Talk pages project/Mobile

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This page includes information about the work the Editing Team is doing to improve the experience people have using talk pages on the mobile site.

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

Status Updates[edit]

28 October 2022[edit]

A/B Test Wikis

In the coming weeks, an A/B test will begin to evaluate the suite of mobile DiscussionTools we introduced on talk pages: Reply Tool, New Topic Tool, Topic Subscriptions, and the suite of design changes.

The wikis participating in this A/B test are: az.wiki, de.wiki, es.wiki, fa.wiki, hi.wiki, id.wiki, it.wiki, nl.wiki, pl.wiki, pt.wiki, ro.wiki, ru.wiki, th.wiki, tr.wiki, and uk.wiki.

11 October 2022[edit]

Screenshot highlighting new talk page notice affordance
New affordances for revealing page notices on mobile talk pages.

On wikis where mobile DiscussionTools are enabled (see list), you will soon see a new link that reads "Learn more about this page" at the top of talk pages, beneath the "Latest comment" indicator.

When tapped, any page notices that exist on the talk page in question will appear.

In doing the above, volunteers will also gain the ability to customize how these talk page notices appear. See T312309 for more details.

1 September 2022[edit]

A bar chart showing the mobile talk page edit completion rate before and after the Reply and New Topic Tools were made available.
Mobile talk page edit completion rate

This week, we completed an analysis to learn how A) the rate at which people published the mobile talk page edits they started and B) the rate at which the mobile talk page edits people made were reverted before and after the Reply an New Topic Tools were made available.

In summary, after the Reply and New Topic Tools became available on mobile talk pages at the Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Haitian Creole, Korean, and Vietnamese Wikipedias, the edit completion rate increased and the talk page edit revert rate decreased.

These results are leading us to be confident making the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools available at more wikis in the near-future.

You can learn more about these results in the Impact section below and read the full report here.

5 July 2022[edit]

Screenshot of a discussion showing the [reply] buttons
Reply tool on the mobile site

On 29 June, the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools became available to everyone using mobile talk pages at the following Wikipedias: Arabic, Bangla, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

You can see the deployment status of all Talk Pages Project features by visiting the Deployment Status page.

March 2022[edit]

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[edit]

Screenshot of a discussion
Reply tool deployed to the Haitian Creole Wikipedia on the Mobile Web site

Tomorrow, 23 February 2022, the mobile Reply and New Discussion Tools will become available to everyone (logged in and out) accessing the Haitian Creole Wikipedia (ht.wiki).

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.

Objectives[edit]

This work to improve the experience people have using talk pages on the mobile site is intended to cause:

  1. Junior Contributors to immediately recognize talk pages as places to communicate with other volunteers.
  2. Junior and Senior Contributors to be able to intuitively and with greater ease:
    1. Respond to something someone else has said
    2. Start a discussion about something new
    3. Know when someone is saying something relevant to them

Theory of Change[edit]

If the activity happening within talk pages is easier for people to see and understand and the steps for participating clearer, then people, across experience levels, will recognize and use talk pages as spaces for communicating with other volunteers about how to make Wikipedia better.

Impact[edit]

This section will contain information about how this work impacted the Objectives of this project.


Analysis 1: Reply and New Topic Tools Impact[edit]

The rates at which people who are logged in and out publish the mobile talk page edits they start before and after the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools were made available.
Mobile talk page edit completion rate (by account status)

In this impact analysis of the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools, we sought to answer two primary questions:

  1. After the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools were introduced, how – if at all – did the likelihood that people would successfully publish the new talk page topics and comments they started drafting change?
  2. After the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools were introduced, how – if at all – did the likelihood that people would publish talk page edits that are reverted within 48 hours of being published?.

To answer the questions above, we compared the rates at which people published the edits they started and the rates at which published edits were reverted before and after the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools were made available at the following Wikipedias: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Haitian Creole, Korean, and Vietnamese. The results from this test can be found in the "Findings" section below.

Timing

This analysis was completed on 1 September 2022. These results include data from the two weeks before and after 29 June 2022.

A chart showing the changes in edit completion rate before and after the mobile Reply and New Topic Tools were made available.
Mobile talk page edit completion rate (by experience level)

Findings

  • Edit Completion Rate Increased
    • There was a 53.4% (12 percentage points) increase in the rate at which people who are logged in and logged out published the mobile talk page edits they started.
    • There was a 155% (14 percentage points) increase in the rate at which people who have made <100 cumulative edits published the mobile talk page edits they started.
  • Revert Rate Decreased
    A chart showing the mobile talk page edit revert rate before and after deployment for mobile reply and new topic tools
    Mobile talk pages revert rate (by account status)
    • There was a 5.6% decrease in the proportion of mobile talk page edits people who are logged in made that were reverted.
    • There was a 10.2% decrease in the proportion of mobile talk page edits people who are logged out made that were reverted.

Full Report

Impact of Mobile Reply and New Topic Tools


Background[edit]

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

Design[edit]

History[edit]

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.

Glossary[edit]

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.