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Revise Wikitech Main_Page
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As part of T327319, I'm working on improving the user-friendliness of the high-level entry points into the Cloud Services documentation. is one of those primary entry points. After creating a first draft, I got feedback from the WMCS team on my initial redesign of this page, and am now working to finalize these revisions.

I welcome any input and feedback to help improve this page design and content:

Background info and design principles:

  • High-level entry points like Wikitech's Main_Page should be structured around the user's goals. Upon arriving at a landing page like this, a user should not have to learn our organizational structure nor the names of our products before they can understand what our products/technology can help them do. Users should be able to navigate via page content that describes their goal, and then get the minimum viable information to help them decide if they should continue to investigate further (progressive disclosure!). We already implemented this task-focused information architecture in the Developer Portal.
  • On Wikitech, the wide range of content and audiences for the documentation makes it a more complicated situation. The main page needs to serve as an entry point for audiences with a wide range of technical expertise, motivation, and organizational affiliation. It serves as an entry point for technical documentation for products targeted at developer end-users who may be completely unfamiliar with the Wikimedia movement, and for admins who maintain internal technical infrastructure. Balancing these diverse use cases makes it a challenge to create a user-friendly single entry point...but hopefully my design is at least an improvement.

Notes about first round of design work:

  • The original design I proposed for Wikitech:Main_Page revolved around new task-focused landing pages. After a feedback round conducted with the WMCS team, I revised the design to address the use case of "users who haven't yet identified their development goal or task, and just want to know what WMCS offers them". Instead of task-focused landing pages, I decided to revise the Cloud Services Introduction so that each section describes a major user task and which products align with it. (T344628) The revised Cloud Services Introduction – rather than task-focused landing pages – will continue to serve as the primary tool to help a new user determine which product they should use.

Notes about current/final revision:

  • While not being primarily task-focused, my v2 redesign of Wikitech:Main_page still provides more context than before. While it still asks the reader to become familiar with product names upfront, it offers more context around what each product is for, and includes target audience descriptions. This redesign strikes a balance between known-item navigation vs. exploratory browsing.
  • I have not changed any of the content in the "Production" section, I've merely moved it into a layout grid. Working on that content or those docs is outside the scope of this task.

Notes about other work to improve this page:

Event Timeline

TBurmeister changed the task status from Open to In Progress.Aug 21 2023, 5:43 PM
TBurmeister triaged this task as Medium priority.
TBurmeister created this task.

I'm inclined to say that "more pretty pictures with less text" is superior to "a couple of pretty pictures with some text-dense boxes" so I am inclined to keep the front page more like how it is currently. But that's a weak preference, not a clear must-have. It would be nice if we had some kind of UX testing to confirm "Users can get the information that they need with [Design X] faster than with [Design Y]" or somesuch, but I realize that takes time and money. Maybe a microgrant from the WMF is in order?

I agree with you, @Koavf that in general pictures are nicer than text, but I don't think the images here are adding much value, and the layout differences between the WMCS and Production sections of the page are not equally serving all the audiences of Wikitech. I've revised my design to try to be less text-heavy. Since I work for WMF I don't think I can apply for a microgrant. This page alone is likely not a high enough priority to justify the time and resources of dedicated UX testing. I heartily support and advocate for robust user research, but at a larger scale. For example, focused on the overall developer experience and larger improvements across multiple pages or content platforms, not just one page.

For now, I'm going to publish my latest revision and resolve this task. We'll see what additional feedback comes from people seeing the page live. :-) Thanks!