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Design/Archive/Wikimedia User Interface/Concepts/Explorer

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The following is a concept by User:TheDJ. Enhancing, commenting, creating mockups and forking is encouraged !

Explorer is an idea for alternative interfaces to browse articles.

The problems: The traditional way to browse articles is to search first, read and then follow links inside the one article to reach the next one. Added to this were at some point Categories and navboxes. Especially these latter two are highly limited by the technology as was available to us back then and for instance categories are severly limited by how we use them to create structure and organization. The UI reflects this structure strictly, but is therefor sometimes not as effecient as it could be to browse content (consider how subcategories are basically hiding links).

Elements like navboxes and see also are very much manually coded, which is great when we have enough people to do that and to keep all of that data up to date, but in many of the communities, that simply isnt the case. In some communities like English Wikipedia, we are seeing that the technical skill required to maintain the user interface part of these elements is the scarce resource. navboxes have dozens of levels and we have 4 or more collapsed boxes just to capture the data. Lastly, it could be argued that the objectiveness of what is and is not presented to the end user is heavily biased by the author at times.

The idea is to largely replace the need for navboxes, see also, with other ui options, that can either be automatically added, or added upon request.

  • For this we need to split data from UI. Data is curated, editable by users. From that data, you should be able to feed user interface elements automatically.
    • Categories are data, not a user interface.
    • Navboxes as I explain in Analysis, are likely fully capture able in wikidata.
    • a location is data
    • etc etc
  • Be default, the bottom of an article would have a carousel of related articles that u can scroll through and a "explore" button.
    • This is probably one of the few places where a carousel UI design is acceptable :)
  • The Explore button would navigate you to a page where the alternate interfaces would be available. See also the iOS app explore tab, though the context of that one is global, not page specific. Ideas for alternate exploration interfaces:
    • Geo browsing: What is physically close to this article
    • sibling/parent/children browsing
    • topic cloud: an almost 3d graph browser that goes beyond the above mentioned family links
    • Tree of knowledge or the full galaxy
    • Commons media browser
  • U could use parsertags to include specific exploration interfaces into the bottom of an article, in addition to the carousel.