Topic on Talk:In-context help and onboarding

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Why don't I see the words "Visual Editor"?

Kerry Raymond (talkcontribs)

I notice that the project description was editor-agnostic but as someone who does face-to-face training, teaching the source editor is a disaster (nobody could understand/remember what all the symbols meant and very few people continued to contribute after the trianing session). For the past few years, I have taught the Visual Editor and people find it very easy by comparison. How I taught them didn't really change, just the editor changed. Younger people often manage to figure out the VE for themselves quite quickly. Older people need a little more hand-holding but still manage to become proficient (I mostly get older people to my training sessions, they are less likely to be confident enough to just jump in and edit on their own). So I would strongly encourage the on-boarding to be based on the VE.

Trizek (talkcontribs)

I definitely +1 your analysis of VE being the best to train new people, @Kerry Raymond! I use it on my workshops and I do workshops for experienced users so that they can use it as well! :D

However, I understand why editors are not mentioned: wikitext is an editor and will not be removed, and not everyone has access to VE. So the two editors need to be in in-context help contents.

Those in-context contents will be triggered by actions done, and people will get tips based on how they edit and which tool they use. If someone finds a way to edit that uses a different editor (for instance in an help page only covering wikitext), that person will be happy to have in-context help specific to wikitext. Same thing if a person changes something on their behavior and now gets access to VE.

I'm just concerned by conservative people who may ask to have wikitext first and before VE, because that The Only True Way To Edit™. That's the purpose of that windows that pops-up when you first edit, saying that there is a wikitext editor. The only thing that people get with that is confusion. Privilege an editor is IMO not realistic, not desirable and will definitely not serve the projects' goals.

Kerry Raymond (talkcontribs)

We have been talking about the decline in editors and the gender gap and all the other contributor gaps for years now, but nothing changes. If we think that VE is the best way to successfully bring new people on board, then we have to enable it everywhere. The conservative assumption of en.WP is that nothing needs to change about anything policy or process-wise and, unsurprisingly, if nothing changes, we should be unsurprised that we get the same outcomes we always have. The framing of the gender gap question has been for several years "how do we fix the women to make them fit into Wikipedia?", but why do we never frame the conversation as "how we do fix Wikipedia so that women want to contribute?". That's the conversation I want to hear, the one that accepts that our culture has its problems and must be changed. The VE is just one part of that conversation.

And, indeed Trizek, I see from your user page, you have been asking this very question for several years.

JMatazzoni (WMF) (talkcontribs)

At present we aren't planning to included many "lessons" about the different editors. I will post an updated lesson list tomorrow, but the only places where we've planned to talk about editors are:

  • A super-basic intro that says here's the Edit button and here's the Publish button; just insert to start writing.
  • A note about switching between editors. This would only come up if the user clicks on the pencil icon.
  • Some minimal Wikitext in the context of teaching how to write a talk page message (how to indent, how to sign).

I think our assumption is that we will guide users into VE, and that it is enough like a word processor that they will be able to figure out most basic writing and editing tools. There is pretty thorough and recent VE Help, after all, in case users have questions.

Remember, this system is not designed to replace Help pages, but to get newbies up and running and over their first batch of hurdles. Do you think more on the topic of VE is needed than what I've noted?

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