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User:Quiddity (WMF)/Hovercards trial

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  • Note for translators: The intended targets/audience are the Village Pumps for the 3 languages, plus various mailing lists.

Short banner-notice for each site[edit]

The Hovercards feature is now turned on for all users, for a 2 month trial. See [... this announcement] for more details.

Hovercards for all users - limited trial[edit]

Over the last 11 months we’ve been testing, iterating, and improving a Beta Feature called Hovercards. The goal of Hovercards is to allow readers to have a deeper more immersive reading experience. Talking to readers we've found they leave articles to investigate links aiding comprehension. This can lead to a disjointed reading experience. The Hovercards Beta Feature has helped us discover that being able to “peek” at the first sentence and a representative image contributes to readers ability to stay focused on the content they are reading, without the necessity of loading many new articles.

Members of Greek, Chinese, and Catalan Wikipedias have discussed it with their communities,[1] and reached out to us to request that their Wikipedias have the opportunity to run a wider trial of Hovercards for a fixed period of time. Before starting this trial we’ve added a lot of Instrumentation - code that lets us know how users are using the feature, such as accidental Hovercard displays, length of time the Hovercards are displayed, and whether display of Hovercards effects readers opening articles or if reading the information displayed on Hovercards is sufficient to allow them to continue reading the main article.[2]

The opt-out trial will start on this wiki, on [date to be confirmed].

Next Steps[edit]

We’re making a slight modification to Hovercards during the trial to include a link to a short survey about users’ experience with Hovercards. We’ll review this qualitative feedback along with the quantitative feedback from the instrumentation. Our plan is to run a trial for 2 months with readers of these sites, gather additional feedback, and learn if any more changes are needed. After this we will shift Hovercards back to a logged-in beta feature while we analyze the data. Based on the findings we’ll aim to open up the option of any wikimedia wiki to opt-in to enable Hovercards for all users on their site.

During the trial, unregistered and registered users will be automatically opted-in to Hovercards during their site visit. Both groups of users can turn Hovercards off from the Hovercards themselves (cog icon), and can re-enable them from the page-footer, similar to how Reference Tooltips work.[3] Registered users who have the Navigation Popups gadget enabled, will initially see Hovercards instead, but the cog icon displayed on Hovercards will enable them to choose which to display.[4]

What does a successful trial look like?[edit]

At the end of the trial we'll look at survey feedback from readers combined with the rate at which users disable or re-enable Hovercards, and compare any decrease in pageviews with a proportionate increase in non-accidental displays of Hovercards. If we find that user feedback is positive, daily opt-out rates are within an acceptable range, and purposeful Hovercard displays outpace any decrease in pageviews, we’ll consider the trial a success. If these thresholds are not met, we’ll analyze the feedback and determine next steps.

How do I try Hovercards if I don’t use Chinese, Catalan or Greek Wikipedia?[edit]

Hovercards is a beta feature available on all WMF wikis. To enable it, make sure you are signed in, and click on Beta at the top of the site, if you don’t see Beta there, go to your preferences and choose the Beta tab. Check the box for Hovercards and make sure to save your preferences. On articles, try out Hovercards by pausing your mouse over blue links within articles. Try it out and give feedback on the project’s discussion page. Thank you!

  1. Cawiki, Elwiki, Zhwiki 1 and Zhwiki 2
  2. https://git.wikimedia.org/blob/mediawiki%2Fextensions%2FPopups/HEAD/resources%2Fext.popups.eventlogging.js
  3. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Beta_Features/Hovercards#mediaviewer/File:Hovercards_link_to_re-enable.png
  4. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Beta_Features/Hovercards#mediaviewer/File:HovercardsSettings_V2.png