Wikipedia:2013 main page redesign proposal/RFC

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For a summary of the RfC and discussion on how to move forward, see this talk page thread.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The main page hasn't been redesigned since 2006. The 2013 main page redesign proposal requires your feedback on the main page, in order to design an alternative main page based on what the community asks for. As well as leaving feedback, this RFC can also be used as a community wide brainstorming session. This RFC will stay open until at least 6 June 2013.

For more information, see Wikipedia talk:2013 main page redesign proposal - Evad37 (talk) 00:29, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Contents

The Current Main Page[edit]

The discussion in this section should focus on your feelings regarding the current main page (including content, style, and layout). Consider: What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? How could it be improved?

Web 1.0[edit]

Comment broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comment can be found here.

  • I broadly like the Main Page, but the only real problems I can find:
  1. The style of the Main Page is very "Web 1.0". Featured pictures, for instance: why not have them take up the whole width of the page, with a semi-transparent overlay above them? Rather than 'recently featured', let people tap a 'next' button and have the next image slide in. People using touch devices could swipe the images to see the next one.
I'm not sure radical redesign is needed, but it's always worth having discussions about the future of the Main Page. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:50, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with Tom that the Main Page is very 2000 looking. To be honest Wikipedia in itself is very 2000. The pictures are too snall besides FP which has certain dimension requirements. I have noticed however in the past when websites in the past have changed their layout dramatically people tend to not like the changes, as it is hard ot adjust so I think we need to be careful about how we redesign the Main Page (or the website in its entirety) so it will not drive away new users. JayJayWhat did I do? 15:59, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
  • From a design point of view; it is a dinosaur. It still uses tables for layout and it shows. No other top 10 website does that anymore. I generally am happy with the content, but it needs a little more attention to promote editor-engagement. Edokter (talk) — 10:02, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
  • google ues php generated tables, tables supposedly give a faster load time than css; although I'm pretty sure that mediawiki uses css styling for the most part. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 02:15, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm also a dinosaur, and would not want to see design "improvements" of "Web 2.0" type, such as large pictures. I hope there is an option not to use any fancy new designs. Smarkflea (talk) 17:23, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Please note that Wikipedia is extremely popular without having Wed 7.0 shiny nonsense. It doesn't need to keep up with anyone. Content is what draws people here, not slideshows etc almost-instinct 09:23, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The fact that "no other top 10 website uses *" is not much of an argument. It is also true that no other top 10 website is non-profit. Keep the main page free of slow, gimmicky AJAX. Connor Behan (talk) 04:35, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I live in a country (Brazil) where broadband is expensive and usually isn't that "broad". I think that is the reality in large areas of the world. So, for people like me, the simpler the better (and the faster). - Al Lemos (talk) 15:57, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I am personally ambivalent about changing the layout of the Main Page, but I think the point made by User:Al Lemos is incredibly important. For better or worse, en-Wikipedia is the world's encyclopedia. HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:17, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The main page could be a bit prettier, but I have to agree with what's been said above: not everyone has a good internet connection or a new-ish computer. A non-insignificant number of people who use Wikipedia are still on dial-up equivalent speeds, or using a decade-old box. We have a responsibility to make sure things work for them, too. Sophus Bie (talk) 03:41, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
  • This issue and the Slower Computers topic (a little below) should be amalgamated. Both fall under the broader category of concern for wider accessibility as opposed to turning Wikipedia into a byte heavy and OS dependent competitor for aesthetics in its delivery. Perhaps Wikipedia should officially adopt a policy of 'Wikipedia is not a commercial enterprise competing for advertising revenue by luring in readers/users and guaranteeing large target audiences'. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:20, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Then do it like Gmail - serve up a nice jQuery-AJAX-etc site. If it's too slow, redirect to a "basic HTML" version. Profit. Besides, prettier ≠ slower and heavier. - Awesoham (talk) 07:00, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Considering that many of the suggestions throughout this page target larger images as being a priority, not to forget various other suggestions which ARE dependent on byte-heavy scripting, such things DO = slower. I'm certainly not suggesting that the choice of colours and general layout preferences could enhance the entry page aesthetically. As regards your basic HTML option, I find myself wondering whether you've actually tried picking up your gmail on a slower computer/slower connection/slower ISP, etc. I collaborate on projects with the IT Department at work where a variety of older platforms, OS's and connections emulating slower conditions are kept in a testing area precisely for the purposes of testing out new ideas for delivery of content. I've tried picking up my gmail using such computers and I assure you that, by the time even the link to opt for basic HTML loads, I'm tempted to do the irrational: scream at the monitor! We ran a test with students on content delivery a couple of years ago. The interesting phenomena was that the test group developed an aversion to the site rather than blaming their computer. I'm afraid I'm not in a position to divulge the comprehensive outcome as it is the intellectual property of the university I work for. I can, however, tell you that I can empathise with the feedback as I find myself cursing gmail whenever it decides it doesn't want to load quickly, and that I feel like a second class citizen if I have to opt for basic HTML. Psychologically, I would suggest that deploying strategies such as the one you've suggested would be off-putting enough to alienate potentially interested parties and lose current users. Picking up email is one thing as it can be deemed as being an essential. Taking a quick peek at Wikipedia offerings is not an essential for the majority of people. Wikipedia is not Facebook, or Twitter or any other commercial enterprise. Wikipedia is about delivering content over and above 'cute' or 'pretty'. I'm not seeing what you deem to be a 'profit' but a 'loss'. Clean and simple DOES NOT = worse. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:30, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Support Face-smile.svg nerdfighter 19:02, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd prefer that the main page display several interesting items in each section at once, like it does now, rather showing only one (bigger) item and requiring the user to actively click/scroll to see more items. Often times, it's a single (boldface) word or (small) image that grabs our attention, enough so that we click on the item to learn more. Having to actively search for items to peruse further just kills that possibility. — Loadmaster (talk) 16:57, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Please don't sacrifice basic functionality (i.e. speed) for a glitzier appearance.--Wikimedes (talk) 12:59, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Sidebar and tab bar[edit]

  • Is it possible to hide the side bar on the Main Page by default, with a show/hide clicky? It would free up a lot of space, and all of those links could be fully explicated in the sections on the Main Page. --NickPenguin(contribs) 02:00, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes, the sidebar is really (IMHO) designed for articles, and it should be possible (and might well be desirable) to redesign the Main Page so that it's not really needed, with the more important links highlighted on the Main Page. The sidebar could then be hidden in some way on the MP. Rd232 talk 10:32, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
    • On a related theme, I've wondered if we really need the tab bar on the Main Page. "View source" and "View history" are pretty useless for readers; nor do they need to watch the MP. The "read" tab isn't needed if we get rid of View source/history. We could reduce it to just the Main Page and Talk tabs, for less clutter for readers. The occasional editor may need/want the other tabs, so that could be a gadget or preference (perhaps on by default for admins, who can edit the page). Rd232 talk 10:32, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Speaking of the sidebar, I think that it would be a lot more convenient for users if it's ability to scroll were separated from that of the pages on which it is used. That way users wouldn't have to scroll up and down the page just to access a tool when it comes to mind. — RandomDSdevel (talk) 23:25, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
      • It would be a major change to lose the sidebar; on a tablet, that left hand sidebar is about the only safe way to scroll. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 09:44, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
      • I use the following css code to make the content scroll but not the sidebar:
 
/* Fix sidebar */
div#mw-panel { position: fixed;
  overflow: auto;
  top: 0px;
  bottom: 0px;
  height: 100%;
  /* Prevent content overlay when sidewards scrolling */
  background-color: #F6F6F6;
  border-right: 1px solid #A7D7F9;
}

RandomDSdevel, that used to be a MediaWiki preference, long ago. I think it went away once MonoBook was introduced and language links started appearing in the sidebar. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 09:39, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the custom CSS, Ancheta Wis, but I've tried it and don't like it because it doesn't retain the Wikipedia logo and the sidebar headings (the invisible 'Navigation' heading that popped back up when I used your code, 'Interaction,' and 'Toolbox.') Sometimes, though, the contents in the sidebar might overflow the non-scrollable area that your CSS code uses to separate it from the rest of the page, creating the need for users to be able to scroll. This might be alleviated somewhat if Wikipedia were to implement the Universal Language Selector, but people with smaller screens might still have some problems, especially when all sections of the sidebar are expanded. That might allow us to bring back the user preference that Minh talked about, but we might need to look into reorganizing the sidebar a little if this messes up the current design. If we do, may I propose that we bring back the 'Navigation' heading for clarification? — RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:13, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
  • In the sidebar, practically all the relevant links are already in the main page proper (interwikis, content links). The interaction links could be better incorporated in an "introduction to editing" style section (frequently mentioned in the main page aims section). The removal of the tab bar is also a logical step: the main page is not for editing anyway and the talk page link would be better expressed as a single link on the main page saying "Report a front page error". We can make better use of this space. SFB 17:12, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Remove the sidebar - It's not at all useful on the main page, and the horizontal screen estate could be put to good use. Keep the tab bar, it might not be useful on the main page, but we're not short of vertical screen estate, and I assume we're going to leave the search bar where it is. - hahnchen 23:55, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Slower computers[edit]

I have a 10 year old laptop, with low RAM and 1024x768. Even Google is slow for me. I like that WP is not a "Web 2.0" AJAX driven javscript nightmare. As it is, I've had to add some ABP filters User:IP98/ABP to eliminate the few things that have crept in. During the redesign please consider older equipment and lower resolutions. There are still a lot of us out there. --IP98 (talk) 11:33, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

That is an interesting point. Yes, we have a mobile version for people with mobile phones, but how many people still access the main WP with a mobile device? How many people access in rural areas? Do we have statistics on connection speeds? -- Zanimum (talk) 12:28, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I have to agree with this being a vital point. Wikipedia has been around for so long that it's become synonymous with an information starting point for those who are fortunate enough to have access to the net. It's easy to forget that - ideally - the point is to be inclusive of as many people as possible worldwide. Access to information should be the greater priority over cosmetics. Byte heavy & reliant on higher OS systems means perpetuating WP as an exclusive resource. Aiming for inclusive (look at how small the contribution percentage is from non-Western nation-states!) is how the knowledge bank grows. Low tech is fine for Wikipedia. We're not in competition with computer games, YouTube or Facebook. Does anyone come to WP for the aesthetics? Let's keep our focus on the quality and accuracy of the content. There's more than enough work for anyone involved in just trying to get on top of the backlog of tidy ups as well as the plethora of new information coming in. No doubt there would be somewhere to find the stats you want. One statistic I do know of is that about 90% of the material in Wikipedia is from the USA. Not exactly a balanced system of info, to my way of thinking! --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:12, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Couldn't agree more. Many of us have slow computers and/or internet connections. On my part, even though I do live in a Western country, I have an internet connection which at times (most of the time), is insanely slow. I love the fact that Wikipedia doesn't require much of a internet connection to view and edit. Manxruler (talk) 00:41, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
This 100%. I may not use an old computer these days, but once upon a time I did, and I know many people still do. Additionally, when reading using Lynx or using a screen reader the page still needs to render correctly. Zell Faze (talk) 17:26, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Donation banner[edit]

  • I've posted at WP:VPT before, will mention it here as well. Please please please include a banner system that does not change the layout after the page is rendered (ie some AJAX). It's incredibly frustrating when you're about to click a link like "history" then, surprise!, it's a message from Jimmy Wales. Ugh. --IP98 (talk) 11:33, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I like that idea too, IP98, but I think that problem exists across the internet. I hate it too! HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:19, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I third that motion! It's truly irritating enough for me to make up imaginary terminology! --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:17, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

The random page link[edit]

Comment broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comment can be found here.

  • I have a special love hate relationship with the random page link. I love it because it takes me places I would never have gone. But I hate it because it shows me so many poor pages. Maybe the random pages could be selected from pages of a certain quality and higher? Morgan Leigh | Talk 02:03, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I'm put off the random page because it tends to show you stubs and poor quality pages. I would much prefer a "random featured article" or "random good article". AndrewRT(Talk) 19:01, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I disagree. You're right, it does often take you to garbage. But sometimes I have been inspired to do a little sprucing up of such places, which I would never otherwise have encountered. HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:20, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
With HuskyHuskie on this one! It's certainly motivated me to do some general tidy ups. I've even had the pleasure of learning things I'd never have pursued myself due to the need to research before tweaking a sloppy entry! Random is random, not contrived. If it's not of interest to you, you just keep clicking on the Random article link until you find something to interest you personally. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:21, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Concur with the two points immediately above both as to learning new things and to running across articles I can improve. Tim riley (talk) 19:54, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Why not both? Keep the random page link where it is, but add a "random featured article" below it. TheOneSean [ U | T | C ] 11:20, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Agree with most of the above comments. Filtering out the lower quality or stub articles makes it by definition less random. I'd want to see the 'Random article' link stay, but wouldn't oppose a 'Random featured' (or similar) link being created alongside it. How about Random: [[article]], [[featured]] (you get the idea). Julianhall (talk) 11:27, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Agree completely. Stubs at least should be excluded from "Random Page" (we already exclude Redirects, Talk pages, etc., so it's not a totally radical suggestion. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 14:16, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
No, the randomness is the point. Most? articles are stubs. Random other stuff might be added, or go somewhere else. Anyway, since the articles are randomly chosen you mostly won't want to read a long article in my view. Johnbod (talk) 19:13, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
If we get rid of stubs from the random page link, there needs to be a preference to turn them back on for it. I enjoy getting stubs. Though I can't say that getting them has ever inspired me to fix some like HuskyHuskie has been, I do think that it serves some value. They have gotten me interested before in topic that I would have never been interested in, or for that matter never even known existed! Zell Faze (talk) 17:30, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Someone could probably build a user script to make Special:Random only show Start class+ pages... Theopolisme (talk) 19:39, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

In The News[edit]

Comment broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comment can be found here. Also the content In The News section really needs improving. It seems to select strange things for inclusion while big events get missed. Why not link it to wikinews and feature content from there? Morgan Leigh | Talk 02:03, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Because Wikinews is based on a fundamentally flawed premise, and is significantly inferior to Wikipedia in terms of the quality of its coverage of breaking news and current events? — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 15:05, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Wikinews is best for original reporting and covering news not covered by other sources. Covering the major news is not something as a project we are particularly keen on because it largely involves synthesis reporting. Those topics are better served by Wikipedia. Compare the 2013 North Korean coverage on Wikinews with North Korea's rising tensions: Wikinews interviews Scott Snyder and Dr Robert Kelly (which is nominated as a featured article) and Interview: University of Guam's Ron McNinch on North Korea's nuclear threats. If Wikipedians want to write news and want to do synthesis reporting, Wikipedians are very welcome to read the style guide and submit an article... but there should be no confusion: These are not the same projects and do not have the same goals or policies. Confuse them and everyone will get frustrated. --LauraHale (talk) 03:36, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I'd suggest getting rid of this section altogether. There's typically a delay of about two days between an event occurring and it appearing on the main page, which is a bad look given that the issue is generally no longer 'in the news'. Moreover, it encourages really bad article-writing; at various times there have been groups of editors who pull together crappy articles on important topics in a hurry in order to get them linked from the main page. The quality control mechanisms are also dubious; DYK requires checks for copyvios and the like, while ITN doesn't. This is effectively wasted space on the main page, which would be better used by any of the existing sections or, better, still, something which encourages people to edit. Nick-D (talk) 03:46, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
I generally agree with Nick's point, though some years back, when the wreck of the French battleship Danton was discovered, it popped up in ITN. The article then was barely a stub, but in short order, a few of us hammered it into a halfway decent article. So ITN can prompt editors to do some writing, but I suspect far more of what goes on is what Nick described. Parsecboy (talk) 00:32, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

ITN is unfixably flawed and inherently misleading. I agree with the voices above that it should be discontinued. --Dweller (talk) 09:37, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

I believe the above sentiments are an exaggeration. One of Wikipedia's strengths -- and this has been pointed out in media sources many times -- is that Wikipedia is the most up-to-date encyclopedia on the planet. I think it's a good idea to point to a set of articles that demonstrate that, although perhaps less space could be devoted to the section (e.g. by removing the headlines and just linking to the articles). -- tariqabjotu 16:56, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
In the past I've floated the idea of some sort of "Breaking news noticeboard". Currently a breaking-news story will get brought up at a different noticeboard for each type of issue it inevitably experiences: AN, AN3, ANI, BLPN, RSN, DRN, etc. Plus there's the ubiquitous SNOW-keep AFDs and contentious RMs. In my opinion, if we had some centralized venue for coördinated response to issues with breaking-news stories, both from a content and a conduct perspective, we'd solve a lot of the issues with this topic. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 07:23, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

"In The News" would be a section better used to highlight articles of interest to recent and upcoming events. Before a US election, highlighting articles about the electoral college, history of elections, etc. could be of interest. After a major storm linking to Hurricane, Wind, Storm Damage, national disaster relief services, etc., would be a better way to show off WP's use than linking to a nascent page about the particular storm. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 06:05, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Let me see whether I've understood your proposal properly, Mscuthbert. Basically, your take on the news ultimately means what is happening in the USA. If not, that means that someone is going to have to be madly writing items with updates on disasters, elections, etc. worldwide. Will this include links to relevant disaster relief agencies for that particular disaster, state of emergency, bomb blast, et al? Currently, the ITN section at least pays lip-service to the fact that the USA is NOT the centre of this planet. I must, evidently, have the wrong end of the stick in deigning to believe that there are newsworthy items from other parts of the globe. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:27, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Although the example was certainly US centric, I think we could swap 'US election' with an item from any of the upcoming national elections, or other international events. I think the fundamental concept is to link ITN blurbs with some Related Topics, which doesn't sound bad at all. --NickPenguin(contribs) 12:55, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Admittedly, my response was a little barbed in order to make a point about various suggestions to 'upgrade' Wikipedia in what I consider to be an exclusive manner (byte-heavy; dependent on being on broadband or at least a fast server with gigs of upload & download elbowroom as part of the service; dependent on fast computers on the latest OS and capable of running the latest browsers). This would automatically preclude many people worldwide from being able to access Wiki info. If you note other commentary, you'll find that this is an issue popping up all over this page for good reason. While I understood the direction Mscuthbert was heading in, I think it necessary to remind editors/contributors that there are fundamental issues at stake beyond that which is known in the advertising industry as 'making it sexy'. With many people railing against the fact that the entry page as being too 'wordy'(?) already, adding more information links to ITN appears to be an unpopular suggestion. Personally, I'm all for it in principle (so long as it remains balanced with regards to what is deemed newsworthy), but can also see it becoming a convoluted and potentially a minefield for sparking off more infighting (as if interest groups weren't enough of a Wikipedia problem already). I'm still convinced that a feedback box for visitors on the entry page is a better method for establishing what they want and don't want. In the meantime, I'm more concerned about contributor energy being expended on cleaning up the mess that is now Wikipedia. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:28, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

I thought about the US centricity of what I proposed, but kept it in because I couldn't come up with articles with the same specificity as "Electoral College" for other countries' elections based on my own knowledge set. Apologies if the single US-based example came across as biased to any readers. Let me instead take some items from today's In The News and say how this proposal might work:

this seems pretty close (at least in linking) to what I'd think is an ideal in the future; five links of which only one is to the actual event, four to related resources that give more depth. Another entry though is much different from what I propose.

How about something like this (with a headline and separate information):

  • A major (EF5) tornado strikes Oklahoma killing at least 24.
Tornados: How climate affects their formation | Significant past tornados | Myths about tornados | How their strength is measured
The Moore Tornado: About Moore | About Oklahoma | Other 2013 tornado strikes around the world.

Or something like that. Certain events from In The News would lend themselves less well to this format, such as this article which is harder to contextualize.

But other events such as "Britain loses EU budget battle" which we less often cover (because we might not have an article specifically about it) could more easily fit into a rethought ITN (linking to Budget of EU, UK in the EU, Euro, etc.). If WP is not primarily a source for breaking news (which I don't think we should be), we should be a place where people can learn more about the background of news that is breaking. Just thinking more about different audiences. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 23:28, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Please don't misunderstand, Michael. Personally, I quite like the idea in principle. It would certainly appeal to me to be referred to links providing a good grounding for understanding any 'newsworthy' situations. Unfortunately, as I noted, the only fair methodology for implementing this concept would require a concentrated focus on this area alone in order to keep it relevant and balanced. I simply don't think that the limited number of contributors - particularly contributors with the appropriate knowledge base willing to dedicate themselves to trying to keep on top of this proposed service - are best used in this manner. Again, as previously stated, it's a nightmare trying to keep on top of the backlog as is. I have so many items on my watchlist already, as well as an earmarked wishlist of other entries I desperately want to clean up as is. I dread to think about the flood of grievances that'll hit the arbitrators when interest groups & individuals start accusing each other of biases. Flame wars already abound. Personally, I've been caught up in a few potential toxic hazards and don't have the energy to deal with them. Your idea is fine in theory, but I don't feel that Wikipedia has the resources to implement it. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:38, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Dear Iryna -- I fear that you may be right and that this may be impractical without larger changes to the way WP relies on debating each individual point for bias or grievance, and I think that it may take a more top-down approach than WP has embraced in the past to make any sort of large change (consider for instance, Facebook, where every change they have ever made has had more opposition than support, but in the long run many of the changes (adding a Wall, creating Likes, etc.) have eventually become huge favorites). Apple's approach that people don't know what they want until they get it, may be paternalistic on the face, but it has led to innovation. I think that with WP's declining number of active contributors, some bold steps need to be taken. You may certainly be right that a piecemeal approach won't work and if implemented could make too much work for dedicated volunteers such as yourself. But I think we should brainstorm big ideas -- as big as WP was when it was first created -- and not hew too closely to the status quo just because it mostly works. Thanks for the kind reply! Hope to see you around the site more. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 03:58, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Cheers, Michael! I'm afraid you're probably right about 'the lunatics having taken over the asylum'. It's not surprising that reasonable people have been backing away from involving themselves in the politics of Wikipedia. I've only just amended an entry which failed to mention that a certain artist actually painted three versions of the same famous artwork. There's been a lot of headbiting & bullying (read as proprietorial and unnecessary analysis of the work posturing as an entry) over this item, yet ignoring fundamental facts surrounding it. I'm having to prepare myself for a barrage of abuse from the interested parties which just shouldn't be the case. Why is everyone treading so carefully in order to avoid treading on toes? My understanding is that Wikipedia is NOT a democracy. The only thing we should need to concern ourselves with is dealing in good coin. Instead of improving, all I've seen is the degrading of information to the point where it's a joke. Ah, well. You WILL see me around. I'm a stubborn, hard-boiled ol' biddy who thrives on challenges and pressure. If I survived years of university politics & committees, no self-important upstart stands a chance picking a fight with me... I have plenty of 'diplomatic' skills up my sleeve and I'm not afraid to deploy them. Tact is an artform best practiced with a spiky tongue. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:11, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I regularly make use of the ITN section of the Main Page to try to keep up on world news that I may not have heard about otherwise. Often times this area gives me insight into topics that I would have never read about otherwise (for example last night I found myself reading about Naxalites. While I understand the points made by Iryna (and am extremely sympathetic with them), I personally would love to see Michael's idea become a reality. That is the exact thing that would make the ITN section most valuable to me. Zell Faze (talk) 17:39, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Good to know that, despite differences of opinion (although, as stated, I like Michael's proposal in principle), neither of us would like to see ITN go. At some future point, Zellfaze, it'd be great to see it developed rather than expunged. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:38, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

IMO, the arguments for the ITN section being removed altogether are working on the premise that it's called Breaking News. No, it's called In the News. I have never considered it to be in competition with getting newsworthy stories out ASAP before a competing news service does. To my mind, it serves (well) as a complementary service for those wanting to establish a little more about the historical background of a region, a biography or whatever the nature of that particular news item; or simply something they might have missed. While I understand Nick-D's concern about copyvios, so long as there are people wanting to work on this section I suspect that many people who actually come to the entry page would be sorry to see it go. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:48, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

ITN seems out of place here, I think it should go. If wikinews isn't perfect, go fix it, don't pervert an encyclopedia instead. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:31, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, Steelpillow, evidently you haven't seen my other comments regarding revamping the entry page. If you had, you'd understand that I'm not at odds with you. Wikipedia, as a living encyclopaedia, is struggling terribly. Anyone who spends time in the real world would know that it's the brunt of jokes due to its being inaccurate often enough to be perceived as being completely unreliable. I've already expressed my opinion here (several times) regarding focusing our energies at cleaning up the massive backlog of problems within Wikipedia itself. Nevertheless, it seems that popular consensus (even though Wikipedia is not a democracy??!!) wants to teach the entry page how to roll over and jump through burning hoops in order to captivate an audience who won't have connections capable fast enough to load complex suggestions for new pages, much less a computer powerful enough to use the latest browsers. My vote would be for leaving it as it stands and getting on with the serious tasks at hand. There has, however, been a consensus as to the ITN and Random links being a treasure trove for contributors who find themselves working on stubs, correcting entries and actually learning something on the way. I say, leave it as it is. I've seen another comment here that reflects my sentiments exactly: "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it." --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:23, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
No problem. I was just making an observation, my apologies if it appeared I was getting at any particular contributor. I agree about the ignorant chatterati. I sometimes say to subject experts that if they, personally, don't weigh in and correct the errors for themselves, then who will? I usually get a confused and embarrassed "but I want to be the victim here, I don't want to be responsible" kind of silence. But I disagree about doing nothing. Simply removing ITN (c.f. Wikinews) and Today's featured picture (c.f. Wikimedia Commons), as I suggested recently, would both reduce bandwidth and help us focus on Wikipedia's own issues. If ITN is useful to editors, it will still be there at Portal:Current events. Love the random article feature, don't change that! — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 08:33, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
There's certainly sense in your suggestion as regards bandwidth, computer speeds, etc. Ultimately, however, if the entry page is to be redesigned, it is purportedly for those millions of visitors every month. I'm still convinced that we leave everything alone until we consult with these 'visitors' (do I hear strains of The Twighlight Zone playing?). All we need is a feedback box, not guesstimations as to what those who are contributors already imagine should be tweaked. Is this a page for contributors or an audience. Not everyone is going to be interested or even have the skillsets to become active contributors. In all fairness, we should first establish what the 'audience' comes to the entry page for and what changes they'd like to see. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:16, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Except, people return to what they have found useful. So any page generates its own community. If a page is not suited to its purpose, then its current community will reflect the current content, not the intended purpose. I'd suggest that the questions we need to answer are; a) What is an appropriate page for people interested in Wikimedia projects generally? and b) What is an appropriate page for people interested specifically in Wikipedia? All other Wikimedia projects have found consistent answers, it might be worth making Wikipedia consistent too. Or, to put it another way, Wikipedia has historically been special because it was the first, but now that so many other projects exist, perhaps it needs to stop trying to be special. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 12:59, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

TAFI[edit]

  • The Main Page is fine as is. Although I'm still skeptical of if TAFI is a good idea, but we'll see (if TAFI is not actually generating improvements, it should be dropped whether it's a good fit or not). SnowFire (talk) 06:06, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Pictures[edit]

  • The pictures on the main page are horribly tiny for those with a a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display at maximum resolution. Perhaps they can be slightly larger, especially the Featured Picture (and those who want to see the full resolution can click on the images without leaving the page). Johnny Au (talk/contributions) 16:29, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

I rather like the current main page[edit]

It's refreshingly clean and simple when compared to many other web pages cluttered with tons of ads, social network links, and other garish promotional bling. And the simple interface is egalitarian in that those with less than optimal connections and/or hardware may still find it accessible. Some of us still run Pentium 4 machines that bog down when presented with too many java scripts, flash content, etc.

On the flip side, I do recognize that many people are using various mobile platforms and that their needs deserve consideration as well. Perhaps a nice "Wikipedia Mobile" button that initiates additional features affecting image display, font size/text format and such would be the way to go. It's important that a simple light-on-resources option be the default as 'fancy first' would bog down those with slow machines/connections while with the inverse no harm is done to those with spry hardware/connections as long as an obvious well placed button to switch to the next generation display is provided. Of course it would also be good to allow account holders to toggle 'feature level' in preferences.

Radically overhauling the main page actually strikes me as a bit of a vanity project. Other areas/concerns of the wiki may well better warrant some of the attention. Last I last I heard the English language Wikipedia was one of the most visited websites in the world. The décor doesn't seem to be scaring anyone off. Certain editors on the other hand... >wink< ...and the editing interface and a plethora of at times scattered guidelines... It seems to me that work 'under-the-hood' should take priority over 'a-new-paint-job'. Creating an editing environment that's friendly/safe and readily intelligible seems more important than doing a complete style overhaul on the front page. IMHO, Tweaking the interface to better accommodate modern devices would likely suffice. :  } --Kevjonesin (talk) 17:20, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

p.s.— Perhaps, as some may be having a compelling urge to 'get creative' with the main page so as to better emulate commercial sites (sites which I am proud that we are not), we could encourage such passions to engage in a hearty discussion about changing the color scheme or choosing new fonts. Perhaps put a modern spin on the logo (but not literally, 'no flash' or .gif tricks please). Give consideration to encouraging such enthusiasm to manifest in channels which don't put functionality at risk, please. And consider the value of incremental change as opposed to an exciting overhaul. --Kevjonesin (talk) 17:40, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Featured Picture takes too much space[edit]

The featured picture takes up way too much space. There is no need for the blurb to take up a whole page width. Other Areas of Wikipedia should go next to it, not below it. The four sections above would not be so cramped. ITN, for example, is far too selective in what it posts. Items other than disasters, sports and elections get cramped out because of this. μηδείς (talk) 18:27, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Sven Manguard[edit]

  • Three thoughts. First, the sections that I come to see are the featured article and the featured picture. I would like for both to be viewable on a normal sized monitor without scrolling. Second, ever since the introduction of the "Today's articles for improvement" section, the left and right columns have been perpetually unbalanced on my screen (1600x900), which never happened before the introduction of that section. Third, there were a lot of good ideas in the proposals from the 2012 redesign process, and they've been left to rot. Things like the "about" and "how to edit" sections in my proposal might be worth bringing into any new plans. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:44, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
It is the case that introducing TAFI has resulted in a balancing issue. I would like to see a design where this is not an issue, such as a 3/4-1/4 design, where the 1/4 side is more static (or less frequently updated), and the 3/4 side could be used for featured content. Consider a design like the French Main Page. --NickPenguin(contribs) 18:29, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
The current design is also perpetually unbalanced for those with a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display set at maximum resolution. Johnny Au (talk/contributions) 16:27, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
So, everyone would basically like the main page to display correctly regardless of what resolution their computer's screen is? — RandomDSdevel (talk) 18:33, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
looks fine, both on my 1366x768 laptop screen, and my 1920x1080 external monitor... it scales pretty well, at least between those resolutions... the columns are uneven, but I don't see a problem with it at all. the retina display is, according to the article, 2880x1800 for the 15". thing is, the retina displays are pretty much the only displays using that resolution. it might not display properly due to the php and javascript, undoubtedly used to scale the screen, think/assume that your display is somewhere around 30", and scaling the page to display properly for a much larger screen. it's a really wonky resolution for small screens as well, and probably has alot of compatibly bug with other stuff as well. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 18:19, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I haven't personally looked at a MacBook Pro with Retina Display for long enough to be sure, but I think that it's pretty safe to say that the problem might be that OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion tries to emulate a smaller display when it runs on members of this device family. In essence, I have heard through the pipes that the OS tries to render objects at about the same size as other devices of its screen size that don't have Retina Displays while still increasing their resolution. This sort of scaling algorithm would, for example, attempt to render smoother text and more detailed imagery within a smaller amount of space. Wikipedia (and a lot of other web sites, I'm guessing,) does not account for the fact that their pages' scripts might not have taken the layout snafus that this might cause into account. — RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:35, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Is that on full-screen? I use a window, & I don't have any trouble: 2 clean columns. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 11:49, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Nope, it's like that all of the time if you think about it this way. — RandomDSdevel (talk) 15:33, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I have to say I love Sven's proposal, as it explicitly addresses my point, doesn't change the overall placement of elements but still gives the page a more modern feeling. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 09:02, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Seconded. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:17, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Tariqabjotu[edit]

  • It's easier to think of things I don't like.
    1. I would prefer a layout that didn't require us to "balance" the two halves; as Sven suggests, it is never truly balanced for everyone at the same time, and the blank spaces that appear at the bottom of one half or the other come across as unprofessional.
    2. We need larger pictures. Right now, the Main Page is largely a wall of text and the small sizes of the images reduce their usefulness.
    3. The colors. Oh, those pastel colors. Please kill them with fire.
What do I like? Uh... it's got a good range of content, pointing people to the right aspects of Wikipedia? But our front page to the world needs some updating; it looks a bit amateur for one of the world's most-visited websites. -- tariqabjotu 03:08, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Tom Morris[edit]

Comment broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comment can be found here.

  • I broadly like the Main Page, but the only real problems I can find:
  1. FA and DYK are often niche. The sort of content that FA and DYK promote tend towards the non-academic and are usually "quirky and interesting" rather than necessarily useful encyclopedic content. Part of the problem with this is that writing an FA on some obscure battle that nobody but military history types care about is possible, but getting, say, Philosophy or Biology or the United States to FA would be impossible. DYK elevates stuff that Wikipedians just happen to find that's weird and obscure and not yet written about to the front page. Our featured content processes don't reward the improvement of the tough but important key articles.
I'm not sure radical redesign is needed, but it's always worth having discussions about the future of the Main Page. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:50, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't agree that it is impossible to get Philosophy or Biology to FA status. This could be done quite easily, it only requires editors with the motivation to put in the work. United States might be more problematic because current events tend to make it unstable, but it is still quite doable in principle. There is nothing wrong with "quirky and interesting", that's what gets people reading the articles. An interesting fact can be found in even the most dry academic subject. In fact, I think DYK has just the opposite problem - a great many of their hooks are dull and uninteresting. I really think they should be brutally selective about what gets in rather than "give every chap a chance". It would then be possible to let the ones that do get in have a decent amount of "air time". SpinningSpark 00:04, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Fundamentally, I think the selection of Main Page FA/DYK articles should consider not just the quality of the Wikipedia article but also the level of interest there is likely to be in the general Wikipedia readership. AndrewRT(Talk) 19:05, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I couldn't see things more differently than Tom Morris on this. First of all, I like the fact that the FAs are not the Big Major Articles, because those articles probably already get tens of thousands of hits a day already, and this exposes readers to much more of what Wikipedia has to offer. Secondly, I think the more "well-known" a featured article's topic is, the more likely it is to be vandalized and need protection, which I would prefer the main page FA to not need. I've got no evidence to support that concern, but it seems intuitive to me--maybe someone else knows more. HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:30, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Amadscientist[edit]

  • I agree with much of what is being said here. I would really like to see the "balance" issue done away with so that there need never be a worry of such a limitation again. I also believe that he main page looks uninviting and also am concerned that there be more editor engagement on it as well as editor retention efforts aimed at showing contributors in the Wikipedia community that their efforts have a big impact on the project. Images are too small and the look is very archaic. I would hope any redesign would remain professional, remembering that this is an encyclopedia. Perhaps even lean more towards that in a more graphic manner and also shows as much "at a glance" information as possible.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:49, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Rd232[edit]

  • Of the 3 aims I've identified (essentially, reader help / editor engagement / showing off content), only the last is really covered by the status quo. Additionally, the current design is really "busy" and old-fashioned. It can and must be better, but that's not going to happen without a radical change. For instance, trying to meet all of those aims in one page means it crammed full, with little whitespace. What if we have a quite minimalist (not as much as Google, but much more so than now) design, and split those 3 aims so that the key point of each of them is really prominent, with users then clicking through to follow up what they want, rather than being blasted with text? So for example, the "showing off content" bit would show much less of the Featured Article, only 1 DYK / ITN / OTD, and leave users to click through to a Today's Featured Content page for more. Same would go for the other two aims: being relatively brief on the Main Page itself, but with due prominence and links. (Not sure I've done my concept justice in words, but I'm no good with mockups.) Rd232 talk 23:00, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
As a general comment, the more sections that we have, the less content that can go into each one. Existing sections may need to evaluate the amount of space they use to accommodate new offerings. --NickPenguin(contribs) 23:16, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
More sections with less content would seem to be a great improvement - it would encourage people to "click through" to the underlying articles. AndrewRT(Talk) 19:06, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Espresso Addict[edit]

  • On the whole, old fuddy duddy that I am, I'm reasonably content with the main page as it was before TAFI was added. I'd prefer to put TAFI somewhere it didn't cause column balance problems. The section I find of least interest is ITN, because of the slow turnover and repetition of major news sources -- if the people involved there were interested in highlighting more DYK-like content relating to recent events in science/culture/&c I'd be happier to give it top spot. It would be nice to have slightly larger images; 100x100px is really too small in most cases. I'd like to highlight more high-level portals, as they are supposed to be the way in which readers access content, but aren't really working that way. Is there any way in which logged-in users could choose which modules were displayed where? It might be an ideal compromise which also encourages people to get accounts. Espresso Addict (talk) 10:00, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Pgallert[edit]

  • I'm not against a lot of text and pictures, it is an encyclopedia, after all.
    • I find TFA a tad too long, and with sometimes too few links (not today, but generally).
    • I further think, OTD is more important than ITN and should therefore be on top.
    • DYK is great as long as the hooks are interesting, there should be stronger selection. I didnt know that A was prime minister of B some decades ago, or that C is a species of genus D, but neither would I want to know.
    • I would like to see a way of including GAs on the main page --Pgallert (talk) 11:30, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
@Pgallert: One way to make DYKs interesting and also feature GAs on main page is to change the DYK criteria to included recent GA promotions as well. Meaning, new, 2x (for BLP), 5x or GA, could be the criteria for a proposed hook. Out of 6 DYKs or so that are featured, we may include 2 or so from GA class. This of course does not highlight the fact that the article is a Good Article on this encyclopedia but at least gives it a change of main page appearance. To me, DYK is just an interesting fact and the class of the article doesn't really matter. I also agree with you that some lame hooks do get promoted. But for GA articles maybe we could just keep a multiple opinion option. §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 03:37, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
See User:Gilderien/GA-DYKRFC. I was planning on running it imminently, but I suppose it will have to wait pending the outcome of this RfC.--Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 16:08, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah! Lets wait for this RfC to close. Hope no one turns way too bold and starts that RfC before you do. Liked your RfC. §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 16:56, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Vanisaac[edit]

  • I would like to see a broader range of content on the main page than we currently have. We could rotate content, with "On this day" or "This week in history" and "Did you know" expanded for the larger format, and add in "Featured WikiProject", "Featured Portal", "Sister project of the month", etc. A tab system would allow navigation to particular content, and the default feature could rotate in on specific days of the week, or even by time of day - maybe have "This week in history" all day Monday, with "On this day" every other day of the week. The space from both Did you know and On this day would be available for greater content in these features - just imagine being able to actually see the "Did you know" picture! You could probably even fold in "In the news", making room for the featured picture in a more visible location. So while I have no problem with the current layout, I think we are missing an opportunity to engage casual users in to the breadth and depth of the Wikipedia experience. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 11:58, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Hillbillyholiday[edit]

  • Supermarkets spend a fortune on design tricks to further their own ends. One interesting term is Zone Of Transition - this has relevance to the main page, in that currently there is no one thing which instantly gets your attention. I would suggest that the search bar should be central or at least more prominent, perhaps with a drop-down menu for advanced searches. Also, I don't quite see the point of "On This Day". Another old supermarket trick is the use of mirrors to slow people down and create the illusion of space — could we add a reflective section to the main page? — I believe it can be done nowadays.[1]Hillbillyholiday talk 17:22, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I've seen somw shoddy DYKs get through, but I'd be wary of presenting WP as a gleaming tower of perfection, there are plenty of poor articles out there (as anyone who was hit the "Random page" button will know) but I personally got started because of spotting a few errors here and there. For years I had no idea of what went on behind the scenes and how much needed doing — visitors should get a sense of that, and should also be directed to where they can find help getting started with editing. Perhaps a welcoming message like: "Wikipedia Needs Your Brain" or "How you can help us" Hillbillyholiday talk 21:02, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Keraunoscopia[edit]

  • I find the main page a clutter of text. I avoid it, maybe only going there to see what the FA is, but otherwise, I've never felt like I want to sift through the thing. I also have a similar feeling for basically every page on Wikipedia; there should be a feature where you can view articles in a professional layout, as if published in a newspaper, with less of an appearance of a school term paper (massive blocks of text across an entire screen). Major magazines use columns which makes reading so much easier. But this is about the main page and unfortunately I can't offer any suggestions other than it does look "old". If it helps any, I think IMDb.com's main page is a disaster as well. Sometimes there's just too much to offer the viewing public and it's not really the fault of the database or wiki. They're just trying to be fair with every little thing they have to offer. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 17:47, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Sillyfolkboy[edit]

  • It strangely avoids much comment but the main "Welcome to Wikipedia" top banner is poor. The portal links on the right generate very few clicks for such prominent placings and there is no sports one, though we frequently feature sports material elsewhere. I believe a tabbed series of links (e.g.) to high quality portals would change the way the main page is used. In my many years here I have almost never been interested in the "On This Day" section – the featured picture would be better placed above this and would also help disrupt the block of mostly text on the upper part of the main page. The style of the "Other areas of Wikipedia" section wouldn't be tolerated on an article, so why has it persisted in this format for so long on the main page? Good Articles have grown up now: they should be introduced to the front page in the manner of DYKs. The Sister Projects section takes up more space that the featured article does: these can be presented in a much more concise manner. SFB 22:05, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
A related thought was sparked from this "The portal links on the right generate very few clicks" - do we have any way of getting some stats of which links generate the most clicks from the main page? This would give us some persuasive data about what is currently working and what currently isn't. AndrewRT(Talk) 19:11, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I second this. Also: the quality of our search function is a barrier to usage. Until this gets better, it will be a struggle to successfully launch a new main page with the search bar as the main focus. SFB 11:39, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Chris Troutman[edit]

  • It's fine as is. Is the Main Page even relevant? How many people arrive at a given Wikipedia article from the Main Page? This isn't 1995. I doubt everyone clicks on a bookmark in their browser to open the main page and starts hunting for content. I would guess most people google something and choose the wiki article as the number one result. If the Main Page needed a redesign, you'd have buckets of user comments about what they don't like. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:23, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I know one or two people who, despite using Wikipedia near daily, weren't even aware it has a main page. --LukeSurl t c 10:17, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Seconded. I always enter WP via the search page and hardly ever look at the Main. It's cluttered and throws a lot of information at me I wasn't looking for in the first place. As far as I'm concerned it can go completely but if we want to keep it, at least slim it down drastically.  Yinta 11:31, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Atethnekos[edit]

  • I think making it looking like JSTOR [2] would be a nice change. The format it has would largely suit the purposes of this Wikipedia, just take a look at it: a well delineated main section, with more subdued links for around the periphery; the main section with a large search field and clear categories for browsing; it all makes the looking-up of material very enticing. If you want to know how much the Main Page is viewed just see [3]; very high numbers. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 01:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Not fond of the rest of JSTOR design, but I like the idea of including numbers of articles in categories, rather than the completely useless total. Espresso Addict (talk) 06:18, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

The Vietnamese Wiktionary started down this path, but of course there are differences between what a dictionary needs on its front page versus an encyclopedia. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 09:51, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Toshio Yamaguchi[edit]

  • The current placement of FA, ITN, DYK and OTD is okay in my opinion. What the current design is currently doing a poor job in is to explicitly point to a place saying how YOU (the reader) can help with improving Wikipedia, becoming an editor, registering an account, editing as an IP etc. In fact, the only mention of the fact that articles can be edited is the statement the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit at the top of the page, which is not very recognizable. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 08:55, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes! We need to think a but more about who visits the Main Page and what do we want readers to do once they get there. At the moment the Main Page is all about "look at the stuff we have created" and we need a strategic shift to also say "please can you help us with these things". AndrewRT(Talk) 19:14, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I do agree with this. Right now we have all of our "things that need help" located at the Community Portal; we might consider putting some of it somewhere on the main page as well. Also, we might consider putting in a prominent link to the Sandbox, as well. I don't think the average reader knows it exists, which causes them to do a tests in article space. Then they get admonished by recent changes patrollers, and they sometimes end up getting scared away. Sophus Bie (talk) 05:55, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by 㓟[edit]

  • Like: News section. WPs coverage of ongoing events is a valuable and distinguished resource. Article of the day. Why not show a fine article on the main page? After all, WP is an encyclopedia. Usability in general. I can search, go places, a random article all right, different languages … Dislike: So much trivia. DYK? On this day? That is just like watching ads. Instead, after all, WP is an encyclopedia. What would you like to see when you open an encyclopedia? There's more: WP is done by a community of individuals or groups with particular interests and responsibilities. Also, WP should show they are conscious of their function as an information pool for just about every person with a downlink. (talk) 11:08, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Dharmadhyaksha[edit]

  • Special days: I am new on this main page redesign idea. But i read some ip suggesting that a banner or something could be added on special days. Hence i thought maybe that can go ahead & we could have themes; like use some red/pink on Valentines, green on St. Patrik's day and so on. Google Doodle needs some good competition from someone like us. Has this idea already been discussed and quashed/is worked upon? §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 09:24, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
    • That anonymous IP was actually me, my work computer wasn't logged in for some reason.--Khajidha (talk) 23:05, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Melchoir[edit]

  • In The News is a huge downer. There's almost always at least one news item with an explicit body count, literally of the form "XY people are killed in Z". Often, more than half of the items concern disasters and other forms of death. Traditional news sources don't do this. Can we fix the problem? Melchoir (talk) 16:51, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Please feel free to make nominations at WP:ITN/C for items that you would prefer to see featured. This isn't something that needs to wait for a whole Main Page redesign proposal. SpencerT♦C 03:42, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Mindless references to [WP:SOFIXIT] are rarely helpful, Spencer. Clearly, no matter how many different items Melchoir offers, the issue s/he raised would still exist for him/her and any others who feel the same way. Not to say I feel that there needs to be anything done. In fact, I do not. But nominating his or her own articles is not the solution to his or her concern.101.118.160.143 (talk) 12:54, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by GiantSnowman[edit]

  • Every article which is directly linked to by the main page should have to meet a minimum level of quality; far too many times I have seen an item in DYK or ITN that does not meet basic MOS, or is just in a terrible state really, including but not limited to unreferenced BLPs. It's embarrasing. GiantSnowman 20:02, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Banedon[edit]

  • Personally I like the daily featured articles, the "in the news" section and "on this day". The reason is that I use the main page to look up random but interesting articles with substantial content (i.e. not a page like autohemotherapy, which has only a few lines). The current main page does a good job I would say for this, especially the "in the news" and "on this day" sections. The "did you know" section is usually concerned with very obscure things, so I don't use it much, and the rest of the page I pretty much never look at. Styles and layout are OK; I don't place much emphasis on either however, mainly caring about the content. Banedon (talk) 06:30, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by 131.211.225.136[edit]

  • To go along with some of the "I'm a dinosaur" comments, I've lived in a lot of remote places and countries where the internet infrastructure is poor at best. Wikipedia generally does pretty OK at loading reliably and is a hugely important source of knowledge to be able to get to. By all means redesign some stuff -- emphasize the volunteer nature of the WP project, try to get people involved (we have some pretty big banners pretty regularly for donations, why not for editors?) -- but keep WP open for everyone -- and by "everyone", think globally, not just everyone in the suburb. It's not worth it "fixing" something if it works pretty well already (I personally quite often follow links from all four of the top Main Page sections out of curiosity...) 131.211.225.136 (talk) 12:00, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by ColonelHenry[edit]

If it matters any, my viewing habits on the main page are rather limited. Just a few points:

  • Today's Featured Article is something I frequently look at, and I enjoy seeing the quality work and obscure subjects that pass through the main page.
  • I never, unfortunately get to notice the featured pictures and never get around to articles for improvement because I rarely get that far down the main page. I rarely scroll down at all.
  • I do tend to look at events in the news and recent deaths frequently...any day that I don't appear on recent deaths is a good day.
  • I have no use for DYKs...most of them never interest me, they seem to be on the same subjects all the time (how many ****g mushrooms do I need to know about? and how many Gibraltar related articles are there?) and when I do click on one or two here and there, I end up finding an article that is seriously lacking in content or polish and as such doesn't reflect well on the quality of Wikipedia.

On another note, we have plenty of Good Articles that never get noticed, perhaps we can improve DYK and advertise GAs more by limiting DYK content to Good Articles.--ColonelHenry (talk) 14:19, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by JustinTime55[edit]

  • My one pet peeve is about the location (not necessarily size) of the pictures used on In the News, Did you know and On this day. The pictures always appear at the top of the section, but the items referring to them are not always first; this is confusing and forces me to hunt for the "(pictured)" text. The rule should be enforced that the pictured item is always listed first. (Except I know this isn't usually possible for On this day, which by definition is chronological. In this case, it should be possible to sink the picture down lower so that it's next to its referring item.) Otherwise, the picture just causes more confusion than it's worth. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:42, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
    • This is a really good, simple idea. I see no reason not to implement this one. SFB 18:10, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
      • I've said several times that the pictured blurb should always be first, even in OTD. Maybe a little line could be added between the pictured blurb and the other blurbs to make it more obvious that it is being pulled out for a more featured status. --Khajidha (talk) 22:18, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Keomike[edit]

  • If this was my front door it would not look like this, luckily I always use the side door and don't have to look at it. It looks like random bills pasted on a boarded up retail outlet. Moving things around is a bit like a new poster coming along and pasting a new bill over somebody else's. Still, 10,000,000 people per day can't be wrong, so we must be doing something right. The Times of London stayed with adverts on the front page for around two centuries but even they changed eventually. Good luck with the redesign. Keomike (talk) 21:18, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by NinjaRobotPirate[edit]

  • I never go to the main page, and I don't know anyone does. Like another user said, this isn't 1995. We don't need a "welcome to this site!" page or a portal. However, since there are people who must be using it, I suggest that we keep a minimalist version, without AJAX and full motion video—or whatever it is that kids today think is cool. This could be controlled in user preferences. If I were going to dream, I might suggest allowing users to control what shows up. If someone doesn't care about the picture of the day, they should be able to remove that feature. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 22:20, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
  • See here[4]: "Main Page has been viewed 277,572,671 times in the last 30 days. This article ranked 1 in traffic on en.wikipedia.org." Ericoides (talk) 19:22, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Another Believer[edit]

  • Comment: I dislike the need to try to balance the two halves of the Main Page (right vs. left). And the fact that the banners (Did you know..., On this day...) often do not line up is bothersome to me. I enjoy taking a look at the FA each day, but tend to ignore the DYKs. Once in a while they might catch my attention, but I think it would be better to display Good articles, as they promote quality. I wish there were more current events and news updates, with higher turnover (people come to WP for breaking news, often). I never read "On this day". TAFI is a fantastic concept, but right now it looks lost and out of place. I like FP and the links to sister projects. I wish I had better suggestions to offer, but I do think the Main Page needs help and should be engaging for both Wikipedians and non-Wikipedians. Stating the obvious here, but trying to add my two cents nonetheless! --Another Believer (Talk) 23:38, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Regarding the main page being split into two columns, I also don't like it. Having vertically stacked sections would improve the feeling and look by giving the content more room. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 13:50, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Mkdw[edit]

  • Comment I don't have a particular comment or suggestion, but I am supportive of the initiative to improve the main page. Mkdwtalk 00:53, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by TheMillionRabbit[edit]

  • In my opinion, the "featured picture" box should be removed (it belongs more on commons) to make place for a larger "articles for improvement" box. I think the "other areas of Wikipedia section" is cluttering and should be moved to a menu in the sidebar. And please move the "sister projects" section higher. I'm afraid that almost nobody scrolls down to the bottom of the page. --TheMillionRabbit 02:12, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Trekphiler[edit]

  • Call me a dinosaur, too. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I see no need for a lot of flashy gimmicks. It makes me think of the table of contents of the hot rodding mags I used to read: now, they're flashy & colorful, but it's harder to find things...& IMO not improved. Let's avoid "new and improved" ending up neither, shall we? For a change? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 11:49, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Rrius[edit]

  • I think what is missing with the MP is a sense that anyone has recently asked "What should this page be for?" and asked of each element "Why is this here?" For instance, what purpose is meant to be served by "On this day...", and is that purpose important enough to justify the screen space? TFA, ITN, DYK, OTD, and TFP all seem to share of throwing traffic to articles around the project without regard to whether those particular articles need traffic. Don't people typically come here because they want to find something, making the search bar more important than a seemingly random collection of links? Even assuming they do need the traffic, does it make sense to take up so much of the page furthering that aim? Would not TFA, for instance, be enough? It would make a **** of a lot more sense to me to have prominent links to (or even descriptions of) our fundamental principles, e.g., the five pillars. The items listed in "Other areas of Wikipedia" should be more prominent, especially since editors have to realize they need to go to "Community portal" to find these links from the sidebar. Incidentally, taking ITN and the rest off of the main page does not necessarily mean getting rid of them: we could link to them from the main page and continue to let people get whatever joy there is to be had participating in them. I don't have much hope of any major changes to the page, so I expect I'll continue not looking at it while I decide whether to click "My watchlist" or "My talk". -Rrius (talk) 13:06, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Guy Macon[edit]

  • How could it be improved?
Guy Macon's Proposal
---Guy Macon (talk) 20:29, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Seems like an over-complicated solution, which could be improved by a simple redirect. SFB 13:31, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
That page has almost nothing to do with the page Guy designed. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 14:05, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

What we are doing now ignores the concept of Hypertext. You don't have to cram everything on the front page. Instead of a huge wall of text with "On this day..." at the top, simply put up a link to a dedicated page with that information. Putting all of that clutter on the front page is basically saying "we don't trust you to decide whether or not you want to learn what happened on this day in history" The Wikipedia home page shouldn't be much more complex than the Google home page.

Here are some truly awful websites that may be of interest to anyone who likes a simple, uncluttered website design as a bad example:

http://anselme.homestead.com/AFPHAITI.html
http://www.lingscars.com/
http://hosanna1.com/
http://heaven.internetarchaeology.org/heaven.html
http://yyyyyyy.info/

I tested these on several browsers, and had no problems on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. Internet Explorer tried to open a couple of popups, so IE users might want to avoid these. Also, the internetarchaeology.org site has no scroll bar and can only be scrolled with the up and down arrow (the very bottom is interesting). --Guy Macon (talk) 12:51, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Theornamentalist[edit]

  • I rarely come to Wikipedia for news as it unfolds; switch "In the news" and "On this day." Otherwise, wouldn't change a thing. Especially the appearance. - Theornamentalist (talk) 22:51, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Emann15[edit]

  • I don't have much input, as it doesn't offend/attract me. But, what could be nice to have is a list of the top accessed articles for the last hour, day, or week--the sort of "viral" meter used on other sites. It would be interesting to see the surge of hits on say...a town that had a national event happen or a person that people didn't really know about until they came up recently in the news. Might just be nice potpourri for visitors to see. Emann15 (talk) 21:47, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Just what I was thinking. What better way to gauge what a Wikipedia visitor might be interested in than what other Wikipedia users are interested in with a 100% sample size? sroc (talk) 14:02, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
+1 AndrewRT(Talk) 19:22, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Nicholasjf21[edit]

  • I think as has been mentioned above, the current Main Page is a little Web 1.0. I'm certainly not asking for an all-singing, all-dancing gif-fest.
  • On Wikivoyage, we recently redesigned our Main Page and used larger images to liven it up a bit. Whilst I wouldn't advocate images that large for an encyclopaedia, something along those lines would be welcomed by me. I think what the new Main Page really needs to be is simple, but engaging. At present, there's a lot of text and it's quite busy; a few larger images would soothe the eye and, in my view, make navigation a bit simpler.
  • One final note: it's nice to see that this is taking place as a collaborative rather than competitive footing, I hope this is more successful than the site's last attempt. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 22:44, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by This, that and the other[edit]

Let's face it, the main page looks boring. Pastel colors are so unexciting. They remind me of faded wallpaper. We could do a lot to spruce up its look with just some simple CSS - the great thing about that is, users with old browsers will still be able to read the content, even if the appearance doesn't quite look right for them.

Personally, I look at TFA and ITN. I think both are very valuable. Although I would love it if ITN provided more timely updates, I doubt it will happen. I regard OTD and DYK with only passing interest, and TFP and TFL are too low down the page for me to ever reach. (I think TFL's blurbs are too tersely written, and I have always found TFL's inclusion on the main page a bit jarring. It doesn't seem to justify its existence to the unfamiliar reader.)

The images are too small, especially TFP. In many ways, TFP looks like it belongs on a web page from 10 years ago. Anyone using an 800x600 monitor has to scroll websites horizontally nowadays (they would have had to do so on most sites for the past 8 years or so), so to bother to support 800x600 on the MP is just stupid. From a technical perspective, it would be very simple to use CSS media queries to provide larger images on the MP for those with larger monitors, and smaller images for those with smaller screens/browser windows.

Also, the footer material (particularly the list of six "other areas of Wikipedia") needs severe cleanup. We should look at our sister wikis for inspiration here. — This, that and the other (talk) 09:58, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree; I'm pretty sure that a lot of those just have a prominent section hosting a list of links to their sister projects on their sidebars. — RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:28, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by sroc[edit]

Different people have different preferences for the content they would like to see focussed on the main page. I'm wondering whether the main page could have a brief welcome/introduction at the top or right-hand-side column for new users with links to about/help/how to info, and a larger space set aside for featured content. The featured content could have tabs for TFA, TFP, ITN, OTD, DYK, etc., so that only one of these is displayed at a time, selected by the user based on their preference. This would provide a cleaner overall look by reducing the number of pastel boxes vying for attention all at once, as well as being more modern than the current static appearance. If the user's last-seen tab is remembered next time they visit (cookies?) then this would always show the content they prefer to see. Links to other projects could remain at the bottom (or moved to the right-hand-size column if it fits better). My concern with this is compatibility with slower/older environments with the tab-clicking functionality, which presumably would rely on Javascript. sroc (talk) 14:14, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Yaris678[edit]

  • Today's featured portal - I think we don't make nearly enough of our portals. I think it would be great to have a section of the main page that is today's featured portal. This would draw more attention to that fact that the portals exist and draw people into new areas of knowledge.
  • Who's seen the Windows 8 Wikipedia app?. This acts a bit like a skin on Wikipedia. For example, it uses columns and a serif font. The way it presents the main page is actually very like what some people are asking for - bigger pictures and slicker interaction.

Yaris678 (talk) 14:38, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Orlady[edit]

I have no particular complaints about the "desktop" version of the main page. It presents a great deal of information and navigation options for someone who is accessing the site from a standard computer display. However, the mobile version is awful. When I access the main page in a mobile browser, I see only "Today's featured article" -- I don't even see the Wikipedia identification. When I scroll down, I also see "In the news", then a link to "Read in another language", an indication that the page was last modified 17 days ago (not true of the content displayed on the page!), and finally the Wikipedia identification and the usual boilerplate. I can get to a sidebar menu to access a random article, log in, or view my watchlist, but most of the main page content is completely invisible -- and apparently not accessible. --Orlady (talk) 17:17, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Oh, yeah, the whole site is practically useless on mobile. Even the watchlist defaults to alphabetical order rather than recent changes. What purpose that could possibly serve is beyond me. I always have to change my user agent to desktop mode (which mobile Safari users can't even do) and then squint my way through. Editing is tedious on Android, and unthinkable on iPhone. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 18:24, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I have no complaints about reading articles in a mobile browser. When I access an article, I see the infobox (if any), lead section and the TOC for other sections. I can read the complete article, one section at a time. That's just fine. The main page display isn't up to the quality of the article display. As for editing, I've seldom attempted to edit Wikipedia on mobile -- 'tain't worth the trouble! --Orlady (talk) 18:36, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Too wordy[edit]

To me, the main obstacle to an attractive redesign of the main page is not that there are too many sections but that there are too many words per section. I concede that the wordiness of the main page reflects a general attribute of the project, but we should force ourselves to edit more on that particular page. Almost everything on there right now, for example, could easily be cut in half. The current FA blurb as I write would be more readable and present a better introduction if it ended after the fourth sentence; everything else is trivial detail. I suspect the writing at DYK would actually improve if hooks were a maximum of 150 characters instead of 200, because it would force people to work at them more (I have also long thought that DYK hooks should contain no non-bolded links; same with On This Day). Chick Bowen 01:32, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Now that I think about it, I agree that the main page is too verbose. As well as cutting down word length, we would do well to place more emphasis on slightly larger images (particularly in TFA), and perhaps even think about adding more "padding" (spacing) around the main page elements to make the page look more "modern" and less severe and texty. — This, that and the other (talk) 11:55, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Additionally, the main page contains too much undirected text. Logged in users should be able to select preferences and the main page would show minimal links to a GA, DYK, On This Day, News and POTD relevant to those prefs. Simple, targetted, user friendly, punchy, fast. Wikiwayman (talk) 17:05, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Herostratus[edit]

I like it OK. It's fine. It's not broken, so don't fix it. Please no slideshows or animations. The only change I would suggest is that DYK include a percentage of articles that have just achieved GA or FA status -- it's getting late to keep emphasizing just new articles, getting articles to GA status is at least as important now. (If it was up to me, I'd also consider reserving the top DYK slot for an actual really interesting factoid that someone has dug up from an existing article, regardless of whether the article has been recently created or improved -- this DYK would be a direct service to the reader (and also good marketing), as opposed to the other DYKs which mainly serve to inspire editors.) Herostratus (talk) 05:21, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Old Browsers[edit]

I do the vast majority of my reading (and editing) from work. Like many others, I don't have a say in what browser I use, just whatever my organization chooses to go with. It would be a real shame if WP were to choose to create content expecting everyone to have the latest browsers, I for example am stuck using IE7. Andy Johnston (talk) 14:47, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Very disorganized[edit]

I find wikipedia very difficult to follow and weakly organized and this applies to main page. It's disorganized, letters of several shapes and sizes and colors,and etc. Another unrelated thing: Problem with most scientific articles (the ones I would probably read the most) lack consistency and structure in titles. They are insufficiently accurate to be reliable for academics and professionals, and are just too detailed for other readers. I would suggest having some sort of structure in them (as in papers) with a summary section in the beginning which would be easy to understand for everyone and then develop in more detail in the following sections. At the moment is a bit of a mess. There is also a lot of controversy in edits with some people enjoying having control over edits, but not having much ineterst in the subject which decreases the quality of the content. nevermindthebollocks 07:15, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Hmmm! Do you think people jumping off the queue and posting their comments on top could have to do something with disorganized structure? §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 10:36, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
This is getting off-topic but if someone has no interest in a subject, why would they spend their time editing an article on such a subject(referring to the addition of content, not minor formatting changes, which anyone can do)? Just seems illogical. In regard to you point about the structure of articles being a mess, perhaps you should familiarise yourself with WP:MOS, particularly WP:LEAD; a set structure for articles has been defined for many years now, and I'm confident that 90% of articles which are classed as start class articles or higher feature the Wikipedia standardised structure. What you need to understand is that this is a collaborative project, hundreds if not thousands of articles are created everyday by users, many of which are new to the project and many of these articles are less than perfect, it's our job to improve them overtime - this is a Wiki after all. Remember there's no set time limit, the article you're referring to may take years to develop. YuMaNuMa Contrib 12:04, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I didn't know I was suppose to write in the end. I agree with your guidelines. A lot of articles in medicine and science don't follow that. Now, here comes the "unrelated" off topic. Sometimes trying to change the wording is complicated because other editors will disagree and come and delete your work, etc because they have done it before or just want it their way. Depends on who's watching a particular article and how many. What I mean that's also going to reflect on the main page, hope you get discussion sorted out because if most editors here are teenage girls, its gona be in pink with hello kitty stuff all over the place.nevermindthebollocks (talk) 12:19, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
sorry not hello kitty, Justin Bieber!nevermindthebollocks (talk) 12:24, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
It is not really that bad, but it needs less coloring and larger pictures, some are mostly invisible. --Pedro (talk) 09:40, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
FYI, based on this comment - A lot of articles in medicine and science don't follow that. - You might be interested to take a look at some of the work done by Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine, and particularly at Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Translation task force/RTT. I'm sure that if you have specific concerns about rash edits (no pun intended) that you called to the attention of participants in that project, that one or more of them could help you address them. KConWiki (talk) 00:46, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Commendations! I took a look around at those recognised as being top quality: very nice. Well set out, thought out & the content delivered in a manner in which even someone without grounding in medical science can keep up. This is where Wikipedia, in general, should be targeting its energies, not wizz-bang entry page delivery. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:05, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Comment by PinkAmpersand[edit]

I hate DYK. Not because I dislike the content it highlights, or because I see any flaws with the process. I think it's a great way to encourage basic development of interesting articles. However... the "Did you know..." format sucks. The tidbits are almost always forced, and usually overblow some trivial detail. If you ask me, it'd be much simpler to just format it as "Recent additions" (or some other name) and show a bulleted list of articles with brief summaries. Just as statements, not as questions. With the faux question format, for me it's always this massive build-up with a substantial letdown—"Did you know... that author So-and-so, for her second book Such-and-Such, traveled to Brazil for historical research". Compare to "Such-and-Such is a 2005 book by author So-and-so, who traveled to Brazil to conduct historical research for it." Instead of pretending that we're telling the reader something fascinating, simply let them take a look at new articles of decent quality, and decide which topics interest them. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 07:38, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

I think this is because people frequently overlook DYK criterion 3a ("The hook should [be] interesting to a broad audience"). I think this is a common issue. I agree that a plainer "recent additions" would resolve this by allowing us to prominently link new articles which don't lend themselves to the quirky format. This could be incorporated into the current DYK section with a simple bolded, dashed list at the bottom. SFB 17:22, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand, this would make it even more boring. As it is, at least some hooks are interesting. -- Ypnypn (talk) 20:25, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I think this would make it less boring because instead of five rather boring hooks, five links would take up the same real estate as one of those said boring hooks. The reviewing format of DYK discourages people from saying that hooks are boring because the nominating editor might 1) be offended, 2) feel their work was being diminished and 3) possibly disrupt the reviewers nomination. A flat line of links would allow us to circumvent this issue by allowing new articles with potentially boring hooks to still get a prominent link on the page (nobody feels their time has been wasted). SFB 22:30, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Comments by TBird100636[edit]

I usually don't spend much time on the main page. I either check my watch list for recent edits or use the search bar to find something in particular. In some rare cases, I may see something in the ITN and click on it. I gave the home page a long look, and I see no reason to do a major overhaul or redesign of it. It is largely well laid out, very easy to read, and provides enough content for new users to learn what Wikipedia is all about (and learn something new about what they are looking for). Major redesigns frustrate the members at large. Just look at every redesign YouTube, facebook, Photobucket, Yahoo, MSN, and many other websites have done in the past few years (especially YT and fb!!!) They change the basic functionality of the site when they do this.

For example, Photobucket was so easy to upload pictures, then to get the links to use on a forum to post the pictures you just hovered over the picture and a box would pop up with 4 different links. You'd click the link of choice and it would be copied. Very simple. Even before that the links were simply listed under each picture, same thing. One click of the desired link and it was copied. Now, you have to click at least 2 or 3 times to copy the link going through seperate menus. Youtube has had so many redesigns since I joined in September of 2007. They keep changing the video player. They keep redesigning the main page. They're now trying to change user names to match Google+ accounts or to link to a new Google+ account, etc., etc., etc. And don't get me started on facebook. That's had more changes, tweaks, redesigns, and other things that make you shake your head every time you use it.

My point is, leave it alone!!! Why must we be like all of the aeforementioned web entities and have to re-invent the wheel??? It works, it's simple, it loads quick even with a slow DSL connection I have at my house. Yes, it would be nice to do something to entice more people to the site, but I don't think that's a problem at this point. Millions, likely Billions or more people use Wikipedia everyday. I'm sure we didn't get here by mistake, obviously this formula is working. TBird100636 (talk) 20:44, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Todd Carnes[edit]

Frankly, I don't think anyone should really care. Now, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch and starts attacking me for saying that, let me explain myself. I think that the vast majority of people who use Wikipedia never, EVER see the main page. They arrive at Wikipedia from their Google search, get the information they were looking for, then leave. They have better things to do with their time than to click the main page link "just for the hell of it" and go "Ooooh, purdy!". I have been using and editing Wikipedia for years now and I never look at the main page and a GUARANTEE you I'm not alone.

Now, having said that, IF I would make one suggestion it would be DO NOT ruin it with a bunch of Web 2.0 BS. All that will do is hog bandwidth that many people don't have and remove all the information content from the page.Todd Carnes (talk) 23:17, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Formerip[edit]

Lose the left-hand bar. This looks old-fashioned and the contents seem designed for the WP of yore. We no longer need "Random article" to showcase the breadth of our content. "Featured content" "Languages" and "Current events" duplicate links elsewhere on the mainpage. "Print/export" and "Toolbox" are not really useful for the front page. What is left can be left, but it need not be on the left.

Move TFP above the fold. I agree with others about the value of images and I think this feature usually provides good and interesting ones.

Keep DYK/ITN/OTD. Some have commented that they don't personally use them, but I think its clear that many people do. It's also been suggested that, since we're an encyclopaedia, these should be done away with in favour of search and navigation. But the point is precisely to interest users in content they weren't looking for. The mainpage isn't actually necessary for the purpose of navigating Wikipedia, so I can't think of a better use for it than pushing more-or-less random content under people's noses, linked to the news, anniversaries or whatever. It's probably true that there is room for improvement in the way that these sections select their content, but that can be dealt with at the level of those sections. It isn't fair to say that they do an appalling job, by any means, and what they do do is drive article improvement in a way I can't see anything else replacing.

No gimicky stuff. No share buttons. No geo-determined content. No "based on your browsing history...". And no adverts for Wikipedia.

Formerip (talk) 21:00, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Comment by Aircorn[edit]

Just a minor point, but I have always found the FL not being presented in a list format a bit strange. AIRcorn (talk) 10:53, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

True, that bugged me without me noticing until you said it. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 21:06, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Main page aims[edit]

The discussion in this section should focus on the purpose of the main page. Consider: What are, and what should be, the aims of the main page? How important is each aim? Does the current main page accomplish these aims effectively? If not, what changes are needed?

Navigation on Wikipedia[edit]

Comments in this subsection are broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comments can be found here.

  • Two things I think the main page should be doing but currently is not:
    1. Help with navigating Wikipedia should be more prominent. A lot of users are going to be coming to Wikipedia to get a specific question answered like can dogs see more colours than cats. I'm sure their reaction to the front page is "yes, very pretty, but where's the answer to my question. SpinningSpark 06:35, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
  1. Help readers find what they are looking for fast
  • I would make the search box more centrally located. This is an encyclopedia, the thing that lets you look things up should be more prominent. --Khajidha (talk) 14:33, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Core aims:
  1. Help readers find what they're looking for (bearing in mind that if it was easy to find, they'd probably not be going to the Main Page - so maybe more search help, prominence to browsing options, pointing to sister projects, and Reference Desk prominence)

Rd232 talk 22:43, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

The Goals should be:

  • Make it easy for people to find things on Wikipedia

--Kangaroopowah 01:29, 7 May 2013 (UTC)


Comments by Spinningspark[edit]

Comments in this subsection are broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comments can be found here.

  • Two things I think the main page should be doing but currently is not:
    1. Showcasing recently improved articles but still at a lower quality standard than FA. At one time there was a proposal to allow recent GAs into DYK but this never got approved. I think there is still a need to somehow showcase improvements in quality as opposed to DYK's current emphasis on improvements in quantity.
I agree with Spinningspark (talk · contribs) that it would be helpful to have something on the Main Page involving showcasing of recently promoted WP:GAs. — Cirt (talk) 15:20, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Maybe this can be accomplished with a randomly rotating cycle of newly promoted GAs and FAs. The new TAFI section displays a random list of articles, which is updated weekly. Maybe it could be arranged such that there is a list of X number of articles in a rotation, and every Y days a certain number are removed and new ones are added. Right now the Main Page is essentially static for 24 hours, with the exception of DYK. --NickPenguin(contribs) 18:20, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree that this should include FAs - they already have, quite rightly, the leading position on the page. We don't want to undermine that. SpinningSpark 02:00, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I favour GAs being mixed in with DYK, though I suppose readers then have a coin flip as to whether they click through to a fully developed, well-written article or a quick start class piece. The DYK section could be improved in many ways—many new articles don't have a suitably punchy or interesting hook for one—but my understanding is we're unlikely to make headway in implementing changes there. Regarding the original question, the aim should be about showing or best work and inspiring new users to join, rather than a token reward for existing contributors Jebus989 12:33, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
In terms of the "coin flip" aspect – this already exists to a smaller extent due to 5x expansion DYKs. SFB 10:33, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Edokter[edit]

Comments in this subsection are broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comments can be found here.

  • The three main goals should be:
  1. Showcase featured content
  2. Help new editor become involved efficiently
  3. Help readers find what they are looking for fast
Edokter (talk) — 10:02, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Khajidha[edit]

Comments in this subsection are broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comments can be found here.

  • I would put more emphasis on the range of articles by increasing the size of the portals section and making the random article function more centrally located. This could also be done by changing the focus of DYK to intriguing facts from ANY article, not just recently added content (I've found quite a few horribly subpar articles linked through DYK lately). I would do away with ITN completely; we aren't a news site and no matter how much we tell people ITN isn't a news ticker they still act like it is. I have no problems with OTD. The various featured content sections I find rather annoying as it seems to drive this concept of so called accomplishments that leads to users basically getting into pissing contests about who's done more and better things. You shouldn't need an incentive to make articles better. If your every edit isn't about making the site better, why be here at all?Yeah, I don't really expect my suggestions to go over well, but here they are. --Khajidha (talk) 14:33, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Colapeninsula[edit]

  • I think we need more focus on (1) providing tools to find facts in the encyclopedia and (2) provide information on what Wikipedia is, how to contribute, etc. Currently the front page (and particularly the top part) is made up of example articles which aren't going to be of interest to most people (as I write, the most prominent text is the article on A Journey, a book few people I imagine have any desire to read). We should put genuinely helpful links (to WP help and possibly related projects) ahead of sample content. Maybe include lists of popular/good articles, rather than actual entire article texts. Having "In The News" so prominent is also odd, because Wikipedia isn't a news site. --Colapeninsula (talk) 16:56, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by NickPenguin[edit]

  • I feel the Main Page needs to work harder to encourage readers to become editors. The link at the top under the portal banner (anyone can edit) does not do this concept justice. I would like to see a section that explains in concrete terms how people can edit, and suggest they register and account, and then engage them with an editing tutorial of some kind. Perhaps also a mention of the vast amount of resources for editors to use (templates, media from Commons, places to ask for help, etc). I think a section like this would also tie in well with Today's articles for improvement, so that readers are given two things: the message that they can edit, and something for them to do. --NickPenguin(contribs) 18:20, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Amadscientist[edit]

  • The main page should aim in a few directions equally in prominence. It should be a portal to the encyclopedic information for the reader, but should also be more encouraging of an interactive experience. Not just links alone, but encourage readers to ask questions at the reference desk and directly with contributors/editors. Readers should be able to locate as many images with free license as possible just like finding our CC Attribution licensed text. Encourage positive interaction and to give somewhere for newcomers to go to avoid the frustrated and silly vandalism that could be a result of some just not having anything they can do when they first arrive. The front page should encourage editing a lot more. Demonstrate best practices (an editor retention issue) and highlight those that are contributing positively. I would love to see Wikipedia:WikiProject Editor Retention/Editor of the Week (probably in a smaller version than its template) and some nice use of graphics and maybe even something new designed up. We have such fantastic artists and most of them willing to design for projects so they would surely love designing something new for the main page. The possibilities are actually very good and I support a redesign strongly!--Amadscientist (talk) 21:08, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Beeblebrox[edit]

  • I'd like it if when I opened WP it came up with my timeline and highlighted recent posts related to me. Oh, wait, that's Facebook, never mind.
I definitely think we should keep DYK on the main page as it shows how we are always expanding and even very new users can make valuable contributions. And as far as ITN is concerned, whether we like it or not, we are in fact seen as a news site and we almost always have coverage of current events before the largely-unknown-and-not-very-good Wikinews. However I could see flip-flopping the news items and the "on this day" items, this seems to me like it would emphasize what Wikipedia is all about better. As to the color scheme, I wouldn't mind seeing it updated with something a little snappier, but I'd certainly want to see it first and be sure it is not going to be eye-straining, and of course we should consider the fact that a lot of people have some form of color blindness. I agree with the above post mentioning more and larger images to make it more engaging. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:17, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Rd232[edit]

Comments in this subsection are broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comments can be found here.

  • Core aims:
  1. Encourage readers to become editors (see eg Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_54#Main_page_Article_Editing_-_reboot)
  2. Make editors feel good by showing off content

Rd232 talk 22:43, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Kangaroopower[edit]

Comments in this subsection are broken for ease of reading. The unchanged comments can be found here. The Goals should be:

  • Feature the best of Wikipedia (fairly good job done so far)
  • Give users an incentive to join Wikipedia (horribly executed)

--Kangaroopowah 01:29, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by YuMaNuMa[edit]

  • I know this proposal may receive quite a few criticisms. I'm well aware of the fact that Wikipedia is not a social network and probably never should be but perhaps we should have a "trending" section that serves as a "most viewed article of the day/week/fortnight" section. Perhaps the content of this page should be moved to the main page and serve such a purpose. This could encourage new and existing users alike to edit popular articles that are undeveloped; such as Harlem Shake when it first became viral. Furthermore it would also help users, particularly those unfamiliar with the internet find popular articles on topics that are probably discussed IRL. YuMaNuMa Contrib 09:36, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I think this is a great idea and an interesting list for viewers and editors alike (but it shouldn't be titled "trending"). It could also direct more editors to current event articles that are getting hammered by new editors which may not be aware of the importance of (e.g.) BLP policy with emerging news. I suppose potential problems include overlap with ITN and encouraging recentism Jebus989 12:25, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I also think this is a great idea, that's the sort of thing I find fascinating. --NickPenguin(contribs) 14:39, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Best idea I have heard yet. I think it has great encyclopedic value.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:09, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • A great idea. It's interesting for itself and it draws people into the encyclopedia on the topics that are most likely to have current interest. SchreiberBike (talk) 00:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree, this is an excellent idea. KConWiki (talk) 01:09, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree. Make sure it's human-moderated (no gaming of the system, avoid duplication of ITN etc.). I think this could function well with the sort of space TAFI had, maybe a long, one-line list underneath DYK and OTD. Would be great way to get readers to what they might be looking for. --LukeSurl t c 17:45, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
    • I know this proposal may receive quite a few criticisms. - OK then, here's a couple. (a) it at least partially duplicates In The News (b) it's covered by Google searching - people looking for specific current things will find them that way (c) it promotes things that mostly don't need promoting (content that is popular anyway) (d) it promotes things of current interest, which supports recentist bias and violation of WP:NOTNEWS. We should be doing things to counter systemic bias, not promote it. Now, all of that may be outweighed by the argument that highlighting Top25 articles may promote editor engagement (though there's probably better ways to do that...), but there you are, there's some criticisms. Rd232 talk 08:00, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
  • a - This will likely occur in the future but at the moment none of the items in ITN is duplicated in the Top25 list, so perhaps the probability of that happening may not be as high as people, including me may think.
  • b - You won't find it unless you search for it. I believe that if we post the top 25 list on the front page, Wikipedia would be one of the only sites that truly highlights the most popular topics being discussed in the world today. The Twitter trending feature is quite a mess in my opinion.
  • c - I think I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say that I didn't know that most of the articles on that list are as popular as they are.
  • d - Agree from an editor's perspective but I think including such a list would be in the interest of the wider internet community. Generally, if articles are popular enough to make it on that list, they will continue to be popular for quite a while, hence it should be a priority for editors to improve these articles as soon as possible; promoting them on the main page is one method of encouraging editors. YuMaNuMa Contrib 10:59, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
See my comments below on Hot Topics where I link to a more complete thought. I like to saw logs! (talk) 18:23, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Espresso Addict[edit]

  • I think the main goal of the main page has become rewarding editors who produce or improve content, which I agree is extremely important. It hardly serves readers who don't edit and want to find specific content at all. There again, Google is really the main page for readers who know what they're looking for. It would be useful to attract more editors, but I'm not sure how that might be achieved; I don't think small changes will do it. On the rewarding existing content providers front, I'd like to highlight more good-quality content eg GAs, more FLs. On the reader navigation front, I feel subject portals have been sidelined for years and need more attention as a primary portal for readers who want to browse rather than search. Espresso Addict (talk) 10:12, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Agree, I'd say only a very small minority of editors on Wikipedia have actually significantly contributed to a feature article. Anyone who has contributed to a Main Page featured article would probably feel the upmost sense of pride in their work. I believe "Good Articles" have reached the stage where they can be presented on the Main Page given that final checks are made and it's re-examed in the same manner as the Featured articles, using the GA criteria by a group of editors. Perhaps a "trending" section with what I proposed above and a GA section with 5 or so GA articles with one sentence introductions would be of benefit to the main page and reduce any unevenness. Face-smile.svg YuMaNuMa Contrib 10:40, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I love this idea...but I also feel what is missing from the main page is the nomination link and an emphasis on the interactive portion of how the GA and FA process are achieved. Links to the GA and FA nomination pages would be a great addition.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:13, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

I find the Wikipedia main page intensely irritating. Wikipedia has no idea why I have gone there, and yet I am served some nonsense that is of no interest to me and because of its pop/US-centric nature makes me think that much of the project is a complete waste of time. Sorry to be blunt, but that's how it hits me. Even more so on the iPhone app. As has already been said, it's so old-fashioned. It's Yahoo to Google Search. Cut the crap and focus on getting people to where *they* want to go. By all means put stuff in to encourage contributions, but keep it short. Less is more. Think Apple. [[User:Socialambulator|Soc Soosim (talk)ialambulator]] (talk) 10:56, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Aside from your unsupported (and frankly unsupportable) "US-centric" crack, I agree. The MP seems more about rewarding editors for improving or creating articles than providing page viewers with anything helpful. -Rrius (talk) 13:11, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Pgallert[edit]

People should be able to find things when they come to the main page. Unfortunately the search function is incapable of delivering that service, could a link to Google be included instead? --Pgallert (talk) 11:41, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

no news. people should not be going to wikipedia for a news synopsis. let them go to a news website. Soosim (talk) 13:54, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Remove the "In the News" section and replace it with a link to Wikinews. This would free up space for a full-width Featured Picture section (with the picture taking up the full width (if possible)). I also agree that there are way too many articles on American/British/Japanese popular culture that fits better in their respective Wikias. Johnny Au (talk/contributions) 16:35, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I think that it would be a lot better if the guys at WikiNews looked over some of the content that has recently been "In the News" here on Wikipedia so that they can improve their site enough that the Main Page can redirect people looking for news, some of which it would still present as a series of short summaries, to WikiNews. — RandomDSdevel (talk) 23:53, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
As Beeblebrox said a little way up, Wikinews is not very good (a couple of articles a day on completely arbitrary topics). Wikipedia is, unintentionally, a better news service than Wikinews. I'd personally go further, Wikinews is an inherently flawed project that should have been cut from Wikimedia ages ago. It's a kinda embarrassing to have to give it what links we are obliged to make, making a more prominent front page link is not a good idea. --LukeSurl t c 00:07, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
But what if WikiNews were a lot better? Then we could afford to link to it. It seems tome that the visibility of other Wikimedia Foundation projects is the main problem, anyway. Maybe Wikipedia's sidebar or the top of the Main Page could display a 'Sister Projects' link to a page or fly-out menu advertising their existence. In fact, I think that I have even seen one of the WMF's wikis display such a link in its sidebar. Now, if only I could remember which one it was… — RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:24, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Not sure what happened here, the comments to my statement do not really refer to what I said. Some misfired attempt of restructuring? Anyway, in case there is a need to rephrase what I mean: WP search is dysfunctional. Google is much better at searching and finding things, including on Wikipedia. I therefore suggest to just use Google's search, and to drop the Wikipedia search function. --Pgallert (talk) 20:19, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Mabeenot[edit]

  • Showcasing excellent content is great, but we need to keep that creative engine going. Several replies touched on the need for our main page to encourage readers to become editors. There should be a space welcoming people to contribute which includes links to the standard welcome and policy pages. However, having some material on the front page that highlights the community would make it clear to readers that there's a lot going on behind the scenes that isn't readily apparent when reading articles. I'd like to see some mention of the Signpost as well as the existence of WikiProjects. Other community hubs like the Village Pump, Teahouse, Articles for Creation, and Help Desk should also be accessible without needing to click through multiple layers of pages. –Mabeenot (talk) 18:59, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
    This idea sounds a bit like mixing/moving most of the content from WP:Community_portal over to the Main Page. (See this version from November 2012, for the most minimal recent version. It's expanded drastically since then.) We can't just merge the two pages, as that's simply too much content.
    However, two of the best submissions in the 2012 redesign, had excellent small/new elements that helped explain editing & recruit editors: Pretzel's "About" section and Blofeld's How to edit section.
    I do agree with adding the Signpost (either a link to it, or the template:Signpost-subscription version itself) –Quiddity (talk) 20:08, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
    I think it's worth mentioning that the designs from the 2012 straw poll that got the most support used a 2/3-1/3 or 3/4-1/4 column split. --NickPenguin(contribs) 20:36, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Morgan Leigh[edit]

  • I'd really like to see the main page devote serious space to making it MUCH easier for people to get into editing. Perhaps something to help them find projects that might interest them. I'd really like to see some kind of resource for helping editors find info about policies and guidelines. New editors often just give up in disputes because people start quoting policies and/or guidelines that they can never find info on. This is bearing in mind that new editors probably don't even know there are policies and guidelines. Morgan Leigh | Talk 01:54, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Nbound[edit]

I would like to see the following aims addressed on the front page-

  • More encyclopedic content - Showcase the very best of our creative efforts, give people something to aspire to!
  • Keep interesting articles - Hook people in with content that is interesting and/or quirky.
  • List our generalised aims - Verifiable content and so on, linking to appropriate policy pages.
  • Provide a basic directory - Allow people to browse and see the "important articles" within a broad genre (ie. Biology, Popular Culture, Music, etc.).
  • Retain current events - These allow people to rely on wikipedia for information, improving trust between us and readers (aswell as prospective users). Its importance on the page could probably be lowered though.
Nbound (talk) 05:23, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Chiswick Chap[edit]

I'd like (as Morgan Leigh) to make the front page show people they can join in. Both the featured article and the DYK are edited by humans -- why doesn't it say so? DYK might say "Editors like you created Wikipedia's newest content:" or something of that sort. Chiswick Chap (talk) 18:23, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

  • One of the things I am curious about is exactly what the goals of DYK (as it currently is), are. If it is to encourage editing articles, I think getting rid of the current 5x format will be a lot more logical as to include all articles with an interesting enough hook, and not just those within this short category. The current format or an arbitrary collection of possibly uninteresting facts is not gripping enough for readers or editors to keep editing new articles. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 08:50, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree on this somewhat. But i have at many times kept my articles in user space until i get a proper hook and all conditions are satisfied. So i do think that the incentive of being featurable is a reason for many people to create new stuff. But it sometimes gets diluted and non-interesting hooks also get promoted just because it fits the criteria. Being 13th is not a hook; being 1st is. I also agree that class of the article should'nt matter much. Many GAs are built on slowly and hence have no chance of 5x. There are some articles which are highly impossible to be FA and get featured. If such articles do have anything interesting in them, they should be allowed to get a DYK spot. §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 10:44, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Kafziel[edit]

  • Considering some of the comments in the section above, I think an important aim for the main page should be increasing its value and visual appeal without increasing load times. Fix formatting, replace junk with more useful content, but don't get crazy with the Web 2.0 stuff. Google has done pretty well for many years by keeping things relatively simple, and I think we should aspire to that as well. Personally, I look at the main page a couple of times a month; my watchlist is my main page. But I think, for a lot of readers, simplicity and ease of use is key. Most (not all, but most) people come to Wikipedia looking for something specific, not to be wowed by a random Featured Picture. That other stuff is nice and all, but they have things to do. We should keep that in mind. Form follows function. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 21:26, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I completely agree with Kafziel on everything stated. — JJJ (say hello) 00:00, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

TFL[edit]

  • I would really like to see TFL be on other days but Monday 86.171.33.224 (talk) 06:42, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
    • There aren't enough featured lists. —innotata 18:08, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Comments by The Anonymouse[edit]

  • I think that the overall design of the current main page is outdated; something similar to Wikidata's main page might make the main page look more graphically appealing yet still simple and with fast loading. Also, the page should be more focused on engaging readers (that are looking for something specific) and new users rather than displaying content, IMO. By this I mean:
    1. Make it easier to find the search field
    2. Give more prominent links (and maybe images and/or larger sections) to article categories and portals
    3. Give more prominent links for commonly needed things such as creating an account, help desk, reference desk, etc.
    While all users see the main page from time to time, it's readers (same as above) and new users that the main page is supposed to be designed for. The Anonymouse (talk | contribs) 06:21, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Guy Macon[edit]

Page Weight Matters, by Chris Zacharias

"Three years ago, while I was a web developer at YouTube, one of the senior engineers began a rant about the page weight of the video watch page being far too large. The page had ballooned to as high as 1.2MB and dozens of requests. This engineer openly vented that “if they can write an entire Quake clone in under 100KB, we have no excuse for this!” Given that I agreed with him and I was excited to find a new project, I decided to champion the cause of getting the YouTube watch page to weigh in under 100KB. On the shuttle home from San Bruno that night, I coded up a prototype. I decided to limit the functionality to just a basic masthead, the video player, five related videos, a sharing button, a flagging tool, and ten comments loaded in via AJAX. I code-named the project “Feather”.
"Even with such a limited set of features, the page was weighing in at 250KB. I dug into the code and realized that our optimization tools (i.e. Closure compilation) were unable to exclude code that was never actually used in the page itself (which would be an unfair expectation of any tool under the circumstances). The only way to reduce the code further was to optimize by hand the CSS, Javascript, and image sprites myself. After three painstaking days, I had arrived at a much leaner solution. It still was not under 100KB though. Having just finished writing the HTML5 video player, I decided to plug it in instead of the far heavier Flash player. Bam! 98KB and only 14 requests. I threaded the code with some basic monitoring and launched an opt-in to a fraction of our traffic.
"After a week of data collection, the numbers came back… and they were baffling. The average aggregate page latency under Feather had actually INCREASED. I had decreased the total page weight and number of requests to a tenth of what they were previously and somehow the numbers were showing that it was taking LONGER for videos to load on Feather. This could not be possible. Digging through the numbers more and after browser testing repeatedly, nothing made sense. I was just about to give up on the project, with my world view completely shattered, when my colleague discovered the answer: geography.
"When we plotted the data geographically and compared it to our total numbers broken out by region, there was a disproportionate increase in traffic from places like Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and even remote regions of Siberia. Further investigation revealed that, in these places, the average page load time under Feather was over TWO MINUTES! This meant that a regular video page, at over a megabyte, was taking more than TWENTY MINUTES to load! This was the penalty incurred before the video stream even had a chance to show the first frame. Correspondingly, entire populations of people simply could not use YouTube because it took too long to see anything. Under Feather, despite it taking over two minutes to get to the first frame of video, watching a video actually became a real possibility. Over the week, word of Feather had spread in these areas and our numbers were completely skewed as a result. Large numbers of people who were previously unable to use YouTube before were suddenly able to.
"Through Feather, I learned a valuable lesson about the state of the Internet throughout the rest of the world. Many of us are fortunate to live in high bandwidth regions, but there are still large portions of the world that do not. By keeping your client side code small and lightweight, you can literally open your product up to new markets."

Source: [ http://blog.chriszacharias.com/page-weight-matters ]

(Reproduced under fair use: "The first factor is regarding whether the use in question helps fulfill the intention of copyright law to stimulate creativity for the enrichment of the general public, or whether it aims to only 'supersede the objects' of the original for reasons of personal profit.") --Guy Macon (talk) 17:11, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

That was awesome! This is good information, User:Guy Macon. Page weight is a big factor. I like to saw logs! (talk) 17:26, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Agree wholeheartedly with this. For Wikipedia, with our goal of providing a free encylopedia to everyone, this is even more important. --LukeSurl t c 11:31, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm going to be another voice of agreement; people from literally all over the world use our encyclopedia, and whatever we do, we should make sure they can continue using it. Sophus Bie (talk) 05:58, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
I think this strongly ties in with one of our main objectives: "Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute." Load time can be a barrier to distribution. I see two broad camps here: one pulling the main page in a customizable high-end widget based Main Page and the other pulling for a back to basics version. Could we accommodate both as the example set by Feather? SFB 11:35, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by OhanaUnited[edit]

This should be considered seriously in my opinion. Shirsakbc (talk) 19:02, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

The main page is a bad start page[edit]

Does visiting en.wikipedia.org result in a prompt, concise, welcoming and helpful response? No. The main page is designed to entertain people with a high-speed internet connection and a large monitor in their spare time. It is not designed for people looking for prompt and concise answers, i.e. the natural target audience of an encyclopedia. In particular, the main page is:

  • too large. Atm we make people with slow internet and/or tiny monitors hate wikipedia already when opening the main page. Too much content, too many words, too many images, too many bytes.
  • unhelpful. The main page is designed to reward FA- and DYK-writers, the ITN-team etc., to prominently advertise their work. It is not based on the needs of people typing in the en.wiki URL into their browser or typing "wikipedia" into their search engine and clicking on the result. These people want to browse some keyword(s) to find the respective article(s) and need a prominent search box. These people may also want to find out how to add, change or discuss content, or upload images. Some may even want to donate. Some may want to know what wikipedia is and how it works. Nothing to see on the main page for these people. While I realize that having an article featured on the main page is an important criterion for some editors to invest time and work into content creation, links to/previews of articles on the main page should be embedded in a how-to guide answering the questions of the visitor.
  • unwelcoming. Wikipedia is a service, but its start page is just saying "Welcome" to continue, at large, to show off. That is a welcome for tourists coming across something that wants to be a tourist attraction. It is not asking the key question "How can I help you?" (see above), it is saying "Welcome to our incredible world." The visitor does not get the feeling that this wikipedia endorses, and most fundamentally relies on, them performing the one or two mouse clicks that stand between "reader" and "editor."

The main page should be a start page, consisting of very few boxes/fields:

  • A concise "welcome" field, linking what wikipedia is and a welcome page
  • A concise "how to edit wikipedia" field, linking how to edit/create articles and discussions and upload images (essentially links to how-to guides, policies/guidelines)
  • A concise "browse" field, prominently featuring the search box, a link to the advanced search, a rough and concise content guide, probably also links to/small previews of "articles of the day" (dyk/FA)

And that's it, impressum/donation info go at the bottom.

Alternatively, keep the main page in its current form, but do not make it the start page. Skäpperöd (talk) 09:56, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

I've noticed people are identifying three main aspects of the Main Page: Featuring content, attracting editors and searching/browsing for content. We show featured content very well, and we are identifying attracting editors as an important oversight, but it's also important to decide how we want people to browse for content. If the search bar is the primary feature, then you would have to give me an important reason to use that over google, because the search bar here is terrible. It would be interesting to know how many people actually use the search bar versus searching in Google, and how many people use the search bar on the Main Page. The only other two methods of browsing articles are portals and categories.
Portals are interesting but I don't think they are widely used (from lack of advertising?) while categories I find are too empty and lack context. In truth, the way I browse content the most is through in-article links; I have context and an interesting hook that makes me click. Maybe if the DYK section was integrated into a broader "browse content" section, people would be more likely to click. I see the future of the Main Page being divided in three areas: Featured content (FA, FP, TFL), Editor/Community awareness (general editing message, community portal, TAFI, sister projects), and browsing for content (DYK, OTD, ITN, portals, categories).--NickPenguin(contribs) 16:45, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
I think Skäpperöd's ideas are the best I've seen in this discussion. If people really want to showcase material, why not create a "Showcase" page where all of that could go? As far as the repeated statements that the search box is horrible compared to google, then improve the search box. Or have a "use google to search this site" box like I've seen on other pages. --Khajidha (talk) 20:26, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, intelligent comments. I can't find my 2012 redesign proposal which I think was second in terms of votes and even the first one based it on mine, but I scrapped the "welcome to wikipedia" header in favour of a summary of wikipedia's function and how to edit on the right hand side in favour of the "current news". I boosted the size of the featured image and moved up the featured picture. My own opinion on the matter is that yes, the main page should summarise the project and how to edit, and to reduce the clutter, even if that means placing current news and DYKs on a sub page. I know a lot of people get excited by having their DYKs on the front page of wikipedia but we get a lot of complaints over quality and paraphrasing by people who are really embarrassed by it as a feature and browsing history indicates the vast majority of people ignore DYK and most people also ignore even TFA. So yes, very productive comments in that the front page should effectively function more as a search base and for how to edit. But from my own experience I know that I've inspired a number of people to contribute more to wikipedia in combating systematic bias from seeing my articles on the front page, even newbies, so I wouldn't underestimate the use of showcasing work on the front page either but I've long though that perhaps DYK and news should be demoted to sub pages.

In all honesty though, I've got sick and tired of trying to advocate main page change since 2008 without success. I strongly believe that the tech guys should create a couple of front page designs put them in place in turn and request feedback on what was liked or disliked and then they go with the version most people seemed to like. I think too much discussion is unhealthy and as with past proposals led to stalemate. I think the people who can change this need to be more vigorous and simply give people a choice to vote for the best design after it has been put in a trial run and if they don't like it, tough, as the majority would be in favour of it.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 16:31, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

I will also support "just redesign for now" option. If we keep discussing content then the discussion is very likely to go beyond limits. As of now also i hardly see people responding to other editor's comments. Its just a dumping ground. Lets take big baby steps. Lets format the layout, maybe add non-controversial sections like that of help and then discuss on each content section separately. §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 16:47, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Zzyzx11[edit]

As Wikipedia's home page, the Main page should be the most web accessible page as possible. These traffic stats show that a number of people still use old web browsers. Thus we should not go "all out" on including the latest and greatest web design and layout techniques if they are just going to comprise user experience with those old browsers. One of the reasons that the main page still uses the {{*mp}} layout fix instead of the reqular wiki markup "*" for a bullet is because a number of Wikipedia users still use old web browsers. Zzyzx11 (talk) 17:00, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

however, if the scripts get too old, things start to break, although, mediawiki software is probably compatible with new and old stuff. the problem is that places such as high schools never really update any of their software. for instance, 6 mos ago, I think my high school was still running Firefox 4.6, and I know for a fact that they still run windows xp on their whole system. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 02:12, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Stuartyeates[edit]

Some ideas:

  • A test to see whether the browser is sent to en/en-GB or something else and include a box to offer us another language wiki (in the appropriate language) if that looks appropriate.
  • A GeoIP box that appears if we have a strong indication where a user is located, so we can direct them to local content and/or a local language wiki.
  • Better image galleries. This should be done not using a special gallery widget for the front page, but using a generic gallery widget, otherwise the main page drifts apart from 'wikipedia proper'
  • Topic navigation using images. The image links could go to the same portals as the link on the current page, but by using images to represent the portals' topics we bring colour and variation.
  • Most of the current sections could be made into continuously scrolling content using javascript with graceful degradation.

Just my 2c. Stuartyeates (talk) 04:18, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments by AndrewRT[edit]

Having read the above I see that most of what I wanted to say has already been said, so I won't expand on those points except to say that I definitely agree with:

  • Keep bandwidth requirements down
  • Less text in the individual sections
  • Focus on attracting contributors as well as showcasing content
  • For sections like FA & DYK, focus on content that is likely to be interesting to a good cross section of our readership

In addition, I would add:

  • Consider designing for mobile first rather than desktop first
  • Lots of people I know regularly use Wikipedia but don't know how it is written and how it works; more links to information about that from the Main Page would make sense
  • Regarding ITN, more focus should be on linking to good quality Wikipedia articles, not just newsworthy information. The underlying ITN page is particularly bad for this - often the linked articles have very little relevant content.

AndrewRT(Talk) 19:45, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Exciting and Live[edit]

I never spend much time on the main page, as it doesn't do much for me in terms of content. I'd prefer to see it made up of javascript sections that work like widgets. For instance, you could have:

  • Article of the day widget
  • Most viewed charts widget, with the option to organise by all time, this month, this week, today.
  • Watchlist widget, with your latest watchlist changes.
  • Most recent pages (or edits) widget.

I think that'd be a good way of making it more of an overview of Wikipedia, and a more central part of viewing the site. Another thing that I've always thought would be good, and redesigning the main page might be a perfect opportunity, is having a virtual 'binder' of articles. Say someone is researching a topic, and they find multiple articles on it, they could add it to a binder so they can find them again later. You could take this as far as sharing these binders, so someone researching a topic could search for a binder related to that topic. For instance, I could want to research nuclear fusion, so I look at articles on the actual physics, maths, and chemistry behind it. I then read about some of the pioneers in the subject, their histories, and their achievements in the field. I read articles about the engineering required to build a reactor, the materials used, the mining techniques used to get those materials, the power consumption of the planet, and current energy sources. Side note: This is something I did last year for a research paper. Thank you Wikipedia! You could bind all of these in one place, like bookmarks on a browser, and have them anywhere you log in. Rather than adding them to your watchlist and having a mess organised either alphabetically or by recent changes, you could have multiple binders for different subjects, and these could be made public. A widget on the main page for your binders, and other people binders, would be a nice way to promote Wikipedia as a research tool, make the page less static, and more central to your experience, all at the same time. Anyway, enough rambling, that's my opinion!  drewmunn  talk  12:48, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Is this binder idea sufficiently covered in the Create book option under Print/export on the left menu? SFB 11:14, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Not particularly, because it's not particularly interactive, nor does it have a built in 'share with other users' or 'search for other' system. One of the best part of a Wikipedia article, from a researcher's perspective, is the references, and formatting it in a printable manner makes them much harder to navigate than having them with the javascript tooltips in a live page.  drewmunn  talk  14:19, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Let's be an encylcopedia[edit]

Main page should be very bare and spartan (a la google).

That's it. We're supposed to be an encyclopedia -- a reference work. Not news, not a promotional site, not even of ourselves. Personally I hardly ever visit it -- used to be that adding "wiki" to a search term in google would pop you to the right article. Today, the "wiki" is usually unnecessary --> Google is a better main page than the main page. I wonder if there's a way for the techies to determine how many folks visit articles from search engines vs. the main page? NE Ent 15:18, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

You're wrong. In general, our portals are bad and most of our content needs work. Perhaps you haven't noticed that Wikipedia is incredible for documenting news and current events? Besides, most people come to Wikipedia from Google. If they bother to come directly to Wikipedia, we should give them a taste of our best stuff. It also helps to recognize the incredible contributions of our dedicated users. I visit the main page daily - just to see what's up around the world in a historical sense and to take a look at the featured article. Could it be better? Yes. But this is the wrong direction. Mono 01:44, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Huh? Nothing he said was "wrong". You just happen to like the main page. That doesn't make NE Ent wrong. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 04:04, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
You say that "we should give [visitors to the main page] a taste of our best stuff", but I thought that the entire purpose of this discussion was to determine what we "should" have on the main page? And as for your point that "it helps to recognize the incredible contributions of our dedicated users", my question is "So?" Wikipedia isn't some pep rally, if you really need recognition for what you do here I feel sorry for your lack of self esteem. You want to make the wiki better, do it and stop having a pissing contest over who has more featured articles or more DYK hooks or more OTD listings or.... --Khajidha (talk) 14:13, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I disagree because I think this approach is wrong. (Perhaps that was a little blunt before). I've read through all the other discussions on this page and I am starting to see why Wikipedia still hasn't redesigned its main page. No one can agree on what it should be, because everyone likes their own part. I don't really write articles, but I think we ought to showcase our high-quality content up front rather than burying it in our old and rarely updated portal system. Mono 15:33, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Draw folks in who are browsing in[edit]

The purpose of the main page should be to draw folks in who are browsing in. If you want a great example of doing this successfully, take a look at the cover of the print edition of The Economist magazine/newspaper. It highlights one main leader (central image and brief hook text) and four or five other articles with brief hook text, top right. Clean, simple, compelling. Woz2 (talk) 22:58, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

I liked the use of graphics in this example (see BBC News for another example of a large website that is navigable from its main page). However, I note the discussions above on older browsers and barely-online districts. I've had a play in my sandbox with a few ideas, but I had a problem with the templates used to build the front page - we need some alternatives to these. We also need to unpick this discussion as there are too many issues being discussed simultaneously - we are conflating issues of technical feasability, personal taste and the purpose of WP.
  • we need to identify the purpose and technical requirements and make them "deliverables"
  • produce a roadmap to fulfilling those deliverables
  • prepare some alternative template examples for discussion
  • start building example "beta" front pages and seek consensus on a finalised design
Wikiwayman (talk) 16:33, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
The problem isn't drawing them in, it's keeping them. The ever increasing hostile and dysfunctional environment drive more and more people away and is a major reason we have declining user numbers, admins, etc etc. PumpkinSky talk 03:03, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Why do people visit the main page?[edit]

On the Web, I don't see much point to main pages. I don't even go to the Google main page for searches - I just type something in the address line of my browser. However, 27 million people a month choose to visit our Main Page. Why? And are their needs best met by improving the main page or by improving the organization of Wikipedia as a whole? Why not stick a feedback box on the front page asking people why they are there? RockMagnetist (talk) 04:44, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Hear, hear. My thoughts on the subject precisely! Is the point of Wikipedia to cater to the wants of the contributors, thereby turning it into some exclusive club? I've already expressed my opinion regarding the push towards 'upgrading' the main page (setting a precedent for 'upgrading' Wikipedia in general) into something byte-heavy, dependent on high broadband speeds and faster computers and OS's which can actually use the latest browsers. Wikipedia EN isn't used exclusively by those who live in big cities in the Western world. I've also expressed my opinion that contributors should be more concerned with getting on top of a massive backlog of clean-ups of the entire site as being the priority. There's hardly an entry anymore that doesn't shout that it's a stub, in need of citations, full of broken links (both internal and external) ad nauseum. Forget about guesstimating from within the ranks: feedback actually works. If no one has a simple, byte-light script for a feedback box, I'm sure I can dig one up from my web development days back in the mid-90's that'll work on the oldest browsers still in use. Integrity of content should be first and foremost on the list of 'to do's'. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:16, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Don't compete with other Wikimedia projects[edit]

Wikimedia has many projects. Should the Wikipedia home page hook into these? At the moment it has an In the News box which should be the domain of Wikinews, and a featured picture which is actually (and rightfully) hosted on the Wikimedia Commons although you wouldn't know unless you knew to look. I'd suggest that either these be banished as irrelevant and inappropriate, or we also have "latest/best" type items for Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikiquotes and so on. In other words, it currently can't make up its mind whether it is about the whole Wikimedia suite or just Wikipedia. All the other projects have inward-focused home pages, so I'd suggest that Wikipedia should do the same:

  • Give up competing with Wikinews.
  • Give up competing with the Commons picture of the day.

Use the freed-up screen space to offer something useful about Wikipedia. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 14:05, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is ranked 6th on Alexa, however wikimedia is ranked 159th and other like wikinews are somewhere around 36000th, so i believe that it will be better if the main page is a kind of a central hub for the other sister projects of wikimedia and the wikimedia.org main site are much less known. This facilitates most people who do not know about wikinews or the other projects of wikimedia but have heard of and visit wikimedia. Shirsakbc (talk) 18:33, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I like the idea of a 'mixed' page as a 'main portal' for most users, with "latest/best" type items for Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikiquotes and so on. That 'portal' could be a high-bandwidth, Web 2.0 type page for all the EN wikis. Keep something like the current 'main page', with a few improvements/new items but remove a lot of extraneous items, as the Wikipedia 'community portal' for regular editor/users and keep it low BW. Have a link to an "advanced search" feature something like http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&search=&fulltext=Search&profile=advanced&redirs=1 but only for the main space and maybe category space. Keep 'featured articles' but add 'trending articles' for the most visited pages (minus the obvious adolescent pages that are sex-related), have a regular 'articles for improvement' space that is populated by a bot based on certain article criteria rather than editor picked. Rename the current 'community portal' to what it is: community bulletin board. This approach could accommodate many of the comments made here. Meclee (talk) 23:22, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
You seem to be overlooking an issue that has been brought up time and time again throughout this page - that of many people not having high speed connections; old computers; etc. Many of the contributors alone don't have access to the latest computers, much less be capable of installing the latest browsers. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:28, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Not so. Quote from the above: "Keep something like the current 'main page', with a few improvements/new items but remove a lot of extraneous items, as the Wikipedia 'community portal' for regular editor/users and keep it low BW." It's possible to detect a user's BW and default to an alternate page for low BW users. Meclee (talk) 01:02, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. It is also possible to detect what platform & browser the user is using. What then? A notification that the user needs to upgrade their browser in order to access the page? Low BW alternate pages; alternate pages for older browsers because the user's computer can't run the latest browsers; ad infinitum? How many levels of stopgap measures will it entail to keep it relatively accessible and how many people will it take to maintain complex to simple interfaces? It seems like a huge enterprise to relegate to an already depleted contributor/volunteer base. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:34, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Dislike giving any prominence to Wikinews. It is a failed project with about 10 contributors, producing about 2 articles a day on completely arbitrary subjects. I'm embarrassed that the main page even links to it. --LukeSurl t c 17:15, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
More to the point, ITN is not competing with Wikinews. Wikinews tries to be like any other news site, while Wikipedia articles provide encyclopedic background and thorough coverage that doesn't typically belong in news articles. —innotata 18:06, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Correction: The featured picture of the day is the a WP featured picture, not a commons featured picture. The picture files are hosted on commons, but it is a wikipedia process which promotes them to featured picture. The main difference is that commons FPs are chosen basically only their wow factor, whereas WP FPs are chosen mainly on the value they add to the encylopedia. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 09:16, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Proposal for Hot Topics[edit]

  • MY PROPOSAL: User:Uruiamme/Main_Page_proposal (Click the link for an in depth look with some research.) It can be summarized by calling it Hot Topics. In short I have proposed a section of the Main Page to be devoted to a list of trending (hot) and trending (cold) articles.

This has been an idea I kicked around for awhile. I think that there should be a point at which we interest visitors into something besides "Random Article" and whatever stuff has passed through the official channels for placement on the Main Page. Most news websites, aggregators, blogging sites, business and consumer product sites, social media sites, and other high traffic websites have at least some form of "This is the latest and the greatest... CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT'S THE LATEST CRAZE." Let's give it a shot. It would need some server work and (alternately) a new set of babysitting, but this idea would largely run itself and spark a ton of interest in things that are already a ton of interest. I like to saw logs! (talk) 08:31, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

I added a few more ideas in answer to someone who asked, like how it might look. See bottom of User:Uruiamme/Main Page proposal. I like to saw logs! (talk) 10:27, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Er... umm... Is this what the majority of visitors want, or have you just been brought up on social sites? The suggestion for a feedback box has come up. Perhaps it's more important to find out what non-contributors come to the main page for in the first instance. Should the next subject be a discussion of expanding the What Wikipedia is not section. Suggestion: Wikipedia is not Twitter and is not 'cute'. Apologies, I'm being more derisive than I actually am about this concept. I do see your point however, this is simply a commercial spin on what already exists on the main page. Bear in mind that many of the people who go to the main page aren't necessarily even on broadband, au fait with commercial concepts like this... or even have an aversion to such concepts. 'Trending', for me, trivialises Wikipedia. I want to feel that I'm getting a serious attempt at information, not some sort of opinionated spin. I think that, rather than go plunging into the mainstream, it would be better to ask the users what they want rather than risk alienating them. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:48, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
A list of popular pages is an interesting idea, and would probably be not insanely difficult, considering we have reasonably-accurate page hit stats available already. This could be easily added to the WP:ITN box, without having to snazz it up for Web 3.14159265358 or whatever number it is now. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 07:34, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
I quite like this sort of "trending articles" idea - sort of like Wikipedia:Top25Report. You'd want a human or two to stand between any algorithm and the front page to make sure A) no gaming of the system has occurred and B) we don't link to any terrible quality articles. But overall this, more than anything else proposed there, would actually help users find what they might be looking for. Maybe a small bar with "popular articles" taking up no more space than TAFI did. --LukeSurl t c 17:23, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
This appears to be similar/identical to YuMaNuMa's comment above. --LukeSurl t c 17:46, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Gradual change[edit]

One thing to learn from the recent redesign of Facebook and YouTube is that people dislike sudden overhauls. Drastic changes can be uncomfortable and disorientating to many users. So I suggest, whatever the changes decided for the Main Page, that they be rolled out bit by bit over the course of several months or more. - Kollision (talk) 05:27, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. This would also allow for feedback - positive and negative - as each change is implemented. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:49, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I disagree. Sometimes a total overhaul is needed. People are not so invested in the WP main page as they are in their facebook life. I think a large change would create overwhelmingly positive publicity. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 07:59, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
People tend to dislike changes to Facebook and Youtube mainly because, a - they can't find the features they were looking for, whether they have been moved or outright removed, hence making things "complicated" or b - the new features seem daunting to them and act against their internal pride in knowing the site they frequent inside out. That's just my armchair psychological reasoning for why people hate change but as long as Wikipedia retains its fundamental design and layout, we shouldn't hear many complaints. YuMaNuMa Contrib 09:32, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Evolution not revolution. Yes, definitely. Large changes do make a bigger splash, but experience teaches that this severely raises the risk and is only worth it in dire circumstances. We are not in such an unlucky state. I'd rather see the UX creep up than risk an awful fiasco and revert. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:23, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Becoming show ponies should also not to be misconstrued as being the equivalent of evolution. I still advocate that Wikipedia is not a commercial concern with the strings being pulled by shareholders and kowtowing to the wonts of advertisers. Again, I will press on the matter of broadband speeds, older technology, platforms, browsers and accessibility. Facebook and YouTube are commercial enterprises. Anyone who can't keep up with the technology necessary is excluded from the content and why would they give a toss? They're targeting a demographic who have a reasonable expendable income. They have no incentive to even care whether their content is accessible to even the hearing or visually impaired community, much less those who don't have purchasing power. Is that what Wikipedia considers itself to be competing with? If changes are to be implemented, roll them out slowly. We're not even in a position to say, "If you don't like it, lump it." It's easy to be an armchair pop-psychologist and conclude that people don't know what's good for them until you foist it on them but that simply isn't even related to the brunt of this discussion. Is this about evolution or becoming part of an elite club armed with the latest gadgets? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:27, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Please stay on topic - this subsection is discussion how much change would be OK - not the nature of the end product. A big change could greatly simplify the page. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 08:18, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
More accurately, this subsection is about how to implement change, not how much change to implement. IMHO Iryna is very much on topic by arguing that a big change should not be made all at once. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:28, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
OK. The points have been made above that the page should be fast to load, it looks like any web2.0 stuff will be shot down as fast as you can say "3rd world dial up". If the new page is still simple and lite, would you still oppose doing all changes at once? Aaadddaaammm (talk) 16:00, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Maybe. Simple "Web1" tech does not necessarily mean a simple change to the user experience. Principles are one thing, applying them in any given instance is another. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:05, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Steelpillow, for your support as to whether this is 'on topic' or 'off topic'. Aaadddaaammm, please do not take this as an affront, as it is not intended as such, but I believe this to be 'on topic' as per Steelpillow's observation that this section is addressing how any changes should be rolled out. If you check through this section again, it reads as if you've smacked me on the wrist because you disagree rather than for any constructive objection to being 'off topic'. Please read the title of this subsection again: 'Gradual Change' not, as you would have it, "this subsection is discussion how much change would be OK". Even inn the broader context of the main page redesign proposal, we've all been invited to participate in a general discussion of the proposal. This includes those for it; those against it; those who have ideas on how to change it; those who have a wish list for changes; those who are have a wish list for things they don't want to have changed; etc. The list is not as exhaustive as you may wish it to be. I am approaching it from the perspective of having worked professionally in the field of web design and content delivery for many years. Experience has taught me that there are inevitably going to be bugs in any new system. As this is not a commercial enterprise, there is no pressure to roll out any changes in one fell swoop. It is far easier to address bugs via a gradual roll out than to be placed in a position where you can't fathom where conflicts are occurring. That is merely my opinion. I would not deign to tell you that you're not entitled to your own. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:32, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your clarification. I felt that your "show ponies" comment was using a poor argument, which went something like: "Web2.0 is bad. Change will be towards web2.0. Therefore any changes should be done carefully." I was unhappy with the presumption that changes will 2.0ify the home page, as this is (reasonably clearly) not true. This somehow voids your first argument. You make good points in your latest comment, which I respect. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 13:22, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate your having pulled me up for my unnecessarily colourful language, Aaadddaaammm (for which I apologise). It was a knee-jerk reaction to various 'wish list' items on this page which are more concerned with what features people get excited over which I consider to be excitable responses rather than being fully thought through with regards to who comes to the main page and what computer resources they actually have access to. I think I've just figured out why I'm not invited to parties without a chaperone with a cattle prod to keep me in line. Cheers! --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:56, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Cowtowner[edit]

I'm obviously very late to this party. I assume the frontpage is visited by the casual reader--probably looking to find something, but happy to come across something new along the way. To this end we should be putting our best foot forward by showing our featured material. FA, FP and FL are highly curated and always of reasonable quality. They need to occupy the top space as they are most likely to draw readers in and hold their attention. Other projects like DYK, ITN, and OTD are fleeting and uneven. It seems wise to give them smaller sections and display less of their content at once--maybe three items from each which shift every 5 minutes and leave it at that. This encourages the second principle I think is important for the wiki--exploration. Incorporating portals or linking to topical GAs seems more productive than confronting a viewer with a deluge of irrelevant and uninteresting content as we currently do. Other sections (Languages, sister projects and other areas) can either be collapsed into clickable and expandable headings, condensed into buttons, or dropped entirely. People clearly come to the page not because it's functional (it adds nothing that way), but for the content; let's deliver. Cowtowner (talk) 07:43, 10 June 2013 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.