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Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Larger suggestions/Usability testing for talk page banners

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Usability testing for talk page banners

  • Problem: We make a ton of assumptions about what new editors need to see on a talk page in order to participate in an informed way. Instead of barraging new users with templates atop the talk page, if a WMF team performed user testing on (1) what editors (new and old) found useful about talk page banners, and (2) what they actually learned from reading them, the community would have a clearer understanding of what information to cover and what to excise.
  • Proposed solution: Perform usability testing on the talk page banners of several Wikipedias and share findings with the community; bonus: recommend a design with information hierarchy for the community to consider and potentially implement
  • Who would benefit: All talk page readers and editors, especially new ones
  • More comments: To my understanding, this is a blindspot of the editing community, as we do not have the communal resources to perform user testing without a centralized team like the WMF's. Many community UI elements could use usability testing but the talk page banners is one of the most glaring opportunities.
  • Phabricator tickets: phab:T300403
  • Proposer: czar 18:57, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


So, analyse the levels of banner blindness on talk pages ? I'm guessing its probably about 90% (not reading them) for any page with more than 1 banner, but yeah it would be good to get some insight into this. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:33, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Is this about w:en:Template:Talk header and similar templates? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:57, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Czar: would it be accurate for me to understand you/this wish as seeking to understand the extent to which new editors understand the purpose of talk pages and how to use them in constructive ways on desktop? If "yes," then it's likely we'll be able to share answers to the questions you're posing in the coming months.

Reason being: the mw:Editing Team is currently working on a set of improvements to help people who are new to instinctively recognize and use talk pages as spaces to communicate with other volunteers.

As part of this work, we will be running usability tests (T299819) to evaluate how effective these interventions are at helping people, "...to participate in an informed way."

If any of what I've shared above brings new thoughts/questions to mind, please do let me or Whatamidoing (WMF) know! PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 02:48, 22 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi @Czar:, thank you for your proposal. Unfortunately this proposal falls outside of the scope of the Community Tech team (FAQ) and per PPelberg (WMF)'s previous message, the mw:Editing Team is also currently working on some related work. Therefore, we will move this page to Larger Suggestions. Thanks again! Regards, NAyoub (WMF) (talk) 03:38, 27 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I love this idea, and would see it implemented as a wish. Sometimes you'd have to scroll an entire page to get through the banners (WikiProject, translated, etc etc) Xn00bit (talk) 20:28, 28 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]