel

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Projects: Understanding first day (EditorJourney) Personalized first day (Welcome survey , Newcomer homepage , Newcomer tasks ) • Focus on help desk Community resources (Get the tools , Resources for communities )

Help contents: Use the tools: (Help panel , Enable the Homepage , How to claim a mentee )

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Thank you for using the help panel and wanting to learn more!

This tool is part of the Growth team's "Focus on help desk" project.

During 2019, the help panel is a new feature that is only available on some Wikipedias, and only available for users that are part of the experiment to find out how useful it is. It works both on desktop browsers and mobile browsers, but is not yet available on the iOS or Android apps.

Purpose of the help panel[edit]

The goal of the tool is to:

  1. Enable new users to find help pages and how-to guides.
  2. Allow new users to ask a question to experienced users if they haven't found what they need in existing help pages.

How to use it[edit]

On any page you edit, you will see a blue button in the lower right of the screen labelled "Get help with editing". Click on this button to open the help panel.

The help panel lists some useful help pages. Those help pages should solve many cases concerning editing. Click on one of those links to open that page in a new tab of your browser.

If you can't find the help you need you can have a look at all help contents that exist by clicking on "View more help articles".

You can also type a search for the answer you need in the bar at the top of the help panel, which will immediately show a list of help pages that could be relevant.

If you still can't find the help you need you can ask a question to an experienced user, using the "Post your question to the Community Help Desk" section.

When you submit a question, you are actually editing the Help Desk page by adding your question to it. That page is curated by experienced editors, who volunteer to reply to newcomer questions.

Tips on how to post a good question:

  • Explain what you're trying to do.
  • Describe how you have tried to do it, step by step, and what is blocking you.
  • Say whether you are editing on a desktop or on a mobile device, and what kind of device it is.
  • If you know, mention whether you are editing with the visual editor (graphical editing mode) or with wikitext (text editing mode).
  • If your questions is about a source, include the link to the source.

How to find your reply

  • If you have added an email address to your account and verified your address, you will receive an email when someone replies to your question. To add or verify your email, visit your preferences.
  • You will also see your reply as a notification along the top of your browser:
On desktop On mobile
"your alerts" icon "your alerts" icon

After receiving your reply, you can continue the conversation by editing the help desk page and adding your message below the reply you received.

How to participate[edit]

If you are using the tool[edit]

You can tell us what you think about this tool on the feedback page. Please write in the language you prefer.

We welcome any suggestions about improvements, questions you may have about the projects or problems you have using the help panel.

If you want to help newcomers[edit]

Please synchronize with other people replying at the help desk on your wiki. You can also read some best practices about how to reply on the help desk.

Frequently Asked Questions[edit]

Where is my question?

You question has been posted to the Help Desk page. One easy way to find it is by clicking "Contributions" in the upper right of your browser on desktop or in the left-hand menu on mobile.

Nobody has replied to my question. What can I do?

Be patient! :) Questions are handled by volunteers who may be offline.

You can check the message you've posted to be sure that you:

  • Explain what you're trying to do.
  • Describe how you have tried to do it, step by step, and what is blocking you.

Also, some questions can be about complicated things that experienced users have never faced. They may need time to provide you a reply.

How can I disable the help panel?

You can disable the panel by either:

  • Clicking on the cog icon on top of the help panel.
  • Going to your preferences, in the Editing tab.

How have the links to help contents been chosen?

They have been chosen by the community after a discussion. They may change during the experiment, as newcomers ask questions that help us learn which links would be most useful.

How can I learn more about the reasons for the help panel and the larger project?

You can read the detailed page about the project (in English only) and ask us about it on the feedback page.