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Determine and implement new discussion tool interface copy
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Description

This task is about determining and implementing the New Discussion's interface messages so that it meets the conditions below:

  • A) Discussion-specific [i]
  • B) Complimentary to/consistent with the the language in the Reply Tool

Interface messages to implement

The desired interface and QQQ messages can be found in the Decision and Revised QQQ columns (columns I and J respectively`) of the PROPOSAL tab of the [publicly viewable] New Discussion Tool experience copy Google Sheet.

Done

  • Document all of the New Discussion Tool's UI elements that contain copy in the ===Interface messages table
  • Decide on the the "Expected copy" for each of the New Discussion Tool's UI elements; document this copy in the "Expected copy" column of ===Interface messages table.
  • The revised interface messages and QQQ messages are implemented.

i. See this task for more context about the broader effort to make sure the language people encounter in discussion contexts (read: talk pages) is "discussion-specific" : T241403.

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Event Timeline

ppelberg moved this task from 📚 Backlog to 📐 Doing on the Editing Design board.
ppelberg added a project: DiscussionTools.

While there is a larger discussion needed about all the interface elements copy on Talk Pages - I'm going to document components that are specific to the New Discussion T243248 workflow.

Point of Entry

  • "New Section"

Drafting:

  • "Subject/Headline"

Publishing

  • "Publish"

Task description update

  • ADDED: ===Interface messages and started populating it with the areas where I've noticed the copy needing to be revised. cc @iamjessklein

I put the interface audit of the new discussion components on slides 4-6

I thought it would be useful to see within the context of the entire Talk Page so I did a full interface audit.

I've updated this spreadsheet with all of the components and their copy and an image.
Next step is for @ppelberg and I to review holistically and propose any changes.

I've updated this spreadsheet with all of the components and their copy and an image.

I think this spreadsheet will make it easier for us to think about the New Discussion Tool's interface copy holistically...thank you for pulling this together and presenting the information in this way, @iamjessklein.

Next step is for @ppelberg and I to review holistically and propose any changes.

Sounds great. In beginning to think about the New Discussion Tool interface copy, I found myself wanting to understand it in relation to talk pages' broader linguistic structure. You can find the thinking I started doing around this in the Conceptual framework sheet.

I figure we can talk about all of the above in more detail the next time we talk synchronously.


Note: I have not yet proposed any modifications within the New Discussion Tool sheet because I first wanted to make sure you and I were aligned about the broader structure/architecture of talk page.

Note: after discussing with @Esanders we probably don't have control over the left tabs (Article, Talk) because those elements are handled on a per wiki level in many cases. (This means that even though the software says that the tabs should say "Page, Discussion", English Wikipedia has overwritten that text to be Article, Talk.)

Notes from conversation with @iamjessklein:

  • We're going to experiment with calling the "objects" the New Discussion Tool produces "topics."
  • Resulting next step:
  • @iamjessklein to populate "Sheet 2" of the New Discussion Tool experience copy spreadsheet with this new understanding in mind.

I've populated with the spreadsheet with the proposed new copy as well as QQQ copy for translation purposes.

Please provide feedback @ppelberg @Esanders @Whatamidoing-WMF

Note: I am intentionally being this detailed so that we can start to develop a copy inventory of the whole experience. With this in mind, please think of this as a living document but have the goal of firming up the new discussion language.

For the "Action people take to publish/create the Object", the label is "Publish page", not "Publish changes".

One of the goals behind the "Publish" label is to make it clear to newcomers that this is not a private/internal messaging system. Everything is public, even things in the "Draft" namespace. We fairly often get questions from editors who just want to "Save" their pages without making them public, and who figured out (only) from the "Publish page" label that if they click that blue button, then everyone else will be able to see it.

This is important for talk pages, because people might post phone numbers and e-mail addresses in a private message but wouldn't if they knew that it was public. If you wanted a different label, then something like "Start public discussion" might be clear on that point.

On the question of Subject (or headline – maybe that's actually heading?) and Comment vs Title and Description, have you considered using the labels that would be familiar from e-mail? Starting a message on a talk page is a bit like sending an e-mail message to a group mailing list. Also, "Title" already has a specific meaning on wiki.

I've populated with the spreadsheet with the proposed new copy as well as QQQ copy for translation purposes.

This spreadsheet makes it easy to see and think about what you are proposing...thank you for bringing it together, @iamjessklein.

Please provide feedback @ppelberg...

I've added the comments I have to the column titled Comments (please prepend with your initials) in the New Discussion Tool experience copy spreadsheet. I've also copied over a question from the spreadsheet below since I think it'll be easier to talk about here.


Question

  • @iamjessklein: For the label for the button to submit a new topic (discussiontools-replywidget-newtopic) what do you think about language like Start topic?

I'm conflicted...on one hand, Start is descriptive of what I understand people to be conceptually doing [i] On the other hand, Add and Post are more descriptive of what is literally/technically happening (new content is being "added" or "posted" to the page).


i. "Starting" a conversation that will, at some point "end," either implicitly (people stop talking) or explicitly (an agreement is reached).

@Esanders @Whatamidoing-WMF @ppelberg : thank you for your comments. I've updated the spreadsheet with two (green) columns marked with Decisions. I don't think that "Start topic" works as well in this context because we are trying to remain consistent with the call to action button, which we decided would be "Add a Topic", With this logic the only two options that I see are "Add" or "Add Topic". I went with "Add" for the purpose of brevity.

Next step: @ppelberg thumbsup if you are alright with that approach and then we can reassign this to engineering for implementation.

...I don't think that "Start topic" works as well in this context because we are trying to remain consistent with the call to action button, which we decided would be "Add a Topic", With this logic the only two options that I see are "Add" or "Add Topic".

Understood.

Next step: @ppelberg thumbsup if you are alright with that approach and then we can reassign this to engineering for implementation.

I have two – what I consider to be – blocking comments (below); I've also commented them within the sheet (links below).


Component nameRevised QQQComment/question for @iamjesskleinLink to comment in Google Sheet
discussiontools-replywidget-newtopicButton for posting a new topic.What's the thinking behind NOT having the button label read Add topic? Currently it's proposed to read Add. [i]https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-uLxMRul5UfQDGsUZN_daqLmdJsTyFdNXsH08A8GFW4/edit?disco=AAAALLwWnpA
discussiontools-newtopic-missing-titleWarning message shown when leaving the title field empty while adding a new topic to the page.I think this should read, Please provide a title for your discussion topic. If you click "Add topic" again, your topic will be added without a title" [ii]https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-uLxMRul5UfQDGsUZN_daqLmdJsTyFdNXsH08A8GFW4/edit?disco=AAAALLwWnpE

i. IMO, I think this button is an opportunity to remind people, explicitly, what it is they are doing at this moment: "Adding a topic to a page filled with other topics for discussion." ...I wonder whether "Add" on its own, could lead people to become ever-so-slightly-confused.
ii. Rationale: I worry the copy, as it's currently written, could lead people to become confused considered up until this point in the workflow they'll have understood a "topic" as consisting of a "title" and a "description" yet here, the interface suggests the "topic" now means "title" and "description" now means comment.

Your changes sound appropriate to me. I've updated the spreadsheet to reflect this.

ppelberg renamed this task from Determine new discussion tool interface copy to Determine and implement new discussion tool interface copy.Jan 28 2021, 8:38 PM
ppelberg updated the task description. (Show Details)

Your changes sound appropriate to me. I've updated the spreadsheet to reflect this.

Great. I've updated the task description with the details [I think] will be necessary for engineering to implement the revised interface and QQQ messages.

Change 660045 had a related patch set uploaded (by Bartosz Dziewoński; owner: Bartosz Dziewoński):
[mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionTools@master] Update localisation messages and their documentation for new discussion tool

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/660045

Question about the button to initiate the new discussion tool – it should be changed from "New section" to "Add a topic" only when the new discussion tool is enabled, right? Or do you mean that we should also change it in the current experience without the new discussion tool? (or rather presumably convince en.wp that it should be changed)

The patch above implements all of the other changes.

Question about the button to initiate the new discussion tool – it should be changed from "New section" to "Add a topic" only when the new discussion tool is enabled, right? Or do you mean that we should also change it in the current experience without the new discussion tool? (or rather presumably convince en.wp that it should be changed)

The patch above implements all of the other changes.

Yes, that tab is a core message, and is customised on some wikis (en.wiki). I suspect trying to change it would be more controversial than just changing messages within the tool.

Notes from this morning's team conversation

Question about the button to initiate the new discussion tool – it should be changed from "New section" to "Add a topic" only when the new discussion tool is enabled, right? Or do you mean that we should also change it in the current experience without the new discussion tool? (or rather presumably convince en.wp that it should be changed)

APPROACHES

ApproachImpactDescription
1.Non-existantDo NOT change the existing link/button people use to start a new discussion topic on talk pages for anyone. Meaning: all people, regardless of whether they do or do not have the New Discussion Tool enabled will continue to see the same link/button for adding a new discussion topic to a talk page that they currently do.
2.LimitedChange the existing button for people who have the New Discussion Tool enabled. Meaning: people who do NOT have the New Discussion Tool enabled will see NO changes in what they experience when adding a new discussion topic to a talk page.
3.BroadChange the existing button for everyone. Meaning: were this change to be implemented, everyone could see new language on the link/button they're used to clicking to start a new discussion topic on a talk page.

PLAN OF ACTION
The bit below is a direct response to the question @matmarex posed above, as well as a note to our future selves...

  • FOR NOW, we are going to take "Approach #1" and leave the New section/Add topic link/button unchanged for everyone.
  • LATER, when we come back to introducing a new affordance for making it easier for people to identify and understand how to add a new discussion topic (T267444), we will make sure the language of that button/affordance is consistent with the rest of the experience in the tool. [i]

THINKING
The "PLAN OF ACTION" above rests atop the following thinking:

  • From start to finish, people should find the language throughout the workflow for adding a new discussion topic to a talk page to be consistent and complimentary.
  • People should find the language throughout the workflow for adding a new discussion topic to a talk page should reinforce the idea that the purpose of the workflow is to start a conversation about a new topic.
  • People should not have to cope and/or manage change they did not "ask" for. [ii]

i. See`===Open questions` in T267444
- [ ] What language should the affordance be named? //See: T264220#6794016.//

ii. I'm not wholly satisfied with this language; tho, I don't have a better articulation in mind at this moment.

This is ready for review then, the patch has all of the other wording changes.

Change 660045 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionTools@master] Update localisation messages and their documentation for new discussion tool

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/660045

@ppelberg - are we planning on doing a test of this once it's on a test wiki? I think a quick test on usertesting.com would be a nice data point.

@ppelberg - are we planning on doing a test of this once it's on a test wiki? I think a quick test on usertesting.com would be a nice data point.

@iamjessklein: can you say more about the above? The test that you are imagining...what is it that we would be seeking to learn?

Yes, that tab is a core message, and is customised on some wikis (en.wiki). I suspect trying to change it would be more controversial than just changing messages within the tool.

  • LATER, when we come back to introducing a new affordance for making it easier for people to identify and understand how to add a new discussion topic (T267444), we will make sure the language of that button/affordance is consistent with the rest of the experience in the tool. [i]

Isn’t the plan to make this tool opt-out everywhere, including enwiki? If so, approach #2 would impact most users, so I don’t think it would be considerably less controversial than changing for everyone.

Furthermore, I don’t know how would you want to implement this conditional change, but JavaScript-less clients would need to be taken into account—they are effectively opted out, but showing different tab without any explicit change (i.e. turning off DiscussionTools in the preferences) is highly confusing.

Yes, that tab is a core message, and is customised on some wikis (en.wiki). I suspect trying to change it would be more controversial than just changing messages within the tool.

  • LATER, when we come back to introducing a new affordance for making it easier for people to identify and understand how to add a new discussion topic (T267444), we will make sure the language of that button/affordance is consistent with the rest of the experience in the tool. [i]

Isn’t the plan to make this tool opt-out everywhere, including enwiki? If so, approach #2 would impact most users, so I don’t think it would be considerably less controversial than changing for everyone.

The current plan is to make the tool opt-out, in some capacity, at all Wikipedias, yes.

Although, we have not yet converged on whether the tool would be opt-out for everyone, just for Junior Contributions (<100 cumulative edits), etc.

Furthermore, I don’t know how would you want to implement this conditional change, but JavaScript-less clients would need to be taken into account—they are effectively opted out, but showing different tab without any explicit change (i.e. turning off DiscussionTools in the preferences) is highly confusing.

Can you say a bit more here, @Tacsipacsi? What is the "conditional change" you are referring to?

@ppelberg - are we planning on doing a test of this once it's on a test wiki? I think a quick test on usertesting.com would be a nice data point.

@iamjessklein: can you say more about the above? The test that you are imagining...what is it that we would be seeking to learn?

Per the conversation @iamjessklein and I had yesterday, we do not think testing the latest interface messages with Junior Contirbutors.

Thinking: as we learned in the usability tests in T243249, Junior Contributor test participants were successful and confident using the New Discussion Tool without, what we assume to be, are the more clear interface messages this task implements. As such, we think the risk is low of these changes causes any kind of "regression" in peoples' ability to understand and use the tool.

During today's standup, we decided to adjust the text that appears above the edit summary field in both the Reply Tool and New Discussion Tool. That work will happen in T273944.

Furthermore, I don’t know how would you want to implement this conditional change, but JavaScript-less clients would need to be taken into account—they are effectively opted out, but showing different tab without any explicit change (i.e. turning off DiscussionTools in the preferences) is highly confusing.

Can you say a bit more here, @Tacsipacsi? What is the "conditional change" you are referring to?

I mean approach #2, that is, different output based on the condition of whether or not NDT is enabled:

ApproachImpactDescription
2.LimitedChange the existing button for people who have the New Discussion Tool enabled. Meaning: people who do NOT have the New Discussion Tool enabled will see NO changes in what they experience when adding a new discussion topic to a talk page.

Since DiscussionTools is a JavaScript-based feature, it doesn’t work for people without JS by nature. However, the lack of JS may be for various reasons (unstable internet connection leading JS bits simply not to be loaded, ancient browser on which we deliberately disable JS etc.). Some of these are temporary (like unstable internet connection), so it’s confusing if these conditions affect a loosely related part of the interface.

However, my main point is that if you plan to enable NDT for many/most users, #2 is basically the same as #1 in terms of social impact, so I think it shouldn’t be done without discussing this with affected communities (does this mean only enwiki?).

Since DiscussionTools is a JavaScript-based feature, it doesn’t work for people without JS by nature. However, the lack of JS may be for various reasons (unstable internet connection leading JS bits simply not to be loaded, ancient browser on which we deliberately disable JS etc.). Some of these are temporary (like unstable internet connection), so it’s confusing if these conditions affect a loosely related part of the interface.

Thank you for explaining this in more detail, @Tacsipacsi. You saying this is leading me to realize I need to better understand what the experience could be for people in the scenarios you described above. I'll talk with the team and report back.

However, my main point is that if you plan to enable NDT for many/most users, #2 is basically the same as #1 in terms of social impact, so I think it shouldn’t be done without discussing this with affected communities (does this mean only enwiki?).

Did you mean "#2 (limited) is basically the same as #3 (broad)"? If so, then we are in agreement: no changes to the "New section" / "Add topic" link ought to be made without first discussing them with volunteers who will be affected by them.

Did you mean "#2 (limited) is basically the same as #3 (broad)"?

Yeah, sorry for mixing them up. :(

Did you mean "#2 (limited) is basically the same as #3 (broad)"?

Yeah, sorry for mixing them up. :(

No worries!

Since DiscussionTools is a JavaScript-based feature, it doesn’t work for people without JS by nature. However, the lack of JS may be for various reasons (unstable internet connection leading JS bits simply not to be loaded, ancient browser on which we deliberately disable JS etc.). Some of these are temporary (like unstable internet connection), so it’s confusing if these conditions affect a loosely related part of the interface.

Thank you for explaining this in more detail, @Tacsipacsi. You saying this is leading me to realize I need to better understand what the experience could be for people in the scenarios you described above. I'll talk with the team and report back.

Alright. We talked about this as a team and came to wonder whether it is worth having multiple versions of the Add topic / New section links considering doing so may create more confusion [i] than eliminates.

In either case, we'll revisit this decision when we come back to T267444.

In the meantime, I've represented – what I understand to be – the issue at-hand in the T267444's task description within the Considerations section.


i. E.g. We may need to maintain two versions of documetation.