Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Main Page

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Proposed new main page · Current main page · Vote and discuss
The final election ran from 1 March 2006, 00:01 (UTC) until 18 March 2006, 23:59 (UTC). Voting is now ended.
The results are 687 (support) /213 (oppose) /43 (neutral)
The old Main Page design is still available and updated at this page:
Wikipedia:Main Page alternative (Classic 2006)

About the redesign

Draft archives

The proposed main page design:

  • Improves the prominence of the portal links.
  • Clearly divides the header's article navigation links and project-related links.
  • Includes both the Picture of the day and Did you know... on the main page, seven days a week.
  • Adds a section containing descriptions of Wikipedia's important non-article areas.
  • Swaps the positions of "Did you know..." and "Selected anniversaries" (renamed "On this day..."), thereby establishing a left-hand column that highlights our most polished articles and our newest articles (which hopefully will receive similar treatment), along with a right-hand column that highlights current news stories and news stories from years past.
  • Swaps the positions of the links to our sister projects and the links to other languages' Wikipedias, thereby eliminating the need to use extra-small text for the latter.
  • Aims to improve the page's aesthetic appearance.

Issues considered in the redesign process

  • Second search box: With a vote of "no consensus" on including a second search box in the design, we have omitted it. We are considering options for tweaking the MonoBook skin to make the left search box more prominent and noticeable.
  • Article count in header: The proposed design provides no elegant means of including the article count in the main page header. It is, however, included in the "Wikipedia languages" section. The one million article milestone will have come and gone by the time voting on the main page redesign concludes. Beyond that milestone, many in the Wikipedia community, including Jimmy Wales, have discussed putting more emphasis on quality than quantity of articles. Displacing the article count from the header is consistent with this.

Future issues

Subsequent issues to be considered after this vote include:

  • Drive to improve quality of the portals and topic organization.
  • Improve visibility of the left-navigation search box in the default MonoBook skin. Perhaps, an orange-colored border (as used on the active tabs at the top)?

Thank you for your participation!

This Main Page Redesign Project is over! Thank you everyone for your hard work and support. --Go for it! 17:46, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Congrats, everyone—barnstars all around!

This goes by the honor system: if you worked hard, take it! If not, there's always something else to do...--HereToHelp 01:05, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

A Barnstar!
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar

For everyone who worked so hard on the Main Page redesign, we all deserve a barnstar! HereToHelp 01:05, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Seconded :-) +sj + 10:00, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Yep, that was a tedious project. Good job. --Go for it! 03:20, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I second the congratulations to everyone. Apologies that I wasn't here, during the weekend, to help out with code debugging. My hard drive failed, so I've been busy installing a new one. On to working on the portals for me, and revising the Wikipedia:Searching page. The other outstanding issue is possibly highlighting the left search box. --Aude (talk | contribs) 14:56, 20 March 2006 (UTC)


Does anything still need sorting out in the aftermath of all this? One thing I thought of was whether the Alexa page rank website would show any differences? I found an archived discussion from last year here that (some way down the page) talks about how removing category links (which became the portal links now on the Main Page) possibly affected the Alexa rankings. Carcharoth 16:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I copied the current Main Page code to here (Wikipedia:WikiProject_Usability/Main_Page) (instead of the redirect to protected-draft-subpage) so that we can continue to test out options here. --Quiddity 23:18, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Do we want to do something about the 'tomorrow' link requested for 'On this day' on the Main talk page? Basically, since the timing of the 'page date' change is at odds with local time for most of the world some users would like to be able to get materials for the 'correct' date with a single click (automatic adjustment would pose several technical problems).
To do so we could replace the current 'On this day' box footer of: Recent days: March 23March 22March 21
with something like: Prior day - Today's complete list - Next day
Note that these links use generic 'day-1' and 'day+1' templates rather than hard-coded dates... which could then be placed on the 'Selected anniversaries' page for every day - allowing a user to 'browse' backwards or forwards through the 'On this day' materials. We could also add a calendar, inside 'noinclude' tags to prevent display on the Main page, to all the 'Selected anniversaries' pages to allow users to jump to a specific date. The same could be done to enhance the current article and picture of the day 'archives' - possibly not including links to future material if we don't want that displayed prior to the 'day' it is assigned to. It is even possible to show the entire Main Page for tomorrow or yesterday. --CBDunkerson 01:40, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Should probably be raised on each of the subsection's pages. and i love the "Tomorrow's newspaper" insinuations ;) --Quiddity
I'm not sure what you mean by the "...add a calendar..." idea though. A hide/show (javascript) section that reveals 365 links? --Quiddity 02:12, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it really would be good if eht Main page could tap into the local timezone and adjust itself. Or, if we do the three link thing, use "yesterday" and"tommorow". At the very least, we could add tommorow to {{day-2)), {{day-1)), May 22.--HereToHelp 02:54, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Can someone uprotect the page? How can we do experiments if only admins can edit it?--HereToHelp 21:34, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Do experiments here: Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Main Page. --Quiddity 22:09, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Okay, thanks.--HereToHelp 22:18, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Or here Main Page alternative (editable) i guess! ;-) --Quiddity 19:58, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Quiddity, I put an example of what I am talking about with the calendar at User:CBDunkerson/Sandbox5. The calendar is contained within 'noinclude' tags... so it only displays when the page is viewed directly, not when it is transcluded onto another page (like the Main Page). Ignore the old 'Recent days' info... I just transcluded the existing page so that the info displayed on the example will update each day. I'll try to track down the proper talk sub-page(s) to raise this change on.
HereToHelp, I didn't use 'yesterday' and 'tomorrow' because they only work for one day. That is, if a user clicked 'yesterday' they would get the 'On this day' for the prior day and it would be fine... but if they then clicked 'yesterday' again on THAT page they'd be sent to the 'day before yesterday' page, and then two days before yesterday, et cetera. Thus, 'prior' and 'next' are more generic for when browsing through the list. As to the main page adjusting based on time-zone... the problem there is that we don't have a way to get the time zone of the user viewing the page INTO the page code itself. We just don't have programmatic access to that information. --CBDunkerson 22:58, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Re: Calendar. Oh, i see, That looks great, i totally support.
Re: timezones. The user's timezone should be available from their browser. Possibly you mean it's not available thru mediawiki yet though...? (see your timezone with this tool. part of ISO 8601 i think). --Quiddity 00:28, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Re: timezones. Actually, it can. Go to your preferences/date and time and you'll see a button for "fill in from browser".--HereToHelp 20:06, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I know... but we can't get that number to display here for each user viewing the page. Without which there is no way to get the page to display different info based on the time zone of each user. --CBDunkerson 20:29, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Looks alot like Uncyclopedia

I just thought i'd say my 2 pence, but Wikipedia now looks a lot like Uncyclopedia. If Wikipedia changed their front page to the current design first, then that would be fine, as it would just be another case of Uncyclopedia being parodic, but this isn't the case. You'd think that Wikipedia would be trying to distance itself from Uncyclopedia, no?

Um... They are being "parodic"[sic]. We had a working draft here first, then they changed their front page. Possibly so that they could claim wikipedia is influenced by them when it's the other wayt around. Wikipedia has a larger audience so it takes longer to reach consensus over issues. -Kode 18:01, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Uncyclopedia changed their front page more than a full month before 1 Wikipedia did [1]. --The_stuart 18:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
And? Swiftness in copying the draft design from this page doesn't change their lack of creativity. :] --CBDunkerson 18:22, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Firstly, this is an explanation that was posted at Uncyclopedia. Secondly, three weeks is not "more than a full month." —David Levy 18:33, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
sounds like you're competing with uncyclopedia. take it easy, guys :) Unixer 09:14, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Come on! The quality of Uncyclopedia does not even come close to Wikipedia! Wikipedia is miles ahead here. --Siva1979Talk to me 09:54, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Switching from tables to css?

Hi all,

I'm rather afraid that I thought I had a solution to this issue, but when I implemented it I broke the main page :-( I am rather sorry that I did that. However, it is possible to convert from tables to divs and apply styles. Given that HTML should be about structuring information, and not really about layout, I would like to see a lot more div tags and a lot less table tags!

Our current solution is actually quite hard to skin. For instance, I wanted to include, in my own css file, line-spacing changes. However, these changes break the main page for me. If the main page had the infoboxes in div tags, then it would be a lot simpler to implement this change.

A trial is currently at User:Ta bu shi da yu/MainPage2, there are significant problems with my markup, however. If anyone could help, I'd much appreciate this! - Ta bu shi da yu 02:20, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Edit sections?

How come I can't edit sections on this page? - Ta bu shi da yu 02:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

'Cause someone has marked this page as an archive with {{talkarchive}}, which disallows edit tags.--cj | talk 05:20, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
You want the parent page: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability.
And if it all works, maybe you could standardize the Community Portal and Help:Contents pages whilst you're at it ;) -Quiddity 06:26, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I do feel somewhat embarrassed now :-) Ta bu shi da yu 06:40, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, you should not! People learn from their ignorance and become better editors because of it. Glad, you learnt something new! --Siva1979Talk to me 16:54, 8 May 2006 (UTC)