The newcomer tasks flow asks users to open an article and then to complete an edit. With its first version, it will ask newcomers to do one of these things:
- Add links
- Add references
- Update article
- Expand article
- Create a new article (not offered proactively)
- Add an image (not offered proactively)
To do any of those things well, newcomers need an explanation of what that task is and how to accomplish it. The main delivery mechanism for that explanation will be the help panel, which will open up and guide newcomers while they are editing the suggested article. But newcomers will need to follow links to more in-depth content around the task. They may also want to read about what a task is before they select it. Therefore, we want to have help pages on their wikis.
There are challenges to overcome:
- Our target wikis usually do not have help pages that explain the task to be done, or don't have pages that explain them in Visual Editor.
- Pages that exist can be inconsistent, too long, out-of-date, or confusing.
In deploying V1.0, we include help links to "Learn more" in the "task explanation widget", but as can be seen in this task, our target wikis don't cover most cases.
We want to develop a central, standardized set of help pages for the seven tasks listed above, and then translate them to our target languages.
- To be used with V1.2 around the end of January 2020.
- One good page for each of the task types above.
- Extract a summary from each to include in the help panel; a few sentences or bullet points.
- Could do a comparative review of how other software systems organize and lay out their help pages.
- The pages can contain a standard outline across all of them, so that newcomers know what to expect each time they open one. Some potential standard elements of the page:
- What is this task?
- Why is it valuable to do?
- How long should it take? How difficult it is?
- What are the main rules? e.g. “only link the first occurrence of the word”
- How to technically do it in visual editor?
- Prerequisites to have to finish the task?
- What does an example look like?
- Page should be concise and not too long.
- Need different pages for mobile? Also, mobile VE is not the default?
- Does each wiki need the pages to be customized in terms of content?
- How will we deal with screenshots in different wikis? What about when they get out of date?
- Should we include gifs or videos? How to make them in different languages?
- @aripstra's design research project listing in detail the different conceptual and cultural challenges that newcomers have most frequently.
- French Wikipedia's how-to concerning help pages
- Local Template:Welcome are often customized to match the most frequent needs of local newcomers
- Local Help:Contents (as above)
- Local Project:Help Project might have active people who can advise