A couple of conversation starters

The new article wizard is certainly a step in the right direction, as far as tapping the pools of less tech-savvy editors go. Such initiatives should be prioritized, and the Wizard should be included in the more friendly (usability wise) Beta being developed. --Piotrus 19:57, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Piotrus19:57, 25 November 2009
Edited by author.
Last edit: 20:33, 26 November 2009

I'd like to see the same principles elsewhere, with generic "wizard hooks" in the code, and a "Wizard:" namespace so users can actually code up the wizard contents for these hooks on-wiki:

  • New account wizard, asks users "These are the issues with name choice, please choose a name"... asks "have you already got an account or used one in the past" and notifies them the basics of sock policy"...
  • Edit war wizard, detects 3+ reverts (not quite 3RR) and advises users "I see you've reverted this page a few times recently, are you sure?" -> Yes / Help me! / Cancel my edit
  • Citation wizard, "I see you've added a chunk of text (or new article) but there aren't any citations in it. Would you like help in adding citations so other users can check your edits are verifiable?"
  • Controversial topic wizard, advises users "You're editing a controversial topic. Would you like some hints and tips first?"
  • Deletion wizard: [if we gave users a "delete" button even if not admins] -> "You've clicked "delete", but you aren't an administrator. Wikipedia has a number of deletion tools and processes. Would you like guidance on the appropriate one to use, and on making your request?"
  • ... etc ...

In other words, don't demand users read most policies, or hit them with a stick for not doing so. Instead, guide them when they have actual need for the information.

So the links for a deletion wizard might be buttons for "Help me!" and "Cancel request", and also a link for "View policy summary" which opens a short popup that includes a link to "View full policy". The popup doesn't need to say everything covered in the policy, just what's relevant to the action they're doing.

FT2 (Talk | email)20:06, 26 November 2009
(I also wouldn't make this "ad hoc". I'd design a proper "Mediawiki Wizards" extension, so that all that would be needed in future is a bugzilla request: "Please add a wizard hook for X, that provides parameters P, Q, R". The conditions it fires (parameter based) and the actual wizard pages, are then configurable on-wiki, either via a "Wizard:" namespace, or stand-alone like AbuseFilter.)
FT2 (Talk | email)20:32, 26 November 2009