Talk:Streamlined Infoboxes

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Glanceable and collapse[edit]

Regarding the goal of "Must be glanceable", and the compacted-sections used in one of the mockups, I'll briefly enumerated some of the reasons (and examples) why Collapse/Hide can be "considered harmful":

  • The "collapsible" code, that originated (iirc) in footer-navboxes, is frequently mis-used to bury a dispute - hiding something, rather than discussing whether it belongs in the article or not. It spread to Infobox Writer's "Influences/Influenced" section ([1]). It spread to data-tables in articles ([2], [3], [4]). It briefly spread to Image galleries (Draw Mohammed Day, Gangrene) and still occasionally crops up ([5]). It has now spread to entire infoboxes ([6],[7],[8]...).

Other reasons that collapsed/hidden information is bad, include:

  • For editors:
    • errors, or vandalism, are harder to detect, because less editor-eyeballs will see it
  • For readers:
    • breaks "search" functionality. (command/ctrl-F)
    • low accessibility (for users with vision problems, or dexterity problems clicking on small targets)
    • less likely to see the info, as it requires interaction (effort)
    • less likely to see the info, as they might have never clicked a [Show] link before (discoverability). Also [Show] looks very similar to [Edit] in fuzzy-outline, which readers are accustomed to subconsciously filtering out.

However. To take the devil's advocate side, perhaps we should be encouraging/experimenting with interactive elements? It might be good to encourage readers to explore more, or to learn more through active-participation. (or be more likely to click [edit]...). I've asked at w:Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)#What interactive elements do we provide in Wikipedia? to find out what else currently exists. Quiddity (talk) 18:27, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Consider views, not just transclusions[edit]

When you identified Core Template Types and Data, I accept that this list is not intended to be complete, but to start with some of the commonly used boxes, to get a start on what issues to consider. I suggest you also consider number of views. So, for example, there aren't many elements, but articles such as Oxygen are viewed much more often than some settlement articles with thousands of transclusions. Articles about chemical compounds, such as Lead(II) nitrate, use a different infobox. These types of infoboxes have gone through extensive discussions about design elements. While they might still be improved, they have well-developed aspects which should be considered as part of this initiative.--Sphilbrick (talk) 13:14, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Good ideas. I've taken a look at most-popular articles, and most-complex infoboxes. Here are a representative handful:
Those sorts of requirements, should be kept in mind. Possibly a few could be used in later-stage mockups. Quiddity (talk) 02:00, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Redundancy, references, collapse, supplemental articles, and separability[edit]

I am more of a supporter of allowing collapsed sections (than Quiddity), although I do appreciate the concerns, so would tread carefully. I want to make several, interrelated points, so have added this as a separate section, rather than just a comment to the top section.

One of the chemical compound articles Lead(II) nitrate, is useful for illustrating several points worth considering.

  • Redundancy Some have argued that any entry in an infobox should also be mentioned in the main article. However, this might be a reasonable rule for some entries, but not others. For example, I think it is perfectly reasonable that the R-phrases are listed in the infobox, and would resist a requirement that someone find a way to mention them in the article.
  • References I think references in an infobox are ugly. If every entry in an infobox is redundant, then there is an obvious solution, insist that the main article entry be referenced, and do not require a reference in the infobox. However, if one accepts that some elements can be in the infobox but not in the main article (see point above) then one has to reference them somehow. I would still like to avoid references attached to each item; I notice that the chembox infobox has a separate section for the references. That strikes me as a good option, but will need to be discussed to see if it has universal acceptance, as it is either a link to another place or a collapsed section, each of which is controversial.
  • Collapse As noted above, there are arguments against collapsed boxes. However, I think in the case of highly technical information, the reader who is unlikely to notice a collapsed box is unlikely to be searching for that type of information. However, if this view is accepted, it does mean that collapsed boxes should be reserved for special types of information.
  • Supplemental articles There are attributes of Lead(II) nitrate that are not contained directly in the infobox. Instead, a link to a Supplemental data page is provided. This is an intriguing concept, but, in my view, less desirable than a collapsed box. If the argument against a collapsed box is that the reader might miss it, I think a link to a supplemental article will also be missed. If someone created a supplemental article simply to avoid the prohibition against a collapsed element, then I suggest we should revisit that thinking.
  • Separability In almost all cases, if an article has an infobox, it has exactly one, and every infobox item, by definition, is in that box. I suggest we revisit that paradigm. I'd like us to consider a process where main infoboxes are designed with key facts only, then allow for additional infoboxes, which aren't necessarily in the upper right corner. The items in the supplemental data sheet are a perfect example. Rather than shoehorn the items into the main infobox, or relegate them to a separate article, I think it would be better to have some form of Supplemental infobox. It would be collapsed by default, but the entire text of the box would make it clear that you need to open it. When a collapsed box is part of a main infobox, it is far from obvious that one can see part of the information, but not all of it. If the box is separate from the main infobox, it will be more obvious that something is missing, and it needs to be opened.--Sphilbrick (talk) 14:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
If you're searching with Command+F, then you could be "searching for" and not find collapsed information. That said, I think there are a few times when it's appropriate because the content is so unwieldy and of somewhat lesser importance to the article (e.g., the complete list of territories ruled by the current queen of England).
You might look at en:Smallpox. If memory serves, it has two infoboxes (one for the disease and one for the virus). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:16, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Do infoboxes need a main title[edit]

(Moved here from project page.) –Quiddity (talk) 03:02, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Do infoboxes need a main title? In most cases repeating the title name is redundant, can we use this to present alternate names or meta information?
A main title is wanted in most cases I can think of, to be followed by something like a subtitle explaining what the article is about, or a true subtitle, or a catalogue number. Especially in cases where the title is in a foreign language (as for all Bach cantatas) some help should be given, which should not look like the title.
  • title: Münchener Kammerorchester, sub: Chamber orchestra
  • title: L'Arianna, sub: Opera by Claudio Monteverdi
  • title: Messiah, sub: Oratorio by George Frideric Handel
I would like a step further and see for a person, before the facts of birth and death, above the picture, what is the most important fact about him, for the example below and a composer (who will not get an infobox) that would be:
  • title: Thomas Edison, sub: Inventor
  • title: Giuseppe Verdi, sub: Composer of Italian opera
--Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:24, 8 October 2013 (UTC)