Talk:Talk pages project/New discussion

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Patriccck (talkcontribs)

Hello, I have found some bugs, maybe you know about some of them.

  • Please go here and try to add topic "Write 3 words". Selection is wrong, see screenshot.
  • Hover over a "Zrušit" button with a mouse cursor in Czech localisation and you will see "Zrušit Escape". Why?

And now, Czech Wikipedia is back at MW 1.36.0-wmf.26, so it does not work.

Patriccck (talkcontribs)

Why is an order of tags different in Reply tool and New discussion tool?

  • Reply tool tags order example: "Reply, Visual" – here is also a link
  • New discussion tags order example: "Source, New topic" – here is diffrent order and there is no link
Reply to "Some bugs"

Support for Editnotice

2
Summary by PPelberg (WMF)

T269033: Add edit notice element to New Discussion Tool

Patriccck (talkcontribs)

Hello, will New discussion tool support Editnotice? If anybody will add new topic here (using "old button") now he/she will see warning from this page. What about New discussion tool?

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

hey @Patriccck, good question. Yes, we are planning to add support for Edit notices [i]. Right now, the plan is for this support to come after the New Discussion Tool is available as a beta feature and before we consider making it available by default.

If you are curious to stay updated about the progress on the work to integrate edit notices, you might consider subscribing to this task where this work will be done: T269033.

---

i. Manual:Interface/Edit notice

Reply to "Support for Editnotice"

Feedback request: Version 1.0 Prototype

9
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The prototype of the New Discussion Tool is ready. We would value you trying it out and sharing what you think could be improved about how it functions.

When you are ready to share what you have to say, please do so by adding a new topic on this mediawiki.org talk page by doing the following:

  1. "Start a new topic" on this talk page
  2. Name this new topic: "V1.0 Prototype feedback: YOUR USERNAME"
  3. Write the answers to you have to the questions listed under the "Sharing feedback" heading below.

You can try the prototype by clicking the link below on a desktop computer: https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/3e14959a196db0f7b0c32a35c99dc0fc/w/index.php/Project:Teahouse

The link above will take you to a clone of en.wiki's Teahouse page on a test wiki. This test wiki is NOT connected to any other wiki and its contents will eventually be deleted. So please, experiment freely!

Sharing feedback

These are the questions we would value you answering:

  1. Compare the prototype to the current Add topic experience: are there particular workflows you use the existing Add topic / New section workflow for and that the prototype does not support?
  2. What do you wish was different about the prototype?
  3. What do you appreciate about the prototype?
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Note: we are using en.wiki's Teahouse page as the test page because it contains a variety of components we want to ensure the New Discussion Tool works well with: custom calls to action for opening the section=new page, content that is preloaded into that section=new page, a page that contains lots of content, etc.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Evolution and evolvability (talkcontribs)

I like it. It's already an improvement over the standard "add section" option. A few limitations:

  • The title section seemed to have to load before the description box
  • The title section loading was about 5 seconds
  • Text entered into the title section before loading has finished was cleared when loading completes
  • For IP editors, the description section defaults to the 'source' tab of the interface rather than 'visual'
  • The final section heading only includes an "[edit source]" link rather than "[edit source] [add topic]"
  • Would be lovely to have a whole button down at the bottom below the bottom comment for adding new topic
  • Will it work with preload text links?
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for trying out the tool and writing up this feedback, @Evolution and evolvability. It looks like Ed (@Esanders (WMF)) commented on many of the points you raised in the comment he posted here.

Below are responses to, what I understood to be, the remaining pieces of feedback. Please let me know if I've missed anything.

Text entered into the title section before loading has finished was cleared when loading completes

This is helpful to know and I suspect this will not be a problem when people are using the tool on production wikis where the tool's two input fields should load faster and at the same time.

For IP editors, the description section defaults to the 'source' tab of the interface rather than 'visual'

I suspect this has to do with the test wikis' settings. For context, the text input mode people see when opening the New Discussion Tool for the first time should follow the same logic that determines this behavior for the Reply Tool. See T250523.

With the above said, I'm glad you brought this up. It's led me to file this ticket (T270685) to ensure the New Discussion Tool has been configured to work as described above. and also account for scenarios in which someone has used the Reply Tool before and not the New Discussion Tool.

Would be lovely to have a whole button down at the bottom below the bottom comment for adding new topic

Making it easier to locate and access the button/link/etc. for starting a new conversation is something we think is a priority as well. We plan to work on this as part of a future iteration of the tool. In the meantime, we are collecting examples of different ways wikis and people have solved this problem in T267444. If you can think of others, we'd value you linking to them here or in the Phabricator task.

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

Text entered into the title section before loading has finished was cleared when loading completes

This is helpful to know and I suspect this will not be a problem when people are using the tool on production wikis where the tool's two input fields should load faster and at the same time.

It will usually not be a problem. The possibility for an edge case is always there: slow device, slow/lagging internet connection, unusually high load on servers etc. I was just about to file a new task for this; losing data because of race conditions should always be avoided, just hoping that the race condition will not occur is too risky. With manual throttling I managed to reach about 10-12 seconds of delay between the appearance of the title and of the body, and I don’t think it would be much better on a production wiki (as most of this delay comes from the throttling, i.e. the slow network, not from the server).

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

Text entered into the title section before loading has finished was cleared when loading completes

Thanks for pointing this out, this will be fixed (Gerrit patch 623117 patchset 34).

ESanders (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the feedback, here’s some more info on some of the points you raised:

  • Being slow: the demo servers are quite slow, we don’t expect this to be a problem on production servers.
  • Source mode: we have to use source mode when a preload is provided as many preloads expect source mode, e.g. they provide instructions in HTML comments, or prompt the user to fill in a substituted template. Preload links on the page should work.
  • The [add topic] section link is not a standard MediaWiki feature, but a gadget provided on some wikis.
Ad Huikeshoven (talkcontribs)

Both options "Ask question" and "kopje toevoegen" (add section tab) jump to bottom of the page. They do first open a box with "Topic" in gray preloaded, and after a while open a second input box, defaulted to source editing. Switching to visual mode took a while. I understand the legacy distinction between the two boxes. Will any junior contributor ever understand this distinction? Finally, there was no inputbox open at the bottom of the page without pushing a button. I did expect one.

Reply to "Feedback request: Version 1.0 Prototype"
Patriccck (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF) @Matma Rex Hello, some users at Czech Wikipedia use custom buttons when adding new topics using common.js. Could it be available to add custom buttons to the New discussion tool? See examples down.


Buttons are usually used for warning vandals (template Experimenty2 warns them).


When is user longtime problematic (vandal/experimenter), some users use this in headings: {{subst:prvnívelké:{{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}}}} {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}} (prvnívelké = ucfirst, in Czech months begin with a lowercase, exception is heading).

This originally reported @David V. to me by private chat and I agree with him. It is really important for patrollers. Buttons facilitate the work of patrollers, just one click adds (not)memorable string and it is fast and easy to use. Btw. you can see his common.js.

Thanks a lot for your work!


Example:

mw.loader.using('user.options', function() {

if(mw.user.options.get('usebetatoolbar')) {
   mw.loader.using('ext.wikiEditor', function() {
     $(function() {
     	$( '#wpTextbox1' ).wikiEditor( 'addToToolbar', {
       section: 'advanced',
       group: 'format',
       tools: {
           buttonId: {
               label: 'Experimenty2',
               type: 'button',
               icon: 'https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/EXPBT2.png',
               action: {
                   type: 'encapsulate',
                   options: {
                       pre: '\x7b\x7bsubst:Experimenty2}}',
                       peri: ,
                       post: '--\x7E\x7E\x7E\x7E'
                   }
               }
           }
       }
     	});
     });
   });
 }


});


Example 2:

mw.loader.using('user.options', function() {

 if(mw.user.options.get('usebetatoolbar')) {
   mw.loader.using('ext.wikiEditor', function() {
     $(function() {
     	$( '#wpTextbox1' ).wikiEditor( 'addToToolbar', {
       section: 'advanced',
       group: 'insert',
       tools: {
           buttonId: {
               label: 'Nadpis aktuálního měsíce a roku',
               type: 'button',
               icon: 'https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/18/Exclamation-orange.svg/5px-Exclamation-orange.svg.png',
               action: {
                   type: 'encapsulate',
                   options: {
                       pre: ,
                       peri: '\x7b\x7bsubst:prvnívelké:\x7b\x7bsubst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}}}} \x7b\x7bsubst:CURRENTYEAR}}',
                       post: 
                   }
               }
           }
       }
     	});
     });
   });
 }

});

Reply to "Buttons"

V1.0 Prototype feedback: Trizek

3
Trizek (talkcontribs)

Compared to the previous experience, the new one is richer, for sure! The toolbars are closer to the message input field which is a big plus: immediate access is a net gain. There is not this feeling of editing an article: the discussion experience is different, so there is no possible confusion. Great!

Do you plan to add this very convenient big blue button at the top of all talk pages as the default experience? Not seeing where to start a new topic is a source of confusion to newcomers. Here, the button may help, even if it could be more visible. French Wikipedia has have a big button for new message as a best practice for people who interact with newcomers (mentors, patrollers...). I guess that's the next step? :)

When you start a new conversation and use a big monitor, you may not notice that something is happening at the bottom of the page. I was confused by this.

I expected to get a modal, or a new window opening. After all, it is a new message: you don't really need to have the context of previous messages posted on the page there. I use Flow on my volunteer talk page, and it allows me to have a separate page for message creation, with just two fields: one for the topic and one for the message. I think this reduces the confusion by removing the context around when a newcomer wants to write me a new message. If the direction goes to keep the new message input like it is in the prototype, I think highlighting the entire input experience (for instance with a grey background), in order to isolate the new message from previous contents, would avoid confusion like "oh, I'm replying to the message at the bottom of the page".

Speaking of which, seeing that you're posting at the bottom of the page may confuse some people, since it is not a natural experience.

It is possible to add a new message without a topic. I thought having a topic was mandatory. I think it should be, to avoid confusion between messages.

Will it be possible to remove the preloaded wikitext, and just add it when the message is posted? Preloads being accidentally broken by newcomers happen a lot.

How will you address cases where experienced users add a lot of colorful, full-caps messages on the EditWarning, to tell newcomers (mainly newcomers) not to do this or not to do that? Would it be possible imagine a new topic field with better integrated advice (and no possibility to use colors and caps)?

It seems that the edit summary remains filled with the title you blanked from the topic field.

Thank you for designing and coding this. It is a big, promising step forward!

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

I’ve never seen this action=new-topic trick in Flow before, so I checked it now, and was surprised that it supports only wikitext. I don’t know why and whether there’s a Phabricator task to add VisualEditor support, but it’s unfortunately a big minus for newcomers.

Maybe bottom placement is confusing for newcomers, but I think drafting the comment at the top and then posting at the bottom (since new sections appear, and should continue to appear, at the bottom) is much more confusing.

Trizek (talkcontribs)

I agree on your first comment. There is certainly a ticket, but there is no further development scheduled for Flow. I'm impatiently waiting for the time when the talk pages project will offer the same tools as the ones I have with Flow (end better ones, of course)!

Concerning the confusion of new messages, maybe a better highlight would be a possible solution. But I'm not a designer. Also, some wikis privilege top posting over bottom posting, and this new tool should cover it at some point.

Reply to "V1.0 Prototype feedback: Trizek"

V1.0 Prototype feedback: Pelagic

4
Pelagic (talkcontribs)
  1. Compare the prototype to the current Add topic experience: are there particular workflows you use the existing Add topic / New section workflow for and that the prototype does not support?
    1. Not off the top of my head, but if you're usurping action=edit&section=new then there's bound to be something that breaks.
  2. What do you wish was different about the prototype?
    1. I'd like to be able to choose whether I launch the Discussion Tools editor or the Classic editor. (On w:en I have the gadget that shows both visual and source edit links to avoid SET, so for me choice > clutter). For replies, I can decide to do either a section-edit or use the Reply link. I think it has helped adoption that people could enable DT and still do things the old way.
    2. If I ignore the warning and leave the heading/subject blank, my new topic gets smooshed under the previous topic's heading. I think if someone does ignore the warning then we should insert some kind of default heading, even if it's "<no subject>" like you might see in some email tools.
    3. It wasn't clear to me whether "Topic" in the heading box was default text or just an inline prompt. (Yes, it's greyed out so I should have known, but I wasn't really expecting it to allow me to add a post without a new topic heading, per previous point. In other words, this may reflect my own particular bias rather than anything about the visual presentation.)
    4. It felt inconsistent that when I typed a heading without content (not uncommon to see at Teahouse etc.) then the Add Topic button stayed disabled, but when I typed content without heading the button became enabled. I get the idea of coaching people, but I think that having a heading is the more important of the two.
    5. It felt surprising that line-break handling is different from that in Reply (see 3.2.3 below). But if you made it the same as for replies, then people would be surprised that it's different from normal wikitext line-breaks. I don't see an easy answer for this one.
  3. What do you appreciate about the prototype?
    1. Using the edit summary as the heading was unexpected but interesting. Don't ask me in what world a normal user (I evidently don't consider myself normal!) would expand Advanced and fill out the edit summary box but not fill out the Topic. If I was a designer it wouldn't have occurred to me; evidently it's something that you did think of.
    2. Generally works smoothly. I'm already familiar with Reply Tool so few surprises typing in the main box:
      1. I can no longer edit user-talk-page links in visual mode after inserting them via the person+ button, though I've noticed that already in Reply. Just now discovered that if I cycle to Source and back to Visual then I can edit them.
      2. To get my signature on a new line I now have to insert a blank line above, the punctuation trick no longer works. [oh, this is because of the next point]
      3. Newlines without a blank line (in Source mode, New Discussion) behave like normal wikitext and don't create new paragraphs, but in Reply they do create new list-items.
    3. Visually, the topic-heading box doesn't feel disconnected from the content / description box, even though there is toolbar space in between. [Edit: probably the consistent box outlines from phab:T267442 help unify the two?]
    4. /* Section name */ in edit summary updates dynamically as I type in the topic-heading box. (Until I edit the summary to say something other than "new section".)
    5. Using Timeless on a phone, everything still works.
    6. On a narrow touch screen (phone) I can side-scroll in the topic heading by dragging. (There are some one-line text boxes in the MediaWiki UI where side-scrolling doesn't work.)


Other thoughts:

The subst:trim template gets substituted when you cycle to Visual and back to Source. Not a problem, just something I noticed.

Teahouse preload isn't really necessary, since the tool auto-signs. But it detects the four tildes and doesn't double sign, so all is fine there.

Non-subst'd templates like {{Tq}} show fine in the Source Preview but prevent me from switching to Visual mode (not specific to New Discussion, happens in Reply Tool also).

Still have to scroll to the top of the page to add a topic.

Is there a better prompt text than "Description"? I can't think of one, but others may have ideas.

After clicking Add Topic, the heading box shows and below it the "Loading..." message stays for several seconds. Assume/hope this is just because it's a prototype and that it would be fast in production.

I like that you proxied or faked my IP address to 172.16.x.x, thanks!

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for this detailed write up, @Pelagic. You can expect comments in response in early January. The team, myself included, will be on holiday until then.

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

Enjoy your break and Merry Christmas, happy Solstice, or wonderful whatever-you’re-celebrating to you and the team!

Some of my observations may duplicate others’ comments: I went in blind and recorded my observations before reading the other threads here.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

@Pelagic:

Using the edit summary as the heading was unexpected but interesting. Don't ask me in what world a normal user (I evidently don't consider myself normal!) would expand Advanced and fill out the edit summary box but not fill out the Topic. If I was a designer it wouldn't have occurred to me; evidently it's something that you did think of.

This turns out to actually be an old bug in the API that we're running into: T54747.

To get my signature on a new line I now have to insert a blank line above, the punctuation trick no longer works.

What is the "punctuation trick"?

Non-subst'd templates like {{Tq}} show fine in the Source Preview but prevent me from switching to Visual mode (not specific to New Discussion, happens in Reply Tool also).

Thanks for pointing this out, this will be fixed (Gerrit patch 623117 patchset 32). It's intentional for the Reply Tool (Help:DiscussionTools/Reply tool visual mode limitations, this page is linked from the error message), but these limitation don't apply when starting a new discussion and switching with templates should work.

I like that you proxied or faked my IP address to 172.16.x.x, thanks!

It's accidental, traffic reaching wmflabs.org sites is somehow proxied internally (I don't really know the details) and we didn't do anything to record the real IP address. I'll keep your comment in mind though and avoid fixing it. ;) (I believe similar proxying happens in production, but the real addresses are forwarded, although there have been a few instances where they were recorded incorrectly.)

Reply to "V1.0 Prototype feedback: Pelagic"
Patriccck (talkcontribs)

Hello, this is often used at cswiki. It would be great to work using new discussion tool. Happy New Year!

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I believe that it's meant to work. I remember @PPelberg (WMF) and @Matma Rex talking about input boxes a while ago.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

I definitely forgot that the InputBox extension had this mode (where you can fill in the section name in the field), I thought it could only be used for searching or for filling in the title of a new page. I don't recall us talking but it must have been about something else. We should probably add support for this, though.

Reply to "Inputbox"
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Can you think of pages where people adding new topics to them are instructed, via Edit notices or otherwise, *NOT* to sign the topics they post?


CONTEXT

We ask the above with the following in mind...

As we are currently thinking about the New Discussion Tool, people who have it enabled will notice that clicking a "New section" / "Add topic" link will lead them to the new tool. This new tool will automatically sign all sections created with it.

Before implementing the above, we would like to know if there are instances where this behavior would be disruptive.

Pppery (talkcontribs)

On the English Wikipedia, there are some substituted templates that automatically include the user's signature, and this the user shouldn't include a duplicate signature. en:Template:Please_see is one example.

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

Yes, at the Teahouse on en-wiki, there was recently implemented a new 'Ask a Question' button which autosigned the first post by that new editor. It was intended to avoid the issue of new editors forgetting to sign, and then making more work for Teahouse hosts if Sinebot didn't autosign the question for them. (I'm not convinced that the extra 'hidden text' that is then visible when editing - especially in mobile view - makes a new editors life any easier, and we sometimes get double signature from those who already instinctively know they need to sign their posts. See a discussion about this and screenshots here. Any help/advice to improve the coding there would probably be appreciated - especially by @Sdkb, who implemented it for us)

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

...at the Teahouse on en-wiki, there was recently implemented a new 'Ask a Question' button which autosigned the first post by that new editor. It was intended to avoid the issue of new editors forgetting to sign, and then making more work for Teahouse hosts if Sinebot didn't autosign the question for them

@Nick Moyes it's great to see your name again! You sharing the above reminds me of a related question we are seeking an answer to and I think you, and perhaps @Sdkb are well positioned to answer...

Holding the design of the form aside for a second, have y'all observed cases where newcomers use the "New section" link/tab at Wikipedia:Teahouse instead of the "Ask a question" button? If so, what mistakes do you notice them making?

The question above sits within a separate and related investigation we're doing into how the new workflow for starting a new discussion will relate to the existing "New section" affordances. This task has some more context: phab: T263710.

cc @Iamjessklein

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

I agree with @Sdkb (below) that the Teahouse would happily adopt any method you provided us with of posting which makes that task easier for new editors to ask questions. We don't do things just to be different, but sometimes it is really hard to put oneself in the eyes of a brand new editor - we do try!

I certainly see quite a lot of new Teahouse posts where the poster has simply clicked edit and added a brand new question to the end of a completely unrelated topic. I probably have to deal with that myself maybe twice a week, though its hard to say how many such posts are made in total and handled by other Hosts. I usually deal with that simply by adding in an anodyne header title like" ==Question==" without any berating or advising the questioner as to what they did wrong.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Eek, I'm sorry for the late reply here, @Nick Moyes. A few comments and a question in response to what you shared here, below.

...the Teahouse would happily adopt any method you provided us with of posting which makes that task easier for new editors to ask questions

This is encouraging to hear. We anticipate having an initial design proposal to share this week. Would you be open to reviewing them once we have them posted?

...new Teahouse posts where the poster has simply clicked edit and added a brand new question to the end of a completely unrelated topic.

Interesting. This is leading me to think that in the usability test we have planned, we ought to be explicit about asking newcomers what they understand the "Add topic" and "Edit" tabs to mean.

I've added this to the Phabricator task where this work will be happening: phab:T243249.

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF)Yes, I think we'd be delighted to look over anything that might ease user interaction. @Sdkb has a better practical understanding than I do of templates and script operations, but we (or you) can bring anything up for general discussion on the Teahouse Talk page if you want wider input. We've recently had quite an influx there of new 'Teahouse Hosts' who will may probably bring a fresher perspective on engaging with new users than some of the older hands. (I would also note that I was also unaware of Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability which, to their credit, SDKB appears to be singlehandedly lifting from the doldrums. I've now added it to my watchlist.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think we'd be delighted to look over anything that might ease user interaction...we (or you) can bring anything up for general discussion on the Teahouse Talk page if you want wider input.

Wonderful! Would you be up for posting an invitation for feedback at the Teahouse? I'm thinking it will be helpful for this to come from a familiar "face."

If this sounds good to you, please let me know if there is particular information/language you think would be helpful to have from beyond what we're planning to share (see below).


New Discussion Tool feedback

Below is a list of what we plan to include in the post we make on mw.org inviting people to share feedback about the New Discussion Tool mockups:

  • Mockups showing the proposed design
  • Mockups showing the current "Add topic" experience/workflow
  • The specific feedback questions we are seeking peoples' input on/answers to
  • The scope of changes we considered for this round of mockups (e.g. we didn't focus on the initial call to action in this iteration)
Sdkb (talkcontribs)

They do indeed sometimes use that button, or the general "edit" button, which can cause problems. You might be interested in this discussion.

I'd add the caveat, though (and this is sort of related to my reply to Nick), that the en-WP Teahouse is a very non-standard space. It's non-standard because it tries to use workarounds to address the problems that make the normal way of doing things too unfriendly for beginners, but it would be better if the normal way was beginner-accessible enough that it could just be adopted there (i.e. what you're trying to do). So in most regards it's not the best place to use as precedent for making project-wide decisions.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

...en-WP Teahouse is a very non-standard space. It's non-standard because it tries to use workarounds to address the problems that make the normal way of doing things too unfriendly for beginners, but it would be better if the normal way was beginner-accessible enough that it could just be adopted there (i.e. what you're trying to do)

Mmm, this is helpful context, @Sdkb and we agree. We are designing this new workflow/tool to be, as you described, "beginner-accessible."

As I mentioned to Nick above, would you be open to reviewing the design approaches we are considering taking for this new discussion tool once we post them on-wiki this week?

You might be interested in this discussion.

This is great; would it be accurate for me to understand you starting this particular conversation as a response to you observing newcomers face the following challenges?

  • Newcomers are not clear which call to action ("Edit," "Add topic" or "Ask a question") they ought to use to ask the question they came to ask.
  • It can be difficult for newcomers to post questions that comply with conventions considering 2 out of the 3 potential workflows ("Edit" and "Add topic") do not offer them any kind of guidance.
Sdkb (talkcontribs)
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Awesome and woah, WikiProject_Usability, this is the first I've heard of this project. You sharing the mockups there would be wonderful, thank you! cc @JKlein (WMF).

By the way, I'm not sure if you saw, but I updated the comment above [i] with an additional question for you.


---

i. https://w.wiki/itP

Sdkb (talkcontribs)

I'd say yes, those are both accurate descriptions of problems newcomers face at the Teahouse.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Understood, okay. Thank you for confirming.

Now, in response to the two issues you've highlighted here:

1. Newcomers are not clear which call to action ("Edit," "Add topic" or "Ask a question") they ought to use to ask the question they came to ask.

I've added this issue to the ticket [i] where we are accumulating the challenges people, across experiences level, face with how the actions, activity and content on talk pages are currently presented.

2. It can be difficult for newcomers to post questions that comply with conventions considering 2 out of the 3 potential workflows ("Edit" and "Add topic") do not offer them any kind of guidance.

To address the above, we're currently thinking about doing the following:

For people who have the New Discussion Tool enabled (eventually, we anticipate this tool be enabled for all newcomers by default), clicking on the "Add topic" will initiate the New Discussion Tool which, ideally, will lead people who are new to add new topics in ways that comply with wiki conventions (e.g. topics are signed, topic titles are defined and the entirety of the post is appended to the bottom of the page).

In parallel, we'll see in usability testing [ii] whether people seeking to start new conversation become distracted/confused by the "Edit" call to action. If they do, we're thinking we can explore drawing more attention to the "New topic" (exact copy TBD) affordance as part of the talk page "visual enhancements" work I mentioned above. [i]

If anything above prompts new thoughts or questions, we'll be keen to hear.

---

i. phab: T249579#6580475

ii. phab: T243249#6580445

Sdkb (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the ping, @Nick Moyes. Templates that autosign are basically just a patchwork fix to the larger problem of discussion pages being too complicated for beginners to easily engage with. The new discussion tool being developed here will hopefully obviate the need for that sort of patchwork fix by addressing the more fundamental issue.

ESanders (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Nick Moyes, @Pppery: Thanks for these. The tool will prevent duplicate signatures, so these cases should be ok. To clarify, we are looking for workflows where any signature at the end of the comment is undesirable.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Signatures are at least unnecessary on some pages, e.g., w:en:Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Portals/Workshop. I'm not sure anyone would complain if the comments were signed, though.

If you're starting an RFC at enwiki, then you might prefer a signature that includes the date only. A very long time ago, RFCs at the English Wikipedia were supposed to be dated but unsigned. I don't know what other wikis' practices are. @Gnom, is an unsigned discussion ever a good idea at the German-language Wikipedia? @Koavf, can you think of a wiki where editors prefer to have a new ==Section== for discussion started with no signature?

Koavf (talkcontribs)

None come to mind.

Gnom (talkcontribs)

Hi, I have to say I don't know where that would be the case.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Pppery, @Nick Moyes, @Sdkb, @Koavf and @Gnom: we appreciate you putting thought to this.

It sounds like as far as everyone here is concerned, we're not currently aware of pages/contexts where it would be disruptive for the new sections posted there to contain their authors' signatures.

I've represented as much in the Phabricator ticket where this ticket grew out from: T262313#6490050.


Note: the above is not meant to suggest our quest for cases is complete!

Ottawahitech (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF)

I see this:

>This initiative sits within the Talk pages project, our teams larger effort to help contributors, across experience levels, communicate more easily on Wikipedia using talk pages. To accomplish this, we are building upon the Talk pages consultation 2019, and existing community conventions, to evolve existing wikitext talk pages.

Going up a level I see:

>It contains information about the goals of this work, the past efforts that have influenced it and why evolving talk pages is a priority right now.

(however the word goal appears only once in the document - in the introduction and nowhere else)

What I do not see is a document explaining the wmfs strategy in regards to improving talkpages: what is the overall purpose of this project, what are the timelines for implementation, which wmf-wikis are affected, etc.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The overall purpose is: to make it easier to participate in discussions.

The timeline is: Finish this year.

The wikis affected are: all of them. Eventually, all WMF wikis and most non-WMF third-party MediaWiki installations will likely want to use this.

Reply to ""Do not sign""

Request for feedback: initial designs

21
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

What do you think about the designs we are considering implementing for the first iteration of the New Discussion Tool?

When you are ready to share what you have to say, we would value you adding a new topic on this talk page by doing the following [i]:

  1. "Start a new topic" on this talk page
  2. Name this new topic: "Initial designs feedback: YOUR USERNAME"
  3. Write the answers to you have to the Sharing feedback questions.

Designs

You can review the designs in their entirety on the project page here: Talk pages project/New discussion#Version 1.0.

Sharing feedback

These are the questions we would value you answering.

  • What do you like about the proposed design?
  • What do you wish was different in the proposal?
  • Can you compare the designs being proposed here to the current experience? Can you accomplish your current workflow for adding new discussions with this proposal?
  • What other improvements do you think would be valuable for us to consider making to the new tool?

...of course, if other comments/questions come to mind as you are reviewing the designs, please share them.


---

i. This way of sharing feedback seemed to work well when we tried it with Version 2.0 of the Reply Tool: Talk pages project/replying/prototype testing#Reply tool version 2.0

This post was hidden by Patriccck (history)
JKlein (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for your feedback @Patriccck

Re: Help Editing Wikipedia - I believe that you are possibly misinterpreting the mockup as that is meant to be the title or subject of the message that someone wrote and the reason it's not focused is that in the mockup the contributor is writing in the text input box.


Floating button - is a good idea and one that we have been exploring. We know that there are versions of buttons on different wikis, but we thought for this first iteration of the feature, we'd get the infrastructure of the page sorted, moving around the major components of the interaction, and then add on page buttons in future iterations. The reason that we are exploring adding a button outside of the navigation is that when did usability tests junior contributors consistently struggled to locate the current button for starting a new discussion.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)
MarcoAurelio (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF): Thanks for your mention. Unfortunatelly I am currently short of free time to engage in discussions regarding Discussion Tools. I am still interested in the feature though. While you may keep drawing my attention to matters regarding Discussion Tools, I apologize for not being able to reply in time (or reply at all) to some of them. Apologies again. Some comments though:

What do you like about the proposed design?

The new design feels okay. I feel that the capability to add new topics a talk page would be very welcome by both experienced and newcomers.

What do you wish was different in the proposal?

I can't remember if this was mentioned before, but I'd appreciate if the edit toolbar appeared not only in visual mode, but on source mode as well.

Hope that it helps.

Best regards.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for your mention. Unfortunatelly I am currently short of free time to engage in discussions regarding Discussion Tools. I am still interested in the feature though. While you may keep drawing my attention to matters regarding Discussion Tools, I apologize for not being able to reply in time (or reply at all) to some of them. Apologies again. Some comments though:

Understood (and thank you for sharing this context!). Please know that in pinging you I was not meaning to suggest that we expected a response :)

I'd appreciate if the edit toolbar appeared not only in visual mode, but on source mode as well.

@MarcoAurelio are there particular tools you'd value in source mode? @Patriccck, I was getting ready to ask you the same when I saw you'd already commented [i] a response to this question on the ticket where we are thinking about this topic (thank you!).


---

i. https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T257391#6476232

Patriccck (talkcontribs)
ネイ (talkcontribs)
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

...I advertised this at w:ja:Wikipedia:井戸端/subj/返信ツールをベータ機能として導入する提案.

This is helpful – thank you for taking the initiative to do this, @ネイ.

Patriccck (talkcontribs)
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Pinging some of the people on the Talk pages project/Participate list: @Dvorapa, @Stryn, @Barkeep49, @Gryllida, @Jules*, @ZI Jony, @Sophivorus, @Wladek92, @Aram, @Diego Moya, @Evolution and evolvability, @FNDE, @Awesome Aasim, @Semantoya:

Please look at this design and follow PPelberg's instructions to post your feedback. Also, please consider putting this page (Talk pages project/New discussion) on your watchlist. If you do, you'll get a notification about each new thread that's started on this talk page, so you'll have an easy way to find out about changes.

Please share this thread with other people, especially editors who work with newcomers at your home wiki. This link will work at all WMF wikis and bring people straight to the top of this thread: [[mw:Topic:Vwpwr84naer42ovi]].

Barkeep49 (talkcontribs)

So I find it funny that the instructions for adding a new topic for feedback here are incorrect for a tool that is all about people's inability to successfully add new topics.

What do you like about the proposed design? Follows the inline reply tool nicely.

What do you wish was different in the proposal? Needs to be clear that it's a completely new topic rather than a new subtopic. This seems like a point of potential confusion for Junior contributors.

Can you compare the designs being proposed here to to the current experience? Can you accomplish your current workflow for adding new discussions with this proposal? I generally don't use the add topic button but when I do this experience seems familiar. I am not seeing anything immediately that would be confusing. The one exception to this is that there are some workflows setup on enwiki where information is pre-populated when you click a button (one example: what happens after you send an email and click add topic). Doesn't happen a ton on enwiki but it does happen - especially in places that might be error prone for novice users and I'm not sure how much, if at all, this happens on other wikis.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for taking the time to review these designs and share what you think about them, @Barkeep49. A couple of clarifying questions for you in response...

...the instructions for adding a new topic for feedback here are incorrect for a tool that is all about people's inability to successfully add new topics.

Can you say more about this? Which instructions are you referring to? ...I'm wanting to make sure the instructions I shared here are not confusing to anyone!


Needs to be clear that it's a completely new topic rather than a new subtopic. This seems like a point of potential confusion for Junior contributors.

In saying the above are you saying something to the effect, "The tool should make it clear to people what type of heading "you" will be adding to the page when using this tool to add a new discussion topic."

Barkeep49 (talkcontribs)

The first question was about this feedback. It appears from what WAID has said below that I did not give the feedback in the way you desired; it was because I didn't understand the directions for doing so.

For the second question, yes that's what I'm saying. I maybe wouldn't use heading with a junior contributor but that's what I'm saying.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

... it was because I didn't understand the directions for doing so.

Ah, okay. I've made an edit (see: Revision=vx9oa8215993stl5) the original post to try and make the directions more explicit. If you thing something else could be done to make the instructions more clear, please let me know.

....yes that's what I'm saying. I maybe wouldn't use heading with a junior contributor but that's what I'm saying.

I see. My instinct is that it will become clear to people what heading level the tool "places" topics at once they publish said topics to the talk page and/or review the diff of said edit.

With this said, the above would not solve for a situation where someone is reluctant to publish an edit with the tool because they're not sure the level at which the topic they are drafting will be "placed."

Assuming this describes the situation you have in mind, I consider it to be a part of the category of potential issues that's probably best dealt with once we observe it happening.

Please let me know if you are seeing anything I'm not.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think Peter's hoping to get separate threads for most feedback. If you click on Talk:Talk pages project/New discussion you'll see a space to start a new thread (if you want to have your own thread).

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

I came here from an Echo notification which put me in the single Topic: view.

Did a bit of a double take – “what, add topic, where?” – then realised I needed to navigate up to the whole-board view to add the new topic.

Julle (talkcontribs)

I think one major obstacle for new users would be to find where you need to click to create a new topic, in this example. On most websites, I'd assume a big, visible button or empty text box. If you look at the animation in Talk pages project/New discussion#Version 1, many will probably be inclined to immediately scroll past the banner-like information of the kind we have been trained to ignore, and the "start a new discussion" is a rather anonymous option. I wonder if this meets the second condition, "People know what to click/press to initiate the process for talking about something new".

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for taking the time to review these designs, @Julle! A couple of comments in response to the thoughts you shared below...

I wonder if this meets the second condition, "People know what to click/press to initiate the process for talking about something new".

We agree with you in thinking that Junior Contributors will continue to have difficulty asking questions/seeking guidance/etc. on talk pages until the affordance(s) for starting a new conversation are made to be easier to recognize and access. We think this need is pronounced on pages, as you alluded to, that contain large Talk headers.

Wit the above in mind, we also agree with what you astutely pointed out: the "People know what to click/press to initiate the process for talking about something new". condition will not be met until this issue around affordance(s) is resolved.

Our current thinking is to do the following:

  • Ensure Junior Contributors who are able to successfully initiate the workflow for add a new topic, can complete successfully and then
  • Ensure they (Junior Contributors) can instinctively identify the affordance for initiating said workflow no matter the type of talk page (e.g. user, article or project talk) they are on and the contents contained with in it (e.g. many/few talk headers, many/few existing topics).

This is the ticket where this second bit of work will happen (I'm sharing this ticket in case you'd like to follow along and/or participate): phab:T267444.

Nehaoua (talkcontribs)
  • What do you like about the proposed design? indication with text
  • Can you compare the designs being proposed here to the current experience? Can you accomplish your current workflow for adding new discussions with this proposal? very easly
  • What other improvements do you think would be valuable for us to consider making to the new tool? a link for source mode edition
Reply to "Request for feedback: initial designs"
Timboliu (talkcontribs)

At my work we use Workplace and/ or Microsoft Teams to facilitate a dialogue. Is this somehting the Wikimedia community also is working on? So userstories are: the possibility to join a team, see the agenda of a team, etc. Regards Tim Ruijters, ~~~~

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

No, MediaWiki is a wiki, not a chat platform

Timboliu (talkcontribs)

Thanks @TheDJ. The vision of Wikimedia is: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment. When I read this vision I can imagine that we also want to facilitate collaboration.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

That is a neverending road towards feature creep. It basically means we should built opensource versions of everything just on the off chance that someone wants to use it for that purpose.

i mean if u want to built an extension that does that, go right ahead, but it will probably never be better than MS Teams/Slack and it will likely never run on a wikimedia foundation server and i wouldn’t expect the wikimedia foundation to throw any kind of resourcing in such a direction.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

If you'ree interested in the process of tying MediaWiki logins to a chat-like platform, then @Qgil-WMF got that done for a Discourse server. I've not heard of anyone trying with it Microsoft Teams. You might get more information from one of the third-party MediaWiki groups, such as the MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group.

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

My beef with Teams, Slack, Mattermost, etc. is that they don’t have topics within a channel to organise the discussion. (Some are adding rudimentary reply or threading.) Plus, whilst the real-time focus adds immediacy, it also means be-there-or-miss-out, which isn’t great when your collaborators are spread across a wide spread of timezones.

So a Teams channel is persistent group chat, a bit like an enhanced IRC channel.

(Skype for Business (Lync) batches IMs and saves them as messages in Outlook. You don’t get topic headings, but you do get a chance that each discussion thread will only range over one or a few subjects.)

Zulip, Discourse, web forums, MW Structured Discussions, MediaWiki talk pages (!), and even (gasp) email all allow some kind of Subject or Topic heading.

Reply to "Workplace or Microsoft Teams"