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Converge on a revised Reply button style for languages where the word "reply" is short (desktop)
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Description

This task involves the work of revising how the desktop Reply button is styled in languages where the word "reply" is short enough that it can be difficult for people to notice it:

ja.wiki (desktop)ar.wiki (desktop)
Screen Shot 2022-10-12 at 3.29.03 PM.png (1×1 px, 860 KB)
Screen Shot 2022-10-12 at 3.30.51 PM.png (1×1 px, 394 KB)
https://w.wiki/5ouXhttps://w.wiki/5ouY

Thank you to @Dyolf77_WMF for first spotting this issue.

Requirements

Meta

  • Platform: Desktop
    • Assumption: the arrows that prefix the Reply buttons on mobile make it possible for people to locate the affordance despite it containing relatively few characters. [i]
  • Languages:
    • ar: ردّ
    • nod: ᨲᩬᨷ (nod.wikipedia is in the Incubator)
    • zh: 回复
    • ja: 返信
    • yue: 覆
  • Per-wiki configuration: wikis ought to be able to decide for themselves whether they would like to enable the revised appearance of the Reply buttons this task will introduce.

User experience
As we currently have arrows on ar.wiki mobile, we can increase the affordance of the "Reply" buttons on desktop by adding them as well.

It seems like the font-weight varies, or optically the body on ja.wiki seems lighter than on ar.wiki – hence the contrast between the boldness of the reply button on ja.wiki is more noticeable than on ar.wiki for instance.

Approaches

On scripts with a small number of characters for the word "reply", users will be able to quickly find the button thanks to the "reply" icon in the button.


i. Mobile ar.wiki talk page:

Screen Shot 2022-10-12 at 3.24.03 PM.png (1×776 px, 177 KB)

Event Timeline

nod is the Northern Thai language. There is no Wikipedia for this language. (It's currently in the Incubator.) It's possible to use the language in the UI, but there are no wikis with this language as the default UI or content language.

The language of the Reply button depends on the UI language, not the content language. Thus, per-wiki configuration makes no sense, since it would not help users who use an affected UI language on a wiki whose default is not affected (e.g. Arabic UI on Commons), but it would unnecessarily distract users who use a non-affected UI language on a wiki whose default is affected (e.g. English UI on Japanese Wikipedia). Approaches that could work (in no particular order), all with some caveats:

  • Use a heuristics to determine whether to add the arrow, based on the length of the translation of “reply”. Caveat: the visual length of the text may not be easily determinable (e.g. compare the length of lll and mmm, both three characters long). It may even depend on the font (e.g. monospace vs non-monospace fonts).
  • Hardcode the language for which to show the arrow in code. Caveat: requires maintenance by developers.
  • Set it in a message translated on translatewiki.net (this is the most similar to what @ppelberg probably had in mind – namely a MediaWiki message customizable on-wiki –, but translatewiki.net to provide per-language instead of per-wiki customization). Caveat: MediaWiki messages are for texts, not boolean things, a boolean value may surprise translators and result in invalid translations.

I agree, this should be per-language not per-wiki.

I think either option 2 or 3 would be good. I suggest that we don't overthink it and just pick whichever looks easier once we know what we actually want to change about the button.

Change 851653 had a related patch set uploaded (by Esanders; author: Esanders):

[mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionTools@master] [WIP] Show reply button icons on desktop

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/851653

The above patch can be used to create demos with the reply button visible on mobile. For more realistic demos, set the content language of the wiki when creating it.

The above patch can be used to create demos with the reply button visible on mobile. For more realistic demos, set the content language of the wiki when creating it.

Excellent – thank you, @Esanders

I've started creating localized talk pages and adding them to T320685 os that we can share them with volunteers and learn whether they think having an arrow accompany the Reply buttons helps them notice the affordance more easily.

Test wiki created on Patch demo by PPelberg (WMF) using patch(es) linked to this task:
https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/80823318f6/w

Test wiki created on Patch demo by PPelberg (WMF) using patch(es) linked to this task:
https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/67a0203ee5/w

This task is blocked on knowing the outcomes of the community conversations that are happening in T320685.

Test wiki created on Patch demo by PPelberg (WMF) using patch(es) linked to this task:
https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/6a26277ddf/w

Test wiki created on Patch demo by PPelberg (WMF) using patch(es) linked to this task:
https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/a617112a54/w