Talk:Growth/Personalized first day/Newcomer homepage

About this board

Please read over the project page, and comment here with any ideas, questions, or concerns. Do you think this is a good idea? Where could we go wrong?

How links are added to the 'Get helps with editing' block?

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

Cant find a way :)

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Iniquity -- I'm sorry for the delay in responding. The links that go in that module are given to us by the wiki community. You indicate them in the Phabricator task you created under the "Help panel" header. The Phabricator template came with pre-filled options from Wikidata, which is what is in there now (shown in the screenshot). If those are the right pages on your wiki, then you can leave them alone. Or you could replace those QIDs with better QIDs or with links to pages on your wiki. The idea is to choose the best help pages on your wiki for the subjects listed. Does this make sense?

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

@MMiller (WMF), Hi :) Thanks for the answer. I understand you, I'll start to figure it out :)

Reply to "How links are added to the 'Get helps with editing' block?"
Moxy (talkcontribs)

Wonderful to see mobile access as a priority and being tested. This is something that is currently lacking in many of English Wikipedias new editor landing pages. Has the project also been thinking about blind readers with screen readers. My disability prevents me from using a mouse effectively often...thus I use voice navigation software or if not able to use (as a result of complicated coding) the tab button is used. My only recommendation is information all on one page as clicking link after link is very difficult for many of our disabled readers.... who could easily become editors if over navigation obstacles are removed --Moxy (talk) 23:06, 7 April 2020 (UTC)

MHurd (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Moxy

Great recommendation! Just to double-check, are you referring to having to expand each section one by one? If so, a couple things come to mind...

On wider screen (tablet) devices the mobile interface loads with all sections expanded. Separately, but related, when screen readers (or tab navigation) are used with the desktop interface, I see a "Jump to navigation" link appears, but seems hidden otherwise.

I was wondering if perhaps a similar (normally hidden yet focusable) "Expand all sections" link for the non-wide-screen mobile interface would be a useful approach?

Any thoughts?


Moxy (talkcontribs)

i.e Help:Introduction VS Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia. Accessibility for all should be an end goal for any page especially help pages. Module tutorials like Help:Introduction requires someone to click 60 times to find servicible info - let alone discouraging having to review so many pages. Also format should work with screen readers (need alt text) and work in mobile view and TV boxs. A table of contents is also very important to help with navigation when no mouse is used and is why collapsed items should be omitted.--Moxy (talk) 22:06, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Moxy -- thank you for looking at the Growth team features and bringing up accessibility. In general, we try to make sure that our features are accessible by using visual components that are built for accessibility. That said, there are still some parts that we may have missed. After your comment, we ran some tests that brought up two issues that we want to work on: this one and this one. Beyond those, would you be interested and willing to help us test out the features for accessibility? We can set you up with the features in Test Wikipedia. Let me know!

@MMiller (WMF) We now have some horrible seen here the vast majority of potential editors dont go beyond the first page of the tutorial and that page has zero serviceable information. We need a page the is navigable with a TOC and works with screen readers.--Moxy (talk) 11:48, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, @Moxy, for posting those stats about the Help:Introduction page. That's actually something built and maintained by volunteers, and I recently saw a conversation in which it would be given more prominence on English Wikipedia. @Sdkb -- these thoughts on the accessibility of the Help:Introduction page might be interesting to you, as you continue to talk about whether to send more newcomers toward it. If there are ways that WMF staff could help with the accessibility of the page, let's keep talking!

Sdkb (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the ping, @MMiller (WMF)! We introduced a single-page version of the Help:Introduction series a month ago; it is linked from the main menu page for anyone who prefers it for accessibility or other reasons. I also brought the series to WikiProject Accessibility a little while back to have the folks there vet it. With that said, if the WMF has folks who specialize in accessibility and want to take a look, I'd be very happy to hear any suggestions they have.

Reply to "Mobile view"

chat functionality to get real-time support

Poupou l'quourouce (talkcontribs)

In order to help newcomers as best as possible, I suggest that the "ask for help" button should open a chat window and connect the newcomer to an experienced user who provides help in real time and on the spot. This is not meant as an introduction of chat for all users, but only as a tool for which experienced users who want to help could sign up for. I believe that is is often difficult for newbies to write down what their problem or question actually entails and even more difficult to understand the answers written down by wikipedians. Real-time chat would help to come to the point since both participants could ask further questions to identify the specific problem the newcomer is facing. Ideally, this would be combined with a kind of back-end view, showing the experienced user the page which the newcomer is looking at (similar to a remote support functionality, but read-only).--~~~~

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

This is the best statement of the problem that I have seen!

often difficult for newbies to write down what their problem or question actually entails and even more difficult to understand the answers written down by wikipedians

As someone who very occasionally visits en-wp Teahouse and Helpdesk, and was recently looking at VE-feedback, I’ll say it’s quite common to see a post that make me go “huh? what?”. Another big issue is not knowing whether the newbie has come back and read the responses, as they rarely post an acknowledgement. It can be discouraging writing answers that will just get archived after a few days. Perhaps live help could be (sometimes) rewarding for the helper as well as the helpee?

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Pelagic -- thanks for checking out these materials. I agree that newcomers have trouble formulating strong questions. This is definitely something we've struggled with in the help panel project. We've tried a couple ways to frame the prompt to ask questions, but we continue to get plenty of newcomers whose question is simply something like, "Hello" (which, I suspect, is because they expect someone to chat them back a "hello" right away).

And it is definitely also a problem that newcomers frequently don't see the responses. Our data from the help panel makes us think it is less than half of users who return to view the responses they get to their questions. To address this, we've encouraged newcomers to add email addresses to their accounts (via the newcomer homepage) and told them to expect a notification on wiki (via the help panel). We haven't yet revisited whether we increased how many newcomers read responses.

I agree that live chat help could be rewarding for the helper, and this has been an ongoing topic of conversation on our team: how to make the helping of newcomers feel rewarding and productive. One idea we have is the mentor dashboard, which would allow mentors to monitor how their mentees are doing, and to track the kind of impact they may have had through helping those newcomers succeed. Please feel free to add any of your ideas to that talk page!

But overall, the team has not yet prioritized to digging in how we could make live chat work -- we have been prioritizing the "newcomer tasks" features that you commented on separately. I do hope we can return to this idea.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Poupou l'quourouce -- thanks for reading about our team's work and proposing this idea. The idea of "chat" has come up a lot in our team's work, especially around the help panel feature. Newcomers frequently expect the help panel to have live chat, and experienced community members have expressed interest in supporting it. And at Wikimedia Hackathon 2019, we actually built a small prototype. But there are a couple of really big challenges around it that have kept us from working on it too much, and I'm wondering whether you have ideas around these:

  • Resourcing: how could we make sure that enough experienced editors are available at all times to respond to chats?
  • Patrolling: live chat could potentially be a vector for abuse, and we would want to make sure that it is a safe place for all users.

I'm CCing @Trizek (WMF) so he can follow along.

Poupou l'quourouce (talkcontribs)

Resources and potential abuse are indeed relevant issues. I do not think that there will be enough editors available at all times for live-support. But in that situation there could just be a note saying "sorry, no live chat available at the moment, please try again later or leave your questions at XYZ, where they will be answered within the next days".

For abuse reasons there should be an easy way for the newcomer to end the conversation any time. And, possibly more important, the tool should (from a back-edn perspective) not be available to anyone, but only to experiecned users that have been approved by others, for example users who have mentor status (in de Wikipedia they are elected similar to admins, I do not know about other versions). Those users who engange would need to have some sturdy attitude, so they do not bother too much, in case they receive abuse messages from fake newcomers. Regards,--~~~~

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, @Poupou l'quourouce. These sound lke sensible ideas. We'll keep them in mind if/when we decide to work on live chat for the help panel.

Reply to "chat functionality to get real-time support"
Pelagic (talkcontribs)

I stumbled onto a Growth newsletter at somebody’s talk page; it was great to browse some recent back issues and see how you are progressing!

I remember thinking “it would be nice to play with this, but Vietnamese, Korean, etc. are beyond me”. I only discovered by accident that I could enable the Homepage on testwiki.

Could you add something to this page in the timeline under Current status, please? It might also be nice to mention in future newsletters.

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)
MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Pelagic -- thanks for getting in touch and checking things out! Yes, it is possible to use the features on Test Wikipedia if you enable the preferences, but the experience has not been ideal because the suggested edit queue only has a few articles in it. @Trizek (WMF) is actually in the process of setting it up for wider consumption via this Phabricator task, in which we'll populate more articles in the suggested edit queue. We will let you both know when that's done. Good idea to publicize that fact in future newsletters and on the project pages. We'll do it. @Pelagic, please feel free to join the conversation about "structured tasks" if you get a chance!

Reply to "Homepage on Test Wiki"
Ата (talkcontribs)

Hi @MMiller (WMF), @Trizek (WMF), it was nice to meet you at Wikimania! I posted on Village pump in Ukrainian Wikipedia about possible enabling of the Newcomer homepage and people immediately started voting for it (even though I asked only for comments first). It is only two days into the process, so while the discussion goes on, I will finish translating the documentation etc.

Does homepage goes in package with other/all Growth experiments? (I should probably create Phab task then, as instructed on that page). Can we have it as A/B? (This may butter up the users who may not feel enthusiastic).

Thanks )

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Ата -- thank you for talking at Wikimania, and for quickly starting a community discussion. I'm glad to hear that so many of your community members are interested. When we begin to work with your wiki, we will start with the older Growth features (EditorJourney, Welcome Survey, Help Panel), and then move on to Newcomer Homepage, which is our newest feature. It will be deployed as an A/B test, so we will be able to see whether it has impact. When @Trizek (WMF) returns to work next week, he can continue the conversation.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hello @Ата! It was good to see you again during Wikimania. :)

Since your community is okay to use the prototypes (yay!), you should indeed create the Phabricator task. That way, we can keep an eye on the advancement of your work concerning translations and all, and I can help you over the entire process.

Ата (talkcontribs)

(@Trizek (WMF), What is the best place to ask questions I get from my community? Doing it here for now.)

Are mentors notified when they get a newcomer assigned to them?

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

(You can go to Talk:Growth for general questions, but specific questions are welcomed on the page they depend of.)

They aren't. We expect newcomers to contact them if they need. However, we are considering to provide ways for mentors to monitor their mentees' activity. But it is just under consideration, and we need to find ways to avoid issues like harassement.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Ата -- I'm sorry for my delayed response, and thank you for your work getting your wiki ready for these features. Our team is deploying the first version of newcomer tasks this week, so we haven't had a chance to work on deploying to Ukrainian Wikipedia yet, but we will move to that in the coming weeks.

What do you think would work well for notifying mentors when they get a newcomer assigned to them? An Echo notification? A talk page message? Or a Special page listing their mentees? Something else?

Ата (talkcontribs)

@MMiller (WMF), I'm not sure we need any kind of notification. It's more important for a mentor to notice a newcomer's edits than the moment of a newcomer getting assigned to them, isn't it? Thus, a Special page listing mentees sounds more useful.

What about marking mentee's actions on general action pages (like watchlist and/or recent changes page)? something like N, m, b abbreviations we have for new pages, minor and bot edits. @Piramidion also suggested that there might be a pop-up reminder of sort that a mentor will see when going to their mentee's talk page (e.g. "You are a mentor of this user").

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

A filter in RecentChanges or Watchlist, to highlight mentees edits would also be a possibility.

However, I don't know how feasible it would be to create any of these special features.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I've created several tickets about monitoring mentees' activities. Feel free to comment them!

Reply to "Newcomer homepage on ukwiki"
Quiddity (talkcontribs)

[A tangent from the other topic, "Engagement" page, which I don't want to distract from...] [Preface: I love some of the ideas in the Newcomer homepage project. These are supplementary thoughts.]

Someone asked me recently:

> Whilst I was just a volunteer, what could Wikimedia (movement/foundation) have done better to make me feel I could grow?

I replied: "In a word, userpages.

The way that some editors use their userpages is fascinating. They use them:

  • to track their to-do lists,
  • to store notes and wikitext/snippets/citations they're using a lot (for easy copy&pasting),
  • to list their accomplishments and accolades,
  • to organize (and share) their bookmarks,
  • to disclose their COIs,
  • to write short autobiographies,
  • to list their passions or affiliations (often in the form of those small 'userboxes'),
  • to write essays and rambles,
  • and more.

My Enwiki userpage has always been the first destination of the day for most of my volunteer activities - it loads faster than the watchlist, it contains my links to watchlists on other projects, and it contains my most frequently used bookmarks/snippets. I typically leave it open in a tab whilst I do anything else on the sites.

I've long-thought that there are some good ideas that could be extracted from the previous WMF research into userpages, to help both simplify & power-up the default experience (which is fairly-to-extremely complicated for non-technical people - and the English help docs (stuck circa 2007) are frankly terrifying).

I.e. The previous research included ideas such as automated boxes of statistics about the editor - I think many existing users would really love this. If we could provide that kind of thing but in the form of normal wiki Templates that would fit into the classic freeform pages (thus making most existing users happy), then we could potentially also offer an easy "create your own userpage from these few predefined skeletons" wizard system, which editors could then use normal page-editing to re-arrange and personalize, and thus make everyone happy. [!!]

Here are the 2 old WMF research projects (which never made it past the mockup or notes stage)

TL;DR: We should help newcomers to use their actual userpages in ways that work for them (diverse ways for diverse people). Not a one-size-fits-all-solution (I think the GlobalProfile mockup idea was inherently flawed by its standardization approach), but give them help in finding the possibilities.

Because: Having a good userpage - especially one that is actively used, and can become their first browser destination for daily editing - can give editors a sense of personal connection to the sites, and also provide a space for an individualized (and sometimes 'humanized') element that can help people to relate to each other.

Reply to "Userpage as Homepage"

Glossary needs to be translated

Omotecho (talkcontribs)

Could you move the section above the not-for-translation template, and if you don’t mind, I’d put a translation request elsewhere. I started translating Growth Newsletter (ja not the priority language), and wish to have a handy glossary. A good way to involve more hands I guess.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hello Omotecho

First, thank you for the translation work you do!

We've discussed a bit about your request, and we agree: it would help more people to be involved.

We think that the best move would be to create a new page (like Growth/Glossary) where we would gather every terms we define for all Growth projects. However, we are all really super busy now. So if you want to create that page, it would help everyone. If you don't have time, it is okay as well: I'll create it, but later.

Thank you again!

Omotecho (talkcontribs)

Thank you indeed to take up the topic, and yes, will start on /Draft and ping you for confirmation as I finish, before moving to final namespace of its official name. Cheers,

Omotecho (talkcontribs)

Started a page under (link corrected) Draft/Growth/Glossary/en with “under construction” template. On Talk:Draft/Growth/Glossary/en, suggested list if glossaries as potential thesauri. Those are intended for translators, not for the Newcomers, that means, selection of terms/expressions requires tuning up to serve their interest/level of comprehension.

  • May we make “word of the day” field on the landing page for Newcomers, as a way to give very basic of Wikipedia culture in the form of terms/ideas ?
  • rather a joke, though, will there be any sample polite answers/declining tips, not glossary in pure sense. A boss or a longterm wikipedian or a nosy person like me is too fast to jump on newbies, trying to pull newcomers to “correct ways of doing so-and-so”; what is part of our culture is new to newcomers who might expect SNS climate or journal/web publishing culture.
  • It is not widely known (not among “learners” either) that a message that you need to enjoy slow starting is another way to relax the mood as well as keep the cool, instead of sitting with your ipad in hand writing/erasing, and end up henpecked by not replying, leading a judgement as being a rude behavior. (Happened to me, and it still does after 3,000+ edits, a heavy cultural feature in my native tongue.)
Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for starting that page.

I was wondering: are you aware of Help:Glossaries? You will find interesting things about how to create a glossary page.

Glossaries are for translators, or for people that want to understand a concept. They are not primary designed for newcomers, but they could be for them.

  • That word of the day idea is a good idea. I've documented it as a possible improvement of the Homepage. But it shouldn't be on the glossary itself to avoid confusion.
  • Concerning politeness and how to work with newcomers, we already have an help page.
  • I'm not sure to understand your last point. It is about experienced users' behavior? People who don't reply to newcomers, or reply badly? Can you elaborate?

Thank you!

Omotecho (talkcontribs)

Great idea we put "term of the day" part out of Glossary,

>It is not widely known (not among “learners” either) that a message that you need to enjoy slow starting is another way to relax the mood as well as keep the cool, instead of sitting with your ipad in hand writing/erasing, and end up henpecked by not replying, leading a judgement as being a rude behavior. (Happened to me, and it still does after 3,000+ edits, a heavy cultural feature in my native tongue.)

Your input made me think deeper, and here it goes. It had never been an issue for me on SNS spaces at all if "no-action" or I will not reply the experienced users sooner enough. I was not aware the experienced users get irritated if I don't reply them sooner. I thought I was leaving bad impression as I did not work on the issue they need me to fix: I did not know how to fix, so thought no way to reply. For my personal courtesy standard, I felt very bad about me not able to reply, and worse when I was attacked for not replying.

Question is: a new comer receives a message from experienced user which is based on "advanced" knowledge of Wikipedia, still unknown to the recipient. I am not sure what research/survey will support the following, though. How can we make messages from experienced uses to newcomers much easier to understand? Experts can offer support/tips which involves asking question. Maybe for a newcomer, receiving inquiry from "those who have been here" is not quite what they are used to or ready for, or expecting at very early stage of commitment I guess.

  • How about asking experienced ones to add a Help/FAQ page link in their message? I expect those links better explain which concerns/advice the experienced holds. That way, both parties will have better understanding of what is the consensus on issues, against any rule of experience or veteran's instinct.
  • Newcomers are earmarked with a template on their user pages (or wherever experienced users will communicate with the newcomers), experienced users will fill in the format/choose options and make their inquiries or advice more digestive/comprehensive to new comers.

Encouragement. Other means to fill the gap between those writing advice and those newcomers as recipient? Will encouragement be helpful to keep newcomers coming back? (if they register their e-mail and choose to receive notices.) Experienced can reverse the newcomer's nervous feeling (they are nagged at or being a target of criticism), by pushing a button/tab, telling they are appreciated as a eager learner.

  • Needs a measure to bypass that "shame feelings" (as exposed in kowp newcomer homepage deployment). As much as experienced users input on a newcomers page, the newcomer gains positive encouragement; like BurnStar system.
  • How about similar system like those BurnStars. As much as experienced users input on a newcomers page, the newcomer gains positive encouragement;
    • We have "thank you" feature on your Wikipedia user page with heart-mark tab (User Preference needs to be set). You push the heart tab visiting other users and thank people with flowers/teas/chocolate/BurnStar.
    • It feels better to log in and find a nice sticker on your user page than read through a message that you don't understand what they are trying to teach you when you are still very "blank" and the advice does not sound comprehensive.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for your explanations.

Growth can support technical changes, such as creating the Homepage. But some other elements are a community duties, like:

  • creating a clear and useful welcome template,
  • creating places where newcomers feel welcomed,
  • improving FAQs/Help pages
  • show gratitude (through messages, thanks or Barnstars).
  • etc.

Some wikis have been working on this. An NGO, CivilServant, is conducting several studies on those areas in collaboration with several Wikipedias, to see if the initiatives taken have been successful in order to retain newcomers or have them feeling better integrated.

The urgency to reply is something complicated to work on. What is urgent? Provide source to a new article is urgent, but a suggestion to add an image is not. This should be reflected on the messages left to newcomers that are under community's responsibility.

We also hope to see more people following better practices on how to work with newcomers, we already have an help page. Have you considered to share it with Japanese community? It is a good way to have newcomers feeling ashamed because they don't reply on time, or because they feel dumb asking questions.

The homepage gives encouragements: if you add your email, you get a green badge. We are thinking about having more achievements, since getting achievements done are a motivator to get more involved.

Reply to "Glossary needs to be translated"

An important thing missing is a custom to-do list

5 (talkcontribs)

One of the most important things that has been missing in mediawiki since its inception is a way to organize one's work and decide what to tackle on next. It may be a good idea to draw inspiration from similar systems such as wikihow's task list, Extension:CollaborationKit and wikia's public dev:special:community as well as its private admin-only Special:GoToInterwiki/wikia:c:Help:admin_Dashboard .

The latter in particular is a pretty good model to follow as it basically serves as a tool to help users familiarize themselves with wiki tools, and it also helps guide the administrators to make a wiki successful (in wikia's terms). Although some of the tasks therein apply only to admins, others are helpful to just about any contributor. In a perfect world, both a private and a public dashboard would be available as that creates a sense of collaboration.

Currently wiki users must use awful hacks such as creating lists of pages in the user namespace, risking vandalism, reverts, and people belittling their tasks. The creative process is certainly most effective when it is made in private without any interference.

Also this feature is basically the request in

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for these tips on other efforts to check out. We've been looking at a set of platforms in our "comparative review". That work is here, and we're going to be summarizing it on that task this week. We had looked at Wikia, but not at wikiHow -- that's a great idea. I just went through the site and gained a lot of perspective. When you talk about wikiHow's task list, are you referring to this page?

I also think it's a good point that a good profile/homepage situation can help create a sense of collaboration. (talkcontribs)

When you talk about wikiHow's task list, are you referring to this page?

Yes, exactly. As far as the task list is concerned, there is certainly a lot of value in automatically generated ones, but a good system would offer the ability to create a custom list ( by simply adding pages.

I also think it's a good point that a good profile/homepage situation can help create a sense of collaboration.

Yes, wikis lack a sense of collaboration because of that. I mean if one wants to even to contribute to something simple like meta:List_of_articles_every_Wikipedia_should_have, they'd need to discover that page somehow, create their own list, and track their progress manually. It is hard to tell if even a big wiki like english wikipedia contains most of these topics in a good readable state.

In pure terms, good wiki growth will be linked to page completion, which could be estimated by determining if articles have:

  • References (for fact based wikis)
  • An internal link
  • A category
  • Illustrative image (optionally)
  • More than XXX words

A good dashboard would contain such a measure instead of simply listing pages one has edited. Of course it may or may not be currently feasible.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

What do you think of the article rating system (Stub, Start, C-class, etc.) as a way to approximate page completion? One of our planned components of the newcomer homepage is a task recommendation system, and one way to recommend tasks is to surface articles that are classified as stubs and could use improvements. (talkcontribs)

Article rating systems are good for established wikis only for articles with quality higher than stub because the way they classify stubs is incredibly inconsistent. The article La_Loma_Bridge is certainly small, but is not really that much of a stub. My guess is that editors are quick to add a stub template to an article, but they aren't as diligent at removing them, english wikipedia alone has 2 million stubs. Also, the wikis that would most benefit from growth are those that are too small and unlikely to have an established system. Automation might be the only feasible alternative in those cases.

To sum up, the article rating system alone is insufficient to offer good recommendations. It needs two extra variables, impact (e.g. page views, important topics) and / or personal interest (topics / categories). The fastest way to seed the recommendation list is to simply ask the user what areas interest them, or alternatively offer recommendations using those top level topics, e.g. science, social , geography, history, etc. Another interesting area is hot spots ( topics or areas) where most contributors are currently working on, this is a tactic often used in forums to draw responses to new posts.

Personally, I think that wikimedia doesn't benefit from readers as much as it could. For instance, one easy way to create task lists is to surface red links to readers and ask them if the specific title deserve a topic of its own, and that could generate a good task of "popular" red links. It could even be enriched or filtered by wikidata linked interwikis. Another way would be to ask readers to correlate article quality, e.g. evaluate whether these stubs are really stubs, and eliminate these from certain task lists.

A good system will be a balance of the above, surfacing topics interesting to the user that may have high impact.

Reply to "An important thing missing is a custom to-do list"
John Broughton (talkcontribs)

I think this title, mentioned earlier, has a lot of promise. I'm going to keep suggesting that you think of the page as consisting of "panels", some of them editable by the user, some of them not.

So, for example, there might be a "To do" panel (editable), a "Suggestions" panel (not editable, but where the user can click to copy/post an item to another panel", an "Articles I want to edit" panel (editable), and "Articles I want to create" panel (ditto), an edit summary panel, a projects membership panel, and so on. And editable panels that have lists might allow the user to easily drag an item to another position in the list.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@John Broughton -- I think it's a good idea to eventually combine editable panels with non-editable ones. We're using the word "module" instead of "panel", but I think it's the same idea. Something I learned recently is that the word "personalized" refers to parts of software that the system makes specific to the user, whereas "customized" refers to parts of the software that the user makes specific to themselves. So I think you're saying that a good "homepage" would consist of both modules that the system personalizes and modules that the user customizes. We're going to be working on the system-provided kind first -- those are much easier for us to build -- but I think a natural place for this project to go would be to work on the user-customized kind.

John Broughton (talkcontribs)

Interesting distinction between "customized" and "personalized"; in any case, yes, you've got it exactly right what I'm suggesting.

Reply to ""My work""
John Broughton (talkcontribs)

I think the title "Homepage" is problematical. An editor's "home" page is that editor's user page, which he/she can customize.

Something like "Engagement" or "Involvement" or "Editing" would be much better, I think.

One thing that wasn't clear from the project page is whether an editor can modify this page. I'd suggest that modifications be limited to actions that are pre-specified - delete, highlight, remove highlighting, move up or down in a list, or whatever. (One good option would be "Move to user page".)

Other notes:

  • SuggestBot, on the English Wikipedia, if it's still around, is an interesting model.
  • I'd vote for this as a tab for newcomers that is optional for experienced editors (and can be removed as a tab by going into Preferences)
  • You absolutely want to post something on the User Talk page that this page has been created for the newcomer, as well as providing a link in a welcoming email.
  • Designing this for experienced editors is scope creep, but a panel showing the "impact" of one's editing is great for any level of editor. Panels that could be added to the page, later, for experienced editors, might include things like information from projects that the editor has joined, edit counts (history summary), and tracking of modules completed within an editing self-study program.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@John Broughton -- I agree that we should probably think harder about the name. I didn't realize that people might think of their User page as a "homepage" -- I've always just thought of it as my "User" or "profile" page. One interesting thing to consider is that whatever name we land on will need to be translated into many languages (starting with Czech, Korean, and Vietnamese), and so it will probably be most important to convey to translators the concept that we're trying to cover with the name of the page. I think that concept is, "This is a place to get started each time you open up Wikipedia to edit." I wonder if a straightforward name that would translate well would be something like, "Your work". We can ask our contacts in those communities what phrase they recommend.

Yes, we're definitely keeping our eye on SuggestBot -- the creator, @MWang (WMF), is actually one of our team members! What do you like (or dislike) about that model?

I think it's a good idea to make that homepage (for lack of a better term at the moment) optional for experienced editors, but defaulted to "off". That's what we did for the help panel, and it's allowed experienced editors to try it out, so they know what newcomers are seeing.

We are definitely starting to think about how we will notify newcomers that the homepage exists, and a welcome message on User Talk and a welcoming email are both good ways. Other ways we can think of include CentralNotice banners, links in the help panel, a link on Main Page, and a redirect when someone confirms their email address.

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