Separate work is required for the desktop and mobile versions of this task. This is the desktop version, and this is its mobile counterpart: T254823: Newcomer tasks: switch to visual editor (mobile)
We want users to experience newcomer tasks in the visual editor, as opposed to the wikitext editors. This is because we believe the visual editor will be a better experience for newcomers, and that they will be more likely to succeed in their first edits. Likewise, our guidance content (T245786) is written geared toward the visual editor (though it is possible to write separate guidance content geared toward the wikitext editor).
Our original plan for doing this was as follows (from T244431):
On single-tab editor wikis, we want users who click edit from the newcomer tasks workflow to have the visual editor open, as opposed to wikitext. This should happen regardless of their previous editor settings. But we should only send the user into visual editor the first time they open a suggested edit. If they visit a suggested edit task, and subsequently change over to the wikitext editor, on their next suggested edit, their preferred editor should open.
In considering this further, we've talked about whether this would be disorienting for users who have done either of these things:
- Users who had previously switched over to wikitext editors in previous edits.
- Users who explicitly set their preference to always default to wikitext.
Therefore, here is what we want to do so that the user has a simple, and not confusing, experience: every time a user clicks to edit in the suggested edits workflow on desktop for wikis that have the single edit tab, it should be the visual editor that opens, not the wikitext editor. The only exceptions are:
- if the user has an editor preference set to "Always give me the source editor", we should follow that preference.**
- if the user has an editor preference set to "Show me both editor tabs", we should treat their experience like we would on a wiki that has two tabs. This means putting our pulsing blue dot on the "Edit" button, and not altering the editor that appears when they click edit.
- if the user has the editor preference checkbox set to "Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta", we should only give them the wikitext editor when they click Edit.
We recognize that though this clarifies one behavior for the user (VE always opens with the suggested edits workflow), it may be confusing or annoying in other ways. For instance, the user may click edit on a suggested edit, switch to wikitext on purpose, then click to read the article again for a minute, then switch back to editing and need to change editors back to wikitext again. As we look into how to do this technically, we should identify opportunities to decrease this kind of annoyance for the user.