Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft/Archive 6 part 2

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Discussion other than voting


Contents

What happened to "the free encyclopedia"?

I really like the current message, "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." However, the two current drafts only offer the message "Welcome to Wikipedia, 930,018 articles that anyone can edit." I think that this message is a lot less powerful and says less about the project. The concept of Wikipedia as a true, cohesive encyclopedia is important... removing this makes the statement a lot drier. It seems to imply that Wikipedia, as a whole, is no greater than the sum of its parts--that it's nothing more than a pile of articles.

Also, removing the word "free" gets rid of the free software (copyleft) and free-of-charge connotations which I think are actually quite key to the entire project.

Who decided to change this message, and for what purpose? Also, is there any possibility of changing it back? -Fadookie Talk | contrib 11:36, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Certainly. That was some anons idea and it saved space. It was also decided that "the free encyclopedia" appeares in the monobook skin in the upper left corner under the globe and at the start of each article. We can change that, sure, but if everyone else likes it, I'm afraid it stays.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 14:12, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I support "the free encyclopedia" being put back. Black Carrot 16:45, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
"The Free Encyclopedia" is in the left bar, right under Wikipedia's puzzle globe logo. It's on every page all the time. Just out of curiosity, why is it that you feel we need it duplicated?--Go for it! 17:21, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the phrase should be omitted from the welcome message. Not everyone uses the MonoBook skin, but the text "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." does appear throughout the site (directly below the title bar, which would be directly above the welcome message in question). Therefore, the phrase's presence in the welcome message is redundant for everyone and doubly redundant for most users (including any new visitor, because MonoBook is the default skin). —David Levy 19:46, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I think I've come up with a good compromise.. simply adding the modifier 'free' (though it might be arguably redundant) on my proposal, Draft C, is only a one-word addition that will stand out to first-time visitors who look for that kind of thing. When I see "sign up for premium access" on a website, i automatically know that exploring it further is a waste of time. Seeing 'free' in such a genuine way though, is very encouraging. Also, only having at the top is fine for the rest of the pages.. but as it is a major principle of not only wikipedia but wikimedia, I think it is important to have this small addition on the main page. drumguy8800 - speak? 04:59, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
We actually had this precise wording at one point. I don't actively oppose it, but it does seem redundant. Keep in mind that the text "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." will appear directly above this message. —David Levy 18:40, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
"930,018 free articles that anyone can edit" is better. Still, I don't like the idea of Wikipedia being 'just a pile of articles'. Cohesion is an important principle, and it's important to get our principles across to visitors, especially would-be contributors.
If redundancy is such an issue, why say "Welcome to Wikipedia" at all? Visitors can easily deduce that they are on Wikipedia from the logo, the website title, and the URL.
I wouldn't consider redundancy bad in this case. We should be trying to introduce visitors to the site, not just feed them a statistic.
-Fadookie Talk | contrib 05:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with this concern. I have yet to see any acceptable one-line solution. I think the above yellow bar is a good compromise - combine the article count with the search phrase. BigBlueFish 15:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I am the one who altered it. On the last draft before my alteration [1], the single line of text is not looking too good up there. In my view, the name "Wikipedia" makes it clear enough that it's an encyclopedia. On another draft, we actually had "Welcome to wikipedia, 900,000 free encyclopedia articles that anyone can edit" [2]. This is not a very catchy phrase (and is redundent) and it doesn't look as good with the overall design. As others have said, the phrase "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" is already prominent on all pages in two places. Personally, I favor changing it to "900,000 free articles that anyone can edit", as is in this draft: [3]. It has a nice ring to it and reaffirms the free information scope of the project. --24.26.178.224 20:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

User:Drumguy8800/Main page draft (Draft C)

  • I like how the features boxes are done in this version, but the header is very lacking. Zafiroblue05 05:07, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  • This is the best looking draft although it lacks some features. I like the icons and spaces between the boxes here. If someone could merge C's outline with B's features, that would be splendid. --Quinlan Vos 11:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
    • In response to both of these, I've combined B's features (all six sections) and added the top wikipedia thing that's much less space-consuming. Hope you all like. drumguy8800 - speak? 03:21, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Also.. removed all the background white space and put the reference section inside a white box.. though that could certainly be improved. Anyone have a suggestion of a way to make it look better (besides leaving it outside formatting)? drumguy8800 - speak? 03:40, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • What's happened to the portal icons? Those looked really nice and separated this draft than others. --Quinlan Vos 13:21, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks for mentioning that.. I was under the impression that the style I have up was the preference across the board here. I like how little space the current header on this draft takes up, but the portal icons are certainly nice. The bullets could be replaced with very smal versions of the icons.. I hesitate putting it back up the same as Draft E because I fear we will never reach consensus on such a space-consuming thing style. It also only has 10 portals, as opposed to 12 on the current Draft C (and other drafts with the same header). Any suggestions on a middle-point..? drumguy8800 - speak? 15:24, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The purple background for the browsebar beneath the header is un-necessary and distracting.--cj | talk 17:51, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft (Italian Inspired) (Draft G)

  • Sorry, this is an awful version. The colors/graphics used clash horribly.. the bottom-stripes in the right column aren't formatted correctly.. the entire page just feels very uncohesive. drumguy8800 - speak? 03:24, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I quite agree in disliking the colour scheme, and also the snowflakes, which are distracting and out of place. jnothman talk 03:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
throwing my two cents into the fray and casting my vote:: I like DRAFT G - Why? It appeals to me. JessanDunnOtis 21:09, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Looking things up

Wow. You people are messed up.

The reason I came here, though, is that there's something missing from the extremely prominent list of options on the current page and all of your drafts. So that you have a reason to listen to me and implement my suggestion, I'd like to take a moment to explain how I got here: Wikipedia_talk:Where_to_ask_a_question#From the Reference Desk There seems to be general consensus on the reference desks that people are winding up there who have no reason to be there, and after a short discussion it was determined that the problem could be the main page. After talking with the people one level earlier (Where to ask a question), I am more certain of it, and they support my idea for fixing it, not least because it would solve one of their problems too.

My idea is to include Look it up with Ask a question , Index/A-Z and Portals. This should be prominent. Not neccessarily more prominent than anything else, but certainly not less prominent. This is the main function of Wikipedia. You type a word in, it takes you to the article. The search is weak and I've never used a portal, but I can always rely on that. This is also the main function of an encyclopedia, other than the ones based on a tree like Portals and Categories, which for some reason seem to be completely seperate.

I hereby demand flaming criticism, and will not rest until I get it. Should none appear within a week, I will assume that means that everyone agrees. --Black Carrot 17:19, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Like that's going to happen! Okay, I have a flaming criticism for you...  ;)

I have a criticism of you post: you said something was missing, but then you didn't specify what that was. Instead you went straight into your idea or solution. So...

What exactly is missing from the front page and all of these drafts?

By the way, take a look at the browsebar's solution to this:

Notice that "Wikipedia FAQs" and "Ask a question" have been combined into "Questions". Do you think that helps? And if not, why not? We need to understand this issue as well as you do, if we are going to solve it.

--Go for it! 00:16, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Did you follow the link? I think I was pretty clear about it there. What's missing from the front page, as it stands now, is an easy and self-explanatory way for people to look something up, as people are wont to doing in encyclopedias. So, quite a few people do the next best thing and ask at the reference desk. Combining all the places one could ask a question under one Questions heading is a good move, and I admit I hadn't thought to follow it and see the changes, but I think it would still be a good idea to have Look it up seperate. There's also the fact that it doesn't actually involve asking a question. This would, of course, make it harder to fit everything in. Black Carrot 01:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I like the Look it up page, which is well written, and agree entirely that people should be encouraged to search, rather than ask questions. I have one slight problem with the phrasing: what is the difference between "Look it up" and "Search"? To me "Search" is more intuitively understood, and "Look it up", despite being described as a traditional way to use an encyclopedia, is actually a rather colloquial term. 62.31.128.28 18:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. By 'colloquial', what do you mean? If you mean most English-speaking people don't use it, that could be a problem. I've just put a question about that on the Language reference desk to find out. Also, to me, search isn't just counterintuitive, it's downright inaccurate. The point of the Go function on the search bar is to take you directly to the article you typed in, just like a lot of print books are trying to do when they arrange things alphabetically. The Search function is an actual search. Black Carrot 19:34, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the error rate at WP:RD or at WP:HD will be aided by having a "look it up" link on the main page. Having tried to work against these problems of people asking at the wrong places, I've decided that there is only so far that you can explain that people are in the wrong place, and those making the errors are generally just stupid. Another link will sadly not reduce stupidity. jnothman talk 03:37, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not trying to reduce stupidity, and I'm not trying to tell people they're in the wrong place. I'm trying to prevent them from ever getting there, and I'm trying to do so by taking advantage of their laziness and lack of interest in anything not immediately obvious. I think this would help, and if it wouldn't help enough, I'm open to suggestions on tweaking. I'm also open to a trial period.
What, exactly, have you been doing? Black Carrot 19:55, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Issues to SUPPORT or OPPOSE

Rather than picking apart certain pages, lets get specific here and support or oppose certain elements of a page. Upon a (2/3) majority of votes, we will incorporate those into a community selected draft. Please use Oppose or Support , followed by comments, and of course, ~~~~, your signature.

For those of you familiar with this project! Please add whichever voting sections you see fit. Please place votes between <!-- Votes go here --> and <!-- Votes stop here -->. drumguy8800 - speak? 15:36, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Colorations

Green and Blue (Drafts A & B)

Support
  1. Support --HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 15:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support --Black Carrot 19:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support. At least half of the "oppose" votes pertain to the size of the bars/lettering and/or the specific shades of blue and green. I would not object to modifying these aspects accordingly. —David Levy 01:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support--Bkwillwm 03:14, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support. I think these are more comfortable than the alternatives and current. jnothman talk 03:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support. Certainly the best out of the current options. BigBlueFish 15:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Oppose --Quinlan Vos 18:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Oppose - the block of colour is too large. violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Incompatible with the core design.   freshgavin TALK    00:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Oppose. I'm not necessarily opposed to green/blue, but these particular colors are a bit too bright on my screen. I also think the feature heading typeface is a little too large, and in the case of Today's featured article, the heading overshadows the actual link to the full featured article. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    I respect your opinions, but I'm not sure why you perceive the feature heading typeface as too large. Throughout most of the site, we use the level 2 headings. Those are the smaller level 3 headings (usually reserved for subsections). —David Levy 01:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    I concur with David on this, though reluctantly. The headline sizes/fonts are a different issue altogether not relating to the main page itself.   freshgavin TALK    04:20, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    I disagree. We've broken numerous rules for the MP, not the least of which are Title Case Capitalization and colorful boxes. To me, it is more of a webpage. Since when has the way we format articles dictated our MP design? - ElAmericano | talk 23:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Oppose--cj | talk 17:22, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. Oppose. This is really the one thing I oppose about drafts A, B, C, D, F, and H. The scheme is boring to no end. It doesn't give a good impression of Wikipedia. And it's not even blue I oppose – I use blue on my userpage and am fine with it. Rather, it's the boring teal-like colors we've chosen. I don't see how they are appealing or engaging. - ElAmericano | talk 23:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Gold and Purple (Drafts C & E)

Support
  1. Support drumguy8800 - speak? 15:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support --Aude (talk | contribs) 16:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support --Quinlan Vos 18:07, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support - violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support - Carioca 19:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. Harro5 20:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support --Jeff8765 20:46, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support -- Not much improvement over G/B but slightly more readable - Xedaf 07:03, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support--cj | talk 17:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  10. Support - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 20:44, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  11. Support. David | Talk 19:08, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Incompatible with the core design. (EDIT: Heading style shows promise though, if it is made to stand out a little bit less.)   freshgavin TALK    00:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Is this supposed to be an assessment of the colors, or are we referring to the style of the feature headings? Some people opposed the green and blue bars on the basis of style, so I suspect that at least some of the above support votes are the same. For the record, I'm voting against the colors. I like the feature heading style. —David Levy 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Agreed with David Levy - don't like the colors, like the heading style on this draft. Zafiroblue05 02:07, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. I REALLY don't like these colors.--Bkwillwm 03:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Gold and purple-- the colors of the borgeoise! :) Ashibaka tock 08:14, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Italian Inspired

Support
  1. Support I dont know what the fuss is about! I thought the page was real good. -- Rohit 03:42, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Oppose What are the snowflakes doing there?--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 15:41, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Oppose I don't know but they're very ugly, along with the rest of the design. drumguy8800 - speak? 17:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Oppose Just didn't like it --Quinlan Vos 18:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Oppose - too busy. violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Why the little icons under each feature? Cheesiness! Harro5 20:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. Too busy, colors clash, icons are un-professional.   freshgavin TALK    00:14, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. I don't mean to offend the creator, but I dislike virtually everything about this version. —David Levy 01:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  8. There are some elegant things about the Italian Wikipedia Main Page, but I don't feel this elegance gets across here; the snowflakes still don't make sense and the colours are quite unbearable. jnothman talk 03:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  9. As above. Ashibaka tock 08:09, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  10. Oppose per jnothman.--cj | talk 17:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Header Styles

Yellow Small (Italian Inspired)

Support
  1. Support - particularly the search box. Searching should be the most prominent part of the page, regardless of redundancy. Better to remove the search box on the left sidebar than to leave it out of the header. Zafiroblue05 02:11, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support. Make it white if you like, but I strongly prefer the layout. I don't think the search bar can be emphasised enough. People don't realise at first that they can usually find the exact article they want by typing the subject into the search bar; most people visiting Wikipedia for the first time are used to the paper method of looking up through an alphabetic index. Searchability is an important feature of using Wikipedia that should be emphasised. BigBlueFish 15:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Oppose Repetitive to the search box on the left of the screen.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 15:41, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Oppose --Quinlan Vos 19:41, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Yellow is simply a wrong color choice.   freshgavin TALK    00:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. I don't like the color, and the redundant search box is not a good idea. —David Levy 01:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

White Small (Drafts A & B)

Support
  1. Support --HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 15:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support - not bad. violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Professional and blends smoothly with the core page design.   freshgavin TALK    00:16, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support. Zocky came up with an ingenious layout, and I believe that my tweaks brought it in line with our overall design objectives. —David Levy 01:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support. I find this design very attractive. jnothman talk 03:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Oppose --Quinlan Vos 19:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Oppose I don't like having a background image. Ashibaka tock 08:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

White Small with Blue Border & Purple link box (Draft C)

Support
  1. Support drumguy8800 - speak? 15:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support - not bad. violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support - A&B's version is fine, but having the links above the header make them seem to be a tacked on extra that doesn't belong. This version make the whole page more cohesive. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 20:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Oppose Bullets are not lined up.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 15:44, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    This was a mistake in transfer.. not meant to be part of the final design, apologies. Fixed now. drumguy8800 - speak? 17:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. It's OK but the bright aqua blue doesn't belong.   freshgavin TALK    00:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Seems needlessly complicated. —David Levy 01:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Oppose. While this design makes the links box stand out, I find the busy colours more detractive than anything. jnothman talk 03:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Large with Portal Icons (Draft E)

Support
  1. Support --Quinlan Vos 18:22, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support - violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Harro5 20:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC).
  4. Weak support. Images too big but good idea. WriterFromAfar755 23:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support, but we should use the icons in Portal:Browse rather than these bad looking purple ones. Tobyk777 04:18, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Too noisy, lots of wasted white space. Not appropriate for the main focus of a page.   freshgavin TALK    00:18, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. I don't dislike this design, but I prefer the small white layout from drafts A and B. —David Levy 01:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Far too noisy. And ugly. The Welcome to Wikipeda line is too scrunched up against the top. Zafiroblue05 02:11, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Quiet header (Draft F)

Support
  1. I think this one is the most efficient. Ashibaka tock 08:09, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose

Extra Search Bar

Support

  1. Huge Support I think this makes it far easier to find the info you want. the one on the left is not obvious enough. Also, the serach is probably the most used feature on WP. Tobyk777 04:22, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  1. Support as long as there's something right there telling people how to get the most out of it. It's finicky, and it's no use if newcomers don't get it. Black Carrot 19:59, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Oppose

Columns

Four (4) features

Support
  1. Support --HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 15:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support. violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3.   freshgavin TALK    00:19, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support. I like the four-feature setup, and we have no sixth subject. —David Levy 01:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support as above. Ashibaka tock 08:09, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. Srong support --BigBlueFish 15:31, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose

Six (6) features (including featured picture)

Support
  1. Support drumguy8800 - speak? 15:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support --Quinlan Vos 18:23, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support --Black Carrot 19:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support --Jeff8765 20:45, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support Zafiroblue05 02:12, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. Partial Support see comment below - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 20:58, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support -- Rohit 03:57, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Tobyk777 04:20, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Oppose - too much stuff. violet/riga (t) 18:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. There is no worthwhile 6th and thus this is too much. Overwhelming for basic users. Increases page load time/bandwidth.   freshgavin TALK    00:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Oppose, per the above comments. I like the four-feature setup, and we have no sixth subject. —David Levy 01:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Wikipedia Community as a 6th section doesn't make sense, because it is static. The colored sections should be updated daily. Ashibaka tock 08:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Comment
  1. I agree some of the above oppose comments, but I don't want to strike down the POTD option for those reasons alone. Perhaps people should check out User:Kmf164/Main page draft. 5 features seem feasable, and the non-updating community section stays as part of the bottom section. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 20:58, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Reference Data

I don't understand what this refers to. Can someone please explain? jnothman talk 03:53, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

This is the information at the bottom of the page — "Wikipedia's sister projects" / "Wikipedia in other languages" (and "Wikipedia community," in some versions). —David Levy 03:58, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Within a Box (Draft C)

Support
  1. Support drumguy8800 - speak? 15:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support --Quinlan Vos 18:24, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support. Neater. Zafiroblue05 02:14, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 20:53, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Pastel box creep. There's no need to distinguish this from something else on the page, if there is nothing else. Ashibaka tock 08:18, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per Ashibaka

Plain Text on a Page (Draft A, B, E)

Support
  1. Support --HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 15:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2.   freshgavin TALK    00:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Don't need too many pastel boxes. Ashibaka tock 08:11, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Oppose - Too sloppy and bare. drumguy8800 - speak? 17:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. If we want to re-do the main page, let's make it worthwhile. Harro5 20:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Oppose per drumguy.--cj | talk 17:31, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Taking a step back

Lest we plunge into another round of voting on matters of taste, let's take a step back and have a discussion about what we want from the main page and what it should contain. Layout and colour schemes are secondary, and far easier to change than the content of the page. They can and should be dealt with later.

I've constructed a framework for a structured discussion below. We may want to stop voting and archive all old comments (including this one) and work on the structured discussion. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Structured discussion

The following are identified issues related to the main page. Feel free to comment and add any new suggestions.

Functions

The main page currently performs following functions:

Welcoming users
  • Not strictly necessary, but nice and has a long tradition.Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • No reason to change this. "Welcome to Wikipedia..." has become a tagline for the site. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Navigation links for readers
  • An essential function of the main page. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Super important. The main page is the entry point for browsing topics. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Invitation for new editors to join.
  • IMO, not explicit enough now. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Also super important. The community feature can help improve how the main page does this. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Showcasing quality content
  • It's nice to show off :) Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Very important, as motivation for editors to write excellent articles and get them up to featured status. Ditto for featured pictures. Also keeps the main page fresh and interesting. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Linking to articles likely to be popular at the time
  • This helps attract attention to some articles - people are more likely to click a link to something they hear about in the media. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • ITN and OTD do this well. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Exposing articles that need work to the public
  • IMO, this is a large part of what makes Wikipedia work. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • ITN also does this, as can the portals (not all portals are equal in quality). --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Links to other Wikimedia projects
  • The English wikipedia is just one of the foundation's project. We obviously need to link to other projects. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Essential. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Content

This section is organized according to the layout on the current main page. Please add any new ideas at the bottom of the appropriate subsection, under a horizontal line (----).

Browsebar

Browsebar is the top line of text on the current main page, used for quick navigation links to finding information on Wikipedia.

Do we need this and why?
  • This has long been used for links to different ways of getting information on Wikipedia. These seem to come in two flavours - browsing tools (A-Z, categories, lists, portals, etc.) and links to meta information. Browsing tools are obviously essential, but Wikipedia-related information also needs to be readily accessable. We may want to split them into those two groups more explicitely, though. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • We should put it there if we are willing to rehaul the actual contents of that bar. (Categories are unmanageable and overwhelming; portals have information for editors, which shouldn't really be there if the portals are meant for user browing; etc.) - ElAmericano | talk 23:55, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Inclusion criteria
  • I think we should decide on a fairly constant set of links for this. They should be those that a user will both look for and find actually useful. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

FAQs
  • A meta-link to a nice page with tons of info for readers. Should stay, IMO, but should be grouped with other meta-links. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Categories
Alphabetical index
  • Essential. Should be either the first or the last in the list of browsing tools. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Ask a question
  • A nice meta-link. Should stay and be grouped with other meta-links. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Portals
  • We seem to like portals and many other browsing tools have been adapted to them. We should probably make them the primary browsing gateway. A prominent link is IMO essential, but this can also be in the portal link section. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Site news
  • I'm not sure this meta-link is necessary here. It could go to the community section that most new proposals include. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Donations
  • Again, I'm not sure that this is the right place for this link. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Almanac
Glossaries
Lists
Overviews
Introduction
  • I think this link should be in the browsebar, but I think it should be made more explicit and obvious, something like How to edit.Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Calling it "How to edit" would attract those who want to edit, but not those who are asking "What is Wikipedia?". Wikipedia:Introduction is a very nice set of pages, but should be called "Introduction to editing Wikipedia". Some people clicking something labelled introduction will want an overview of the different areas of Wikipedia, rather than to dive straight into a Wikipedia editing tutorial. Some will want to learn more about editing Wikipedia. Some will want to learn more about exploring and browsing Wikipedia (either the content of Wikipedia by the content portals or other content browsing options, or by exploring the Wikipedia community through its portal). I think you need to make the "editor 'how to' introduction" followed by "editor browsing (content and community)" and "reader 'what is this?' introduction" followed by "reader browsing (content)" entry routes into Wikipedia more explicit. Wasn't quite sure where to put these comments. Please move somewhere else if more appropriate. 194.200.237.219 16:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC) 194.200.237.219 16:36, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Links to off-screen sections of the main page
  • I think these are very useful and would like to find a way to work them in somewhere.Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Look it up

Portal links

Do we need this and why?
  • These are very useful for quick access to portals, and thus articles about a topic. Portals should be regarded as extensions of the main page. They would be much more useful if they followed a clear hierarchy, at least for the first few levels. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Portals are regarded already as Main Pages for various topic areas. They are also loosely (although imperfectly) structured by hierarchy.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Inclusion criteria
  • Same as for the browserbar links, I think we should decide on a fairly constant set of links for this. They should be those that a user will both look for and actually find useful. Topical portals linked from here should have soundly defined areas of interest. I also think that Categories, Glossaries, Overviews, Almanac and Lists should be made into portals and made available here, as a separate group. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I don't think that Categories, Alamanac etc. should be made into portals nor should they be featured on Portal:Browse. As mentioned, portals are intended as Main Pages for various topic areas.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Culture
  • Essential, but not well defined at the moment. It includes things one would expect under Society. Perhaps should be made a subportal of Society. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I disagree, outside Wikipedia the difference between Culture and Society are very well defined. I would be willing to blame 'lack of definition' on individual Wikipedia editors.   freshgavin TALK    00:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Necessary. --cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Geography
History
  • This can be usefully distinguished from society, and is very useful as a portal. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Necessary.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Mathematics
  • I'm not sure about this one - I would like it to stay, but I'm not sure how I would justify that, apart from the fact that math is really not science, but many people may expect to find it there. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
No, this one is essential. In elementary school, math and science are different subjects. They should be here, too.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 21:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
It's got nothing to do with elementary school, they're seperate throughout grade school, high school and college. They're just basically different, and they each have a wide range of things under them. Black Carrot 22:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Essential.
It does not matter how Mathematics is treated in schools, it is a science because it uses the scientific method in its research (that includes a possibility of verifying its findings and also the actual verification - peer review). However, I wouldn't bundle it with science since its position is quite unique:
- it uses the power of pure thought to solve problems,
- it is the metalanguage of science and technology,
- it is better separated and defined than any other area,
- its importance continually grows.
There is no other subject with such a unique position.
Gogino 00:23, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
People
Science
Society
  • Just as culture, this is not really well defined. Society should be made a general portal for everything related to societies and cultures, which should have Culture and Humanities as major subportals. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Again, I would disagree. See culture.   freshgavin TALK    00:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Technology
  • Essential. Could be grouped into a common parent article with science, but preferably not. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Art
  • This, strictly speaking, is a subportal of Culture, but I can see good sides in its inclusion. Not sure on this one. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
As most (or much) of culture IS art I believe they deserve to be keps separate.   freshgavin TALK    00:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Health
  • I'm not sure if this is the right portal for the browsebar, but IMO we need a directly acessable portal with articles about the human animal. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Absolutely un-necessary.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Philosophy
  • As for maths, I have no good arguments, but I think this shouldn't be here. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe there is the need for a top-leve portal relating to religion, philosophy, etc.   freshgavin TALK    00:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Politics
Humanities
  • We don't have this, or at least I haven't found it, but I think it's an obvious link that readers will look for. It could be great as a top-level portal. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't believe 'humanities' is as popular a top-level search as the ones already there.   freshgavin TALK    00:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Categories
  • This should be made into a portal and made accessable from here. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Category portal? Do I hear you right? Ashibaka tock 08:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Not a portal.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Why do we have so many separate trees in the first place? Is it just that people couldn't agree on one organization system? Black Carrot 20:04, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Almanac
  • This should be made into a portal and made accessable from here. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Not a portal, nor could it be.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Glossaries
  • This should be made into a portal and made accessable from here. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Not a portal.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Why not? Black Carrot 20:04, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Lists
  • This should be made into a portal and made accessable from here. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Not a portal.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Why not? Black Carrot 20:04, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Overviews
  • This should be made into a portal and made accessable from here. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Not a portal.--cj | talk 17:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

The welcome message

Do we need this and why?
  • We don't really need it, but it's one of our great traditions, plus it's very nice. It should stay. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
How about rephrasing it the way the French wikipedia does [4]? "Bienvenue sur Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre, gratuite et multilingue que chacun peut améliorer

228840 articles en français, plus de 3 millions dans 212 langues [link to www.wikipedia.org]". If my French is up to scratch, that says: "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, free of charge and multilingual that anyone can edit. 228,840 articles in French, more than 3 million in 212 languages." I would incorporate aspects of this as follows: "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. There are more than 3 million articles in over 200 languages. This is Wikipedia's English language portal, started in 2001, where we are working on 933,872 articles." 194.200.237.219 18:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

  • This is somewhat redundant (it's in the logo and at the top of every page for most people), but it does complete the message nicely. I'd like it to stay. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Word. Black Carrot 23:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
It's pretty much Wikipedia's official slogan, or as close as there is to one.   freshgavin TALK    23:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
...that anyone can edit.
  • Again, essential, but IMO should be changed to written by its readers. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
written by its readers sounds like it may imply a more inward-facing structure, and though strange I wouldn't be suprised if there's many 'writers' who don't in fact 'read' Wikipedia. anyone can edit is general and easy to understand.   freshgavin TALK    23:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Technically, to be able to edit Wikipedia, you also have to speak one of the languages it is offered in. At least to edit in any meaningful way. 194.200.237.219 18:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Right, but if you can't read the language, you can't read that guarantee, can you? So it doesn't much matter. Black Carrot 21:20, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
In this English version...
  • We need to make it clear that this is only one of the many Wikipedias. If we drop this, we need to provide a replacement to perform the same function. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Seems to imply to me that it is one of several _English_ versions. Also, "version" doesn't sound quite right. There is translation between the different language Wikipedias, but they are not really versions of each other. They are separate entities. How about "This is an English language encyclopedia, started in 2001. We are currently working on...". Breaks it up into two punchy sentences and loses the misleading "versions" bit. The other languages bit is important, but that function can be filled by having a separate, prominent "other languages" link to www.wikipedia.org [5]. 194.200.237.219 17:07, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Are you really 'misled' by this? It seems perfectly clear to me. Black Carrot 21:20, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
It's a good point. I don't think it needs to be there, but it shouldn't be "version" anyway. --24.26.178.224 21:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
...started in 2001...
  • It's nice to have this piece of info in the header, but I'm not sure it's essential. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I always read this as meaning that there were versions that started before 2001, and that there may be versions started after 2001. That is, I suppose technically correct (Nupedia and future forks spring to mind), but it is not clear that this is what it means, and there is no need for it to imply this. 194.200.237.219 17:12, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • No. Useless trivia. This information is not hard to look up. Someone may find it interesting, but everyone else has to sift through this answer to a question they never asked to delve into Wikipedia. And what exactly does "since 2001" convey? To the new-user, I'd argue it makes the project seem like an infant. It shouldn't be there just for pride reasons. --24.26.178.224 21:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
...we are currently working on zillions of articles.
  • The number of articles needs to stay, but it can be worded differently, AFAIC. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Features

"Features" are the boxes that take up the bulk of the main page, and which are mostly changed daily. These are the daily featured article (FA), Did you know (DYK), In the news (ITN) and Selected aniversaries (SA). The main questions are how many to include and how to organize them.

4 features
  • The currently used format with DYK and POTD switching on weekends/weekdays. I find this acceptable. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Four features, with DYK and POTD alternating is acceptable to me, given the formatting problems with trying to have 5 features and should six features be overwhelming for people with smaller screens or using mobile devices. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
5 features
  • This has repeatedly proven to be too difficult to lay out. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Concur with Zocky. We haven't figured out a good way to layout five features. Though, if someone comes up with a brilliant solution for five features, I'd entertain the idea. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
6 features
  • We don't really have 6 features at this moment. Unless we have a useful 6th feature, this shouldn't be done. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I like it. It feels nice on the page. Also, it gives a place for something we can't fit in the header (like the community links, maybe), and when we do get a sixth feature, it won't be hard to integrate. Black Carrot
I think it should be dealt with when there is a real need for expansion of features. Right now it's just wasted bandwidth.   freshgavin TALK    00:39, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm okay with 6 features, so long as it works adequately well on small screens and mobile devices. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Featured article
  • Essential, should stay right where it is. My only concern is that blurbs tend to be rather long, which makes the FA box too bulky. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe it's the most viewed and most important feature, thus its prominent position and large (but acceptable) size.   freshgavin TALK    00:39, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Concur with Zocky. This is essential, though if the blurb can be slightly shorter, I think that would help make six features fit better on the main page. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    • I believe a possible solution was on the original first draft, though that seems to have disappeared slightly. Keep the first paragraph (doesn't have to be a whole paragraph - any amount that works) the regular font size and make the rest of the blurb a smaller font size - so about half of the blurb is in each font size. It gets more text in the same space, and can look better as well. Zafiroblue05 02:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
In the news
  • Brilliant for getting editor attention on currently interesting stories. Should stay where it is. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • This is important to demonstrate a key advantage of Wikipedia over Britannica (that Wikipedia is up-to-date and quickly updated). Plus, it keeps the main page fresh and interesting. ITN is updated more than once a day, as news breaks. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Did you know...
  • Great for getting attention to new articles. Most new proposals group it with FA, which is how it should be. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • This encourages people to participate in Wikipedia, with the "start a new article" link. Though, as Wikipedia nears 1,000,000 articles, the "new" articles may be on increasingly obscure topics and the DYK facts also quite obscure. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Selected anniversaries...
  • Should be renamed to "On this day". Essential, but often lack geographical and topical dispersion. Most new proposals group them with ITN, which is the natural place for them. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the selected anniversaries wording is used because of the lack of accurate dates for some historical events. It gives the impression that 'this date has been chosen' rather than 'it actually, really happened on this day'.   freshgavin TALK    23:36, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I like this feature, always interesting. "On this day" might be a better name for it, but "selected anniversaries..." is okay. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Picture of the day
  • Nice, but not really essential. IMO, it shouldn't be one of our priority concerns. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I really would like this to be included, as this adds more visual appeal to the main page. It also encourages people to contribute great images (photos, diagrams...). --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Community feature
  • For a long time there was a community box on the main page, which took up the whole right column in the table. It was much like a condensed modern community portal. This had many good sides, so I wouldn't mind getting it back. It can be made quite prominent as far as I'm concerned. But, this will make sense only if it's regularly updated and genuinely useful. If we're just looking for a place to provide useful links, we should do that in a separate section, or provide a prominent link to the community portal. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The Spanish Wikipedia has a "Participate in Wikipedia" feature. I think this is essential, and the community feature can fit this need. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Community links section

Do we need this and why?
  • If we don't go for a full community feature, we should use this. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • This is good for now to fill the sixth feature and provide needed links to encourage participation in Wikipedia. Though, we can always improve this feature. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • No no no no no no no no no. The community section on all the drafts that have one is wrong! I have a feeling this is going to be a tough one to persuade to the community to which it refers, but it gives far too much emphasis to the community. Jimbo has repeatedly stressed that the community is a means to the ends of writing an encyclopedia; Wikipedia is not the community. The introductory sentence is just too distracting from the primary purpose of the encyclopedia. As for the links, at first I was all for keeping them in a condensed form, but looking at them, I think they are almost all redundant as per my comments below... --BigBlueFish 16:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Inclusion criteria

---

The Community Portal
  • Yes, this is the essential place that encourages participation. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • It's in the main navigation bar. Its title is pretty self-explanatory. And to be honest, once you're there, you have all the other links to this section. BigBlueFish 16:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The Help Desk
  • This is useful. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • First point of call on the Questions link; also linked to on the Help link. BigBlueFish 16:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The Reference Desk
  • Okay to include. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Same prominence as Help Desk. BigBlueFish 16:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The Village Pump
  • Essential. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Another on the list of where to ask a question. Hold on a second, is Main Page being merged with the Community Portal? BigBlueFish 16:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The Signpost
  • This is good to include, though "The Signpost" ... maybe another more obvious title such as "Wikipedia News". --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • WP:NEWS already exists, and is linked to at the top by the News link. I don't think the Signpost is official and definitive enough to appear here. BigBlueFish 16:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Donations
  • This doesn't belong here, but rather in the side navigation bar and top header. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Second that. BigBlueFish 16:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Other languages

Do we need this and why?
  • These must be easily accessable. I think that a section at the bottom of the main page is the right place for them. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Inclusion criteria
  • We need to strike a balance between the number of links displayed and the need to provide links to sister projects. I think that we should aim to display about 20-30 other languages and provide a link to a page with others. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I think how other languages are presented on the current page is okay, with all the languages rather than show/hide for languages with over 1000 articles. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Other concerns
  • The languages need to be alphabetized consistently and logically. I would prefer ordering them by their English names. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Separated by "over 100,000", "over 10,000", and "over 1,000", then alphabetized (as done on the current main page). --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Sister projects

Do we need this and why?
  • These must be easily accessable. I think that a section at the bottom of the main page is the right place for them. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, we need these links. How they are done on the current page, and in all the drafts is fine. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:07, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Layout considerations

This is the section for general discussion of issues that should be considered in the main page layout. Specific graphic solutions will be dealt with later.

Small screens
  • IMO, everything needs to look acceptable on anything down to 800x600. This limits the size of various elements, like the browser bar. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with Zocky about the small screen issue. Also what about mobile devices? I'm okay with six featured items, so long as the formatting works well with smaller screens. --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:07, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Overwhelming the reader
  • My main concern is with the quantity of text in features. They should be made shorter so that other links don't lose on their prominence. Brevity is golden, IMO. Zocky | picture popups 20:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    • The POTD could have just a title (maybe a brief caption), and photo credit. DYK could be slightly shorter, and ITN could also be slightly shorter (with items rotated through more frequently). --Aude (talk | contribs) 01:05, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Intro

Why is the intro linked to via the anyone can edit? It's too unclear. --hello, i'm a member | talk to me! 21:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

That's how it is on the current MP.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 21:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Presumably because the intro is about editing? Black Carrot 23:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
The fact that anyone can edit Wikipedia is the most surprising, and it's a jumping-off point for getting a reader involved. This is a good place to link to the Introduction. Ashibaka tock 19:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

New draft (Draft D)

Based upon the above comments, I've compiled a new draft that incorporates elements from the other drafts:

User:David Levy/Main2

  • Color scheme: green/blue (like drafts A, B and F) + purple (similar to drafts C and E)
  • Header: small, white (like drafts A and B)
  • Number of features: 4 (like drafts A, E, F, and G) 5 (including featured picture)
  • Feature heading style: small, self-contained (like drafts C and E)
  • Reference data: within a box (like draft C)

Please let me know what you think. —David Levy 03:41/03:51, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I quite like this design. jnothman talk 04:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Looks nice. I like it and think we're reaching a consensus. The main outstanding issue is the 5th (or 6th) feature, POTD. I have just made an attempt at adding POTD as a 5th feature (User:Kmf164/Main page draft), by:
  1. Shrinking POTD
  2. Swapping DYK and OTD (this could be switched back)
  3. We might want to make DYK slightly smaller (one fewer item, but updated more often)
  4. Today's featured article could show some more text to balance the left column (and/or list one more OTD item)
Do you think this might work, or any thoughts on how this looks. --Aude (talk | contribs) 05:24, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Coincidentally, I've been working on a five-feature version of my own (without having read the above). I saved it in the same location: User:David Levy/Main2David Levy 06:40, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Having the picture of the day below the text columns is very smart. Good work with that. Ashibaka tock 08:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
In response to Kmf's 5-feature attempt: I was impressed, but I think that's about as much featured article text as anyone has the attention span for (it also seems to intentionally fit the heading of OTD onto common screen sizes), so we are left with the whitespace below OTD. I think that David's solution is quite brilliant, the only problem being that it pushes the Reference stuff further down and because the ref stuff has white background, makes that seem less significant. jnothman talk 10:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
1. Despite the inclusion of an additional box and considerably more text, my version actually pushes the reference section down less. Here's a side-by-side comparison:
I took the screen captures in Firefox ("normal" text size, full screen) in the 1280x1024 resolution. With different settings, the difference can be much greater than that.
2. All of the drafts (except for the unpopular draft G) use a white background for the reference section. The idea is to use colored backgrounds only for the featured content (not the static information). —David Levy 12:04/12:51, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I like your integration of the design concepts and your inclusion of all the features. I like this draft as much as Draft B and C above. Plus it puts the static (community) information back down at the bottom of the page where it belongs. However, you might want to go through the talk archives of previous rounds (and the tallies), as I think we got negative feedback on this configuration. And I remember a number of requests for placing the picture higher up on the page, and there was lots of criticism on "too many colors". But this draft looks much better than previous attempts at the 5-feature configuration (which had 5 colors). Just a thought, but one thing we could do is get feedback on this cool design right away: since Draft D was withdrawn above, this draft could be inserted as a "new entry" in Draft D's slot, to see what kind of feedback it gets. Good job, David. --Go for it! 12:44, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks very much for your praise. I obviously wish to solicit feedback, and I wouldn't mind placing my draft alongside the others (provided that its late listing is kept in mind). Perhaps a fresh letter assignment (H) would be better. —David Levy 13:06, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

By the way, I've heard back from the project leaders at Did you know, and they are ready and willing to extend its coverage to weekends. I was waiting to see if their spiritual leader (and driving force) "nixie" supported the idea before reporting here, and she does. So the path has been cleared on that front. --Go for it! 12:44, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the main point here is that 5 features are feasible. Your solution for five features looks very nice and I'm impressed. With mine, it would take adjusting the amount of text in the other features, to balance the two columns. If that's what people want, we can work on it. I don't really have a preference, either way. --Aude (talk | contribs) 14:44, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I like this one best. When can we vote on it? :) Her Pegship 15:56, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

You can vote on it right now. I've added it as a new entry above (it's now Draft D), and have changed my vote to it as well. --Go for it! 23:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

This one doesn't update automatically. Not any reason to oppose it (I like its cousin, below, better, which also doesn't update) but this of course needs to be fixed sooner or later.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 23:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Draft c is the best

Draft c is the best, it has a little bit of everything, it even has picture of the day, and it just looks more neater than everything else.--WikiJake 04:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I tend to agree. Banez 13:38, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

This isn't the voting section. I've added these votes to Draft C in the voting section above. --Go for it! 23:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I prefer Draft E

I like the links on the top of the page to allow users to go to specific parts of the site; it's clean and organised and i think it's very clear.

Thanks: Tom

This isn't the voting section. I've added this vote to Draft E in the voting section above. --Go for it! 23:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Another new draft (Draft H)

User:Zafiroblue05/Draft

Basically, I've taken everything from User:David Levy's very nice draft, except for the header, which comes from the Italian version, modified slightly (no more garish yellow).

  • Color scheme: blue/green as in A/B
  • Features box style: as in C/E
  • Header: as in Italian (G), but removal of yellow
  • Reference data: within a box (as in C)
  • Five features, as in User:David Levy/Main2 (though it could easily be changed to 4 or 6)

This would probably be my ideal choice for a main page, though it'd be nice to have a real quality 6th feature... As to the search box in the header - I think it's absolutely essential to have in the header, regardless of the minor redundancy. Searching is the best and easiest way to access information on WP, and a search box needs to be prominent. As to the Portals, I think this layout - a straight line - is much more aesthetic than the boxy setup of Drafts A and B. Zafiroblue05 20:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Snazzy. Of all the ones I've seen so far, I'd say this is my top choice. Black Carrot 21:34, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Incorporates all the aspects we've wanted. I went ahead and tweaked it a little but now my only concern is the search box. The "Go" button overlaps the grey line, even when I fiddle with my window size. Is this the style? Without the portals on the bar there, we can easily nudge it inwards...if I knew how. Over all, I love it.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 22:02, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

One other small knit pick: We had a magnifiying glass in header background, like the book, just on the left. With the search box back in place, I think it's appropriate to put that in and balance it.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 22:04, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I personally like the Browse bar below the WP heading (I think it looks more balanced), so on my draft I'm going to keep it like that for now. If this draft goes beyond just my userspace, obviously a consensus on whether to put it below or above the main header is needed. As to the magnifying glass, one can see what it looks like here. Basically, it looks fine with the yellow background, but when you switch it to white, it stays gray-ish and looks a little ugly. If anyone knows how to change it too look like the book (where the book itself is grayish, but what's behind it is white), please go ahead and fix it. For now, though, the draft looks cleaner without it. Finally, the Go button does not overlap the grey line for me, and I agree it would look rather ugly. I don't know why it overlaps for you, and am concerned it does the same for others. Like you, I'm rather inept with the code (I only made the magnifying glass disappear with adding "background-position: 0% 20%;" to its code, and don't know why that works). I can figure out how to nudge the stuff on the left in or out, and I know how to make the search box itself wider or smaller, but I don't know how to move the whole thing. Any help from someone actually knowledgeable would be much appreciated. Zafiroblue05 23:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I can fix that. Point me to the image (I'm very inept at the markup code).--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 23:59, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
That's the problem - it's not a regular image tag. The magnifying glass image is called "EnWpMpSearch2." Switching the code to "EnWpMpSearch" makes it yellow instead of grey. But as to how to access the image itself - I don't know. Zafiroblue05
Putting "Image:" before it doesn't work...well, it was worth a try...--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 00:39, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
The code for the background images is found at MediaWiki:Common.css. User:Tom- put it there for his initial redesign. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 00:52, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I've explained this in more detail on the Help Desk. jnothman talk 01:24, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
The magnifying glass image with the gray background was left over from one of my previous attempts. I created an appropriate version and added it to the draft. —David Levy 01:39, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I actually prefer the header look in David Levy's latest draft, but will deal with it either way. jnothman talk 01:24, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I've added this to the voting section above, as Draft H. --Go for it! 23:22, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Insane project

This project has gone insane? There is no structure to this page or production *at all*. When does voting stop? When is a consensus reached? And if we're going to "vote" or do things according to "community consensus," shouldn't there be some way to access this from the front page, which is what's getting redesigned? I propose we contact administration, create a very clean voting sheet for drafts, set a 14-day voting period (as is FPC Nominations), and get this thing on and out of here. I'm not sure how voting would work, per drafts.. as some people might like certian aspects of multiple drafts. We've advanced far enough though.. if further improvements need to be made, they can be made after the "new" main page is published. Propose creating Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft/Voting and establishing the following voting categories (or let people vote on drafts):

  • Colors
  • Header
  • # of Content Sections (6 or 4)
  • Picture of the Day
    • Integrated in a column
    • or Has its own "double-wide" column

I may be completely off base here, this may just be part of the growing process and we might have steps planned after this.. in terms of adding more features / doing something else radically new. Otherwise, I think we're ready. drumguy8800 - speak? 05:45, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

You seem to have misunderstood the situation. We aren't voting to determine a new main page. We're attempting to create a draft that eventually can serve as a candidate for that purpose. It was stated on Saturday (and remains stated at the top of the page) that this discussion period will continue until January 28th (after which point we'll resume our active collaboration), but feedback will remain welcome throughout the process. Only when we have a version that generates relatively little opposition (which is even more important than the amount of active support) will we be ready to advance to the final stages. We appear to be getting very close. —David Levy 14:52, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Header problem

I just noticed that the header from draft H contains the same bug that's present in earlier versions (including draft G): a broken book image when viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6. Zocky eliminated this problem by introducing a different type of coding (present in drafts A, B and D). I attempted to adapt the IE-compatible setup (by replacing the portal links with the search box and magnifying glass image), but I was unsuccessful. Can someone else please do this? (I've also posted this request on Zocky's talk page.) —David Levy 17:15, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Voting template on the main page

Go for it! - I noticed that you're asking a bunch of admins to put the voting template (currently on Talk:Main page) on the main page, itself. This discussion page has become confusing and I think we first need to archive this page, particularly all the arguments amongst ourselves. I think just 4/5 feature designs that we came up with more recently should be presented, as these seem to be a compromise based on comments on the earlier drafts (A, B, C, ...). We could also ask a few key questions, such as header style preferences (search box vs. portal links)? --Aude (talk | contribs) 19:01, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Another key question is which portal links to put on the main page. --Aude (talk | contribs) 19:02, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
We could possibly refactor the above discussion into:
And summarize what the key objections or comments were for each. This is important, rather than just archiving so that people know the votes and comments have for sure counted in the discussion. --Aude (talk | contribs) 19:09, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Trying to emphasize with those who have voted so far, I would think that they might get upset if we erased their (or any) votes mid-election. I strongly advise not touching anybody's vote, and keeping all candidate drafts that have received votes in place. Adding latecomers to the race is fine, but manipulating the race by erasing votes isn't -- doing that would look BAD and would be BAD. I doubt such a move would be received well by most of those who have voted so far nor by those who read about it later. So we don't really have a choice but to protect the votes until the election is over. --Go for it! 22:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Also, when the notice goes go on the Main Page, the election might be extended (I left that up to the discretion of administration, rather than changing it myself). Note that I notified the Signpost and Jimbo too. So we've got to be on our best behavior, because everyone is or soon will be watching. --Go for it! 22:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't entirely consider this an election (at this point), but rather a discussion and gathering feedback. The way the page is structured is confusing, and there are too many different things to vote for (drafts, comment on the drafts, design elements, function of the design, etc.). All these things are important for feedback, so let's not remove them. Let this round of voting/feedback go until the weekend. An election would be a much more formal process, as HereToHelp mentions. At that point, we would need a clean page with the choices narrowed down (and taking into consideration the many great comments and suggestions we're getting here). --Aude (talk | contribs) 22:58, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I think we should clear/archive the discussion area, while keeping the voting area completely intact. We need to make a decision on this very soon, because notice could be hitting the Main Page at any time. --Go for it! 22:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

While we're still working on a draft, we should keep this on the talk page. When we move into a final draft and have a strict vote on it vs. the current Main Page, then we'll put a notcice on the Community Portal and watchlists: just like the ArbCom elections.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 22:10, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Just want to make sure we don't move too fast. And, when we are ready for a more formal vote, we might want to archive the page, summarize the discussions, and document how the new design offers improved usability ... --Aude (talk | contribs) 22:36, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Concerning proper notice, the official policy for changing the Main Page, that is just as informal as for any other page, is covered in the instructions at the top of the Main Page's talk page. Those basically state that all discussion concerning the layout of the Main Page (and its everchanging templates) and its content go on the Main Page's talk page. That has been extended to here by the placing of notices (which I have been keeping up-to-date for weeks, since the beginning of Round 2) at the top of that page. Prior to that, this project's notices have been posted there for months. --Go for it! 22:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

We've gone way beyond merely "working on a draft". There is no single final draft, and that's why this turned into an election: because there are so many designs to choose from. This is a full-blown election, and we should be loath to treat it in any other way. We cannot merely disregard the process now. We are responsible to those who have voted so far, and to those who are going to vote. We need to let the election run its course. People are not going to be happy with us if we disregard this process and their votes. --Go for it! 22:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Because of this, we need to touch up and make fully operational whichever draft wins, place it on the Main Page, and then move Round 7, along with its planned discussion of specific elements, to the Main Page's talk page (a seperate talk page about elements would be totally redundant to the Main Page's talk page, which is the official location for such discussion). See the instructions at the top of the Main Page's talk page. If you'd prefer to run another draft round, further elections are not precluded by this one, and can be held after this one is over. But we really need to acknowlege and support the prevailing vote of this election. --Go for it! 22:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I think we need another round of refinements and improvements to the drafts, based on all the great feedback, suggestions, and comments here. These are already being incorporated into new drafts (D + H). And, sure there is an 'official' policy for changing the main page. But, this is a bit more significant and in my opinion, deserves a more formal vote process, like Arb Com. elections. --Aude (talk | contribs) 23:05, 24 January 2006 (UTC)