Topic on Talk:Edit Review Improvements/New filters for edit review

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RC page links into collapsible panel

10
Summary by Trizek (WMF)

Mini FAQ

Why are you doing this?
We want to provide an immediate access to recent changes. It appears that the links are not that used and they sometimes take a lot of space.
How will it look like?
Have a look at the mockups: Closed, Open
I want to keep then panel open, is it possible?'
The panel will be collapsed by default, but if a user opens it, it will remain open until it is closed again by the user.
How people can have access to all links we provide?
We plan to provide other ways to access the most clicked links or the most displayed type of links over the communities:
What about counters we have (articles for deletion, tasks to do)?
We are considering the idea of community dashboards to recap things to do. They scheduled for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 plans for the Collaboration team (Goal 1, objective 2: "Supporting users by surfacing recommendations with community-wide contribution tasks, such as in a dashboard").
When are you closing this topic?
Week of July 17
Jmatazzoni (talkcontribs)

On many Recent Changes Pages, the community has defined a large number of links that display directly under the page name (e.g., Polish). Many of these links are unrelated or only peripherally related to Recent Changes. The bulk of them are used only rarely or never, research shows (T166623 and this document, which collects the results). To reduce the informational complexity of the RC page and clarify its functionality — while recognizing that these links are useful to some users—we plan to put the links into a collapsible panel. Here's a question for RC page users: should the panel default to open or closed?

That is, should the default state (which users can change with one click) show the links as hidden or displayed? Recall that in the new system, users can save their favorite filtering settings to the Saved Settings menu, which should make some of these links redundant. Let us know what you think. 

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

After discussing it, we think the panel default should be closed. It is easy to open it, and it will remain open until it is closed again by the user.

197.218.81.53 (talkcontribs)

> Here's a question for RC page users: should the panel default to open or closed?

Closed. If possible get rid of all redundant links, and strictly limit the maximum number of links added there. One of the biggest problems with mediawiki is information overload. Indeed the recent changes page is a clutter of links, at the time of this writing, along with the default interface links, there are about 381 links on the page, many of them redundant. Just the recent changes filter packs 20 links, then there is the sidebar with probably 5 or more "standard" links, plus 5 default ones on the top, and five below (TOU and so forth). That's 35 links, the rest are the excessive links shown by recent changes list. This is always a bad thing (https://www.nngroup.com/articles/duplicate-links/).

If there is an improvement to be made, it is that the default top message should be removed, and replaced with a structured one that simply stores a limited number of links less than 10, along with their description.

It is doubtful that my suggestion would be implemented or will succeed without arguments with users because they tend to use the recent changes (and the watchlist) summary as a central "notice board" as these are central points that experienced users tend to visit very often.

Developers might have more luck if they first implement something similar to wikia (http://community.wikia.com/wiki/Help:Community_corner). The existing central notice Manual:$wgSiteNotice seems to be too intrusive to be of any help.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

With the panel collapsed, we plan to provide other ways to access the most clicked links or the most displayed type of links over the communities:

197.218.90.198 (talkcontribs)

You're missing the root problem. It is that :

  • Mediawiki / Wikimedia doesn't have a proper way to keep track of important maintenance tasks and notices
  • Most admins aren't knowledgeable about usability

Attempting to change the default display of an interface message because they misuse it as a noticeboard will simply not work. Whatever you do to change it, they will likely use javascript or css to change it back if they dislike it. The reason is that the analysis here about what it is meant for is not accurate.

Have a look at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:RecentChanges or https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciale:UltimeModifiche, or https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Especial:Mudan%C3%A7as_recentes Aside from links it includes automatically updating counts of deletions, maintenance categories, and other related counters. These counters will not work if stuck inside a menu (they'll be hidden), and the same applies to being collapsed. This is used as a dashboard to help admins and users keep aware of these new items and to help them act on it.

The only way to address that is to create something so much better that they'll willfully abandon the old ones as less efficient, e.g. http://www.wikihow.com/Special:CommunityDashboard or and somehow also show some of this information in central pages such as recent changes, watchlist and so forth.

So while a closed panel (or no panel ) would in theory be better, you'll probably have less problems with users by leaving it open until one day a proper solution is created.

197.218.90.198 (talkcontribs)

Better link: http://runescape.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Community

197.218.90.198 (talkcontribs)

An alternative might be to simply leave it open for existing users, but collapse it for unregistered and newly created accounts. The fact is that with the exception of "experienced" unregistered users or logged out contributors, most other users don't really understand what those links even mean, and they probably don't use them either.

Especially because many of those links have nothing to do with the concept of "Recent changes".

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I see two different things:

  • have a clear interface to focus on edit review
  • have an interface to access to other tools related the wiki's activity or community activity...

We are working on the first point with the collapsible panel, based on statistics we have gathered (see the first message). Those statistics show that the links in the panel are not that used : 436 clicks on the links displayed for a page viewed 190,659 times. This is why we think this change will have a minimal impact. Plus it is possible to open the panel, and to keep it open (I've asked to confirm it).

The second point is scheduled for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 plans for the Collaboration team (Goal 1, objective 2: "Supporting users by surfacing recommendations with community-wide contribution tasks, such as in a dashboard").

197.218.80.163 (talkcontribs)

> Those statistics show that the links in the panel are not that used : 436 clicks on the links displayed for a page viewed 190,659 times. 

Worse than expected. It might be better to ditch this whole plan and simply disable wikitext on the all interface messages in that page and truncate it to around 100 characters. So people can add sensible content.

Of course, it is obvious that that won't happen so my suggestion (the lesser evil):

  1. Announce the idea widely to most users
  2. Enable collapsed by default

The low usage shows clearly that there is no benefit to having any special preference for certain users, so those that love it can easily collapse it for themselves. It also provides justification for doing it when the users inevitably complain soon after it is deployed.

> "Supporting users by surfacing recommendations with community-wide contribution tasks, such as in a dashboard").

Good. Hopefully wikimedia won't reinvent the wheel and adapt one of the existing solutions.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Announce the idea is a planned action. It has started with the newsletter and I expect to send a message to the communities this week.

This message will (among other things) encourage the communities to reconsider locally what is on this menu and explain that the panel will be collapsed by default, but if a user opens it, it will remain open until it is closed again.