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Hide topic subscription affordance on peoples' own user talk page
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Description

This task is about implementing an approach for how – if at all – topic subscriptions (T263820) should appear and function on your user talk page.

Approach

This section describes the behavior we would like to implement.

The topic subscrip

Testing instructions

  1. On a wiki where the Topic Subscription beta feature is available (T274188), visit your own user talk page
  2. Verify the topic subscription affordance is NOT visible/present.

Objectives

The Approach we take needs to, at a minimum, NOT detract from any of the following objectives:

  1. Junior Contributors recognize talk pages as places to communicate with other people
  2. Junior Contributors are confident how and when they will be notified when someone is talking to them
  3. Junior Contributors understand their user talk pages as a place where other volunteers may contact them about things they have done and/or said.
  4. Junior and Senior Contributors understand topic subscriptions as a way to be notified about new activity in a conversation they have explicitly expressed an interest in

Potential approaches

If there are other approaches that you think should be considered, please comment as much on this task

Approach #1: do not show topic subscription affordances

  • This is the approach we are moving forward with. More details in T276996#6909778.

Approach #2: show topic subscription affordances and prevent people from interacting with them

Approach #3: show topic subscription affordances and enable people to interact with them

Considerations

Assumptions

  1. Introducing topic subscriptions (T263820) on your user talk page will have a marginal impact on peoples' likelihood of: A) knowing when when someone is saying something in a conversation that is relevant to them and B) receiving timely and relevant responses to the things they say on Wikipedia talk pages.
    • The above is built atop the fact that people are already receiving notifications when someone else edits *your* user talk page. [i]
  2. Discussion-specific affordances, like the button/link for subscribing to a topic, will help Junior Contributors recognize their user talk page as a place to talk with other editors. See: T249579.

Risks

  1. People could notice, and become confused, by the fact that notifications about edits made to your user talk page could look and behave differently than notifications about new comments posted in topics you are subscribed to that are *not* on your user talk page.
    • Example: clicking on a notification triggered by a topic subscription may end up taking you to the precise comment you are being notified about and that comment may be highlighted in some way where as clicking on a notification triggered by the existing system would take you to the section in which the new comment was posted without treated the comment you are being notified about in any kind of way.
  2. If Junior Contributors see their own user talk page as looking different from other talk pages they encounter on the wiki, they could have a more difficult time understanding the relationship between the two "styles" of talk pages and subsequently, be less likely to apply what they learn interacting/using one style of talk page to interacting/using the other style of talk page.
  3. Making the decision this ticket is asking for without having first formed an opinion about the ways user talks pages (of which "yours" is one) could look and function differently from talk pages in other contexts and namespaces, we could cause Junior Contributors to become further confused about how they ought to understand and use talk pages.
  4. Junior Contributors may not know how/if to expect to be notified when someone says something to them on their user talk page.

Done

  • Potential approaches are defined and explored
  • A given Approach is decided upon
  • The Approach is implemented

i. T259572#6615268

Event Timeline

Update: 10-March
This morning, @Esanders, @iamjessklein, @matmarex, @Whatamidoing-WMF and I met to discuss the different Approaches we could take to making the decision this ticket is asking for and the Considerations we ought to have in mind when making this decision.

I've updated the task description with what I understand to have surfaced in that conversation.

Next steps

  • @ppelberg to propose a path forward
  • Team to provide feedback
ppelberg updated the task description. (Show Details)

Next steps

Path forward
Initially, I think we should move forward with: Approach #1: do not show topic subscription affordances on your own user talk page.

If people come to find topic subscriptions not being available on their own user talk page confusing/unexpected, I am assuming it will be possible to introduce these affordances at this later point.

Thinking

  • Topic subscription affordances *not* being visible is unlikely to cause Junior Contributors to wonder/become confused how they will be notified when someone is talking to them considering they are expecting this to happen automatically. See: T273908#6850481.
  • Topic subscription affordances *not* being visible will likely prevent people from becoming confused why notifications about new comments posted on their user talk page look and behave differently than notifications about new comments posted in topics they are subscribed to that are *not* on their user talk page.

Next steps

  • Discuss with team

@iamjessklein I am assigning this over for you to review and voice anything you think we should consider before moving forward with what I've proposed in T276996#6909778.

This approach makes sense, however, I have two things that I want us to think about:

1. Rollout - will completely removing the affordance appear jarring? Should we do a phased roll out where we first disable and then move towards removing?

  1. Subscription Management - where does someone manage their notification settings for the user page?

Thoughts @ppelberg

1. Rollout - will completely removing the affordance appear jarring? Should we do a phased roll out where we first disable and then move towards removing?

I am assuming that hiding topic subscriptions on your own user talk page from the outset will not feel jarring considering doing so avoids the confusion that could arise from people no longer seeing a part of the interface they got accustomed to seeing and/or using.

Note: in moving forward with what is prosed in T276996#6921594, we are accepting the risk that Junior Contributors may come to wonder why their own user talk page lacks the topic subscription affordance they are used to seeing/using on other talk pages.

  1. Subscription Management - where does someone manage their notification settings for the user page?

People can manage how and what activity on their user talk page they are notified about in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo. Specifically, by adjusting the Talk page message setting. [i]


i. Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo --> Talk page message
ppelberg renamed this task from Develop approach for how topic subscriptions should appear and function on your user talk page to Hide topic subscription affordance on peoples' own user talk page.Mar 18 2021, 4:30 PM

Change 664947 had a related patch set uploaded (by Esanders; owner: Esanders):
[mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionTools@master] Topic subscription front end

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/664947

Test wiki created on Patch Demo by JKlein (WMF) using patch(es) linked to this task:

https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/2b9ec810f4/w/

On patchdemo I created a user page and it does not have topic subscriptions but it also appears to not have "reply" functionality. Can someone double check if that's the case for them?

Change 664947 merged by jenkins-bot:

[mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionTools@master] Topic subscription front end

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/664947