Talk pages consultation 2019/User stories notes

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This page contains notes for the Talk pages consultation 2019 Phase 1 report, currently in process April 2019. This is a list of "user stories": things that people want to accomplish when they communicate on-wiki.

These user stories are feedback we have read, from only once to multiple times. They are not triaged by order of importance, nor weighted by how many times we've observed them.

If you have comments or questions, feel free to post on the talk page. Please keep in mind that the "as a (role)" reflects where the user story originated; user stories can be applicable to multiple roles.



  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to respond directly to someone else, even if the general conversation has moved on, so that the sub-conversation remain coherent without sidetracking everyone else.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to find out when someone has replied to something I've said, even if a lot of time has passed, so that I can respond if necessary.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to find out about every reply in a conversation, so that I can follow the conversation closely.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to easily understand the progress of a complex, multi-threaded conversation, so that I am not overwhelmed.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to follow the chronological flow of a heavily asynchronous conversation, so that I can follow the conversation closely.
  • As a new user, I need to be able to start a new discussion thread without having to read instructions.
  • As a new user, I need to be able to reply to an existing message without having to read instructions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to tell who posted each message, and when an individual message begins and ends, so that I can understand the conversation.As a Wikimedian, I need all posts to be identified with a user and a date, so I can tell who posted what and when.
  • As a new user, I need to be able to sign and date my post without having to read instructions and memorize an arbitrary markup hack.
  • As a Wikimedian, I want to be able to post a reply in a large, complicated conversation without having to scroll through a long page of wikitext and search for the right place.
  • As a Wikimedian, I want to add a subsection to an existing discussion so that I can organize a complex conversation into easier-to-understand parts.
  • As a Wikimedian, I want to be able to easily see what message a specific reply is replying to.
  • As an administrator, I need to be able to build and change arbitrary structured conversation workflows (e.g. Articles for Deletion) that can be replicated and modified, so that complex workflows involving conversations can be organized.
  • As an experienced Wikimedian, I need to be able to quickly initiate structured conversation workflows so that complex workflows involving conversations can be organized.
  • As an experienced Wikimedian, I need powerful discussion tools to not be abused, so that discussion can happen in an undisturbed way.
  • As an administrator, I need content from some conversations to be displayed in multiple places, so that various stakeholders can see what's relevant to them.
  • As an administrator, I need conversation workflows to support voting so that I can quickly summarize the opinions of a group.
  • As an administrator, I need to be able to indicate when a conversation is closed, so that all users understand its status.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to distinguish a conversation in which I can participate from content that is not related to a conversation.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to have a place to discuss the contents of articles that allows me to display the exact contents themselves, so that the discussion can be detailed and specific.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need a place to put structured metadata about pages, such as WikiProject categories and warning templates, so that I can convey context about a page.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to revert any change to a discussion.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to have completely granular control of my messages, so that I can make them exactly how I want.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to quote and refer to sections of conversations happening elsewhere, so that I can show others why I think what I think.
  • As a technical person, I need all conversations and their histories to public and exportable, like the rest of Wikipedia content, so that it can be audited and replicated.
  • As a Wikimedian with a weak internet connection, I need conversations to load rapidly, so that I can participate.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to move a misplaced conversation from one talk page to another, so that the appropriate people see it and respond.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to see what messages were posted in a conversation at a specific moment in the past so that I can reconstruct a complex interaction to investigate a dispute.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to revert vandalism or mistakes in a discussion.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to bring myself up to date on a conversation so that I can see what I've missed.
  • As an active Wikimedian, I want to be able to put a single conversation on my watchlist, so that I can be notified when that discussion has replies, without the distraction of being notified for replies to all other discussions on that page.
  • As an active Wikimedian, I want to alert specific people to view and participate in a particular conversation.
  • As a mobile user, I need to view the full contents of a conversation in a mobile friendly way, so that I can fully participate from my device.
  • As a mobile user, I need to write a message without needing to navigate the full contents of a conversation, so that I can participate from my device.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to search (e.g., Special:Search) for a specific conversation, or specific phrase, so that I can refer to past conversations or refresh my memory about a decision or a question.
  • As a Wikimedian on a very active talk page, I need to focus on the most recent conversations, without the inconvenience of scrolling through the long history of previous discussions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need to be able to quickly and easily access old archives of discussions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I want the archive process to be easy, so I do not have to copy and paste contents across several pages.
  • As a Wikimedian, I want to be able to access archived discussions in such a way so that I read them how they were originally presented so I can easily understand context and order of conversation.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to be able to collapse individual sections so that I can reduce the size of long discussions and be able to focus on only the discussion I am interested in.
  • As a new user, I want clarity in where I should be adding new content so that I can participate correctly on the wiki.
  • As a new user, I want to know by looking at a standard signature who I am talking to so that I can contact them directly if I need to. Custom signatures that do not include true usernames are confusing.
  • As a Wikimedian, having the same wikitext flexibility across articles and talk pages makes it so that content can easily be discussed and exhibited the same across both.
  • As a new user, I would like the editing and contributing process to be as clear and easy to use as possible so that I avoid being criticized, ignored, or belittled by experienced users.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like any updated or new system to retain the flexibility of current talk pages so that I can still operate within the capabilities I am used to.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like discussion pages to be as flexible as talk pages so that we can continue to use those sorts of pages for a wide variety of discussion types.
  • As a Wikimedian, the rules about formatting for indents needs to be clear and easy, so that I know who I am responding to and my replies aren't lost in the conversation.
  • As a mobile user, I would like indentation depth to be manageable so that I can easily read and follow discussions on a smaller screen.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like all content to load on a page at once so that I can search it (e.g., browser "Find" function).
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like discussion page histories to show the page as it existed when a comment was added, so that I may understand the context of the comment and how it fits into the overall discussion.
  • As a mobile user, I would like user scripts and gadgets to work the same on mobile as they do on desktop so that pages aren't broken and I retain close to the desktop functionality.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like some visual indicator that a talk page has new content and/or comments so that I may respond to them.
  • As a new user, I would like to be able to use Visual Editor on talk pages so that I can contribute to talk pages just as well as I contribute to articles.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like anti-vandalism features have parity across discussion tools so that vandals may be dealt with quickly.
  • As an active Wikimedian, I would like discussions to be preserved in an accessible form, so that decisions that have been made can be understood in the future.
  • As a user who posted a comment or question, I need someone to answer.
  • As a user interested in a particular subject or type of question, I need to be able to find unanswered questions and comments that other people posted.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to move talk page topics to different pages while preserving history in order to keep conversations on their most appropriate pages.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to be able to filter individual topics to better find a topic I am interested in and/or to search topics by such things as date, etc.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to tag topics/sections in order to make searching easier and draw attention to new or forgotten discussions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to subscribe to different types of topics so that I can participate in only those I am interested in.
  • As an experienced Wikimedian, I would like whatever improvements are made to be made in such a way as to not force me to learn how to use tools all over again.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like automatic archiving of old topics and comments so that talk pages reflect current conversations.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to easily follow topic links that may have been archived, such as a search page redirect, in order to locate information that might be relevant to the problem at hand.
  • As an administrator, if auto-archiving is added, I would like the ability to customize it so that the particular needs of my community are addressed.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to directly ping someone in a conversation so that they are immediately notified.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a quote to link directly to its source so that participants can view it in its entirety and original context.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the ability for posts to receive ratings so that on especially long pages I can skip to those the community has deemed most valuable/accurate.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like avatars/photos added to posts to cut down in anonymity, so that the discussion has a more personal feel.
  • As a Wikimedian, if there are Talk Page notices, I would like for them to be standardized in size and appearance so that confusion and clutter is minimized.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a simplified, standard way to mark pages for deletion or merging so that it takes less steps and can be easily understood by all editors.
  • As an administrator, I would like the ability to mass-hide threads so that I can more quickly combat vandalism.
  • As an administrator, I would like the ability to hide topic titles so that, even if the thread is deleted, title vandalism doesn't remain.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like something like a calendar interface for posts so that page length is cut down.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to list all unresolved topics so that they aren't forgotten and I might respond to them.
  • As a Wikimedian operating from a country with strict internet laws, I would like to more easily be approved for use of a VPN so that I can contribute to articles and discussions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like better moderation tools so that discussions remain civil and productive.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the ability to hide posts on the user-side so that I can avoid posts from users that are trolls or historically unhelpful.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to have control over who may edit my personal talk page so that vandalism and trolling are kept to a minimum.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like more options for the "thanks" feature so that I may more accurately flag a post.
  • As a Wikimedian who works with new users, I would like Visual Editor to be available on talk pages, as new users not only take to it more easily, but it is an option they are used to having on article pages.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like Visual Editor to be an option for Wikiproject pages, as they are also sometimes used as discussion spaces.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to be notified when someone has replied to a conversation without having to be online so that I can quickly respond.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the ability to more easily ping a specific user so that I can talk to them.
  • As a new user, I would like to have talk pages about particular subjects shared so that comment visibility is increased and questions have a greater likelihood of being answered.
  • As a Wikimedian, I need the ability to rollback in order to combat vandalism more easily and effectively.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the ability to see the talk page of a deleted article so that I can view any discussion about the deletion or other otherwise valuable information.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to be able to send private messages in case I need to send sensitive information.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to still be able to communicate with administrators even if blocked so that I may refute the block or seek clarification.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to make sure that whatever new tools come about, archived pages are minimally affected so no great amount of work has to be done to preserve them.
  • As a new user, I would like clear direction on how to communicate with other users so that I do not get confused and give up.
  • As a non-EN Wikimedian on mobile, I would like developers to remember to provide local translation for the UI components so that I might more easily participate.
  • As a mobile user, I would like the ability to sign comments to be easier.
  • As a mobile user, I would like the interface to mention the requirement to sign posts so that new users are aware.
  • As a Wikimedian I would like the ability to send files to people with whom I am collaborating, so that we can share document types not possible on-wiki, as well as pictures that might otherwise not be permissible due to licensing.
  • For new users, I would like the Discussions tab to be more visible so that users know where they can post comments.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like only admins to have the ability to delete what I have posted so that potential vandalism is deterred.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would appreciate a "cooling off" period for people over-participating in a discussion so that others may also voice their opinions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I do not think anons should be able to contribute on talk pages, as they are often vandals.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to display the meanings behind often-used abbreviations on the page so that users do not have to search for it and can understand the conversation.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the Discussion page of an article somehow displayed on the same page as the article so that I do not have to swap back and forth between tabs/pages to determine what someone is talking about.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would prefer less space between messages so that more responses fit on a screen at once.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to customize the appearance of a discussion rather than being forced into a singular display, so that I may read in a way that is comfortable to me.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like tools identical between interfaces to have identical names so that I do not need to learn a slightly different vocabulary (i.e. hide, delete, etc.).
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the notifications interface to provide some sort of automatic sorting so that I may focus on my most important tasks first.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a way to easily customize the toolbar in the editor to suit my individual needs.
  • As a new user, I would like to have easy and clear access to an article's sandbox page, or my own personal sandbox page, so that I may practice and experiment without disturbing others or getting into potential conflicts.
  • As a Wikimedian, I feel that anything outside of Discussions should be placed in a new tab, so that Discussions are clearly for the purpose of talking.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like a centralized place for discussions, rather than many discussions, so that it is clear where to talk and decreases the chance a comment goes ignored.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the option of automatically having individual edit summaries posted to an article's discussion, so that other editors may see why changes were made without have to jump into a page's history.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the ability to add preformatted text or templates to the toolbar that I often use so that I do not have to constantly copy-paste.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like some indication that my comment was read, even if a person doesn't respond, so that I know whether to pursue a conversation.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like notifications to inform me as to whether I have merely been mentioned, or if my opinion or other similar action is being requested, so that I may respond quickly to the latter requests.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like an easier poll interface, so that it is simple to set up and participate in.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to have the option to sort comments by most recent first, so that I may read and respond to new entries.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like emojis added to the editing toolbar, so that I do not have to rely on copying templates; their use can also help mitigate misunderstandings.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like different types of notifications to be visibly different, so that more important messages stand out from the rest.
  • As a non-EN Wikimedian, I would like proper character conversion so that I may read more easily in my local language.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like javascript to be kept to a minimum in order to improve security and page load times.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like some way to ping on-wiki experts, so that I may get targeted feedback to my questions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like some way to surface and separate answers to questions from discussions, so that I may find my information quickly.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like editors to have control over which editor/tools they use, so both newcomers and veterans are happy and comfortable.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to know if the original poster of a question returned to look for an answer and how often, so that I may know how important the question is, how quickly it needs answering, and if the user read the answer.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to see a discussion area dedicated to new users, so that the community can quickly answer any questions they might have rather than having them lost on an obscure talk page.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like for even banned users to participate in discussions, so that they can respond to questions or comments directly posed to them.
  • As a non-EN Wikimedian, I would like to have contributions automatically translated from my native language to a wiki's local language, so that I might participate in those discussions.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to notify only discussion participants that I have responded, so that the target audience of notifications is narrowed.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to respond to direct notifications via the notification interface, in order to minimize both the effort to respond and the space required to leave a response.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like to see commonly used abbreviations automatically expanded, so that I might understand what more experienced users are referring to or trying to say.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the option to subscribe to a wiki's different "projects", so that I might be notified of changes within those projects even if I am not watching those pages individually.
  • As a mobile user, I would like talk page access to be at the top so that I do not have to scroll all the way to the bottom, especially for long pages.
  • As a Wikimedian, I would like the ability to comment on or question an edit from the history page, so that I do not have to take the additional steps of going to the editor's page and creating a new topic.