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Proposal to tweak main page headers from pastel colours to a subtle neutral colour[edit]

I think one of the reasons the main page looks a bit amateurish is because of the pastel colour headers which look inappropriate and really outdated on the web now. Green, purple and pink don't look right for the main page of an encyclopedia. I think it's time to at least smarten it up a bit, even if radical changes aren't made. I propose a slight tweak of the headers to one colour, ideally a subtle light silver which isn't at all distracting and looks a bit sleeker.

SupportDr. Blofeld 20:22, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Hm...I don't know. Changing anything about the main page isn't going to go over as "subtle". I've said before that the current design looks better in monobook, which also looks outdated. I guess what you're suggesting is a color scheme closer to the Chinese Main Page or maybe Edokter's. Anyway I'm not opposed to it. Eman235/talk 21:01, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Pastel colors are hideous and outdated. I highly support Edokter's mainpage. Even though he still uses the pastel colors, it's a least way more subtle and only in the headers. Jacedc (talk) 23:05, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think I agree that the main page looks amateurish.
And I'm pretty sure I don't agree that making it more monochrome would make it better. ApLundell (talk) 03:40, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Of course you don't. That's part of the problem with wikipedia is that people kid themselves into thinking everything is perfect and are relunctant to embrace change. You become accustomed to things as they are and can't see how much visually wikipedia could be improved with a decent designer. I'm of the opinion that the featured article space should cover the whole screen at the top like in Jacedc's example. Edokter's example is great, much better, but if he tweaked the headers to light silver that example would be more superior I think.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:11, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Ah! Insults! Then let me reply in kind. I wasn't trying to suggest that the design couldn't look better. Of course it could. There's no design that couldn't. But "The same, but with no colors" is not some brilliant design inspiration, imho, it's hackery inspired by the juvenile perspective that colors are for babies and to look "serious" you must remove them. ApLundell (talk) 20:14, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support: Agree that the current design of the main page looks outdated. I like Edokter's version mainly because it looks smooth and organized and does not require "balancing" of ITN entries in accordance with the length of the left column. But, unfortunately, the Wikipedia purists don't want a single thing to be changed. (talk) 10:24, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Edokter's version. >99% of visitors will not even notice a change (but a vocal small group will shout that we've destroyed Wikipedia). I'll support any change just to get people used to the possibility that change won't be the end of the world. Deli nk (talk) 10:33, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not broken, it doesn't need to be fixed. Without evidence that a single change in tones will make Wikipedia a "professional place" (which is not because most editors aren't professionals), there's no valid argument. What does Wikipedia an "amateur" place is long-term editors who like to express their "freedom of speech" by saying things like "people kid themselves into thinking everything is perfect and are relunctant to embrace change", solely because someone doesn't follow their ideas. © Tbhotch (en-2.5). 11:00, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Even the smallest change of colour can make a big difference, and after 10 years I think it's about time for an update. We need to make a change. JAGUAR  11:08, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
This was the main page 10 years ago. © Tbhotch (en-2.5). 11:13, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not been changed in nine years.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:33, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I can't see the point. The reasons given ("Green, purple and pink don't look right for the main page of an encyclopedia.", "Pastel colors are hideous and outdated.") are purely subjective: there should be a concrete reason — e.g. legibility, technical, accessiblity — to make any change. (And the proposer's dismissal of opposers with a valid view hasn't helped the cause.) Bazza (talk) 11:35, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Not subjective, but based on real world marketing principles. User:Jacedc is a professional web designer and knows what he is talking about.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:32, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
And artists and fashion designers know what they are talking about, that doesn't make art or fashion design any less subjective. For a purely cosmetic change like this, it IS subjective. One person's "outdated" is another's "classic" is another's "hideous" is another's "ehh, but don't really care". One person's "modern" is another's "boring".--Khajidha (talk) 14:02, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

(Reset) Perhaps there could be a 'colourway of the month' (mostly at the softer/less intense/un-eyewarp or colourclashing hend of the range). Jackiespeel (talk) 15:18, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Okay, here's an objective diagnosis of the Wikipedia main page as it stands and what we need to do to fix it (coming from a professional web designer): Currently, the main page uses black text on pastel colors. As far as mood-inducement goes, this is fine except for the bold, black header text. The original designer of the main page tried to fix this by adding contrast (a darker version of the background color behind the bold headers), when in reality all that needs to happen is to remove the bold text and remove the darker background (though some contrast is still necessary in this case). Doing such things make the overall layout much more inoffensive already by making it easier to look at, thereby easier to read and explore. Looking at the DOM, I also see that the main page uses nested tables on top of using a table layout, when every self-respecting web designer/developer knows that this is a bad idea for so many countless reasons. Seriously, if nothing else, we should be past table layouts by now. Back to the design flaws, around each section is a slightly darker but subtle border, my guess is in an attempt to create separation through contrast. This design move is simply unnecessary, it doesn't add anything to the overall design and at the end of the day, for those complaining that "modernization" means adding a bunch of unnecessary code, is ironically unnecessary code. As I remove the borders in my devtools, I can also see that each section could do with more padding to make everything more computable upon first sight and readable upon further exploration of the page (i.e. it's more comfy).
Now, I've touched upon everything except the need for an achromatic design: On any website, but especially on Wikipedia, the focus should be on the content. A design should reflect the character of the content not the personality of the designer (which is, in this case, very obviously colorfully dull). Achromatic design emphasizes the text, taking away the emphasis on layout and instead making it subliminal and in the background, not at the forefront. So that's why we don't need/shouldn't have pastel, but why is an achromatic design any superior? Well, we do want our readers to be comfortable. It's a simple science that the less color that has to be processed the more freedom and comfortability the eye has in navigating a web page. This is why most modern color schemes are either flat or retro (desaturated is the technical term). In this case, since we're talking about background color, neither flat or retro colors will really work as it induces too much contrast, but you get my point. Achromatic is next in line as a color scheme option. The final result looks something like this. Jacedc (talk) 15:42, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
I think there is something wrong with your linked example. I had to move in about twelve inches just to get my eyes to stop watering and it still seems out-of-focus. I am only typing this as my screen is black background with white letters. Now I am leaving the computer to rest my eyes. Rmhermen (talk) 23:58, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like more of a problem with your screen than the link. Looks fine on my end. Jacedc (talk) 03:08, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

As with most such things Wikipedia is 'a product of its times, the programming available at the point of its creation and programming choices made since' - so if it were started now a different set of options would be available (possibly better, just different, or worse). It is also the product of the percentage of people who are 'non-technical who do not wish to rearrange its innards.' Jackiespeel (talk) 16:08, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

(To Jacedc:) I would stand for some color on the MP, again as in Edokter's. It seems more consistent: infoboxes and navboxes are colorful. Eman235/talk 18:49, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
To Eman235: Yes, perhaps you're right. Some color, but it'd have to be the right color. Again, not pastel, either flat or retro (something warm). Jacedc (talk) 20:04, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
What if we used the WMF colors? Eman235/talk 20:50, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Generally - it is useful to know when one is in Wikipedia and when one is in WMF, so possibly impractical. Jackiespeel (talk) 21:12, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
I like the idea of using those colors. I'd have to see an example in practice though. I'll do it myself if someone doesn't do it later and see how it looks. I think it will probably do well with white text. Jacedc (talk) 21:40, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps two demos: the current MP and Edokter's. Eman235/talk 00:00, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Demo of the current design using WMF colors (permalink). Eman235/talk 00:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
With pink reassigned to Today's featured picture, what color would be used for From today's featured list (on Mondays and Fridays)? —David Levy 01:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Jackiespeel noted that "it is useful to know when one is in Wikipedia and when one is in WMF". Indeed, the WMF has long sought to counter widespread confusion regarding the organization's structure and Wikipedia's role therein. People commonly fail to recognize a distinction between Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation (and mistakenly believe that all of the WMF projects are parts of "Wikipedia"), so it probably is best to avoid blurring the lines further. —David Levy 01:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I just made an edit that changes TFP and TFL to the same color scheme. I like how it looks, but as Jackiespeel said, if I didn't know that WMF and WP are different, I would probably be confused. I honestly like Edokter's design best. Eman235/talk 01:53, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the notion that people would get confused as to whether or not they're on Wikipedia or Wikimedia is rather silly. It's not like the Wikimedia main page uses the colors they use in their logo. Jacedc (talk) 03:06, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
The problem is more that people don't understand the distinction (or even realize that one exists) between Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, so splashing colors associated with the latter across the former's front page would contribute to the confusion. —David Levy 07:00, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't. For those that know the distinction it wouldn't confuse them, and for those that don't know wouldn't know either way. Besides, something as subtle as color usage in an otherwise unrelated context would not be in any form a contributing factor to any confusion. Pretty sure the URL and the logo are pretty clear distinctions enough, and we shouldn't let those of whom it is not weigh in to any decision on the design of the front page. Besides, it's not like the WMF uses these super unique colors. It's literally blue, red, and green, three very generic colors. It just so happens that those specific shades work nicely with the front page. Jacedc (talk) 07:56, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
and for those that don't know wouldn't know either way.
As noted above, the WMF has sought to dispel the misconception. My point isn't that such a change would cause a misunderstanding; it's that it would run counter to efforts to address it.
Besides, something as subtle as color usage in an otherwise unrelated context would not be in any form a contributing factor to any confusion.
I neither regard this as subtle nor share your optimism.
Pretty sure the URL and the logo are pretty clear distinctions enough,
I'm unsure of whether Jackiespeel was referring to potential confusion regarding which website was displayed, but I certainly wasn't.
Besides, it's not like the WMF uses these super unique colors. It's literally blue, red, and green, three very generic colors.
My impression is that point is to use the WMF logo's three-color scheme, thereby drawing a connection thereto. If not, such a constraint (which, in Eman235's example, has resulted in the reuse of red/pink) is arbitrary and unnecessary.
It just so happens that those specific shades work nicely with the front page.
I don't disagree, but I think that other shades work better. —David Levy 18:55, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
You can't seriously think that by using colors on main page headers that are used in the WMF logo that people are seriously going to be confused as to which site they're on, or make the distinction between the two sites any more ambiguous? That's ridiculous. People aren't retarded, and while I hate to use such a harsh word, for those of whom it would be confusing... I find the word appropriate. Jacedc (talk) 19:32, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
You can't seriously think that by using colors on main page headers that are used in the WMF logo that people are seriously going to be confused as to which site they're on,
In the message to which you replied, I explicitly stated that I assert no such thing.
or make the distinction between the two sites any more ambiguous?
Again, this isn't about sites (in my view, at least).
That's ridiculous. People aren't retarded, and while I hate to use such a harsh word, for those of whom it would be confusing... I find the word appropriate.
I find that statement extraordinarily offensive – and not because you used the word "retarded" (which has fallen out of favor, but was the preferred term when I learned it).
I'm baffled as to why you felt the need to write such a thing. I don't know what you mean by "people aren't retarded". To what "people" are you referring, and why on Earth are you doing so as an insult? Wikipedia isn't off-limits to persons with intellectual disabilities (not that this is even germane to the discussion). Are you under the impression that such individuals never use computers and/or seek information online? If so, I hope that your clients are aware of this. —David Levy 21:19, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the use of the word was misplaced and I apologize if I offended you. It wasn't directed at any specific person but was used in a hypothetical context. However, you did assert such a thing with this statement: "My point isn't that such a change would cause a misunderstanding; it's that it would run counter to efforts to address it." It wouldn't run counter to those efforts unless it did cause confusion, right? Otherwise, it's irrelevant. Jacedc (talk) 22:01, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Apology accepted.
As I've stated repeatedly, my concern does not pertain to people becoming "confused as to which site they're on". —David Levy 22:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh and also, the example made with the WMF color scheme is great, but get rid of the borders. They're unnecessarily harsh on the colors. Jacedc (talk) 07:56, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm assuming you meant these? I agree it looks better. Eman235/talk 19:24, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Are these the same colors used by {{Clickable button}}? Eman235/talk 01:25, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree that modernization is called for, but I disagree that the change proposed would be an improvement (along with Dr. Blofeld's implication that those of this opinion are "[kidding] themselves"). I also disagree with the premise we should embrace "any change" because "we need to make a change". Per Bazza 7, we should be focused on actual advancements, not on change for the sake of change (or to prove that it "won't be the end of the world", thereby countering an imaginary position). —David Levy 00:05, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
A decent reason for opposition. But, see my comments above. Jacedc (talk) 03:06, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I read your comments. You've laid out some valid design principles, but I find your example application unappealing.
In my opinion, the new and old elements simply don't mesh. At this point, the main page is a nine-year-old car with 200,000 miles, so a paint job isn't the most effective approach. It might be time for a trade-in. —David Levy 07:00, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree completely, actually. The only reason I started with a simple color change is because I know that if I were to start with a drastic change people would blow up in opposition. One subtle, creeping change at a time. ;) Jacedc (talk) 07:56, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
You'll never get consensus for even one subtle creeping change. If you propose big changes people would blow up in opposition. If you propose small changes people will say that it is not enough. The only way that any change will made to the Main Page is if it is somehow dictated without community wide consensus in a very un-Wiki way. Maybe doing it in stages can work: 1) you could probably get a consensus that a Main Page redesign is needed, 2) maybe you could get consensus to create a working group that is given authority to make Main Page changes on it own, and 3) there is a slight chance that the whole thing won't collapse in wiki-wide rebellion when a change is made. Deli nk (talk) 11:41, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Howcheng has been hard at work on a consensus-backed change to the page's image presentation (encompassing a wider default size and the addition of captions). The key difference is that it's an improvement, proposed to address an actual problem that users have experienced. Other improvements (including those to elements that aren't "broken") are possible, but "Hey, guys. I think x looks better than y. Let's vote." generally isn't the most successful strategy. —David Levy 18:55, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
So you mean everything wouldn't blow up if the MP was suddenly changed to Edokter's design? Eman235/talk 19:24, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't addressing such a scenario, but I agree with that conclusion. No one has argued that anything catastrophic would occur. This includes those who expressed dislike of Edokter's design, a group to which I don't belong. (I find it promising and attempted to encourage further development.)
There is, however, evidence that non-trivial issues would arise. The current design is less modern, but it functions as intended. If there's one surefire way to sabotage a good redesign, it's to rush through its implementation without thorough testing and refinement – thereby triggering an avalanche of complaints about issues that could have been resolved in advance. —David Levy 21:19, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I consider the main page's design "broken" -- that is, issues that need to be objectively "fixed", as I detailed above. Jacedc (talk) 19:36, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
The current pastel colors decrease legibility and comfortability, steering many away from using the main page altogether. The WMF color scheme, which include colors that are more neutral and at the same time warmer, increase contrast and thereby legibility, and also increase comfortability. But color isn't the only thing that needs to change on the main page. No, we don't need to "modernize" the main page, I'm going to avoid using that word because it just makes our Wikipedia purists flip their jimmies, and I'm going to instead opt for a more accurate and neutral word: "simplification". The layout is currently unnecessarily Y2K-esque web 2.0. and it needs to be updated. For legibility concerns, user experience concerns, compatibility concerns, accessibility concerns, and functionality concerns. Jacedc (talk) 19:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the crux of what you've written above (though I regard the WMF color scheme's hypothetical use as an overcorrection). —David Levy 21:19, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. The present design is very dated, as many people have mentioned on numerous occasions. Edokter's panel style here is an improvement. In the absence of better suggestions at the present time, I vote to implement Edokter's panel style on the present page layout, and at the same time make all the pictures a bit bigger (they are miserably small at the moment). This would be some progress at least, pending bigger and better things in the future. (talk) 20:09, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    As noted above, a larger default image width is forthcoming. Edokter's design is an excellent start, but further development is needed. The technical improvements are undeniable, but some of the presentational elements have drawn significant criticism.
    More importantly, I believe that some compatibility/accessibility issues have not yet been resolved. The importance of thorough testing/troubleshooting cannot be overstated. In 2006, despite months of work on a redesign, we accidentally broke the headings' functionality in screen reader software (without realizing this until a blind person brought the problem to our attention). We must strive to avoid repeating that sort of oversight. —David Levy 21:19, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    Edokter, got any testers? Eman235/talk 01:18, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
    Edokter can correct me if I'm mistaken (and I hope that I am), but I think that he may have become discouraged (and placed his redesign work on the back burner) when his efforts received a lukewarm response. As I recall, he initially was a bit overeager to pull the trigger (before sufficient testing/refinement had occurred), but the main problem was the community's apathy. Unfortunately, the benefits of modern coding are lost on most (including me, but I know to take Edokter's word for it). —David Levy 05:07, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I can imagine why someone would be disheartened to take on such a project. A lot of people on here like to throw around oppose votes just for the sake of it. Jacedc (talk) 06:45, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
By the same token, some participants in the above discussion support change just for the sake of it.
Over the past decade, I've witnessed countless attempts to modify the main page (to varying extents), few of which succeeded. The 2006 redesign effort almost collapsed, but it recovered when editors began discussing concrete goals and collaborating to achieve them.
For some reason, we've never managed to duplicate that dynamic. Instead, everyone keeps pursuing methods that have failed time and again. In this instance, it's the aforementioned "Hey, guys. I think x looks better than y. Let's vote." approach, which explicitly invites a "support"/"oppose" response. (In this instance, the proponent began the discussion by casting a "support" vote himself.) Those of us who disagree that the proposed change is an improvement might appear "to throw around oppose votes just for the sake of it", but what alternative do we have? We can provide other forms of input (as seen above), but step 1 is to answer the question that's been asked. And when our good-faith feedback prompts the proponent's assertion that we're "[kidding] ourselves", the likelihood of constructive discourse occurring is reduced further. —David Levy 07:57, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────David Levy, I continue to tweak the design and structure, and sometimes make related changes to individual sections. For instance, a while back I harmonized the image formatting for each main page section (which Howcheng is now building upon) and have given the images IDs. My version still serves as my homepage for nearly two years now, so I can detect any catastrofic issues; it has enabled me to fix any formatting issues that are normally hidden by the use of tables on the main page. One example is streamlining ITN to use templates instead on manual formatting, so these errors are no longer possible. But I am just one man, and I could use more testers, if only to spot any accidental errors. I think accessability is covered, in fact it should be greatly improved over the curret main page because there are no tables and I took great care of document flow and use of standard elements such as headers. POTD remains a headache though; I want to transform that away from using tables as well.
It is true I find the apathy, and the fact a consensus seems impossible to be somewhat discouraging, but the many times my design is mentioned here is uplifting. It means I made some impact, and I do want to build on the design. I already made it more neutral by moving the coloring to the headers instead of the panels. What I lack is better original proposals (as in not using existing colors used elsewhere). I may have "threatened" to just put it up, but I'd rather make this a group effort, and I want to accomodate anyone willing to help. What about a opt-in gadget that would redirect the main page to my version, and advertise this option, perhaps even on the main page itself? -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 08:08, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd be glad to see such a script/gadget. What do you think of the WMF color scheme? Eman235/talk 19:50, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Not a fan. While Wikipedia operates under the flag of the Wikimedia Foundation, they are different entities, and that should be reflected in the content and its design. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 21:48, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support redesigning the main page. "Fun fact": our current design was adopted in March 2006. Everyone hates user interface changes, but it's 2015. If we don't do anything, our design is not going to break, but it's going to continue to rot until our main page is declared a historic place. Esquivalience t 05:07, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
    I think that most of us support the idea of updating/improving the page's design. The community just needs to determine how to go about it (easier said than done). —David Levy 11:55, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support: Change will provide a comparative criteria as well. Nannadeem (talk) 07:36, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
    Can you please elaborate/clarify? —David Levy 11:55, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
    Current and redesigned page can provide a comparison for: (i) comments from editors/users and users who do not have WP account (with a switch-over provision) (ii) improvement relating to tech aspects. Besides encouragement towards updating current page design can be preserved as WP classic page. Nannadeem (talk) 15:36, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
    Just to be clear, which change(s) are you supporting? —David Levy 16:17, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
    Supporting redesigned 2015 main page by User:Edokter.Nannadeem (talk) 20:55, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose the redesigned main page (for now): It turns an approximately 2-screen-tall main page into a three screen tall one, pushing featured pictures down unacceptably far. This is because it A. Makes TFA a full-width section. B. Uses this to add a new section. and C. Gives excessive prominence (second section) to In the news, the slowest-updating part of the main page - no other section takes more than a day to be fully replaced with new content. As an aside, it also mixes purple, blue, green, and yellow. Colours can be useful for delineating separate sections, but we should really get it down to something that's a little more complementary, say, green, blue and yellow. Adam Cuerden (talk) 06:35, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as not broken, with no evidence presented that the current colours are problematic. There's also no example of what colours this would actually be changed to - just lots of links to Edoktor's completely different layout, which is a separate issue to the colours mentioned in the proposal. Many of the support !votes above don't actually seem to relate to the proposal. Modest Genius talk 12:10, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose because there is absolutely no reason to do that. As Modest Genius pointed out above, it is not problematic and as Lord Falkland pointed out four centuries ago, “If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change”.--The Traditionalist (talk) 13:15, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per the above three opposes. Jusdafax 04:12, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
This reminds me of those hubristic restaurant owners on Kitchen Nightmares that insist there's nothing wrong with their restaurant until it finally changes. My intention is not to insult you guys, but if you honestly can't see that the main page is horribly outdated and lacking in any visual appeal whatsoever then I'll have no further input here. Thing is, not only does the current main page lack in visual appeal, it has a visual anti-appeal, so to speak. Surely we must be able to meet in some sort of neutral middle ground which has neither visual appeal nor anti-appeal, just a neutral, ageless design. That's what I'm going for. User:Jacedc (talk) 03:56, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I think that you are somewhat wrong. As much as you find the Main Page “visually anti-apealing”, I find it visually appealing and also ageless. This is a very subjective question. So, if each one of us has a different proposal, why not leave it alone? It has been so for years. Many people like it, many people do not. It is a matter of taste.--The Traditionalist (talk) 09:51, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
As a web designer I can say that pastel colors contrasted with bold, black text surrounded by unnecessarily harsh borders has a strong visual anti-appeal. Not to mention it violates various user experience design principles. Additionally, the majority of !voters on here would agree with me. That's why I propose a design that doesn't have a design. User:Jacedc (talk) 15:28, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you'll actually find that the voters don't agree with you: The numbers are evenly split, though this is complicated by the fact that it's not clear what anyone's voting on, really. This proposal has changed several times during the voting, and doesn't even begin to match the supposed title. Adam Cuerden (talk) 16:10, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. On this occasion, I entirely agree with Adam Cuerden just above. I see nothing remotely approaching consensus for this proposal, and those claiming there's support for it are engaging in "everyone who disagrees with me is clearly wrong so their opinions can be discounted" exercises to try to distort the result their way. One of the most important aspects of participating on Wikipedia is the ability to say "I still think I'm right, but I can see opinion is against me so I won't push it". – iridescent 16:27, 26 July 2015 (UTC) (adding) I do support the principle of redesigning the main page, but certainly not on the grounds that two editors, one of whom has a grand total of 528 mainspace edits, don't like the particular colour scheme in use.) – iridescent 16:30, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Agreed. I think, if we're going to redesign, the first step is to A. Do some discussion, possibly on the back of a concrete proposal, possibly not at first; B. refine the results of the discussion into a concrete, ready-to-use proposal; and then, and only then C. have a vote on implementation. This discussion was a bizarre mix between A. a proposal to lose pastels (with no mockup) and B. voting on a specific mockup which uses pastels. Is it any wonder it's failed to even provide much help moving forwards? Adam Cuerden (talk) 17:28, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I see nothing wrong with the present design. In fact, I find it rather restful. It distinguishes the sections without drawing attention to itself. --Thnidu (talk) 00:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Cautious oppose. I dislike Edokter's design (and for that matter the Chinese page). If we have to modernise I think the French front page might be the way to go, but turning everything to a vague colourlessness for the sake of seeming to be modern is both faddish and dreadfully dull. The French model, though, is quite common across other Wikipedias and doesn't look out-of-date as the English version to me. Dionysodorus (talk) 00:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I would totally agree with Thnidu. Qwertyxp2000 (talk | contribs) 00:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Captions (2)[edit]

I am sorry if I “ruin” your celebrations but I would like to ask this: are any other users who find these captions ugly? I cannot be the only one who thinks that they make Vector look like Monobook but I do. They look amateurish and completely out-of-place. Apart from that, they are also not really needed. This is plainly change for the sake of change. Was there any consensus for it?--The Traditionalist (talk) 18:40, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

This has been discussed multiple times (see the recent archives) as we looked for a way to link the images to their respective items, so the need was established and several solutions evaluated. The latest discussion is right on top. I don't know how plain text below the image can be regarded as 'ugly'; do you have custom styling that may interfere? -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 18:54, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I did read the archives and I have not found any sufficient arguments about the implementation of the captions, while 95% of the discussions is concerned with technical issues.
The most obvious solution to what seems to have been the problem, would be to change the ITN picture every time a new event is added and to double-check that the DYK picture is always the one corresponding to the top question. That would have been much easier and would have saved much of the technical experts′ time.
By “ugly” I mean that I find these letters under the pictures anti-aesthetic. I cannot really say why, but to me they look completely out-of-place, as opposed to the (pictured) note.--The Traditionalist (talk) 19:09, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
The DYK pic is always for the top hook. Never been different I believe in last 6-7 years Victuallers (talk) 20:24, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Someone at one point (archived discussions) referred to the DYK. I am glad that the above has always been the case.--The Traditionalist (talk) 21:10, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
The most obvious solution to what seems to have been the problem, would be to change the ITN picture every time a new event is added...
The issue with this is that ITN doesn't always have an image to go along with it. I'm not a huge fan of the captions either, but one cannot argue there wasn't consensus for it. — foxj 20:30, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I suppose that you we can always find one... Still, if it the image corresponds to the second-from-top entry (which contains an attractive (pictured)) there is no problem.--The Traditionalist (talk) 21:10, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Or remove it altogether if there isn't one to correlate to the first story. Sometimes TFA runs without an image because of fair use or some such issue. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:57, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. If TFA without a picture is acceptable, ITN should be too.--The Traditionalist (talk) 12:20, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

The captions are hideous and ruin the main page, but there you go, we had so many complaints from a handful of users that it was so confusing to our audience that the top item of both ITN and OTD didn't necessarily correlate with the image that some horrendous compromise had to be found. This is it, and it's appalling. But that's where we are, and of course it's all subjective. Some people, particularly those confused by the ITN/OTD out-of-order-image-terror are now satisfied. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:45, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

@The Rambling Man: I find it very hard to be persuaded by these people. I read at one point (at the archived discussions) that “you have to read the whole list to find out which entry the image is about”. This is plainly not true. An italic inscription with the word “pictured” catches the eye almost immediately, even when you do not actually want to find who is pictured.
Now, imagine that there never was a (pictured) note and there never were captions, just plain images. This would not have been very helpful (of course), but, even in this imaginary situation, it would not take more than two minutes for someone to figure out which entry the image corresponds to.
Certainly, very confusing.....--The Traditionalist (talk) 21:10, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, most of the "confusion" appears to have been fabricated by a handful of our millions of readers. But hey, if you don't have anything to worry about, why not create a problem to solve? The Rambling Man (talk) 21:12, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I am in agreement with TRM. I don't think it was as confusing as some made it out to be; and even if it was, it does no harm for people to read other blurbs and maybe learn something else. I think such a change should have had a much broader discussion(such as a Wikipedia-wide announcement for comment). 331dot (talk) 21:37, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • In fact, what looked "amateurish" was uncaptioned pictures randomly juxtaposed with completely unrelated text. (talk) 22:38, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
....which would be quickly cleared up upon seeing the italicized "pictured" next to the appropriate blurb. The ITN box is not so big that it would be lost. 331dot (talk) 22:44, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Except that it often was lost amidst the sea of text. --Khajidha (talk) 01:40, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
No, because it caught the eye almost immediately. You cannot call about 15 lines a “sea of text”.--The Traditionalist (talk) 09:55, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Didn't catch my eye most of the time.--Khajidha (talk) 12:43, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
But that's really odd isn't it? You even knew that each image was accompanied by a (pictured). Right now, the captions are making me think, "so what?" and I then need to go seeking the entry that relates to the caption. Sounds like the grass is greener. The Rambling Man (talk) 15:54, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I just noticed that OTD might be more difficult to browse now that we have the captions, as one certainly does know which event the picture is about, but one needs to search the “sea of text” to find the date.--The Traditionalist (talk) 21:00, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Prior to captions, informal testing with casual readers (meaning, just asking them if they could tell what the image was of) done by Art LaPella showed that most of the time they could not do so, despite the word "(pictured)" being there. You being a "power user" knew it was there and knew what to look for. Admittedly, we haven't checked again since the captions went in. However, I will say that discussion started weeks ago so there was plenty of time for objections to be made, and as I noted you were the first to object in that whole time based on aesthetic grounds. But note that it wasn't just a "handful" of complaints that we dealt with over the years. This was a recurring question raised by a good number of readers. howcheng {chat} 09:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

How does "Summary map" add anything to the main page on today's TFA image? It's entirely meaningless without reading the blurb or the article. Is this what the captions are designed to do, make things more confusing? The Rambling Man (talk) 18:49, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

The captions are optional; TFA and TFL normally don't need it, unless the image requires some measure of clarification. I guess the same for for the other sections, but I do think a caption linking to its specific item does indeed clarify the relation to such. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 19:20, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Yep, so the captions are now (to our readers) randomly applied. How is this helpful, especially when they say things like "Summary map"? Did anyone think this through at all? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:54, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the words "Summary map" can only apply to the only nearby article, which is about a hurricane season. Without the caption, the image is a black rectangle if you don't look too closely.
But that's a detail; the main issue isn't whether we should always have a caption, but whether we should usually have a caption. As you know, that issue has been discussed for weeks, and the problem at ITN has been discussed for years. Art LaPella (talk) 22:31, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Please note that the original caption was "Summary map, 2013 Atlantic hurricane season". It was trimmed to "Summary map" by David Levy. Though I can see why he trimmed it, I don't think it should have gone that far. "Summary map of 2013 season" or whatever may have still provided enough context. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 06:05, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • The entire blurb is about the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. It begins with the words "The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season". How does repeating that phrase (or a portion thereof) provide additional context? To what subject, apart from that of the accompanying paragraph, could the image reasonably relate?
    I removed only the redundant text (which, incidentally, was formatted as a third link to the featured article), but I agree with the Rambling Man that no caption was necessary in this instance. I'm curious as to why you added one (no disrespect intended). —David Levy 09:08, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • As Art says above, "Without the caption, the image is a black rectangle if you don't look too closely." Someone not familiar with the subject, or with hurricanes, might not recognize what the squiggly lines are meant to be. The inclusion of the title in the caption (or an abbreviation, if it had come to that) was to preclude the possibility that someone might misunderstand the summary map as depicting a single hurricane. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 01:05, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't know why someone would arrive at such a conclusion. In the absence of a statement to the contrary, the natural assumption is that the image relates to the blurb's overall subject. Regardless, there was no need to replace the previous format, in which the blurb began with the same information (without redundancy). This is one of the sections for which an image caption is considered optional (because it almost never contains multiple items at a given time). All else being equal, consistency is nice, but this was not an instance in which all else was equal.
    Just to be clear, I don't regard any of the above as a big deal. (I note this because my comments otherwise might seem more weighty than intended.) —David Levy 01:37, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Personal thoughts: the captions would be better in conjunction with (pictured). Better still, the item of OTD or ITN that the picture is referring to would be marked with pictured -- not in parentheses but a the beginning of the hook (or whatever it's called). Eman235/talk 22:55, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't particularly like them, though not enough to ask to change back. Also including (pictured) would be a benefit - I miss those and found them helpful. Modest Genius talk 07:45, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I have no problem with putting "(pictured)" back in conjunction with the caption. howcheng {chat} 09:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I am also of the opinion that these captions look messy and out of keeping with the style of the rest of the page. I especially agree with User:Howcheng that the word (pictured) was helpful, and ought to be included regardless; and I think that that was an largely sufficient way of linking the picture with the article it is connected to. Dionysodorus (talk) 13:59, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't like "(pictured)"; it does not stand out and I still keep scanning the entire text for it. That is why I proposed the icon to begin with. That said, I'm not 100% happy with the technical implementation of the captions, and I wouldn't mind disabling them until that is sorted out. Instead of one catch-all template, I believe the code for the caption should be implemented in each project's respective image template. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 15:54, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
In my opinion the captions are painfully ugly to look at, and as far as I can see serve no purpose. Where has this huge-scale change been discussed? I've never seen this being talked about before looking at the back-patting and celebrations above. Manxruler (talk) 00:39, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
If you too think it might be a good idea to disable the caption for the moment until the implementation can be improved, Edokter, may I suggest that you might do so, until a better technical implementation has been found? I don't really see any opinions here that would seem to oppose such an idea. My opinion is that a new consensus (perhaps a wider one) should be sought to support the particular technical implementation of the captions before reintroduction; regardless of that, though, I think the first step of disabling them while a better implementation is found, as you suggested, would be a good one, and probably based more on current consensus than leaving the captions here as they are.
Is there a consensus anywhere, except as a side-consequence of introducing captions, for removing (pictured}? In principle, I think, that's a somewhat separate issue from whether the captions are a good idea, although obviously the captions have a bearing on whether (pictured} should be there. A separate discussion and consensus should be found before removing (pictured), and if there isn't a consensus yet I think it should be reinstated provisionally. Dionysodorus (talk) 00:54, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Those who can't find the previous discussion should read starting perhaps here, to the end of the archive file if you have the patience. It was also discussed here. That archive file also has several related discussions, where it was more or less taken for granted that something was finally going to get fixed instead of the usual talking it to death. Art LaPella (talk) 02:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Also, there have been years of persistent complaints that the "In The News" image doesn't match the first news story, despite the word "pictured" which is seldom noticed by outsiders. Art LaPella (talk) 03:56, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

There's no reason why we can't use both. Look, different people learn/think/process information in different ways. I think it's fairly rude to dismiss the experiences of those who find captionless images confusing. I understand that certain individuals here don't see the need for them, but their experiences are not universal. Should not our goal here be to make the Main Page more usable for everyone? No, this isn't the perfect solution, but perfect is the enemy of good. Over the years, we've had a large number of complaints from people about this issue, and I was getting tired of having the same conversation over and over so yes, I made an executive decision. Now we're finding that others prefer the word (pictured), so instead of arguing about it, let's just put it back. If we have any UX experts who want to tackle this perennial problem, then by all means let them get to it, but that shouldn't stop us from doing something that increases usability. Focus on the end goal, please. howcheng {chat} 07:56, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I write the following with the understanding that a good faith decision was made. There is only so much that can be done to make a single section of a page seen by hundreds of thousands of people daily "usable for everyone". Some people might find highlighting the relevant blurb helpful. Some might find flashing lights helpful, or a buzzer, or whatever. We can't accommodate every possible thing that might help people. Personally if we have a "pictured" in the box a caption is unnecessary and redundant. We aren't talking about an entire page, just a small section with 14-16 bulleted lines(ITN at least). How hard is it really to see "pictured" and move one's eyes to the image(or vice versa)? Even if some find it confusing(which is the case with virtually any aspect of society in general) they aren't harmed by momentarily looking at a couple other lines to find the "pictured"; they might actually learn something else. Leaving all that aside, I will restate that this should have had a much broader opportunity for comment, such as a RfC with a notice on Watchlists. 331dot (talk) 09:53, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Of course we can't put in every single thing that might possibly help. But we can follow the 80–20 rule and cover the most common cases. And here you are demonstrating the exact thing I was saying: The #1 complaint about pictures in ITN and OTD is people who have trouble associating them with the right blurb, and you're just blithely dismissing those concerns. This was such a small change that has the potential to drastically increase usability. The problem with opening a large RFC is the same thing that plagues us every single time this complaint comes up: So many conflicting opinions are put in and nothing ever gets done. howcheng {chat} 03:32, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above shows that:

  1. Captions are not of use on TFA or TFL, unless the case is very special (the relation between the image and the subect is not immediately obvious).
  2. DYK always uses an image related to the first entry, so if the person who updates it pays attention to this, a caption is not needed.
  3. If the ITN picture changes each time a new entry is added, then no caption is needed (if there is no suitable picture, do not add one).
  4. Many users agree that OTD needs captions.

--The Traditionalist (talk) 10:31, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Thank you! I love summations. I think DYK should have a caption, if like TFA/TFL the connection is not immediately obvious. Eman235/talk 20:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
We've tried #3 before. It never seems to last for very long. I think the only time we go pictureless now is if none of the entries have a suitable image. I am of the opinion that DYK should have a caption regardless. howcheng {chat} 03:32, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
We've tried #3 before. It never seems to last for very long.” Could you elaborate on this?--The Traditionalist (talk) 09:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I believe the problem is that we often don't have a picture for the highest item on ITN, and if we regularly don't have a picture we get complaints as people dislike the lack of picture and/or find the picture helps to make the section more readable. Nil Einne (talk) 00:16, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm highly disappointed at the messy, cluttered, unprofessional implementation of the ITN captions system. I'm not sure where the consensus for this change came from, but it's obvious there needs to be some refinements if we're going to go through with this. There is a huge amount of unused real estate underneath the caption. The font for the caption looks inconsistent and tacked on compared to the rest of the module. The top of the image is also not aligned with the topmost ITN blurb. And what happened to "pictured"?--WaltCip (talk) 12:51, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Kathleen Delaney, Caren Manuel really different?[edit]

Hi, I see that Kathleen Delaney redecting back to articel self and not to articel Caren Manuel. I tough that Kathleen is the alias from Caren Manuel. And how I can uploud a fair use image? I have found it a picture from Kathleen Delaney.--Maxie1hoi (talk) 14:23, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

You also asked at the article talk pages; that was the place to ask, although it sure looks like two different people. See Help:Uploading images. And a better place for all these questions is Wikipedia:Help desk. Art LaPella (talk) 04:52, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Answered on article talk pages: Talk:Kathleen Delaney and Talk:Caren Lyn Tackett#Stella. --Thnidu (talk) 04:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

View counter[edit]

Can someone please repair the view counter? It is now behind by three days. Thanks. Johnsmith2116 (talk) 13:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

What view counter? — foxj 14:48, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
When you click on "view history" and then "view page statistics" it shows the view count. But it is 3 days behind and needs repaired. I'm hoping someone will fix it. Johnsmith2116 (talk) 15:17, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The author of the tool has been notified at User talk:Henrik#Stats down again. He hasn't edited Wikipedia since August 2014. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:30, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Captions and (pictured)[edit]

Is it really the best idea to have both the captions and (pictured)? I'm not fond of the captions and prefer the previous system, but it's not a big deal. However, having both of them is redundant and looks rather silly, as if we think our readers are unable to find one or the other. Let's pick one format and stick with it. Nyttend (talk) 20:46, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I might suggest:
  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • pictured Item 3 (the one with a picture)
  • etc.
In conjunction with a caption. Eman235/talk 22:36, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the "caption and (pictured) system" makes it easier for the reader to find out what the image is actually about and where its corresponding story is. With only caption, it takes a while to search the story to which the image belongs, and having only (pictured) led to confusions such as what exactly the subject of the image is. I like the current idea of using both and don't think it looks redundant. (talk) 14:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Given the narrow confines of the ITN box, (pictured) seems residual / redundant to me at this pt. Sca (talk) 15:06, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I like both together, pretty much per 117... Redundant isn't necessarily a bad thing if it aids the reader. Here I think it does. It helps me at any rate. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:11, 30 July 2015 (UTC)