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Introduce a "feature peek" for the New Discussion Tool
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Authored By
ppelberg
Dec 23 2020, 8:01 PM
Referenced Files
F34722045: Peak - dialog.png
Nov 1 2021, 2:22 PM
F34722049: Peak - notification.png
Nov 1 2021, 2:22 PM
F34722051: Peak - dialog after.png
Nov 1 2021, 2:22 PM
F34661122: Screen Shot 2021-09-28 at 9.29.33 PM.png
Sep 29 2021, 4:53 AM
F33996215: Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 17.49.34.png
Jan 12 2021, 1:55 AM
F33996011: Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 12.51.53.png
Jan 11 2021, 8:52 PM
F33989758: Github-Discussions-1.png
Jan 7 2021, 6:23 PM
F33989756: Screen Shot 2020-12-22 at 9.59.01 AM.png
Jan 7 2021, 6:23 PM

Description

This task is about designing and implementing a notice of some kind within the existing &action=edit&section=new experience [i] that:

  1. Informs people that the New Discussion tool is available as a Beta Feature and
  2. Invites them to try the New Discussion Tool

User stories

  • As someone who has come to value the Reply Tool and is starting a new discussion using the existing &action=edit&section=new experience on a talk page using the desktop site:
    • I want to know a new, Reply Tool-like experience is available for starting talk page discussions/sections and what this experience offers me, so that I can decide whether to try it out or not
    • I want to know what to do to turn on this "new experience," so that I can try it and decide if I'd like to continue using it
  • As someone who is preparing to start a new discussion using the existing &action=edit&section=new experience on a talk page using the desktop site:
    • I want to know what to do to dismiss the notice that is making me aware of this new experience, so that I can get back to what I originally came to this talk page to do

Requirements

Meta

  • Platform: Desktop

People impacted

  • The experience we are designing and implementing should only impact people who:
    • Are logged in
    • Are accessing the &action=edit&section=new form on the desktop site
  • People should only experience the "first-run" experience we are designing and implementing in this ticket once, across wikis

User experience

  • Clicking the affordance to try the new discussion tool should:
    • Reload the page they have open and replace it with the talk page on which they are trying to start a discussion, with the New Discussion Tool opened
      • If someone has entered content into either of the &action=edit&section=new form's fields (e.g. Subject: or body), that same content should appear within the New Discussion Tool exactly as it did within the &action=edit&section=new form. Note: This functionality will be implemented in T269310.
    • Open the new Discussion Tool and default to the mode – Source or Visual – that aligns with the existing preferences people or the wiki have set. Note: this logic was implemented in T270685.
    • Open the new Discussion Tool and show the "hint" that will be implemented in T293962
    • Enable the Discussion tools beta feature for their account, if they have not already enabled it.
      • Note: of all the tools available within the Discussion tools beta feature, only the Enable quick topic adding should be enabled as a result of someone opting to try the "new experience" in this moment.
  • The UI element being implemented as part of this task should NOT interfere with peoples' ability to draft the new discussion topic they clicked

Open questions

  • 1. What happens if someone wants to try the New Discussion Tool after already having drafted content?
    • As discussed during the team's 20 October 2021 team meeting, this content will be retained and shown within the New Discussion Tool by way of the functionality we will implement in T269310.
  • 2. Which – if any – of the browsers that we support have URL limits that could inhibit our ability to "promise" that the content people drafted using the &action=edit&section=new form will be retained when they open the New Discussion Tool?

Mockups

@iamjessklein to post mockups here.

Copy

@iamjessklein to post copy here.

  • Title: TBD
  • Body: TBD
  • Call(s) to action: TBD

Done

  • Mockups that implement what the ===Requirements section describes are created and posted in the ===Mockups and ===Copy sections above
  • The designs posted in the ===Mockups and ===Copy sections above have been implemented

i. Existing New section/ Add topic affordance
Screen Shot 2021-09-28 at 9.29.33 PM.png (946×1 px, 228 KB)

References

Tooltip-like affordance. Context in T270788#6729202.

VE tooltipGithub Discussions notice
Screen Shot 2020-12-22 at 9.59.01 AM.png (924×864 px, 147 KB)
Github-Discussions-1.png (588×824 px, 92 KB)

Related Objects

Mentioned In
T295098: [SPIKE] What – if any – reactions have people had to the start of the New Discussion Tool A/B test?
T291536: [SPIKE] How can we ensure that we are able to identify and distinguish prior users of the New Discussion Tool in the AB test?
T280390: Determine first set of Wikipedias where New Discussion Tool will be offered as opt-out
T275828: Make volunteers aware of New Discussion Tool's availability as beta feature
T273079: Help Junior Contributors understand the purpose of talk pages
T270119: Create a setting for the New Discussion Tool in Special:Preferences
Mentioned Here
T277825: Run A/B test to evaluate impact of New Topic Tool
T295097: [Communications] Ensure Senior Contributors are aware of the New Discussion Tool being made available as opt-out
T295098: [SPIKE] What – if any – reactions have people had to the start of the New Discussion Tool A/B test?
T269310: Add support for preloaded text
T270685: Ensure the New Discussion Tool defaults to the correct text input mode
T293962: Introduce a "hint" that informs people how they can enable the legacy section=new experience
T291002: Add a link to preferences within the Reply and New Discussion Tools
T273077: Publicize availability of New Discussion Tool as beta feature
T273079: Help Junior Contributors understand the purpose of talk pages
T245539: Implement BetaFeatures integration
T67182: BetaFeatures: Add a Notification for "A new Beta Feature is available to try"
T76573: Allow users to provide quick feedback on beta features
T76580: Enable a domain where all beta features are enabled to easily test them
T67191: BetaFeatures: Add a Notification for "A Beta Feature you have enabled has been updated"
T270789: Add affordance to the Reply and New Discussion Tools that enables people to disable them
T259943: Create setting(s) for the Reply Tool within Special:Preferences
T270119: Create a setting for the New Discussion Tool in Special:Preferences
T270121: Always show Reply Tool preference in Special:Preferences when Discussion Tools Beta Feature is enabled

Event Timeline

There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes

This is a lot of information to throw at the user before they've even used the tool, and a lot of work to implement. We could just deploy the new feature to one or two beta wikis first and see if this is actually a problem before investing all this effort.

I also think the approach where we put a small message inside the tool explaining how to disable it in preferences is less disruptive to the workflow, and considerably easier to design and implement.

I feel that adding onboarding is a thing to avoid as much as possible. Because it's always an awful experience in every place that does it, and I doubt we'll buck that fundamental part of the concept.

Jess to talk to:

  • Content translation
  • Growth
  • Web

Goals:

  • understand how they do feature alerts

I talked to Content Translation @Pginer-WMF and Growth @RHo and learned that although there is some desire to have some kind of minimal notification for feature updates (echo notification etc) there is currently no system in place.

"Maybe in the future once there is a more stable set of features that have been used for a while that gets an overhaul. So far our users and features are fairly new and unfamiliar." - Rita

" We don't use notifications for feature updates. I think that would be a nice addition to the general beta feature infrastructure. However, I don't think there is a team actively working on it." - Pau

Pau alerted me to some relevant tickets:

So, we have a few options in terms of next steps and I think that the answer relates to whatever our real goal is here. Do we want to alert users so that they can be aware of the feature update so in turn we can get more feedback? Do we want to alert users so that they can change their settings? After talking it through a bit with @Esanders I am actually wondering if the value to users being notified (for them) is so that they can turn off the feature, which I think we would want to know about and want to know WHY. If that's true then maybe we want to alter the feedback ux/ui to help users to opt out from the feedback form. If we want to bring more attention to the feature, then, as @Whatamidoing-WMF suggests, maybe a small echo notification is more appropriate.

@ppelberg - Does this resonate with you? Which (if any) of the approaches do you suggest we move forward with?

I talked to Content Translation @Pginer-WMF and Growth @RHo and learned that although there is some desire to have some kind of minimal notification for feature updates (echo notification etc) there is currently no system in place.

This is helpful context [i][ii][iii] for us to be aware of and consider – thank you for pulling together this research, @iamjessklein.

So, we have a few options in terms of next steps and I think that the answer relates to whatever our real goal is here. Do we want to alert users so that they can be aware of the feature update so in turn we can get more feedback? Do we want to alert users so that they can change their settings? After talking it through a bit with @Esanders I am actually wondering if the value to users being notified (for them) is so that they can turn off the feature, which I think we would want to know about and want to know WHY. If that's true then maybe we want to alter the feedback ux/ui to help users to opt out from the feedback form. If we want to bring more attention to the feature, then, as @Whatamidoing-WMF suggests, maybe a small echo notification is more appropriate.

The goal of this intervention [iv] is for people who have the Discussion tools beta feature already enabled to:

  1. Be aware that the New Discussion Tool exists at the moment they are starting to create a new discussion topic
  2. Know what to do to try the New Discussion Tool
  3. Know what to do to use the existing section=new experience
  4. Know what to do to manage (read: enable/disable) the New Discussion Tool

These four points sound like they amount to a blend of what [I understand] @Esanders and @Whatamidoing-WMF to be describing/suggesting.

@ppelberg – ...Which (if any) of the approaches do you suggest we move forward with?

With the goal above in mind, as I was writing what's currently described in the task description's ===Requirements section, //one potential/ I had in mind is something that could look like some version of:

  • The tooltip we surface in VE and
  • The notice Github surfaces to draw peoples' attention to their beta Discussions feature. [v.]

Although, before moving forward with this, I'd like to understand the complexities @Esanders alluded to in T270788#6711100. [vi.]


i. T67182
ii. T76573
iii. T76580
iv. This language is borrowed from the task description's ===Background section
v.

VE tooltipGithub Discussions notice
Screen Shot 2020-12-22 at 9.59.01 AM.png (924×864 px, 147 KB)
Github-Discussions-1.png (588×824 px, 92 KB)

vi. "...a lot of work to implement."

Next steps

  • @ppelberg to discuss with @Esanders the complexities he alluded to in T270788#6711100 and the approach(es) those complexities are related to.
  • Team to discuss lighter-weight approaches that could deliver on the task description's newly created ===Objectives section. Note: I've added an ===Approaches section to the task description.

11-Jan standup notes

Next steps

This morning, @Esanders shared the "complexities" come from the work involved with introducing a new UI component.

  • Team to discuss lighter-weight approaches that could deliver on the task description's newly created ===Objectives section.

The approaches the team shared:

  • Offer a small message within the tool, similar to how the T&S are currently presented within the tool [i]
  • Show people a generic dialog when they click the New section link/tab for the first time after the New Discussion Tool is made available
  • Send a [mass] talk page message to people who have the Discussiontools Beta Feature enabled at the partner wikis where the New Discussion Tool is being made available as well.

The above have been added to the task description's ===Approaches section.

Next steps

  • @ppelberg to decide on one of the approaches.

@Dyolf77_WMF, @Patriccck, @Samat and @Urbanecm_WMF: we have two questions for each of you about the New Discussion Tool.

These questions are below and so is the situation that's prompting us to ask these questions. cc @Tacsipacsi


Questions

  • 1. When and how do you think people at your wiki (ar, cs and hu) who have enabled the Discussiontools Beta Feature [i] will expect to be made aware that the New Discussion Tool is available?
  • 2. How would you expect people at your wiki to react when they go to start a new discussion and they see the New Discussion Tool instead of the existing workflow [ii], which they were likely expecting?

Situation
To make it easier for people to use new talk page features as they become available, we implemented the Discussion tools beta feature in such a way [i] that this single preference "governs" the behavior of several features (e.g. Reply Tool, New Discussion Tool and eventually, Visual Enhancements).

This means, someone who had enabled the Discussion tools beta feature to gain access to the Reply Tool might be surprised/confused/frustrated/etc. to see the New Discussion Tool, instead of the existing workflow [ii], the first time they go to start a new conversation after the New Discussion Tool has been made available as a Beta Feature.

More details
You can find additional context in the task description's ===Background section.

Timing
If possible, it would be great to hear what you all think about the above before this week is over.


i. T245539

ii. "Existing workflow" = the section=new form
Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 17.49.34.png (1×1 px, 258 KB)

Not involved in this project in my WMF capacity.

Not involved in this project in my WMF capacity.

Ah, yes. Thank you for adjusting the ticket, @Urbanecm.

Hi @ppelberg

Questions

  • 1. When and how do you think people at your wiki (ar, cs and hu) who have enabled the Discussiontools Beta Feature [i] will expect to be made aware that the New Discussion Tool is available?
  1. in my opinion, for ar wiki, while people are adding a new topic, they expect the regular tool(s), but they will notice the new tool during the normal use. It will be an efficient way to be aware of the availability of the NDT. A warning/explaining message could be added to the NDT when it is triggered in the first time.

Otherwise, we will send a message on the Community talk page, Discussion Tools project page just after releasing the feature.

  • 2. How would you expect people at your wiki to react when they go to start a new discussion and they see the New Discussion Tool instead of the existing workflow [ii], which they were likely expecting?
  1. I understand by people: user who enabled the Discussiontools, if so, they are waiting for a such update. And as they were informed about the Editing team work on this NDT, I think they will adopt it and don't hesitate to talk about it and comment it, like with the Reply Tool.

+1 to @Dyolf77_WMF re:

warning/explaining message could be added to the NDT when it is triggered in the first time. Otherwise, we will send a message on the Community talk page, Discussion Tools project page just after releasing the feature.

Hi @ppelberg

Questions

  • 1. When and how do you think people at your wiki (ar, cs and hu) who have enabled the Discussiontools Beta Feature [i] will expect to be made aware that the New Discussion Tool is available?
  1. in my opinion, for ar wiki, while people are adding a new topic, they expect the regular tool(s), but they will notice the new tool during the normal use. It will be an efficient way to be aware of the availability of the NDT. A warning/explaining message could be added to the NDT when it is triggered in the first time.

This is helpful context – we appreciate you thinking this through, @Dyolf77_WMF.

Good thought...this idea of offering some kind of onboarding experience that helps Junior Contributors, who are starting a new conversation for the first time, understand the purpose of talk pages and subsequently use them, seems like it could be valuable. Here's a ticket for that: T273079. cc @iamjessklein who expressed support for this T270788#6757670.

Otherwise, we will send a message on the Community talk page, Discussion Tools project page just after releasing the feature.

To start, we're going to do as you're suggesting above, make announcements about the tool's availability that include what changes people can expect in their experience and who will see these changes. This will happen in T273077.

If the "make announcements" method of raising awareness about the feature (T273077) proves to be insufficient at the Arabic, Czech and Hungarian Wikipedias, we can revisit this ticket and decide whether it is worthwhile to implement a way of raising awareness within the software before offering the New Discussion Tool at a larger number of projects.

  • 2. How would you expect people at your wiki to react when they go to start a new discussion and they see the New Discussion Tool instead of the existing workflow [ii], which they were likely expecting?
  1. I understand by people: user who enabled the Discussiontools, if so, they are waiting for a such update. And as they were informed about the Editing team work on this NDT, I think they will adopt it and don't hesitate to talk about it and comment it, like with the Reply Tool.

Understood.

Dyolf77_WMF moved this task from Ended to In review on the User-Dyolf77 board.
ppelberg renamed this task from Introduce feature notice for the New Discussion Tool to Introduce a first-run experience for the New Discussion Tool.Aug 6 2021, 10:18 PM
ppelberg updated the task description. (Show Details)

Per the conversation @iamjessklein and I had today, 17-Sep, we are limiting the scope of this task to a notice of some kind that appears before someone engages with the Add topic / New section.

In doing the above, we are eliminating the requirement that people have an opportunity to switch back to the section=new experience they are likely used to from within the New Discussion Tool. We are comfortable with this omissions because this affordance is going to get implemented in T291002.

ppelberg renamed this task from Introduce a first-run experience for the New Discussion Tool to Introduce a "feature peak" for the New Discussion Tool.Sep 20 2021, 11:56 PM
iamjessklein renamed this task from Introduce a "feature peak" for the New Discussion Tool to Introduce a "feature peek" for the New Discussion Tool.Sep 28 2021, 7:47 PM

This:

People should only experience the "first-run" experience we are designing and implementing in this ticket once, across wikis

would be nice for me/people like me, but since most volunteers only edit one or two wikis, it may not be worth the engineering effort, especially if this is something that runs for a couple of months (i.e., until most active editors have had a chance to see it) and is then removed.

Also, since the feature becomes available at different times on different wikis, it might be useful to have a message point out that it's available here/now.

Update
As discussed during the team's 29 September meeting, we are going to revise the approach currently described in this ticket in favor of:

  1. Introducing a notice of some kind within the existing Add topic / New section experience that informs people that the New Discussion Tool is available as a Beta Feature and invites them to try it prior to to the tool becoming available as an on-by-default feature.
  2. [Potentially] Introducing a notice of some kind within the New Discussion Tool once it's available as an on-by-default feature.

Next steps

  • @ppelberg to document the specifications for "1." by revising this task's description
  • @ppelberg to document the specifications for "2." by creating a new ticket

@ppelberg - I took a stab at updating the task description here. Please review it and of course edit as you see fit.

Question: will the new notice also invite those who do try it out to provide feedback or something specific? If not, am I correct to assume that the purpose of this notice is to let them use the new experience earlier that they normally would if they didn't [click some sort of button]? Or is it that we have the new experience running and they don't actually have to take any action now, but just need to be aware that this is going to be a change?

The user story says

[…] is visiting a talk page […]

There is nothing about clicking the add topic tab. It wouldn’t make sense to put there, either: since this notice is to be shown after the NDT is opt-out, people won’t reach the old add topic affordance in the first place.

Right, @tacsipasci I think that I need an answer to this question before I begin editing the user stories as well. At this point I have only added the description to say:

This task is about designing and implementing a notice of some kind within the existing Add topic/ New section experience. The notice will inform people that the New Discussion tool is available as a Beta Feature and, in turn, will invite them to try it prior to the tool becoming available as default feature.

Just in case this gets confusing to re-read, the "question" is:

will the new notice also invite those who do try it out to provide feedback or something specific? If not, am I correct to assume that the purpose of this notice is to let them use the new experience earlier that they normally would if they didn't [click some sort of button]? Or is it that we have the new experience running and they don't actually have to take any action now, but just need to be aware that this is going to be a change?

At this point I have only added the description to say:

And exactly that description introduces that the notice should be in the old add topic affordance—to be precise, the phrase I underlined below:

This task is about designing and implementing a notice of some kind within the existing Add topic/ New section experience. The notice will inform people that the New Discussion tool is available as a Beta Feature and, in turn, will invite them to try it prior to the tool becoming available as default feature.

(By the way, if you use the autocomplete provided by Phabricator, it’s less likely that you leave a typo in my—or others’—user name. I’m @Tacsipacsi, not @tacsipasci.)

Thanks @Tacsipacsi (autocomplete used :) )

We are creating an experience that:

  1. informs contributors that a new experience will becoming available
  2. invites them to try it out in the exact space that they are currently within the interface (which I am assuming is either the moment they are creating a new topic or replying to an existing one).

Does what's included here match up with how you've been thinking about this work?

My question is regarding this point

since this notice is to be shown after the NDT is opt-out, people won’t reach the old add topic affordance in the first place

I am wondering if we are in fact talking about deploying this for before or after the New Discussion Tool is opt out.

I think such notifications make more sense after some change instead of before it—after is the time when the user can take an action, e.g. opt out from the new discussion tool. Also, if you want to show this notification to every eligible user exactly once before the tool becomes opt-out, what if some eligible users don’t trigger the notification by the opt-out deployment? Anyway, the worst specification is the one that’s not self-consistent, which is currently the case:

The notice will inform people that the New Discussion tool is available as a Beta Feature and, in turn, will invite them to try it prior to the tool becoming available as default feature.
[…]

  • As someone who […] is visiting a talk page on desktop for the first time after the New Discussion Tool has been made available by default...
ppelberg updated the task description. (Show Details)
ppelberg updated the task description. (Show Details)
  • 2 Which – if any – of the browsers that we support have URL limits that could inhibit our ability to "promise" that the content people drafted using the &action=edit&section=new form will be retained when they open the New Discussion Tool?

@DLynch would it be accurate for me to think that Edge Version 16 is the only browser-version combination that could be concerning?

@DLynch would it be accurate for me to think that Edge Version 16 is the only browser-version combination that could be concerning?

I'm not actually sure, the table I shared that you're referencing was sort of old and was just the very first bit of data I could grab during our meeting. This stackoverflow question is more recent and suggests that at least some people are still seeing URL length limits in recent versions of Edge of ~4k characters. We could probably test this by getting someone with recent Edge on a Windows machine to check it out.

4k is low enough that I'd be slightly worried about us accidentally truncating someone's post -- it's 14 tweets. So it's within the realm of a plausible long-ish first-post to a topic, rather than being excessive like the 64k limits of other browsers.

The URL length issue is only actually-an-issue if we open the new discussion tool through an page reload. We might be able to sidestep that by dynamically loading some JS to switch the editor mode without needing to do a refresh, but I haven't looked into whether that'd be simple or not in our specific case.

I explored three directions.
I am looking for feedback regarding which direction to pursue.
The copy is not final.

Option 1: Dialog before clicking in to start new topic
Pro: Not disruptive to the "editing experience"
Con: Easily dismiss-able

Peak - dialog.png (1×2 px, 295 KB)

Option 2: Notification before clicking in to start new topic
Pro: Less of a popup, so it feels more like an announcement
Con: Could be interpreted as an ad and therefore dismissed.

Peak - notification.png (1×2 px, 268 KB)

Option 3: Dialog after clicking in to start new topic
Pro: Less dismiss-able
Con: Potentially disruptive to the "editing experience"

Peak - dialog after.png (1×2 px, 303 KB)

The (non-final) headline says "A new way to start topics is here!" and I thought that meant that what I was looking at (which is the old way) was the new way. I'm not sure what would happen if I clicked "Get started". Would it reload the page with the new way, or let me continue as-is, or what?

The (non-final) headline says "A new way to start topics is here!" and I thought that meant that what I was looking at (which is the old way) was the new way. I'm not sure what would happen if I clicked "Get started". Would it reload the page with the new way, or let me continue as-is, or what?

Good point @Whatamidoing-WMF - If we were to go in that direction, the copy would need to be adjusted to imply that the experience is available, and in turn, can be accessed by clicking the button. When clicking the button, the page would reload with the new experience.

Update: Prioritization
Prompted by a question from @Esanders about the impact, or lack thereof, of this pre-deployment notice, we are going to pause work on this task, remove it as blocking the start of the New Discussion Tool A/B test (T277825), and prioritize work on T293962.

In doing the above, we are communicating the following:

  1. We are not currently aware of a pattern of people expressing a need/desire for what this ticket is describing beyond the two comments User:JSoos and @Tacsipacsi made at hu.wiki in July [i][ii].
  2. We think 1) thoroughly [iii] announcing plans to make the New Discussion Tool available as an opt-out feature (T295097) and 2) introducing a "hint" within the New Discussion Tool that informs people how to switch back to the existing &action=edit&section=new desktop experience (T293962) once it's been made available as an opt-out feature will provide people sufficient opportunities to ensure they are able to start new talk page discussions using the tool/experience they prefer.
  3. We will validate the extent to which "2." is true by checking how people within the New Discussion Tool A/B Test test group react. Read: are people reporting that they were caught off-guard by the appearance of the New Discussion Tool and are uncertain about how to return to the legacy experience? This work will happen in T295098.
  4. If we learn in "3." that people are "significantly" surprised, we will consider re-prioritizing work on this task.

i. https://hu.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikip%C3%A9dia:Kocsmafal_(javaslatok)&oldid=24062516#c-JSoos-2021-07-05T11:26:00.000Z-JSoos-2021-07-05T10:21:00.000Z
ii. https://hu.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Szerkeszt%C5%91vita:Samat&diff=24063522&oldid=24062454&diffmode=source
iii. I'm placing emphasis on "thoroughly" here because we will need to be extra intentional/thorough about communicating with people about the New Discussion Tool considering it replaces an existing workflow.

Removing inactive assignee. (Please reset assignees of open tasks when offboarding staff.)

We've enabled the tool for everyone on almost all wikis without this feature, so I think this is no longer relevant.