The idea we're pursuing has similarities with two previous Mediawiki projects that we might be able to learn from.
- Article Feedback: readers would rate an article on its quality and leave unstructured comments.
- MoodBar: new editors would give feedback on their editing experience after saving an edit.
Summary of learnings from both tools relevant to In-context help
A. Article feedback tool
- Potential for account creation and editor activation - not logged in users who start an edit may be prompted to create an account when asking for help so that they can get feedback from the “Help team”.
- Provide more upfront help options prior to allowing submission of free-text comments and questions - Per findings from the Article Feedback Tool, making it too easy to submit unstructured and out-of-context comments about articles leads to a high degree of noise for moderators. Whilst our hypothesis is that users who are in the editing context and seeking help for a specific task may be less likely to submit unuseful questions, providing more self-directed help alternatives upfront may further reduce volume.
- Mechanisms to provide context to comments – The lack of context to comments in AFT was a main point of dissatisfaction for editors. For in-context help, it would be ideal if users submitting a question or comment would be able to denote where in the article or UI they would like assistance – for example being able to submit a screenshot along with their question, or being able to highlight the section related to their comment.
- Capturing Email for responses is an effective option – As shown in the MoodBar experiment, email notifications is an effective means of engaging new editors -
- Clear, prominent call to action for new editors to ask for feedback/help - per high level findings, the addition of a tooltip drawing attention to the Moodbar significantly increased its use.
- Tracking the perceived helpfulness of responses is important - It would be useful for us to track similar new user perceptions of feedback, since a poor experience from receiving unhelpful advice has been shown to negatively impact editing.