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[Design Epic] Mockup workflows for talk page replies
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In the OWC x Design Brief, we shared the specifications for how we think replying to specific comments on talk pages should work. This task is about turning the specifications we discussed into mockups.

Note: there are decisions we still need to make and questions we need to answer that will affect what should and should not be included in these mockups. We will use this ticket to document and discuss those as well.

User stories

Junior Contributors

Story A:
When I reply to a message or comment
I want to intuitively know how to publish my thinking
so that I can express myself without needing to learn anything new.

Story B:
When I post on a talk page
I want my post to make it clear to others I am the author of the post, when I made my post and how to contact me directly
so that I can comply with social conventions and others can follow/understand the conversation without me having to learn or remember to do anything

Senior Contributors

Story C:
When I want to participate in a discussion
I want to be able to easily add my thoughts in the right place
so that I can add to the conversation without having to do the extra work of finding where to reply within a wall of wikitext

Story D:
When I post on a user or article Talk page
I want my signature to be included automatically
so that I can be easily recognized by other contributors without having to remember to do this on my own


*Must have*

  • A way to differentiate posts/comments from one another
  • A way to understand/read/interpret a given post/comment
    • Identify who the author of a comment post is
    • Identify when the author posted their post/comment relevant to the time it is right now for the person viewing that post/comment
    • Identify the exact time the author posted their post/comment in the timezone of the person viewing the talk page
    • Identify how to contact the author of a post/comment directly


  • A way to respond to a specific post/comment
  • A way to view the specific post/comment a contributor is replying to as they are composing their reply
  • A way to compose a reply to a specific post/comment in wikitext
  • A way to preview a reply to a specific post/comment before it is posted
  • A way to cancel a reply
    • A way to make contributors aware if they are close to abandoning/losing a reply they've started to draft


  • A way to post a reply


  • A way to delete a reply that's already been posted

*Nice to have*

  • A way to compose a reply using a WYSIWYG editor (nice to have)
    • A way to format the text in a reply
    • A way to @-mention/notify specific user(s) while composing a reply
  • A way to switch back and forth between WYSIWYG and plaintext editing "modes"/"surfaces"
  • A way to edit a reply that's already been posted, in-line
  • A way to thank a contributor for their post/comment
  • A way to watch the talk page a contributor is responding (ideally, we will transition to an affordance for watching a specific discussion rather than watching the whole page)

Decisions to be made

  • Should contributors be presented with an option to watchlist the page when posting their reply?
  • Do we want to provide an edit summary?
    • For most talk pages, people don't leave one, you get the default one (/* Thread name */).
    • PP: Yes; we should generate edit summaries automatically. In a future version, we can offer support for customizing this.

Open questions

  • How "fast" and "light" should replying feel? Asked in the context of speed bumps like abstracting away edit summaries, keyboard shortcuts for publishing posts/comments. Talk pages shouldn't feel as light as chat.
  • What – if any – usernames should be pre-populated in the reply surface? The username of the you are replying to? The usernames of all the people who have been active in the thread so far?
  • Should there be any kind of helper text within the blank "compose" view?

Event Timeline

ppelberg renamed this task from Mockup workflow for talk page replies to [Design Epic] Mockup workflows for talk page replies.Oct 11 2019, 7:29 PM
Aklapper added a subscriber: iamjessklein.

Removing task assignee due to inactivity, as this open task has been assigned for more than two years. See the email sent to the task assignee on February 06th 2022 (and T295729).

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ppelberg claimed this task.