Topic on Talk:Cross-wiki Search Result Improvements

How do we want these new, additional, relevant search results to be displayed?

CKoerner (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Some starter questions:

  1. Should the results from whatever wiki you're on to be shown first and then have an option to show more from other wikis?
  2. Should the additional results be inter-mixed with the local wiki results?
  3. Should the additional results be displayed off to the side (or maybe the bottom) of the results page?
  4. Should we have the option to turn off these other relevant search results (a user and/or project opt-out)?
    1. This could be a keyword search term or maybe a button for a visitor to click
    2. This could also be similar to the local: keyword that will only search for images on the local wiki and not Commons files, for instance.
  5. Would the additional results be best displayed as a list or a grid design?
  6. Should we include relevant metadata (images and/or a short description) with the search results?
  7. Do the results need to have the size of the article (i.e.: 848 bytes (104 words)) and the date it was created/modified?
  8. Should we indicate that clicking on a result will take you to another wiki project?
  9. How many results from other wikis should we show - 1, 2, 3, or more?
  10. Should we limit the existing method of displaying results from the wiki that you searched on?
    1. We currently show up to 10,000 results in a paginated manner, but testing shows that generally only the first 3 results are ever acted upon.
DarkShadowTNT (talkcontribs)

In my opinion:

Numbers 1 - 3, 5 & 8: Show the search results of the Wiki you're currently on, and then a seperate column besides it for results from other Wikiprojects (in a list), entitled like Results from other Wikiprojects or something like that. This means that the results of other Wikis can be found, instead of being somewhere at the bottom where most people don't look. Don't mix the additional results with local Wiki results, since it could look (in my opinion) very messy when that is the case. For example: English results mixed with languages that don't use Latin letters (like Arabic) and vice versa.

Number 4: It would be useful to provide an option to turn it off, in either the Preferences page or when viewing the search results (or maybe both?). In my opinion it is better to avoid using prefixes, especially when someone doesn't know about that.

Number 6: Images (the first image that is used on the page) would be useful, so that the (possible) reader globally knows what the subject of the page is. Kind of what currently happens when searching on the mobile Wikipedia site.

Number 9: I think showing the most relevant 1 to 3 results at the top, and then at the bottom of those results the option Show more results (hot-loaded (not loaded when loading the search page for the first time (or something like that)), so that searching stays as good as fast as it was before the implementation.

Number 10: I don't even know why you would look through 10,000 pages to find a subject... I think capping it at about 500 to 1,000 should be more than enough, since the testing shows that generally only the first 3 links are being used.

BTW, this message may contain some Dunglish

DTankersley (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the feedback!

I think we can add in a setting in the preferences that could be used to turn on (or off) the cross-wiki search results for the more experienced users. But I do like the idea of having it visible on the page to turn it on/off easily.

Jeblad (talkcontribs)

Show the best match above a threshold for each of the other projects, in a single list, and with a "more" link which opens additional entries inline.

An alternative is a "more like this" and then opening additional entries on the side. Think of it as a sideways stack, where l-to-r languages have the new column on the right. That would make it possible to drill down in a relevance ranked set, simply by clicking in the additional columns.

If you select (click) on a page from an other project, then that project should take precedence in the new column, but when you have selected two or more projects then all of them should take precedence.

It follows from this that the page from column A could be a Wikipedia article and the page from column B could be a page from Wikitionary. The resulting relevance ranked column should then be pages that rank according to the selected pages from those two projects.

DTankersley (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Jeblad - that sounds quite intriguing!

Our initial focus is to gather that first selection of related (or "more like this") articles from the sister projects to display the first time a user enters a query into the search box.

Your idea is to expand this process to display a second set of related results on the page result (that the user selected) and expanding to include results from the first wiki and the second clicked-through to wiki site. Sounds cool!

We'll keep your idea on the backlog - as once we've launched the first iteration of showing additional relevant articles across wikis, we'll need to closely monitor it to see if our community likes it. :)

Jeblad (talkcontribs)

I don't think a user has a clear idea of where a "more like this" starts, and thus the first level (s)he open are probably pretty close to a simple "more" in the users mental model. That could imply that it is wise to start with a simple solution, and then later on twist the idea into full relevance ranking.

Forgot to mention that on smaller screens the additional columns can be rendered and then slide in horizontally, and the old columns sliding out, thereby signaling to the user how (s)he can navigate back to previous results. On large screens (4k++) the columns can stack up side by side.

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