Mobile Talk Page Improvements
Help contributors instinctively recognize and use mobile talk pages as spaces for discussion.
This initiative sits within the Talk pages project, our team's 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 incrementally evolve the visual appearance of talk pages in ways that ensure backwards compatibility with the current talk page experience.
To participate in and follow this project's development, we recommend adding this page to your watchlist. We will use this page to:
- Share and invite feedback on designs
- Announce deployment plans
- Share data about these features' use and impact
The Editing team is working to enable the mobile Reply and New Discussion Tools for all editors at these 8 Wikipedias: Arabic, Bangla, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese. The Reply tool is already available to all editors using the desktop site at these Wikipedias.
22 February 2022
Initially, volunteers at ht.wiki will not be able to turn the mobile Reply and New Discussion Tools on/off. The Editing Team will consider adding mobile-specific settings for DiscussionTools features in T302341.
This work to improve the experience people have using talk pages on the mobile site is intended to cause:
- Junior Contributors to immediately recognize talk pages as places to communicate with other volunteers.
- Junior and Senior Contributors to be able to intuitively and with greater ease:
- Respond to something someone else has said
- Start a discussion about something new
- Know when someone is saying something relevant to them
This section will contain information about how this work impacted the Objectives of this project.
The Editing Team is committed to evolving wikitext talk pages in a way that gives experienced contributors more leverage to coordinate their work and connect with other volunteers, while making the same communication practices and capabilities legible and intuitive for newer contributors.
For these wikitext talk pages to be valuable, Junior Contributors need to intuitively recognize and use them as spaces to communicate with other volunteers about improving the wiki and Senior Contributors need to be able to spend minimal effort understanding the conversations happening on a given page.
The trouble is, volunteers across experience levels find that the current mobile talk page experiences lacking. Specifically, user feedback, usability tests, and the Talk Page Consultation (see: #Mobile users and #Design) have highlighted the difficulties people have reading and using talk pages on the mobile site:
Recognizing talk pages
"I felt I had to scan the page a lot for what i needed, as different elements didn't really stand out. It wasn't really obvious that i was looking at a message from someone..." – Junior Contributor, Usertesting.com
Responding to comments
"I can reply only to the last comment. Replying is not clear, I cannot see how many colons (:) is there (I must count them)." – Patrik L., Czech Wikipedia
Starting new discussions
"Mobile editing is very confusing and difficult, as others have said. There is no mention of signatures when editing a mobile talk page." — そらたこ, Japanese Wikipedia
Evaluating activity and navigating talk pages
"...desktop lets me 'see' the whole of a talk page at once. It gives me an overview, allowing me to determine at a glance, not only the topics, but also the number and depth of replies a user has received. Whilst mobile view gives me a nice tidy page and big text to look at, it gives me absolutely no idea of whether any given topic has been answered by anyone." – Nick Moyes, English Wikipedia
Many projects, conversations and research have, and are, working to improve contributors' experiences with talk pages. This project is better off for their existence. Some of the projects the team continues to learn from are listed on the main project page and below. If there is a project you think we should be aware of, please boldly add it here.
- Custom section calls to action at it.wiki: Wikipedia:Bar/2021 04 14
- People using custom CSS change how talk pages appear: https://global-search.toolforge.org/?namespaces=2%2C4...
- Convenient Discussions
- Flow satisfaction survey
- Moderated Testing, November 2014: talk pages and Flow
- Talk pages consultation
The Talk pages project glossary is intended to help us all communicate about talk pages more effectively by making sure we have a shared understanding about the words we use in our discussions and documentation throughout the project.