This epic is about the work involved with improving the existing workflow for starting a new discussion on Wikipedia talk pages, across namespaces.
We think Junior Contributors progressing as editors to Wikipedia depends on them being able to communicate with people who have more experience editing.
Trouble is, as our usability testing showed (T243251 + T247485(in progress)), many Junior Contributors find it difficult to initiate conversations on talk pages in ways that makes it easy for others to engage...
They will confuse the article page for the talk page, leading them to draft new discussion topics as if they are authoring content on an article page. Additionally, contributors do not sign the discussions they start. This means respondents need to do more work (e.g. viewing the page's revision history) to see who they ought to address their comment(s) to.
Our goal for this work is to help Junior Contributors intuitively initiate new conversations that other, more experienced contributors, can easily engage with.
As we go about this work, we'll need to remember the following:
- Many participants did not realize that they were viewing a talk page and provided comments as if they were looking at an article page
- While many participants perceived themselves as having successfully started a new discussion, few did so in a way that conforms with talk page conventions (e.g. no test participants signed their comments)
- The "start a new discussion" workflow we are planning to affect, is a workflow used by more experienced contributors. This means we need to ensure the changes we introduce are beneficial to them too.