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UX/UI suggestions towards a new "query helper/query builder" interface
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Description

The way properties and values are defined into the existing query service is not clear to beginner users. Also would be useful to be able to define qualifiers as part of the query.

During our federated wikibases workshop we discussed a few other existing examples for query builder interfaces.

Event Timeline

Loz.ross created this task.Apr 24 2018, 9:51 PM
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Loz.ross renamed this task from UX/UI improvements on WDQS – Query Helper specifically to UX/UI suggestions towards a new "query helper/query builder" interface.Apr 25 2018, 9:27 AM
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During Wikimedia-Hackathon-2019 @Charlie_WMDE, @Jakob_WMDE and I conducted some user testing on some visual query building interfaces, and took some notes available below:

Great! Were there any overall findings that could help us in future designs? (For example, it seems that repeatedly, the UIs suggested to start with a property, but users wanted to start with an item.)
Also, to roughly keep track: How many users did test the UIs?

Great! Were there any overall findings that could help us in future designs? (For example, it seems that repeatedly, the UIs suggested to start with a property, but users wanted to start with an item.)

Good point. I'm not sure I'm the right person to make such a summary. Perhaps @Charlie_WMDE and @Jakob_WMDE are more prepared to do so? In any case, in my opinion the main properties that need to be available are:

  • Construction of the query in a sequence that maps to the user's natural thought process, rather than to the SPARQL syntax (so yeah, starting with the first item to be searched rather than with properties, for example)
  • Easy access to custom helpers for common query requirements (such as "all instances and subclasses", "all locations and sublocations", etc.)
  • Access to advanced features (e.g. to combine queries with UNION, MINUS, etc.) in a way that doesn't clutter the interface (e.g. collapsed by default)
  • Usage of common terms rather than SPARQL-specific jargon
  • Visibility of human-readable labels as the primary way to identify query elements, but with the underlying QIDs/PIDs also available (e.g. as text with a small font, or tooltips, etc.)
  • All UI elements featuring help text in tooltips/popups or otherwise.

These are mostly from the top of my head. I'll add more items if I think of more.

Also, to roughly keep track: How many users did test the UIs?

For now, just me, in the context of T223853. I hope that work can be the start of more extensive testing :)

@Jan_Dittrich

I think @waldyrious captured most of the points we identified.

I would only add two minor things:

  • better suggestions for properties (it is often very specific how things are modeled on wikidata which makes it very hard to find the right properties to use. Even @waldyrious )who has extensive knowledge of the system needed a few attempts to figure out how the information he's trying to obtain is modeled on wikidata e.g. looking for someone with pets is "owner of" and not "has pet" for example.
  • people enjoy dabbling with queries as well as needing a few attempts to get the correct result. for this it would be helpful to be able do disable (comment out) parts of the query so they're not lot. Currently one would have to remove things entirely.

Thank you again for testing the existing query builder with me @waldyrious !