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language selector (interlanguage links) on the Minerva and Vector main page is different from other pages
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Description

The main page in mobile view has no language selection icon at the top. Instead the language button is at the bottom of the page. It's contextual more than inconsistent.

The treatment is different on the main page as the main page does not show a title or page actions bar.
Many main pages are designed very differently from other pages, for example Hindi Wikipedia:

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 12.00.51 PM.png (295×326 px, 39 KB)

Showing a page actions bar on the main page has a variety of problems, which vary depending on the wiki:

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 12.00.46 PM.png (310×334 px, 43 KB)

To take Hindi Wikipedia as an example:

  • On Hindi Wikipedia, black icons on gray background (accessibility problems not easily fixed by making white background alongside gray)
  • Edit icon that will always be locked (given most main pages are protected)
  • Surplus unnecessary information - e.g. "Main page"
  • Redundant features (it is useful to watch the main page given it is protected?)
  • If language icon is the only feature, could push down more useful content

To quote @Nirzar

... main page design has a lot more problems than just language selection.

We can design a better experience for language selection and other relevant page actions for main page but they are likely to be deprioritized because we are a small team

I can design a better solution if anyone else is interested in building it

Vector

From T288647:

In T276140, the language switching button was moved to the bottom of the page.

There is no good reason to put it there.

It should be at the same place as it is on all other articles. T276140 says that main pages don't have headings, but other than that, they are mostly the same as articles. The placement should be consistent. This consistency consideration alone should be a reason to move the button to the top.

In addition, the main page is usually the most popular page in any given wiki. It is the page that user arrive to when they search for "wikipedia" in their search engine. However, the search engine often doesn't give the user the main page of the Wikipedia in the language they wanted, and the user wants to switch to another language. In this very frequent scenario, switching the language should be easier, not harder. This is another reason to put the language switcher at the top.

Not having a heading is not a problem. Just add some empty space without any text. Or maybe put the word "Wikipedia" there.

T276140 also discusses how main pages in some languages have lists of some other languages near the bottom. It's true, but is this actually a good design? To whom is it useful to see them there? To whom is it useful to see them sorted by the number of articles? It may be interesting to some Wikipedians, but most readers don't need that. Most readers want to find a language in which they can read.

So please, put the language switching button on the main page at the same place where it is on other wiki pages.

Event Timeline

Jdlrobson added a subscriber: Jdlrobson.

This might be by design. I can't recall whether we decided to show the button at bottom of page or not show it at all. No page actions in Minerva skijn.

If it's by design, I'd love to know the rationale.

not by design, it was at the bottom of the page saying "read in other language". maybe regression?

Weird.. now when I test this locally I do see the main page button. Likewise I see it on https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

@Amire80 where are you not seeing it...?

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 5.37.18 PM.png (355×714 px, 47 KB)

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 5.37.41 PM.png (380×555 px, 60 KB)

Oh, OK, I do see it at he bottom. But why is it different from other pages?

There is no page actions (top bar) on main page. This /is/ by design - given the majority of editors do not have permission to edit the main page and have little motivation to watch the main page and the main page is visually different where the primary purpose is access to content not editing content.

I get it that people are unlikely to edit the main page on mobile, but aren't they likely to want to switch to a different language? And if so, why make it inconsistent with other pages?

Amire80 renamed this task from There is no language selector on the main page in mobile web view to language selector on the mobile main page is different from other pages.Oct 31 2017, 5:37 PM

it's contextual more than inconsistent.

Also, main page design has a lot more problems than just language selection.

We can design a better experience for language selection and other relevant page actions for main page but they are likely to be deprioritized because we are a small team

I can design a better solution if anyone else is interested in building it

Jdlrobson removed a project: User-Jdlrobson.
Nirzar changed the task status from Open to Stalled.Nov 9 2017, 3:17 AM
Jdlrobson renamed this task from language selector on the mobile main page is different from other pages to language selector (interlanguage links) on the mobile main page is different from other pages.Jun 18 2018, 11:45 PM
Jdlrobson renamed this task from language selector (interlanguage links) on the mobile main page is different from other pages to language selector (interlanguage links) on the Minerva main page is different from other pages.
Amire80 changed the task status from Stalled to Open.Jun 19 2018, 7:36 AM

@Jdlrobson, thanks for merging T197548 :) I remembered reporting this task here, but couldn't find it for some reason.

More generally, I still don't understand why does the language selection on the main page have to be different in any way from how it works on other pages.

I've had a go at explaining how I understand this (mostly from a technical POV and experience) in the description. My understanding is given the variance of main page designs across all our projects having a consistent and enjoyable experience is extremely hard and a lot of effort and we'd need to audit and have bespoke solutions for many of them and this simply hasn't been prioritised highly.

Jdlrobson added a subscriber: alexhollender.

Is there anything we can do here @alexhollender ?
This is now going to be a problem on desktop too.

Is there anything we can do here @alexhollender ?
This is now going to be a problem on desktop too.

I think we should encourage communities to implement a language switching component on main pages (mockups here: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T276140). Perhaps if this is done in a smart way it can also work on mobile?

Related: T267049
Yeh if we defer to communities for the main page link, we would remove this code entirely from these pages.

Jdlrobson renamed this task from language selector (interlanguage links) on the Minerva main page is different from other pages to language selector (interlanguage links) on the Minerva and Vector main page is different from other pages.Aug 11 2021, 9:06 PM
Jdlrobson updated the task description. (Show Details)

By design, this should be added in the top, regardless of the design of the Main Page, because all the pages have it in the top. Making two different designs makes people think there are no interwikis, and all the project more inconsistent. FYI, here is a page without title at euwiki that still have the interwiki links at the top, as designed: https://eu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laguntza:Sarrera