Talk:Talk pages project/replying

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The team would value any thoughts and/or questions you have about this new tool for Replying to specific comments on talk pages.

V2 live observations: Pelagic

2
Pelagic (talkcontribs)

Wow, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Reply 2.0 is live now.

One thing that I meant to mention from the mockups but think I neglected was the [ B I ] buttons instead of the [ A ˅ ] dropdown that's in VE and SD. Really happy to see [ A ˅ ] in the release version. :) (I'm not fussed whether bold and italic get their own buttons or appear on a submenu, but I want to be able to access all the other formatting like small, code, etc.)

I had a small difficulty on iOS where I selected some text in the top line, and the native context menu obscured the toolbar. There was no way to make it disappear or scroll it out of the way, so I inserted a couple of temporary newlines to move the text down. Short of putting the toolbar below, which is rather drastic, I don't see an easy design fix for that.

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

Just noticed, is the @-dropdown not working in Source mode?

Reply to "V2 live observations: Pelagic"

Design feedback: version 2.0 mockups

87
Summary by PPelberg (WMF)

A list of tasks that have emerged from the conversations around Version 2.0 of the Replying tool:

- task T250329: Show aliases in username completion list for @ mentioning/pinging feature]

- task T250334: Implement more robust search for auto-complete for @ mentioning/pinging feature]

- task T246190: Reply v2.0: conduct usability tests (usertesting.com)

- task T246191: Reply v2.0: conduct usability test (MediaWiki)

- task T249072: Replying v2.0: add support in toolbar for special characters

- task T249074: Define approach for expanding the Replying tool's `visual` mode toolbar

- task T245222#6012991: How the Reply tool's "Watch this page" checkbox will work

- task T252084: Consider adding header to username suggestion list

- task T253434: Create an onboarding experience for the Reply tool

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We would value your input on the proposed design of Version 2.0.  

Specifically, the team is curious to know how you answer the following questions:

  1. What aspects of the designs do not seem clear to you?
  2. What problems do you think the current designs could introduce?

Here are some links to help you answer the questions above:

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF), Another question. If I add mention of another user after saving the original reply, will the ping work? This is a problem with the standard system - people forget to mentions someone, and then add the link, but the ping does not function, which is not the intuitive result, and has caused a lot of confusion with new users, and is also often forgotten or misunderstood by more experienced users. It would be a real improvement if a mention later added would work.

Also why does the "style text" icon have a caret next to it? It does not seem to be functional..

The pencil icon for switch editor was not intuitive to me, I thought "what is this for, I am already in edit mode" but I can't think of anything better, and the mouseover works fine, as do the option if you click the pencil.

Going into visual editor by clicking preview was unexpected but not excessively startling.

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

This reply is just to see where it will go and how it will be indented.

PS: WYSIWYG, not a problem.

This post was hidden by Pbsouthwood (history)
Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

How does the hide function work if someone has replied already?

I see that a hidden post is not viewable from the history page for an ordinary editor. Can admins see the hidden stuff?

This line added after after the permalinked post below. to see what happens.

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

I used the permalink option on the post above. It has made it uneditable, which I suppose is the point, but that was not an intuitive result.

This line added after going back to the previous post and re-editing after the original posting of this post. Still trying to get a handle on the permalink function.

Ad Huikeshoven (talkcontribs)

Looks good to me. Intuitive enough, both for source and visual mode. Nice set of features. However, users on Dutch Wikipedia might prioritize changing the edit summary and or extending the tool to some specific non-talk pages like the village pump over any of these features.

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF), Looks reasonable. Obviously there may be things that turn out to be different in reality, but the design looks good at this point. I do not see any immediately obvious problems. The proposed changes look constructive.

Where is the selection of users for mention taken from? Everyone who has previously contributed to the thread?

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think (but I might be wrong) that the idea is that you're searching all editors on the wiki. Would you prefer to have it restricted to a smaller list?

(It seems I can edit someone else's post. No offense intended, this is purely experimental, and this is the only post available to test on and I have no idea what is going to happen when I publish this)

(Mildly surprised that this is possible, undecided whether it is acceptable. Was expecting a warning that I was refactoring another person's post)

(editing after the permalinked reply below, to see what happens)

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

Trying a permalinked reply to see what happens if I later make another edit to @Whatamidoing (WMF)'s post

It is not clear what the permalink option is supposed to do, or if it actually does it. @PPelberg (WMF), could you explain?

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This is Flow. The new DiscussionTools aren't available on this wiki yet.

I'm amused by your remarks about editing my post. One of the persistent complaints about Flow at our home wiki is that what you just did supposedly isn't possible. Obviously, it is possible, and it always has been, but the false rumor apparently has fleeter wings than the diffs proving that the rumor is wrong.

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

It would appear I can also hide your post, which is a thing I should generally not do.

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

@Whatamidoing (WMF) It is a feature I have never seen before, so I was wondering how it was intended to work. On most talk pages I am most likely to wish to mention a user who has already commented in a thread. Next most likely is someone who has previously edited the article, or a previous thread on the same talk page, probably fairly recently (not in archives). In this specific case these options would all look the same, as, in fact, they do, so inspection of the available evidence does not answer my question. Therefore my question stands.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Pbsouthwood thank you for taking the time to review the version 2.0 mockups and share your questions and comments.

In reading through this thread, it seems like the feedback you shared fits into two categories:

  1. Feedback about Flow [i], as @Whatamidoing (WMF) notes here.
  2. Feedback about the design of Version 2.0 of the new Reply tool.

I'm going to focus my response here on the feedback and questions you shared about Version 2.0 of the new Reply tool. Although, you might find this FAQ helpful: Structured Discussions/FAQ.

And please let me know if I can make anything below more clear...

V2.0 design feedback

Where is the selection of users for mention taken from? Everyone who has previously contributed to the thread?

We have not yet finalized the logic that will determine how the list of suggested users to mention will be populated. This is why I was glad to see you share how you expect this to work...thank you for sharing how you are thinking about this.

With the above said, I can share how we are thinking about determining this logic and what we have implemented so far...

Logic

The logic we end up implementing for the "suggested users" list should increase the likelihood of the following being true:

  1. The suggested users list makes it possible for people to quickly and easily find the person they are wanting to notify...this could mean, as you alluded to, people seeing an alphabetized list of the usernames who have already commented on the page upon typing "@".
  2. The suggested users list makes it clear to people how to find the username of someone who is not currently shown in the list of suggested users...this could mean if after Person A types "@", they don't see the username of Person B (the person they are trying to mention) populated in the suggestions list, Person A will know what they need to do to have Person B's username show up in the list.

@Pbsouthwood how does the above logic sound to you?

Current implementation

*Currently,* we have implemented the suggestion list in a way such that after you type "@" you will see a list of the usernames who have previously commented on that talk page. You can see an early prototype for how this is working here: http://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/3e6233fd55aa2f26fbd9c1986fe60a2c/w/index.php/Talk:Main_Page

Looks reasonable. Obviously there may be things that turn out to be different in reality, but the design looks good at this point. I do not see any immediately obvious problems. The proposed changes look constructive.

This is encouraging to hear.

---

i. E.g. switching between editors, hiding comment and permalinking.


This post was hidden by PPelberg (WMF) (history)
Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF)

#The suggested users list makes it clear to people how to find the username of someone who is not currently shown in the list of suggested users...this could mean if after Person A types "@", they don't see the username of Person B (the person they are trying to mention) populated in the suggestions list, Person A will know what they need to do to have Person B's username show up in the list

Nice in theory, but how would it work in practice? Bear in mind that a lot of people have a signature that differs considerably from their user name, and which may well be the identification the editor is more likely to think of at the time.

This reply gave me another idea. It could be useful to have a "Quote" tool. which will provide a talk page quote formatted copy of highlighted text in the edit box at the cursor position. Preferably it would display an exact copy of what one sees rather than copying the list format code, so the text I quoted above would have the same numbering as it had in your post.

I checked your link, but could not work out what I was supposed to be seeing

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Nice in theory, but how would it work in practice?

Are you asking what determines which usernames show up in the list of suggested users to @ mention?

I tried to explain that in the comment I posted above, beginning with, "*Currently,* we have implemented the suggestion list in a way such that after you type..." but your question is leading me to wonder whether I could make my response more clear🙉.

Bear in mind that a lot of people have a signature that differs considerably from their user name, and which may well be the identification the editor is more likely to think of at the time.

Excellent point. We need to take this into consideration.

It could be useful to have a "Quote" tool.

Agreed! Tools like this will become possible to include in the "toolbar" that will accompany the release of Version 2.0 of the Replying tool. I've added this idea to the place on Phabricator where we are keeping track of ideas like this: T249074.

I checked your link, but could not work out what I was supposed to be seeing.

Ah, I'm sorry for the lack of instructions...

To test out the early @ mentioning prototype we have ready, can you please follow these steps?

  1. Go to http://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/3e6233fd55aa2f26fbd9c1986fe60a2c/w/index.php/Talk:Main_Page
  2. Click "Reply"
  3. Type the "@" symbol
  4. Observe a list appears showing the usernames of the people who have already commented on the page

Note: the @ mentioning prototype exists on a test wiki. Meaning two things: 1) you can edit without being concerned for affecting other people/content and 2) you will not be able to @ mention people who have accounts on live wikis.

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF), 'Previously commented on that talk page' is clear enough thanks.

Prototype test objective now clear, but test would be more informative if there were more section and more user names on that page to illustrate.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

'Previously commented on that talk page' is clear enough thanks.

You bet.

Prototype test objective now clear, but test would be more informative if there were more section and more user names on that page to illustrate.

Good call. Hopefully the page now contains enough content to get a sense for how the first iteration of the feature will work.

Please note: it looks like the the feature doesn't seem to be showing usernames in the suggestion lists from other sections on the page. We'll get to the bottom of this.

Bear in mind that a lot of people have a signature that differs considerably from their user name, and which may well be the identification the editor is more likely to think of at the time.

I'm glad you brought this up. Had you not, I'm not sure I would've thought to investigate whether the current implementation will accommodate this use case. Fortunately, it should. You can see a full explanation of the current implementation and our planned improvements to it on Phabricator here: task T232601#6057545.


Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF), the display of the user identification in the "mention a user list" might be less surprising if it includes both actual registered user name and the signature used on the page, rather than one or the other. You may have intended to imply this, but just making sure it is considered. It is customary to reply to the registered user name, leaving the signature as only used by the user, hence the term signature. Some may consider it forging the signature if it is used as an identifier in a mention, but I cannot speak for everyone on this, and I am not aware of a discussion on this point. Also, this may vary between wikis.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Some may consider it forging the signature if it [another person's alias] is used as an identifier in a mention...

Good spot. I've added the following question to the task [1] where we will consider this particular part of the implementation:

For people who have aliases set, is it customary for people wanting to @-mention them to refer to them by alias or by their registered username?

The feedback you've offered here has been wonderful – thank you for thinking through this with us, @Pbsouthwood.



---

1. task T250329

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

Why do we need the 'watch page' option down there ? I think it just adds clutter and confusion to the flow. Are we targeting newbies or advanced users with that ? If the first, we should better explain what it does, if the second, do we really, really, really need it ?

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think it just adds clutter and confusion to the flow.

@TheDJ, can you expand on this a bit? What about the "Watch this page" do you think could cause confusion? And what kinds of people do you think could find this functionality confusing?

One thought that comes to mind: The verb to "Watch" isn't currently explained or defined anywhere in the interface, which could lead newer people to be uncertain about what affect the checkbox has, discouraging them from "checking" it.

Why do we need the 'watch page' option down there?...Are we targeting newbies or advanced users with that ? If the first, we should better explain what it does, if the second, do we really, really, really need it ?

Good question. The "Watch this page" is targeted for newer contributors.

Now, the question: Why is the "Watch this page" checkbox presented as it is?

In short, we think having the checkbox there will increase the likelihood newcomers will find out about replies to comments they post.

The above is informed by the fact that, by default, all newcomers across all wikis [1] will not have the "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist" preference turned on.

Meaning, if the "Watch this page" element was to be excluded from the Replying workflow, there's a higher likelihood newer contributors could miss out on the input/guidance/help they came seeking.

I should note: "Watching" an entire talk page could become a distraction which is why, as @Pbsouthwood alluded to here, we intend to iterate on the "Watching" action to make it more "specific" with time.

Some examples of ideas we've started thinking about include: being able to watch specific sections and being able to elect to receive notifications when someone responds to a comment you post and/or a conversation you start.

If you have thoughts on this broader area of making it easier for people to stay informed about updates that are relevant to them and/or issues that prevent this from happening, I'd value you sharing them...here or on ticket T233447 in Phabricator both work.


---

1. There are two exceptions to the above: Arabic and Czech Wikipedias have overriden this default setting. Meaning, everyone has the "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist" enabled by default.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

What about the "Watch this page" do you think could cause confusion? And what kinds of people do you think could find this functionality confusing?

I think that no person that isn't a wiki veteran will understand what 'watch this page' means and what its effect will be. There is a 'scary checkbox' (as my father would say), which will pause their minds as they ponder its functionality and delays them from achieving their goal of answering.

The "Watch this page" is targeted for newer contributors

Then we have to educate them.

In short, we think having the checkbox there will increase the likelihood newcomers will find out about replies to comments they post.

I'm sure they will find it, but they won't necessarily know what to do with or, nor will feel empowered to figure out what it does.

Meaning, if the "Watch this page" element was to be excluded from the Replying workflow, there's a higher likelihood newer contributors could miss out on the input/guidance/help they came seeking.

Some examples of ideas we've started thinking about include: being able to watch specific sections and being able to elect to receive notifications when someone responds to a comment you post and/or a conversation you start.

I agree with that assessment, but i don't think that the watch this page option is good path to solving the problem, not even as an intermediate (and honestly, it will come back as a boomerang when later on seasoned editors will demand it to stay). I'd just skip it and not waste the time, and explore the more complex and more useful ideas in the 3.0 version.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think that no person that isn't a wiki veteran will understand what 'watch this page' means and what its effect will be. There is a 'scary checkbox' (as my father would say), which will pause their minds as they ponder its functionality and delays them from achieving their goal of answering.

@TheDJ, you may be right here: newcomers may not understand what it means to "Watch this page" and worse yet, become confused to the point they abandon posting their reply.

Although, these usability testing will help us better understand the extent to which the above are in fact true. Here is the usability test we have planned to figure the above out: task T246190.

I agree with that assessment, but i don't think that the watch this page option is good path to solving the problem, not even as an intermediate (and honestly, it will come back as a boomerang when later on seasoned editors will demand it to stay).

This is on my mind too: "What if we make a change that doesn't have the affect we intend it to, but people become attached to it?"

Although, I think the risk of this is low for now, considering the Reply tool is being used by people on a select number of wikis, many of whom are aware that it is an experimental state where functionality changes on a weekly basis.

With the above said, you might be right, this intermediate step may not end up being valuable in which case, we can revise it before the tool gets deployed beyond our partner wikis.



Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

> by default, all newcomers across all wikis [1] will not have the "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist" preference turned on


Maybe we should solve that problem at the source, then. If we want people to use their watchlists, then making it default-on is probably the right choice.

Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)

"Watch this thread" might be handy if practicable. Pbsouthwood (talk) 14:53, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Right now, it'd be a "watch this whole page" button.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

And to clarify

> if the second, do we really, really, really need it ?

It can be moved into a submenu. Or even as a submenu option of the save button for instance. [Save][▾] with in the menu "[un]watch", "Do [not] notify mentioned users", "Add summary" etc.

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

This post is about the @-mention prototype on patchdemo, rather than the mockups.

  • it looks like the the feature doesn't seem to be showing usernames in the suggestion lists from other sections on the page – I assumed that was intentional.
  • When there's a lot of users, how would you indicate that there's more than are displayed?
  • It wasn't immediately obvious to me that I could keep typing after the @ to filter the list. But once I discovered that, it was easy to use and felt responsive (though the latter can be hard to judge on a small test page).
    • Is the intention to keep it like this or make it more like the Mention tool in Structured Discussions editor (Visual mode)? I find the SD tool can be a little slow to retrieve names. It does have the affordance of a search box, but you have to tap into that rather than just typing in place. I can see advantages to both.
  • How to inform people that @ is magic? Will VE users be unsurprised since they're already used to [[ and