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Audit notifications received by new users upon opening the editor
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The Growth and Editing teams are both working on onboarding new users. The Growth team has been thinking about this with respect to a new user's entire experience on the wiki, and the Editing team has been thinking about a new user's initial experience with the Visual Editor.

The first time a new user opens up the editor is an important moment, and so there have been multiple initiatives over the years that put notifications, popups, and overlays in front of the user at that time. Because these efforts have not been coordinated, some users may receive many conflicting notifications all at the same moment, leading to a negative and confusing experience.

We want to improve this, especially because the Growth and Editing teams intend to continue to structure those first moments in the editor. The first step is catalog what notifications users are getting in which circumstances. Here is an incomplete list of the notifications that we can think of:

  • Switching dialog (desktop)
  • GettingStarted tour (desktop)
  • Edit notices that VE makes into popups (e.g. not logged in message, protection note, page-specific notices etc) (mobile + desktop)
  • Blue dots on the link and citation tools (desktop)
  • GuidedTour for homepage discovery
  • Wiki-specific GuidedTours (like in French wikitext)
  • Help panel call to action
  • Notification of the existence of the content translation tool

We don't know which wikis have which of these implemented under which circumstances. We think that the following variables can affect which notifications a user receives:

Parameters for determining what popups someone sees

  • Logged
    • In
    • Out
  • Coincidental popups e.g. Homepage discovery popup appears on first pageview after account creation, which, for many users, is the open editor. See screenshot in task description: T229887
  • Editing experience: is VE available (because of your browser, local wiki rules, etc.)?
  • Default editing interface
    • Wikitext
    • VE
  • Namespace
    • Article
    • Talk
    • User
    • etc.
  • Wiki
  • Single edit tab, or two edit tabs?
  • Platform
    • Mobile
    • Desktop
  • Is page protected/semi-protected? Which level of protection? Which reason?

Below are some visual examples of conflicts.

enwiki: conflict between GettingStarted and switching dialog

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 10.21.19.png (768×1 px, 418 KB)

viwiki: two pop-ups that appear immediately after creating an account from the editing context.

image.png (1×1 px, 267 KB)

viwiki: overlapping pop-ups appear immediately after the blue call to action in the central popup in the previous screen -- the bottom pop-up is another message from the visual editor.

image.png (1×1 px, 381 KB)

eswiki: overlapping pop-ups appearing because it's the first time a user tried to create a new article, and so they are being suggested to try Content Translation.

Screenshot 2019-09-05 at 18.54.52.png (1×2 px, 456 KB)

Event Timeline

kostajh edited projects, added Growth-Team (Current Sprint); removed Growth-Team.
kostajh added a subscriber: kostajh.

@RHo tentatively assigning to you but feel free to re-assign. I've also moved it into the Growth-Team current sprint as it appears to be in the current sprint on the design board.

RHo removed a project: Growth Design.
RHo added a subscriber: MMiller_WMF.

Thanks @kostajh – during a meeting with Editing team at Hackathon last week, @MMiller_WMF took the action to figure out when and whom (out of the Engineer folks) should take this task. So am re-assigning to him for now...

There is Research:GuidedTour usage page (also mentioned on T92094: Gallery of on-wiki tours) with the list of existing guided tours. It may be outdated though.

MMiller_WMF renamed this task from Audit all new popups and banners introduced by the Growth team and review them for conflicts with existing pop-ups to Audit notifications received by new users upon opening the editor.Aug 28 2019, 6:27 PM
MMiller_WMF reassigned this task from MMiller_WMF to marcella.
MMiller_WMF edited projects, added Growth-Team; removed Growth-Team (Current Sprint).
MMiller_WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)

@marcella -- this is the task I was talking about related to the proliferation of popups.

@ppelberg @JTannerWMF @iamjessklein @RHo -- I just updated this task to align with the "medium term" need from our meeting at Wikimania Hackathon. Please feel free to add or subtract.

Moving this to Q2 per my interpretation of medium term in T229887#5446729

Note that ContentTranslation is adding some welcome messages, suggesting that some users start an article as a translation instead: T216500 T232372

DLynch added a subscriber: DLynch.

This is more work to audit than I have time to handle. The difficulty is mostly that any random wiki could have a gadget / extension which adds a message on arbitrary criteria... and even for just the core / extension code, there's enough different ways to trigger something like this that it's a real pain to search for it happening.

That said, here's an analysis of what VE adds and on what criteria:

VisualEditor itself will show (this all applies to the VisualEditor-source-mode (NWE) as well):

  • WelcomeDialog (the switching dialog), with modes for if it's switchable or not
    • Doesn't show on protected pages (i.e. requires wgIsProbablyEditable || wgRelevantPageIsProbablyEditable)
    • Depends on the wgVisualEditorConfig.showBetaWelcome preference which defaults to true
    • If the user is logged in, the user-option visualeditor-hidebetawelcome will suppress it, which is set after the user sees the dialog the first time
    • If the user isn't logged in, local-storage and cookies are checked for ve-beta-welcome-dialog which suppresses it, and is set after the user sees the dialog the first time
    • Also suppressed by the vehidebetadialog URL parameter
    • Desktop only, even if mobile-VE is being used
  • Notices (the /!\ toolbar icon)
    • Local notices - explicitly added by VE
      • If wgTranslatePageTranslation === source, warn about being on a translatable page, which VE doesn't support
      • If on a not-explicitly-supported browser, warn that there might be problems
    • Remote notices, sent from the server
      • Suggesting anonymous editors log in
      • If the URL parameter editintro was present, show that page's contents as a notice
      • Warning if there's a newer revision of the page
      • Warning if the wiki is read-only
      • Notify if you'll be creating a new article
        • Warning if the new-article title is protected
      • Warning if the article is protected from editing
      • Warning if *you* can't edit for some reason (IP block, etc)
      • ...and whatever else would be shown above the classic editor. There's a hook for this, so any extension can add some.
  • Education popups (the pulsing blue dots)
    • VE itself only applies this to the link tool
    • The Citoid extension adds it to the cite tool
    • These are shown/hidden as a group, not individually, after any education popup has been viewed and closed:
      • User logged out: ve-hideusered local-storage/cookie is set
      • User logged in: visualeditor-hideusered user-preference is set

If the classic WikiEditor is being used, and VisualEditor is installed, those same WelcomeDialog display checks are applied.

Mobile has an entire different editor implementation, and so misses most of these. If logged out, it'll show the "we'd like it if you logged in / created an account" dialog.

There is nothing further needed from the editing team so I am moving this to external.

kaldari closed this task as Resolved.EditedSep 17 2020, 4:29 PM
kaldari claimed this task.
kaldari added a subscriber: kaldari.

Boldly marking as resolved since it seems unlikely we are going to get more information than DLynch's audit above (T229887#5819921), especially since the task has been unassigned for the past 8 months.