Page MenuHomePhabricator

Remove beta option from user menu
Closed, DeclinedPublic

Description

Following up from here, I'm not sure why "Beta" is one of the links in the user menu. It's really just one of the preferences pages, and there's already a link to preferences in the menu. Could it be removed as part of the desktop improvements?

Event Timeline

https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T289574#7462391 does seem to support this conclusion. It gets very little activity.

ovasileva triaged this task as Medium priority.Oct 28 2021, 10:08 AM
ovasileva subscribed.

Moving this to kanban board for now, but will group implementation with other tasks coming from the results seen in T289574#7462391

As a Wikipedia editor, I disagree with the notion that the Beta tab is "really just one of the preferences pages" and that the fact that the link is rarely clicked suggests that it should be removed. From my point of view, the Beta tab is a slowly, but constantly changing overview of upcoming features. Based on my own usage of Wikipedia, the fact that the link is not used much is due to two reasons: It's impossible to know when something new is available without actually clicking the link and it's so rare that a new Beta feature arrives that it's really not worth checking on a regular basis. Hence, I'm afraid that if you remove the link entirely even fewer users will discover the Beta features.

I don't know if this is possible with the current implementation, but I'd like to suggest to highlight the Beta link every time a new Beta feature arrives. This pattern is quite common, e.g., GitHub uses this for their "Feature preview" options. As long as there isn't a new notification every time one logs in (Miro comes to mind as a bad example in this regard), I believe this would have several benefits.

First of all, since we have relatively few new Beta features every year, it would point users to newly available features and presumably increase participation. Currently, I have to remember to check it once in a while. It would also remind users that the software is under active development and there are teams actively working on a better reading and editing experience, even if these users do not want to participate in Beta testing.

I don't know if this is possible with the current implementation, but I'd like to suggest to highlight the Beta link every time a new Beta feature arrives.

Exactly. I think the problem right now is we show it all the time. What would be much better is to only show it when something new is available. Removing this from the menu would allow us to revisit this behaviour.

I don't know if this is possible with the current implementation, but I'd like to suggest to highlight the Beta link every time a new Beta feature arrives. This pattern is quite common, e.g., GitHub uses this for their "Feature preview" options. As long as there isn't a new notification every time one logs in (Miro comes to mind as a bad example in this regard), I believe this would have several benefits.

If we’d want to copy Github’s approach, ideally it should be a notification like one recently added by Wikipedia Library (something like ‘Check out new beta feature: X’), not a constant link in the menu. Given that, as you’ve said, new beta features are really rare, I think a solution like this can be added without much annoyance.

Discussed this with the product managers from other teams. Teams are continuing to use beta as a way to promote new features and gather user feedback. Declining this task as-is for the time being. Might re-open at a later time to explore other ways of bringing attention to new features as @Jdlrobson suggested in T290463#7551731