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Evaluate the designs for the Notification Page
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Research project page on MetaWiki.

We need to better understand the following:

  • Identify the pain points when users organise their work based on the notifications they receive (especially those involving the current Notification Page)
  • Evaluate the design ideas for the Notification Page captured in this prototype.

An initial plan is being drafted.

Event Timeline

Pginer-WMF assigned this task to Capt_Swing.
Pginer-WMF raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
Pginer-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)


Below are my comments on the prototype linked to above above (which is amazing). The design is really coming together Pau. Great work. Some of these comments are about the actual UI design – mostly about labeling and language. Two are just about details of the mockup.

Mockup Notes

  • Number agreement A small point having to do with mockup consistency (we know how easy it is to confuse users): should the total for “Watched pages” be larger? When I click that option, I see 13 messages in the stack, but the left nav says there are 7. Same for User talk pages: clicking it brings 6 messages, but the total at left says 4.
  • The 'Read' Count: Another even more minor mockup point re. numbers: when I click the “Read” tab, the count of read messages is 12. But since users have no way of deleting notifications, only very new users would have more Unread than Read notifications. (This occurred to me when I saw the testing question about finding the last unread notification.) We obviously don't want to add 2000 read items to make this look realistic, but do you want to perhaps inflate the count in the navigation tool for the Read and All tabs, just to show the right cues? As I say, a very subtle...

UI Notes

  • Click to De-selct Once an option is selected (e.g., Watched pages) and turns blue, would clicking on it again unselect it? I know you can select “All Contents,” to get the same effect, but I'd think this would be nice I think if it's no big.
  • “Mute uses on this file.” The mute link for Flag of Barbados is oddly phrased (“uses on this file”). Could it say something like “Mute alerts about this file”?
  • Hierarchy / Labeling:
    • “English Wikipedia” is visually the same heading level as “Contents.” Yet logically, it is within Contents. That's messing with my mental model; aren't the English Wikipedia pages also “Contents”?
    • Labeling: I still think the filtering panel at left would benefit from having a more descriptive label or some instructional text to clarify what it does (and that it isn't a nav). That could, as I say, be handled by adding instructional text (e.g., “Click below to narrow your results...”. Or it might be simpler to just make the “Contents” label more descriptive. Possible language: Filter Notifications by Contents or Filter Your Notifications or just Notification Filters. (For comparison, see: Zappos, which uses “Narrow Your Choices” and Amazon, which labels the options “Refine By.”
  • User Talk Page(s): It looks like both “User talk page” and “Watched pages” show cross-wiki results, which makes sense. The label for “User talk page” should then be plural to help clarify that functionality. (Until I studied the results, I assumed you were purposely highlighting only the current wiki – enwiki.) Either just “User talk pages” or “User talk page(s)” or (fancy) programmatically add the 's' when necessary...

Per today's meeting, current plan is to deploy a survey to better understand current usage of notifications (first part of protocol) and explore possibilities for remote user testing for prototype evaluation (so we can run more users through the workflow tasks and hopefully identify more potential usability issues).

Capt_Swing renamed this task from Research the use of notifications and evaluate the designs for the Notification Page to Evaluate the designs for the Notification Page.Feb 18 2016, 12:17 AM

Changed title to reflect narrowed scope of this task (user study only). We're doing a survey to answer related questions about current notification usage: T127257

I added comments on the testing plan. My biggest suggestion: I would definitely like to get feedback on the Mark Read/Mark Unread interface. I think that will be a big win for us. If we have to scale Sorting back, that would be fine I think...