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Help panel: measure demand for live chat
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Various data points, anecdotes, and conversations make us think that a live chat feature for newcomers would allow them to get help quickly (proof-of-concept in T223807). Such a feature has a huge number of open implementation, policy, and moderation questions. Before we work on live chat, we want to get a sense for how much demand there is for it. We want to think about what simple change we can make to the existing help panel to judge whether users would interact with live chat. Ideas include:

  • Change the wording on the panel's call to action from "Get help with editing" to something like "Get help now" or "Ask for help now". If more people click the call-to-action, this might show the desire for speedier help.
  • Add a button for live chat that brings users to existing IRC channels.
  • [other ideas here]

Event Timeline

I vote against sending newbies to IRC channel in Czech Wikipedia. The channel doesn't have many active users, and it's pretty inactive.

Aklapper added a comment.EditedMay 30 2019, 10:05 AM

Add a button for live chat that brings users to existing IRC channels.

If you consider sending people to the desert (IRC), will that button explicitly and clearly tell people beforehand that they'll often won't meet anyone for ages? I'm concerned that "live chat" creates "Here you'll immediately meet people and get help" expectations. And "Nobody replied in the last two minutes so I close this window but if I find out how to reopen the window tomorrow someone will surely have replied and the reply will magically show up in this window" expectations based on modern messenger application experience, though that's not how IRC works.

Also, what would that button do exactly? Open a (potentially not installed) IRC client on someone's machine? Open a third-party website (outside of WMF privacy policy which would require warning the user?) which offers IRC web chat without IRC nickname registration, while we cross fingers that Freenode IRC admins don't block any unregistered IRC users from joining IRC channels due to spammer attacks?

What I probably want to say is: IRC is not the most friendly technology for people who are not already tech-savvy. :) Riot might improve that a bit though.

"Get help now" or "Ask for help now".

One concern with this wording is that it still doesn't reveal to the user that they'll be able to chat with others in real time. Speaking personally I would be more likely to interact with a call-to-action that told me I was going to be able to chat with new and experienced editors; "Get help now" or "Ask for help now" could mean a forum, a form to submit, a help page, etc

Re: sending to IRC, if the intention is to see if more people click on a call-to-action with certain wording, then I would consider sending them to a page which outlines the various chat forums which exist rather than putting them into IRC which as others have noted, can be empty or not user friendly.

Tgr added a subscriber: Tgr.Oct 31 2019, 9:20 PM