Wikipedia talk:Community portal

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Community portal sections
Designs and redesigns
Documentation page of current experimental redesign (August 2012)
(previous designs)

Please draft layout changes here:
Community portal/Draft

A Proposition[edit]

Hi, I think that it is finally time to modernize and fix the community portal once and for all. For me, the portal contains many issues and is a disgrace to what Wikipedia can be. Here are the main issues-

  • Objects and texts off the page. (I dont know if this happens with everyone but it still happens with some people for sure depending on the device. This is shown in this picture-
    Comunity portal issues

  • Old fashioned layout, colors, fonts, and icons.

  • Cluttered appearance with complex navigation.

  • The page is also screwed up in mobile view on my phone.

Now I am not just posting this to complain, I have actually come up with a solution! I have constructed a more modern, streamline, no-clutter version. I have included all of the same content, just in different forms and places. Here are my changes-

  • I took out the cluttered, confusing Help out section and replaced it with a single button in the interact more menu. The button takes one to the WP:Job Center page that I recently revamped and brought back from inactivity. The Job Center page contains a full comprehensive list of jobs that can be done by basic editors (yet to add an admin. section) and their corresponding pages that need to be fixed. So that button takes you to a page with an even better and more complete list of tasks to complete to help out.

  • I removed the Help Desk, Reference Desk, and Teahouse buttons from the interact more menu. I then replaced them with a single button that takes one to WP:Ask for help. Ask for help is a hub page kind of like the Job Center that has a list of 4 ways/places to ask for help. It not only has links to the 3 help pages that I removed the buttons for but it also explains how to ask for help on one's user page. So that means that with one button, I packed in more info. than what was in the previous three, also removing clutter.

  • I changed almost all of the buttons from the interact more menu to have more modern logos.

  • I put the different sections of the page into boxes to add a neat streamline background and effect while fixing the problem of content being off the page.

  • I redid the Lead section to be more simple and less cluttered and more welcoming.

The proposed version is at Wikipedia:Community portal/Draft. The version in my sandbox is for sure what I am proposing as someone might mess with the one in the draft section. I can easily implement it. It works well on my phone in mobile view too. Even though I dont see much opposition, I don't want any unneccesary controversy so I am posting this here to come to consensus on this. Thanks :) Tortle (talk) 07:44, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

I really don't feel these changes are helpful:
  • Less aesthetically pleasing in my view.
  • The "interact more section" for me is changed to the worse: the help desk, reference desk, and teahouse are all taken out, but these are primarily for interaction so belong there. Also no labels. While the Help:Contents page has no interaction, yet is included.
  • Why take out the "help out" section? It has a list of jobs to be done, and is ideal for the portal.
But if the consensus is for these changes I'll abide by it. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 09:22, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, --Jules.
  • As for less aesthetically pleasing, at least it fixes the ugliness of everything sticking off the page for some.
  • The teahouse, reference desk, and help desk are all replaced with WP:Ask for help not Help:Contents like you said. Ask for help is a very simple page with a list of 4 ways to ask for help while Help:Contents has no interaction like you said.
  • As I said above, the help out section was replaced with WP:Job Center which is a page with a list of jobs, related policies for each, and links to categories containing pages to be fixed. The Job Center is overall more comprehensive and provides more of the same thing as it provides more jobs to do than the original 9 and not just in the general editing category like now. It also provides more information for new users and is easier to navigate while reducing clutter on the portal as the portal isnt necessarily the place for jobs to be laid out like that. The only downside is that with my proposed version, you have to click one more time than you would normally but it makes up for that in the extra info. provided and the reduction of clutter.
Please consider my responses and thank you for giving your input. Nice meeting you. Tortle (talk) 15:22, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
User:Tortle: WP:Ask for help is not equivalent to links to the the help desk, reference desk and teahouse. Why? Because interacting is two way: we also need people to help man theses particular boards. Also WP:Job Center is not equivalent to Wikipedia:Community portal/Opentask as this is a bot updated list of articles needing attention, while WP:Job Center is a fixed list of pages and category in which to find articles. Provide a link to the job center if you like but please leave Wikipedia:Community portal/Opentask alone.--Jules (Mrjulesd) 13:30, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
What about that User:Mrjulesd? I just solved the issues in the latest update. Tortle (talk) 15:33, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
That doesn't render properly on my system. Also, my previous comments still stand. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 10:47, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
Well you just had issues with opentask not being there, the links to the help and reference desks not being there, the link to the teahouse not being there. I added all of them in so please clarify what comments still stand above. Can you take a screenshot and post it so I can see how it looks on your system and try to fix the issues?--Jules Thanks Tortle (talk) 18:09, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
Looking at your source code it looks like you're misusing {{Quote box}} which is causing problems. I'm not interested in helping you further as you seem to have a strong case of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. What I will say that is to make major changes to this page you need strong consensus, something you haven't achieved. I suggest you WP:DROPTHESTICK. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 18:24, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
I did in fact hear that by updating the design to include opentask and all of the help desks. I will make the quote boxes into normal boxes and by doing so, it proves that I am listening to input. And I am not just going to turn my back on a big issue to many of content flowing halfway off the page. Tortle (talk) 19:00, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
There, the issues should be fixed for you now. Tortle (talk) 01:30, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

Pardon me for taking this back to the left margin. I'm assuming that Wikipedia:Community portal/Draft is the page to refer to. A few things I'd like to mention:

  1. Content is center-aligned in an odd fashion, per the image on the right.
    Screenshot showing issues with center-aligned content.
  2. Is the font size altered? It seems smaller than the default text size. Messing with the text size is not generally a great idea, for instance readers might change defaults to account for reading difficulties.
  3. Have you read up on the talk page archives and the discussion that took place when the portal was redesigned back in 2012? Looks like it started with Wikipedia talk:Community portal/Archive 16#Feedback on the change to this page

Apart from that, both the WMF and I have done separate studies of the effectiveness of the portal's list of open tasks. The WMF's research is on meta Research:Community portal redesign/Opentask. My research results are available as a PDF from my homepage, that paper was presented at the ACM CSCW conference earlier this year. The number of saved edits coming through the Community Portal is very small, but the portal does move traffic to some degree. Trimming down the number of categories to focus in on those users are most likely to work on (copyedit, wikify, add image, and orphan, by the looks of WMF's graph) might be beneficial. Removing the list of open tasks altogether is arguably also a valid option. Regards, Nettrom (talk) 17:31, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks so much for all of the great info Nettrom and also for letting me see what it looks like on a mac. I started off using quote boxes and when mrjulesd raised concerns, I switched to text boxes and those all had center align and the font size set already for their use somewhere else so Ill work on fixing that. I do believe that the open tasks clutter up the page and the page should be a simple hub so I think that another option would be to move the open tasks to the WP:Job Center. Thanks Tortle (talk) 18:36, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • The changes proposed in the draft look alright for the most part, but I will admit I prefer the current version of the "Interact more" bar. To me it looks less likely to get thrown off to the side in different browsing formats than the draft version, but that's just a casual observance talking; I'm not technical enough to form a fact-steeped opinion on this. Regardless of which version of the "Interact more" bar is better suited for a range of devices, I think its current colouring is also far more cheerful and appealing than in the draft version, which strikes me as cold and lackluster. Even if the change of format is approved, can't the old colour be kept? If only there was a worthy joke about a band-aid attending the opera... (talk) 20:36, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Hi If only there was a worthy joke about a band-aid attending the opera... and thanks for commenting and letting me know. I dont know if I mentioned it here but I plan on just getting a good draft in the grey ccolors and then figuring out what colors he community wants. Part of the issue with the interact more bar is that in its current form, it is too long for the page and sticks off so I had to condense it and remove an icon. I feel like this interact more bar is better for all users. But when you say thrown off to the side, do you mean that it is not centered on your page? Because for me, my interact more bar in the proposal version is perfectly fitting to the page without being off center or going off the page. Thanks Tortle (talk) 20:51, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's not being centered is what I was referring to. It's really not that big a deal in my opinion, so long as it does function better for a wider variety of devices than the current version. :) If only there was a worthy joke about a band-aid attending the opera... (talk) 21:15, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Here, by the time you finish reading this, I should have made an edit that might fix the centering issue. If you could check the draft and reply in a minute, we can see if my edit will work. If only there was a worthy joke about a band-aid attending the opera... thanks Tortle (talk) 21:18, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
I just made it. If you looked before 21:23 then check again . Tortle (talk) 21:22, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I haven't been able to grab a moment to evaluate the new revision till now. Yes, I like that much better. :) If only there was a worthy joke about a band-aid attending the opera... (talk) 17:35, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

I like to see efforts to improve things. Keep trying.

Here are some observations on the draft:

  • Changing the navbar here is inappropriate, because it is included on many pages. A different design effort and discussion needs to take place for that. Besides this, the replacement navbar is in a font so large that it competes visually and contextually with the title of the page.
  • The boxes are distracting. I find my eyes tracing the lines around the page rather than reading the text. Without the boxes, the design is much softer (on the eyes).
  • The interact menu bar was named for and designed to link to pages where interaction takes place, or which implement interaction. You've turned it into 2 menu bars, mixing formats, which is awkward and confusing (makes one wonder "What are these links for?" "Why are they presented differently?" "Why are they a different size?" "How are the lower links related to the main row?")
  • Mostly what this page needs is content, not formatting.

If you'd really like to help out with this page, consider contributing to its content. For example, the community bulletin board (especially the general announcements section) would be a great place to draw people's attention to what is going on around the community.

I hope you have found my comments helpful. The Transhumanist 09:36, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Also, currently the links on this page go to the old WP:PROJDIR, but the newer WP:WPDIR is a lot more up-to-date and has more relevant information.
I propose updating to the newer one. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:18, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
Greetings Tortle First of all, sorry for the lateness of my response. While I'm not a lawyer, when I see Job Center it means a place where I can find a job/work/employment. So this should NOT be used (imo).
Going directly to the concern about icons being chopped off on the right side, that is happening because Wikipedia GUI is not a Responsive website design. Just wondering if the icon chopping is happening because of not using the official mobile version of Wikipedia which is located at
Below is a non-icon version of the Icon-Toolbar which totally eliminates the chopping issue.

For those who like/prefer the icon toolbar, I see no reason why this has to be an either/or issue. I would recommend adding the above directly under the toolbar, and if necessary, create a double-stacked (two rows) toolbar with smaller icons. Regards, JoeHebda (talk) 02:09, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

And here's another Version 3.0 idea, with (small) icons:

Interactive help

Torchlight help icon.svg Help desk - Ask general questions about using and editing Wikipedia.
Nuvola apps edu phi.png Reference desk - Ask a question and Wikipedia volunteers will try to answer it.
QA icon clr.svg Village pump - Ask about specific policies and operations of Wikipedia.
TH Badge H+.png Teahouse - the place for new editors to become accustomed to and ask questions about editing.

Additional interaction

WikiProject Council.svg WikiProjects - Groups of editors who discuss and collaborate together.
Original Barnstar Hires.png Barnstars - Awards given to reward contributors for hard work and due diligence.
Wikipedia-Medcab.svg Dispute resolution - what to do when you have a dispute with another editor.
Simple light bulb graphic.png Tip of the day Tips library - tips arranged by subject.
ArticleSearch.svg Help directory - Information and instructions on every aspect of Wikipedia.

Discussion for consensus: If there are any additions or updates for above, please feel free to communicate here. Suggestions for improvement are welcome. JoeHebda (talk) 06:43, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Greetings @Mrjulesd, Tortle, The Transhumanist, Nettrom, Wilhelmina Will, and Evolution and evolvability:
Just wondering about any feedback on the Version 3.0 example above? Or should I just be bold (add above under the existing icon bar) and let it all hit the fan?
ω Awaiting feedback please. JoeHebda (talk) 14:46, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Hi Joe, I'm glad you're here. Now I'm confident every option will be explored. I have some comments on the above design and approach...
Redundant elements near each other are generally not well received. Along those lines, I dislike the addition of items from the navbar at the top of the screen. (Tips, Help)
Note that the tip library and the help directory are not interactive, and do not fit the list's inclusion criteria.
And the village pump is not an interactive help department (though Village Pump Technical is). The various other village pumps are discussion and decision-making forums.
One thing we've noticed over the years concerning list formats, is that lists tend to grow. And grow. We tried to maintain basic topics lists, but they kept expanding to become comprehensive and had to be renamed.
If the interactive list grows, it will bloat the page. Keeping it from growing would take continuous maintenance and this might resemble ownership or even edit wars. People love to add to lists. Who are we to tell them they cannot?
The navbar is constricted by its very nature. If you turn it into a list, it will probably grow into a directory to compete with the content of the page. But the community already has directories (one of them used to reside on this page, but it was split off to become the Department directory). Links to the directories are included in the navbar at the top of the page.
I think we should continue looking for navbar solutions.
In the meantime, I've shrunk the existing navbar down, and have divided the text onto 2 lines to further reduce width, to help minimize the problem for the time being. The Transhumanist 18:43, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi. One important thing will be to make clear what the difference between these links are, particularly teahouse vs helpdesk vs reference desk. To a new user, it's not clear which one to use. It might be worthwhile making clear the specialisms of each help page (for new editors, for experienced editors, finding references, etc). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 03:52, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
In my opinion, User:Tortle, it looks modern, simple, yet effective. Easier for newcomers to use if you ask me, and let me tell you, that's what's important- making Wikipedia a welcome place for newcomers.

Cheers, --The Haze Master (talk) 00:10, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: double stack icon bar[edit]

Example below:JoeHebda (talk) 15:45, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Looking for help?

Torchlight help icon.svg
Help desk
Nuvola apps edu phi.png
Reference desk
QA icon clr.svg
Village pump
TH Badge H+.png
Peer editing help

Interact more

WikiProject Council.svg
Original Barnstar Hires.png
Dispute resolution
Simple light bulb graphic.png
Tips library
Wikipedia help.png
Help directory
I don't see how this is an improvement. The help desk, reference desk, village pump & teahouse links are not just for seeking help; they are also for encouraging the providing of help. So the "interact more" header seems more appropriate. And the tips and help directory provide little in the way of interaction, or no more than the myriad of other help pages.
I think a lot of the proposals confuse help pages with the community portal: the community portal is not really a help page. It is instead to direct editors to ways in which they can contribute to WP: fixing specific articles, working on the help desk, etc. For help with how to edit, people should go to Help:Contents. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 16:28, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

As mentioned in the previous discussion, Village Pump is not a help department (though one of them is, the rest are discussion or decision-making forums).
The tips library and help directory are not interactive, and do not fit that set. Plus they are already included in the standard navbar at the top of the page.
Interaction is the selection criteria for the entire set, so there's no need for a second menu title.
Good proposal. Just needs some minor adjustments. (Reducing the set back to its 7 original items and retaining the one title). The Transhumanist 19:01, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Here it is, adjusted[edit]

And shrunk a bit. See below. The Transhumanist 19:26, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Interact more

Torchlight help icon.svg
Nuvola apps edu phi.png
QA icon clr.svg
TH Badge H+.png
Peer editing
WikiProject Council.svg
Original Barnstar Hires.png

A good solution, looks good! Thanks Face-smile.svg JoeHebda (talk) 21:53, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Clarify interaction[edit]

@The Transhumanist and Mrjulesd: Below is another idea based on above, after I've had a chance to rethink...

Interact more

The following are places for editors to collaborate together offering help to other editors, as well as asking for help.

Torchlight help icon.svg
Nuvola apps edu phi.png
QA icon clr.svg
TH Badge H+.png
Peer editing
The following are places where editors can work together improving articles within WikiProjects, resolve disputes, and give awards to other editors.
WikiProject Council.svg
Original Barnstar Hires.png

Note: - Adding a single summary sentence for each icon toolbar group clarifies the kinds of interactions that can be chosen. JoeHebda (talk) 02:38, 2 October 2015 (UTC)re

The purpose of the large showy icons is to entice users to click on them. The only way for them to understand what each of these pages are for, without a full description being presented here, is to clck its icon. Text around them competes visually with them. These are navbars, designed to click over and over again. Users will know what each icon is for after clicking on it once. The Transhumanist 17:37, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Testing - Gallery icon bar[edit]

@The Transhumanist: Another variation of the icon bar, using gallery. JoeHebda (talk) 11:33, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

How well does it render on smart phones? The Transhumanist 20:01, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
@The Transhumanist: Actually, I don't have a smart phone, but when I click on Mobile view & narrow minimum browser window, it single stacks the icons and the transparency grid goes away. So it looks better than Desktop view. JoeHebda (talk) 20:28, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

An Important Question[edit]

Sorry to ask here, but I'm wondering how do you solve difference between many English dialects(American, British, Indian, Australian, etc)? I mean how do you choose between color or colour? Do we have any rule in wikipedia? Arjanizary (talk) 19:16, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

@Arjanizary: You can read about this at Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English. Roughly: there is no consistency across the encyclopedia as a whole, but each article should use one English dialect. -- John of Reading (talk) 19:50, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Add three blocks to the "help out" section[edit]

I propose adding "Create these articles" (which {{Recent changes article requests}} will be transcluded to it), "Represent a worldwide view" and "Add historical information" to the Community Portal's "help out" section, since in English Wikipedia there are still plenty of uncreated notable articles and articles requiring globalization or historical information, and these issues are no less important than articles requiring update. By the way, this section used to have the block "Create" (I forgot its exact name, but I know that it refers to the block listing some uncreated notable articles). Do you support this?--RekishiEJ (talk) 04:16, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. Support As nom. RekishiEJ (talk) 04:16, 19 November 2015 (UTC)



  1. I had made this proposal three times before (see Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_104#About_community_portal, Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_114#About_the_community_portal and Wikipedia_talk:Community_portal/Archive_17#Add_three_blocks_to_the_"help_out"_section), but all failed, which is a pity.--RekishiEJ (talk) 04:16, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 November 2015[edit]

Add a transclusion of {{Project missing articles}} as well as {{Active Wiki Fixup Projects}} (talk) 13:52, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 09:52, 23 November 2015 (UTC)