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VisualEditor: Provide a GuidedTour for first-time VisualEditor users (ones for both newbies for and experienced editors?)
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Description

It might be nice to show a quick intro message for first-time user, could be implemented via GuidedTour. We may want to distinguish between new vs. experienced users.

Part of the goal of the message would be to help users understand the difference between editing in wikitext and VisualEditor, and to explain that wikitext cannot be entered in VisualEditor. We're seeing a fair number of users enter wikitext in VisualEditor, and adding a first-time explanation might help reduce this issue as we roll out VisualEditor to more wikis.

(Feel free to close this WONTFIX if we decide this issue is not significant in scale enough or the message would be too prominent. But having a first-time use message come up is not that unusual for a major feature change.)


Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement
See Also:
T51820: VisualEditor: When user types in '[[' in the page or another DOM input widget, pop up a reminder that they're using VisualEditor
T89074: Offer new users of VisualEditor a short guided tour

Details

Reference
bz50601

Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Unbreak Now!.Nov 22 2014, 2:03 AM
bzimport added a project: VisualEditor.
bzimport set Reference to bz50601.
Eloquence created this task.Jul 2 2013, 7:26 PM

Adding Steven in case his team wants to help/weigh in.

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #1)

Adding Steven in case his team wants to help/weigh in.

TL;DR:

Unless VE team wants to own it, I think E3 can handle any tours of basic editing functionality (with and without VE). What we have is 1/2 way toward the changes Erik requested.

Full details:

We are working on adding better VE support in GuidedTour currently, and I've added Matt Flaschen since he's tackling that. We are shooting for feature parity with our previous guided tour of editing for the first time delivered to GettingStarted editors, with the exception being that there is no Preview step to point to in VE.

Also, soon we hope to test delivering a guided tour to all newly-registered editors, outside the GettingStarted funnel. (Docs: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Guided_tours). Whether we run that test on a wiki like Spanish or French instead of English depends on l10n of the "first edit" tour and whether VE support is ready. S Page is helping out with this test, so I've added him as well.

If we're interested in pointing out the difference between VE and wikitext to users right away, we could easily build that in as step for the guided tours delivered via GettingStarted and the general "first edit" tour we're planning. Currently with the tour that's in production, we just point to the Edit button and section edit buttons.

I'm open to changing that, but I do think we should be cautious about throwing too much complexity at first time editors too soon, by pointing out the multiple methods of editing. I added Pau for his input.

(In reply to comment #2)

If we're interested in pointing out the difference between VE and wikitext to
users right away, we could easily build that in as step for the guided tours
delivered via GettingStarted and the general "first edit" tour we're
planning.

I don't think that (comparing VE and wikitext) needs to be in the first tour. It's discoverable in the UI in a consistent way, plus people on-wiki will point to and explain the difference when necessary.

If it's semi-experienced users who are entering the wikitext, that could be improved with a tour specific to them (and/or VE documentation).

If it's new users (they are less likely to know wikitext, though) making this mistake, maybe the comparison is necessary.

(In reply to comment #2)

(In reply to comment #1)

Adding Steven in case his team wants to help/weigh in.

TL;DR:
Unless VE team wants to own it, I think E3 can handle any tours of basic
editing functionality (with and without VE). What we have is 1/2 way toward
the changes Erik requested.

Awesome; very happy for E3 to lead on this. We'll support as needed, of course.

We are working on adding better VE support in GuidedTour currently, and I've
added Matt Flaschen since he's tackling that. We are shooting for feature
parity with our previous guided tour of editing for the first time delivered
to GettingStarted editors, with the exception being that there is no Preview
step to point to in VE.
Also, soon we hope to test delivering a guided tour to all newly-registered
editors, outside the GettingStarted funnel. (Docs:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Guided_tours). Whether we run that
test on a wiki like Spanish or French instead of English depends on l10n of
the "first edit" tour and whether VE support is ready. S Page is helping
out with this test, so I've added him as well.
If we're interested in pointing out the difference between VE and wikitext to
users right away, we could easily build that in as step for the guided tours
delivered via GettingStarted and the general "first edit" tour we're
planning. Currently with the tour that's in production, we just point to the
Edit button and section edit buttons.
I'm open to changing that, but I do think we should be cautious about
throwing too much complexity at first time editors too soon, by pointing out
the multiple methods of editing. I added Pau for his input.

Yeah, I'm not convinced I know what we'd want to do.

Maybe just a simple "you're using VisualEditor" on first load for experienced users?

Maybe a set of "add a {reference,template} by clicking here" ones too? Maybe not?

What do you advise?

I'd suggest:

If user account was created before July 1, 2013, display the following message exactly once:

You are using the VisualEditor, a new rich-text editing interface for {{SITENAME}} (currently in beta). <B>Please be aware that wiki syntax (e.g. "[[link to another page]]") will not work in this editing mode.</B> To use the old editing interface, click the 'Edit source' tab or section link.

For extra points, the "exactly once" could be managed via a "Do not show this message again" checkbox. But it shouldn't be handled as a notice that comes up every single time -- it should definitely be dismissible.

The reason I'd like to finalize the language soon is to give us enough time to get translations.

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #6)

I'd suggest:
If user account was created before July 1, 2013, display the following
message
exactly once:

You are using the VisualEditor, a new rich-text editing interface for
{{SITENAME}} (currently in beta). <B>Please be aware that wiki syntax (e.g.
"[[link to another page]]") will not work in this editing mode.</B> To use
the
old editing interface, click the 'Edit source' tab or section link.

For extra points, the "exactly once" could be managed via a "Do not show this
message again" checkbox. But it shouldn't be handled as a notice that comes
up
every single time -- it should definitely be dismissible.
The reason I'd like to finalize the language soon is to give us enough time
to
get translations.

I think this is reasonable.

Regarding showing a tour only once: I don't think we have to add an explicit checkbox to show it exactly once. Currently the default behavior is...

If a user completes the tour or clicks the X to close we never show it again. So in this case, as a single step tour, clicking the "Okay" button or X would end the tour and it would never repeat. That is stored as a hidden preference, so it works across sessions, but not across wikis.

If we really want to tie it to a single page, there is also an isSinglePage variable we can set for the tour, which means no matter what it will only appear on that one page.

We'll probably set this up so it launches when they visit a VE-eligible article, unless they have a hidden preference that shows it has launched before. The role isSinglePage plays is ensuring no cookie is stored tracking their tour progress. So even if they navigate away without closing the tour, it won't show again.

Let's strike the idea of a distinction between new and experienced users for now. Philippe and James make the good point that we can't really tell for sure whether a user is new, especially when editing as an IP, so in the interest of simplicity and consistency, I suggest we show the same message to everyone for a while. We can then later either turn it off completely, or show it only to a subset.

weskaggs wrote:

I've had quite a bit of experience with things like this working on the GIMP project, and would like to try to convey a bit of "wisdom" that we learned the hard way.

First, there are severe limits on the amount of information a new user, unfamiliar with the interface, can learn from a guided tour. A tour can give some increased sense of familiarity, but it can't give an ability to do specific tasks. Above all, a tour can't substitute for simplicity and discoverability.

Second, a guided tour should never be forced on anybody. It can be offered if that can be done unobtrusively, but should never be required.

Third, if a guided tour exists, it should be available on demand, and able to be repeated as often as desired. Ideally there should be some sort of "help" menu in the interface, offering the tour as one of the entries.

Fourth, if you make a guided tour, you should consider making a video version and putting it on Youtube. That might seem like a bizarre idea, but many users are very comfortable with that format.

Also I agree that there is a strong need to show a warning to users who try to enter wiki-markup directly (with a link to an extended explanation).

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #9)

Let's strike the idea of a distinction between new and experienced users for
now. Philippe and James make the good point that we can't really tell for
sure
whether a user is new, especially when editing as an IP, so in the interest
of
simplicity and consistency, I suggest we show the same message to everyone
for
a while. We can then later either turn it off completely, or show it only to
a
subset.

GuidedTour support for VE is shaping up, so we're about ready to start building this. But before we embark on this tour you've suggested, I just wanted to confirm you're still thinking it's necessary in light of https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/73569/ and bug 49820?

James - please weigh in. My take is that we still need a first-use tour. We're changing the function of the "Edit" link, and just giving the user the wikitext warning isn't quite sufficient in informing them about a change of this magnitude. I don't think we'll need it indefinitely, but while VE is in Beta, doing this as part of the wider language rollout will save us and the community some additional transition pain, I think.

(In reply to comment #11)

GuidedTour support for VE is shaping up, so we're about ready to start
building this. But before we embark on this tour you've suggested, I just
wanted to confirm you're still thinking it's necessary in light of
https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/73569/ and bug 49820?

I think we still want a GuidedTour to highlight that the user is now in VisualEditor and not the wikitext editor; a very brief one-time message of "hey, you're in VisualEditor now - here is the user guide" or similar should suffice.

swalling wrote:

Okay, since VE implemented this in their own dialog system, instead of us doing it in GuidedTours, I'm going to go ahead and close this.

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