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Merge preference "Enable the editor help panel" with "Display the newcomer homepage" together
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Description

Background

When I announced add a link is deployed, I invited experienced users to try it out. One of the experienced users sent me a message, complaining it doesn't work at all (see F34477327 for a video they sent me).

@mewoph pointed out in Slack conversation about this that both help panel enable preference and newcomer homepage enable preference need to be enabled in order for add a link to work.

It's also worth noting one of the links the help panel has leads to newcomer's preferences, and is labeled "Disable help panel". All newcomers who disable their help panel (AFAICS, in May 2021, it happened for 450 users across all our wikis and 5 cswiki users) will have most of the recent experience we have for them broken without explanation, including add a link. That makes this task worth addressing.

Suggestion

Those days, help panel and newcomer homepage are very closely integrated (we have guidance in ordinary suggested edits, which requires help panel, and now we also have add a link, which doesn't work at all with no help panel). That makes me think we should merge help panel and homepage enable preferences into one, so this doesn't happen anymore.

Proposed design

Move the help panel option to the same place in the User profile tab in preferences, and rename the section from being Newcomer homepage to something more inclusive of all growth features.

Default
image.png (212×688 px, 26 KB)
When newcomer homepage is checked:
image.png (270×988 px, 39 KB)
Acceptance criteria
  • All three preferences are under "User profile" tab, with "Default to newcomer homepage from username link in personal tools" toggle only showing when "Display newcomer homepage" is checked.
  • "Editing" tab no longer has "Enable the editor help panel"
  • "Disable the help panel" link from the help panel should take the user to "user profile" tab instead of "Editing" tab

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript

To be honest, the question mark in the corner of the screen can be pretty annoying sometimes. As an experienced editor, I don’t need it on a daily basis (but it may come handy when I test the newcomer tools). Would it be possible to have a preference that controls the presence of the help panel everywhere, except for newcomer tasks, instead of the current help panel preference? I don’t really mind whether the JS code loads in other situations, the important thing is only whether the icon actually appears. (But you can also safely not load it, since in non-suggested edit situations nothing depends on it anyways.)

The minimal-effort fix would be to replace the suggested edits panel with an error message (something like "Suggested edits have been disabled. To enable them, check "Enable the editor help panel" in your preferences under Editing > Editor.") when the help panel is disabled.

Simply overriding the user preference on suggested edits pages (when the current article is present in the Tracker) is probably easy too, but would have to double.check. It might be somewhat confusing because the Tracker and SuggestedEditSession (ie. the server's and browser's idea of whether suggested editing is happening) are quite different so sometimes the help panel would show up but other elements of the suggested edits workflow wouldn't, but that does not seem like a big deal.

If we are fine with completely removing the help panel configuration and either making it always-on or making it use the homepage setting, that's also easy, but also seems like confusing behavior.

If we are fine with completely removing the help panel configuration and either making it always-on

Does “always-on” mean turned on always, for everyone? I’m pretty sure there would be a lot of senior editors who would hate it. Connecting it with the homepage setting, as I wrote, can be annoying sometimes, but I think it’s acceptable. Forcing it to people with decades of editing experience is unacceptable IMO.

Note, check if there are other unexpected dependencies(?) or overlapping controls in place such as reported in T291478 first.

Another way would be to regroup the 3 preferences inputs we have for Growth together.

Change 730778 had a related patch set uploaded (by Kosta Harlan; author: Kosta Harlan):

[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] SuggestedEdits: Always load help panel when doing a newcomer task

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/730778

Change 730781 had a related patch set uploaded (by Kosta Harlan; author: Kosta Harlan):

[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] Homepage: Recommend enabling the editor help panel as well

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/730781

kostajh subscribed.

I've pushed two patches which don't exactly do what is proposed in this task, but accomplish the same or similar ends.

image.png (166×1 px, 91 KB)

Hopefully the combined effect is reduced frustration for developers setting up GrowthExperiments locally as well as community members who want to test out the Growth features.

kostajh added subscribers: MMiller_WMF, RHo.

@RHo @MMiller_WMF could you let us know if the proposed wording is OK?

image.png (166×1 px, 91 KB)

Clicking "Editing" takes the user to the Editing tab in the preferences, without a page reload.

Change 730778 merged by jenkins-bot:

[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] SuggestedEdits: Always load help panel when doing a newcomer task

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/730778

@RHo @MMiller_WMF could you let us know if the proposed wording is OK?

image.png (166×1 px, 91 KB)

Clicking "Editing" takes the user to the Editing tab in the preferences, without a page reload.

Wording looks fine to me. But now that I am looking at this, I wonder if this will cause people to not realise/notice the second checkbox to "Default to newcomer homepage from username link in personal tools" that only appears when "Display newcomer homepage" is checked?

I wonder if this will cause people to not realise/notice the second checkbox to "Default to newcomer homepage from username link in personal tools" that only appears when "Display newcomer homepage" is checked?

Do you think it would? I'd assume that anyone who notices it now would still notice it if there is an extra line of text between the two.

I wonder if this will cause people to not realise/notice the second checkbox to "Default to newcomer homepage from username link in personal tools" that only appears when "Display newcomer homepage" is checked?

Do you think it would? I'd assume that anyone who notices it now would still notice it if there is an extra line of text between the two.

The reason I ask because as I was walking someone through turning on these features a couple weeks ago, they didn't notice the appearance of the second checkbox even without the extra line of text, so yes, I do think this doesn't help. Could we have the second checkbox appear between the "Recommended" line and the first checkbox?

No, each configuration setting gets generated into its own configuration tree. We could maybe show a CSS transition (that would be a change to the preferences page in general, not this setting specifically; although I don't think anything else uses the conditional hiding option).

Another way would be to regroup the 3 preferences inputs we have for Growth together.

Stepping back to the original goal of ensuring people who want to try out the features are quickly able to turn them on, but also as easily turn-off help panel and personal tools link, I like @Trizek-WMF's idea of moving the help panel pref and putting them all together:

Default
image.png (212×688 px, 26 KB)
When newcomer homepage is checked:
image.png (270×988 px, 39 KB)

It would make total sense to move all the prefs to the Editing tab, since our tools mostly focus on editing.

I'm not sure about the solution where people are messaged to move to a different tab to check a second button.

Side note: could we enable the preferences when one visits Special:Homepage?

It would make total sense to move all the prefs to the Editing tab, since our tools mostly focus on editing.
I'm not sure about the solution where people are messaged to move to a different tab to check a second button.

Agree. I think this (moving to another tab) would also reduce the chances of people seeing and selecting the username link checkbox.

Side note: could we enable the preferences when one visits Special:Homepage?

+1 but this sounds like a different phab task :)

@RHo @Trizek-WMF @kostajh @Urbanecm_WMF -- I thought about this task again as I walked an affiliate through turning on the Growth features. I do think we should prioritize it (since we are doing various maintenance things now). My preferred approach is:

  • Put all three checkboxes together under a "Newcomer features" header.
  • Force the help panel to function when the user is doing a suggested edit, even if they have the preference unselected.

Does that work?

@RHo @Trizek-WMF @kostajh @Urbanecm_WMF -- I thought about this task again as I walked an affiliate through turning on the Growth features. I do think we should prioritize it (since we are doing various maintenance things now). My preferred approach is:

  • Put all three checkboxes together under a "Newcomer features" header.

Sounds good.

  • Force the help panel to function when the user is doing a suggested edit, even if they have the preference unselected.

We are already doing that :) see T284088#7428052 and T297806#7573434

@RHo @Trizek-WMF @kostajh @Urbanecm_WMF -- I thought about this task again as I walked an affiliate through turning on the Growth features. I do think we should prioritize it (since we are doing various maintenance things now). My preferred approach is:

  • Put all three checkboxes together under a "Newcomer features" header.

Sounds good.

Agree, this matches the proposed design.

  • Force the help panel to function when the user is doing a suggested edit, even if they have the preference unselected.

We are already doing that :) see T284088#7428052 and T297806#7573434

Also great!

WFM, let's go with Marshall's proposal.

kostajh raised the priority of this task from Low to Medium.Mar 17 2022, 1:24 PM

Put all three checkboxes together under a "Newcomer features" header.

This is a small amount work, let's do this soon in order to resolve this task.

I made this task a subtask of T296702: Scale: enable Growth features for existing accounts because I think that before we turn the Growth features on for many legacy accounts, we should make it clearer how to turn them off, for those who want to.

And I do think this task should remain on our board for us to fit in if there is the right moment.

Change 793554 had a related patch set uploaded (by MewOphaswongse; author: MewOphaswongse):

[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] Move help panel preference toggle to user profile section

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/793554

Change 730781 abandoned by Kosta Harlan:

[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] Homepage: Recommend enabling the editor help panel as well

Reason:

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/730781

Change 793554 merged by jenkins-bot:

[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] Move help panel preference toggle to user profile section

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/793554

Etonkovidova subscribed.

Currently, the Help (or the guidance panel) will be always present for SE tasks (structured or non-structured).

Checked in betalabs on desktop and mobile when

  • a user has opted out from mentorship
  • a user has global settings for Homepage and Help panel with local exclusions
  • a user disables Homepage but enabled Help panel

The task's Acceptance criteria were updated.

@MMiller_WMF, @RHo - when the Help panel is disabled, and, since SE tasks are still displaying it, there is a link on the panel referring to the Help panel documentation (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Growth/Tools/Help_panel).

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 5.36.16 PM.png (1×798 px, 114 KB)

Questions:

  • is it ok to refer to the Help panel even though a user intentionally disabled it?
  • the documentation page - https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Growth/Tools/Help_panel - has (1) outdated screenshots (2) doesn't mention that the Help panel is always present for SE tasks (3) instructs users to go to the Editing tab to Enable/Disable Help panel.

Currently, the Help (or the guidance panel) will be always present for SE tasks (structured or non-structured).

Checked in betalabs on desktop and mobile when

  • a user has opted out from mentorship
  • a user has global settings for Homepage and Help panel with local exclusions
  • a user disables Homepage but enabled Help panel

The task's Acceptance criteria were updated.

@MMiller_WMF, @RHo - when the Help panel is disabled, and, since SE tasks are still displaying it, there is a link on the panel referring to the Help panel documentation (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Growth/Tools/Help_panel).

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 5.36.16 PM.png (1×798 px, 114 KB)

Questions:

  • is it ok to refer to the Help panel even though a user intentionally disabled it?

Yes, since the distinction from the design/user perspective is that the panel that opens in Suggested edits is meant to be a specific "Guidance panel for fo suggested edits". It just so happens that a user can access help panel content additionally if they wish. The confusion IMO is caused from calling it by the same name because it was implemented as an extension of the help panel.

Perhaps updating the documentation to make the distinction above of Guidance vs Help panel would make it more clear? Not sure.