Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft/Talk archive for drafts 1 and 2

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Go / Search options

I don't know about anyone else but I greatly prefer the 'search' button to the 'go' button. Why does the top search bar only have one?

- I for one prefer the go button, it allows you to go directly to the site you want, rather than having to decide which of the less relevant links you might want. If you need to search, you press search - but it would be good for the top search bar to have both as well. In fact, when the main page is really modefied, there should only be one search bar. - User:Fresheneesz
- My take on this is that the top box is redundant and targets new visitors, and if they have trouble noticing the search bar in the left nav, they are also more likely to be nothing more than confused by 2 button options. By not leaving two options on the top search box, we are not necessarily eliminating the functionality, just choosing to not also duplicate it there. --Somnlaut 12:09, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that there should be only 1 button on the top search bar, but since it's targeting (intentional or not) new users, I think search would be more benefitial. New users aren't going to have concerns like Fresheneesz stated (it allows you to go directly to the site you want) and rather are just exploring and would probably benifit from the added leniency that the search button gives.   freshgavin TALK    00:57, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
- The "go" button is fine on the main page, but you should keep it on every other page. kpwa_gok 2:11CST Dec. 15

The Go button is stuffed up... if I get some time tonight I will fix it up (using Epiphany (web browser) on a 1600x1200 screen)

Redundant search box?

Perhaps I am nitpicking but is it a good idea to have two functionally identical search boxes on the main page? Does that enhance its "usability"?

I do like the addition of the number of pages above the search box though. Does that dynamically update? Jasongetsdown 17:47, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

The idea is to make the search box the very first thing a user sees. Make it unmissable, although without making the Main Page look like Google. It's in a pretty unusual place halfway down the page on the left, and I've seen people simply not see it. And yes, the article count updates exactly the same as the current Main Page. Tom- 18:03, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
It is an unusual place. I also just noticed that the picture for "did you know" is clinging to the top of the box rather than floating like the others (I'm in IE 6.0, WinXP). I'd try to fix it but I'm utterly confused and intimidated by the code and I don't want to do more harm than good.
And while I'm here, I do like the new layout idea. You've made it much more understandable at-a-glance. A nice polishing of the current layout, evolutionary change is good. Jasongetsdown 18:17, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I like the search box at the top, easier to find, and agree that the second search box (the original one over to the left) probably isn't needed any more. Dave Bergt, Houston, TX

I doubt that it would be a good idea to discard the search box on the left side of the page. If it was discarded, what would a person do if they were on a specific article, and wanted to search from there? In this case, they'd have to go back to the main page. Nigelquinine 04:35, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Erp... see what you mean about the did you know image, that's a new bug (and intermittent - it vanishes when you resize IE). Will look into it. Thanks for your comments, Tom- 18:55, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Fixed the bug. Tom- 18:59, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
The search bar is in an unusual place, but this can be fixed by coloring, and other things that visually draw ones attention. I think it is a bad idea to have the top search bar, since people should be able to easily find the side search bar (since it is on every page while the top search bar is not) - Fresheneesz
Perhaps we should put the side searchbox on the bottom of those menusets (under the Toolbox). This way it wouldn't be so redundant and wouldn't also look so strange (breaking the menuset flow)

I like the yellow highlighting for new users sakes. Would it be possible to give the default search form (on the left) a similar yellow highlighting, on just the main page, and then remove the one from at top? --Quiddity 03:41, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I really like that idea. I think highlighting the search box on the main page is an excellent idea. it would bring attention to that space the next time the newbie wants to find something and train him to use the search box. danhash 20:01, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I really don't see a problem with having the search box in both places: I feel the main page search needs a more obvious location (the yellow area), and it still needs to keep the standard search box that each user sees on every page. This may be a way to "introduce" users to the interface they see around the site. --Aubray1741 12:51, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that it'd be beneficial to have both search boxes, but only if they shared a common theme (e.g. were highlighted in yellow) so that there was an obvious visual link between the two. Tchalvak 05:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Asthetics, theme, and HTML vs wiki code

Despite my initial doubts, I am very impressed with this redesign. It is more intuitive than the current design. On the other hand, there are some issues I'd like to clarify/clear up.

  1. Can the HTML coding be made more wiki coding?
  2. Can templates be implemented along the current scheme, or will changes be necessary?
  3. Can the yellow border around the search box be made to go the entire way round, to achieve consistency?
  4. Is it possible to make more aesthetic headers for "Sister projects" and "Other languages"?

Otherwise, I am very impressed. Well done!

[[Sam Korn]] 19:52, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

  1. Yes, some of it can be replaced with wikitext.
  2. Maybe a template added for the browse bar, the others would just have to switch their design.
  3. That's how I had it originally, it seems to make the page look really boxy somehow.
  4. Probably, but I can't think of how.
Thanks, Tom- 20:40, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Looks great, I'm impressed, about time. - ElAmericano | talk 13:42, Friday, March 23, 2018 (UTC)

It's much more user-friendly and the background images make it look professional, instead of thrown-together. The large-tiny text of the featured article box is a little annoying though.--Zxcvbnm 00:43, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

It looks good I like it 00:59, 3 November @005 (UTC) Caleb Napier

I really like this new, improved version, however the right sidebar seems to cramp in on the main text if the page is not taking up the full width of my screen. Is there no where else to put that stuff? Or maybe this just means people shouldn't put so much darned junk on the main page? :) - JustinWick 23:49, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

i'm currently using opera 9 on winxp and that sidebar moves down underneath those two columns if the window is resized smaller.danhash 20:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

extra column

The extra column will probably look great larger resolutions, but on 800x600 it makes for a very cluttered look and the search bar overlaps into the new right column. --MarSch 13:11, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

this problem is reinforced by the wide space between columns and on the sides. --MarSch 11:03, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

"Featured" Section and Bottom Sections

1. The Featured Picture could do to be bigger. It's not too noticeable for the one on the page at the moment, but for a lot of pictures having it at that size would make it next to useless. Would it be possible to put that in one of the other columns and have either Sister Projects or Other Languages going down the side?

2. I don't like having two font sizes on the Featured Article - it just doesn't look right. Also (and I'll concede this should possibly be directed somewhere else) I think it would be better to have one brief self contained paragraph outlining the topic rather than just re-printing the start of the article.

3. The bottom sections (Sister Projects and Other Languages) are in a different style to the rest of the page. I'm not sure if it would look better if they weren't, but I just thought I'd mention it.

4. Generally I think it looks much nicer than the current main page and doesn't seem to lose anything important. Good show!

--Cherry blossom tree 14:33, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

2. I can see a rationale for haveing a smaller second paragraph but the text doesn't render particularly well at that size (firefox 1.07, Mac OSX). Neither do the italics under Did You Know for that matter (they look particularly bad). Jasongetsdown 02:39, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

What if the 'Featured Picture' was at the top right (above Browse Wikipedia)? Just a suggestion. --Robby 04:00, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

i agree that the feaured picture should be bigger and more prominent. how about under the featured article and above did you know? you could add an extra cell and fill it with the featured picture danhash 20:08, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

White Space Lineup

Is there anyway of getting the whitespace between featured article and did you know to line up with the white space between in the news and on this day? You wouldn't have to limit the space of the box, just line it up and place the overlap in "blue" or "green" space. Also you could line up all the bottom of the boxes with the Browse box--Rayc 18:26, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't think such a change would help the layout from a useability or asthetic point of view. Aligning the boxes with one another will cause them to read less as individual segments of the page and more as part of an overall format. To put it differently, the individual alignments allow your eye to pick up the organization of the page in an instant. Different sizes denote different types of content.
Note that on the current main page sections are agglomerated for no reason. There are left and right columns which serve a clear purpose but for some reason each column holds two distinct sections. Its a logical move to further break down the layout. Jasongetsdown 02:40, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Current content?

I love the layout and the featured picture(lucky the balloon isnt hydrogen/hot air hybrid) and the did you know...Thanks-Pokedude

Wikipedia link

I have said this before, but I'll say it again: I believe we absolutely should not make the "Wikipedia" in "Welcome to Wikipedia" link to the Wikipedia article. It makes zero sense in the grand scheme of things.

Reasons include:

  1. The user has just arrived at Wikipedia. How can there be a link to Wikipedia? It makes no sense. Think about it from the perspective of a new user.
  2. The end destination of the link is not obvious. It's another question-mark that the user has to think about.
  3. No other sites do it. It isn't a custom. They maybe have an "about us" link, which is what we could possibly do.
  4. It detracts from the link to Wikipedia:Introduction - a short guide to Wikipedia, which then links on to the full article.

People have disagreed before, but I believe it's for the best, just to make things as simple as possible, with as few links as we can get away with. Thanks, Tom- 23:13, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I see your points, but I have to disagree. For starters, you say "No other sites do it". Do many other sites let random people edit random pages at random? We're different. -- user:zanimum
Sorry, but being different just for the sake of it is not a very convincing argument either. I have to agree that linking to the Wikipedia article right away is not very useful, since Wikipedia:Introduction is the intended page were new users can get information about the project in a not too overwhelming way. The Wikipedia article is simply too long for an introduction and may be full of irrelevant information from a new user POV. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ | Esperanza 16:54, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Except we shouldn't be any different to other sites for most users. For people who just want an encyclopedia for to browse or to find information, Wikipedia should be no different to any other major website. Don't try to reinvent the wheel just for the sake of "being different". Tom- 21:38, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Well said Tom, I couldn't agree more. It makes no sense if you think of it from a user perspective. It's pointless and confusing.

Perhaps the whole Welcome to Wikipedia statement could be pipelinked to a page specificly for newcomers, rather than just the article defining Wikipedia. As was stated above, Wikipedia:Introduction (or something similar) would be of much more use to a freshly confused newcomer. While it may be partially counter-intuitive for a newbie to see "Welcome to Wikipedia" as a hyperlink and click on it; I think it would serve more purpose than leaving it as static text and serve more purpose than linking directly to just the Wikipedia article. Pylon 17:17, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

- It is kind of strange to have a link to look up wikipedia, in the wikipedia, you should have to search it, not be linked to it form the homepage. Oddities like this can give newcomers the wrong impression of wikipedia, making it seem trivial.

Sister Projects

Some of Wikipedia's sister projects are *huge* endevours and large sites of their own. However, there is, as of yet, no page that makes them a main focus. People comming to wikipedia should see that there are large projects like wikimedia, wiktionary, wikibooks, etc. I think that all of (or at least the most useful) sister projects should appear prominantly at the top of the page so that people can easily visit them. Also, it would be extremely useful (but only perhaps slighly cumbersome) to have a search bar for some of the sister sites right next to their name. - Fresheneesz

The list of sister projects would look nicer if it were horizontal (or at least fit on one page), so that you could see all of them quickly without having to scroll so much. Smmurphy 19:19, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
What about adding a "sister projects" section to the side nav bar, instead? It could be located below toolbox and bear links directly to the various projects. This would portray the projects the level of importance Fresheneesz indicated they deserve. This would also keep less "clutter" on the main page and be one less box/table to throw in there. Pylon 17:21, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
The images should link to the web site, not the image. If someone wants the image, the link should be on the web site once he clicks the link.
Yeah, but that breaks the way that Wikipedia works for every image. It's not just those little icons that don't link to their represented target. I say keep it the way that it works across the board for consistencies sake. Pylon 21:13, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
I think the languages and sister projects should be flattened out as on the current page. The Jade Knight 07:43, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I think the sister projects links would look a lot better if they were each in a box with a light background color and 1px border. they look kind of sloppy now, plus it would make them stand out a bit more and look cleaner. danhash 20:27, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Start with smaller color changes

I would start with slightly smaller changes -- don't change color or div-layout unnecessarily, and focus on the content.

In particular :

  • keep the current basic layout for the 4 main text components -- only one pink and one blue-background div, both aligned top and bottom;
  • add a lighter-color "categories" div along the RHS, with a light grayscale background image
  • use no border or background color for the intro text and search-bar at top (perhaps a light grayscale background image and very light border).
  • don't change the layout of "sister projects" and "other languages". This is a point of preference, and the current layout works just fine.
    +sj +
There is some discussion on this point at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Usability/Main_Page#Some_considerations... with the resulting Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft2 - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 18:10, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

I would remove all the color backgrounds. An outline is enough. The human eye is very good at picking up a just noticable difference. The bold black headline, the grid layout, white space between boxes, and a box outline, provide plenty of indication that each section is not connected to the other. The colors are distracting and not useful.

  • Don't use pastel colors either. Use different bold colors, one for each section, which are only in strips behind each section header (like behind "Article of the day" header). Could also use the color to outline the section box. P-unit 04:48, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Sister projects/Other languages

Just my viewpoint, but personally I don't feel the side-by-side Sister projects and Other languages works with the rest of the page's layout - I feel it would be better to have these sections as they are in the old version, one on top of the other. Other than that, this is a very nice design. --Sum0 23:26, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree. In addition, I feel the 1,000+ group should be reincluded. The Jade Knight 07:44, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Slight alignment problem

In my opinion, it looks like right edge of the the "Welcome to Wikipedia" box should be horizontally aligned with the "In the news" and "On this day..." boxes. Is there a reason for the current spacing layout? - ElAmericano 05:32, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree. It does look a little odd, but if this is changed then there should be whitespace within the coloured boxes when one column is longer than the other, not between the coloured boxes. Andrew_pmk | Talk 20:50, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
i think the amount of whitespace between the boxes is perfect, however i do think the heading should line up. you could add a few extra pixels to the width of those two columns to make it aligned properly without adjusting the whitespace. danhash 20:19, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Relative Emphases

I think it could be improved significantly. In particular:

1. It makes no sense to have such a small thumbnailed Picture of the Day in the southeast corner, when there is all that white space to the left of it. Slide one of the boxes on the right half of the page (e.g. In the News) down below the "Did You Know" box, move "On this day" up to replace it, slide the picture of the day under that, and enlarge the picture. Or something similar. Make the picture more prominent.

2. I strongly feel the "In The News" section should be given much less prominence, even to the point of just providing a link to Wikinews. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a news service. At most, just 2-4 headlines, and a link to Wikinews; no images. And position the box down in the page, not up.

3. More prominence to the Featured Article, including its image.

4. Too much white space between "Sister Projects" and "Other Languages"

5. No need for two search boxes. If they can't find one, something's wrong.

Jeeb 23:11, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

i agree with point #2. extra images clutter up the page and the news images aren't really necessary. as far as the search boxes, it's being discussed here danhash 20:24, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Categories as navigational tool for users

I don't know if this really belongs here,but seeing as the new main page draft also uses it (countries,etc..)I will put my comments here.

To be frank I don't like them as a front-end UI,they are ugly and not very clear to the average user because of their msdos like appearance.The encyclopedia has some very nice lists which would be a better navigational tool.If people clicked on "countries" they should get "list of countries",which is a very nice starting point.

The same applies for the portals which aren't very user friendly either,from the geography portal I should at the very least be one click away from the "list of countries" article.This is of course just one example.

In short a topdown approach with lists would be much clearer and nicer as the front-end UI navigation.(Anon)

Waaaay Too Crowded

Personally, I prefer the current one better---this is just way too crowded, and (ironically) unusable---FAR TOO MANY links in FAR TOO LITTLE space.--Sykil 12:31, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Rmpfu89 12:19, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
The block of text at the top (of the current main) needs attention though. Perhaps thats where an intervention should be made. Jasongetsdown 19:02, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I concur; I'd say that what needs to be changed in the current one is:
  1. The top bit --> The "Portal" namespace was created recently; once we have main portals worthy of the name we can put them there with some emphasis, and for ***'s sake get rid of those silly mixtures of portals and categories!!
  2. The emphasis on the search box --> simply put in some colour/bolden/slightly increase font size...
  3. Emphasis on "start a new article", maybe a small link to the wikipedia:introduction just below the search box (and inside the coloured area) saying "Get involved!" or something like that... Jules LT 16:52, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree: way too crowded.. --Eleassar my talk 10:52, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I for one disagree. Space saving is a very important thing to have on a site that has so much content. The main page could be HUGE - but its not, because it would make it unusable. However, I do agree that the featured articles are too squished - and without reason - at least on my browser theres a significant amount of white space below them... Even tho I don't ever look at featured articles, they still shouldn't be so squished. Fresheneesz 02:51, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it's literally a matter of having too little space on the home page, but of this draft looking way too cluttered. All those pastel offense to the person/people who doubtlessly worked so hard on creating this, but it looks to the viewer like he's peering into a box of discarded Easter decorations. I much prefer the current, calm, professional main page, white space at the top included—though I agree the search box needs to be better highlighed; I wouldn't object to putting that at the top. --zenohockey 21:14, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Here's a suggestion: how about combining the boxes into one large box with lines seperating the sections, like on the current home page? Though there would be less white space, it would be much more contiguous, thus apearing to be less crowded. -P-unit 23:13, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I'd like to see the right-hand strip removed. Then, besides the standard section on the left, provide three horizontal bands.
 * Header as per proposed minus the search box (I agree with comments about drawing more attention to that on the left)
 * Prominent full width featured article
 * Multi-role section which displays all the other information currently displayed on the proposed page, but only one section at a time, selected through a "menu" link.

This would reduce the cramping, releases the page from the influence of the particular items currently viewed as necessary on the page, and enables more quick links to be added in the future. Jim Dec 14 (13:00 GMT)

I agree: way to much stuff. Most of this stuff can be a link to another page. If I had a lower resolution monitor this would be a mess.--Gbleem 22:09, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Featured picture?

The position of the featured picture is very odd. Why not just do it like before, and use the DYK box for the featured pic on weekends? - Kookykman|(t)(c)

I don't know about the featured picture replacing DYK on week-ends, it doesn't make that much sense: if you want a DYK section on week days, there's no reason not to have it on week-ends. As for the placement of the features picture at the bottom-right of the page, I think this is ridiculous, especially in that size. what about a miniature below the featured article? Jules LT 16:41, 14 November 2005 (UTC)


Perhaps it would be a good idea to include date/time somewhere, because "today's featured article" confuses some people; see this post to the helpdesk-mailinglist. Gerrit CUTEDH 23:28, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

i heartily agree --Quiddity 03:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

The date is a very important consideration. Currently on the east coast of Australia, where I live, half of Wednesday the 7th is gone and the main page still shows On This Day as Tuesday the 6th. If there must be error because of time zones, let the error be in favour of being early, not late. Please set the time/date for the beginning of the time zones. Remember, less than 5% of the world's population lives in the USA. Alpheus 23:44, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia uses UTC as basis for these dates. While you can set your timezone in "my preferences", it doesn't affect the Main Page. I don't know if/how easily the dates could be generated on-the-fly based on user preferences, but sounds like a good idea to me. ---Aude 00:20, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


New Layout Is Excellent Very, very nice. It has an intuitive format and gives access to more areas of interest than before. Nice work. Much appreciated. Thanks - Jack

Sorry for the enthusiasm. I think the draft idea is great as it is. When is it going to be implemented? --Kitch 23:38, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Me likes. not signed in - n:user:bawolff 05:47, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

I love it, it really does a better job of giving the Main Page a purpose on Wikipedia beyond the necessity of having simply an "index" page like every other site on the web. It is much friendlier for those completely unfamiliar with Wikimedia and is a breath of fresh air for return visitors. If this is implemented I will have to seriously consider making it my homepage. (renders nicely on K-meleon .9, 1024x768 monitor). --- For all of those with issues about Sister Projects, giving these projects extra status is not the purpose of the Main Page. Why not redesign [1]? --- Warofwrath , 27 November 2005

Overall it's a great design. Everyone is going to have their comments on what to tweak and what they'd rather see, but you won't be able to please everyone. I think on the whole this is a good forward step for Wikipedia. Even if more modifications and tweaks need to be done to it in the future, it's certainly an excellent starting point to move forward with. Keep it up! =) Pylon 21:15, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

3D Look

Why not make the page look more 3D like? --Member 06:06, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

What do you mean? - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 04:15, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps like the new design implemeted at Sourceforge. --Member 21:55, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Ah, I see. But that would involve using more graphics/color, and a lot of the comments on the related talk pages (see also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Main Page) seem to be against more color. I'd like to see a draft though, so, test it out. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 23:35, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

General comments

Some comments

  • In general, much better, especially the coloured sections.
  • I've got "justify paragraphs" checked for viewing Wikipedia. Paragraphs on this page is for some reason not justified and the Browse Wikipedia section's title is a bit screwed up (fixable by including br after Browse).
  • I also have the "number sections" option checked. In both the current and proposed pages this adds meaningless numbers to the section titles.
  • Biggest problem is the massive white space on the page already discussed above.
  • The second biggest problem is that the pictures are getting too small. This makes the page lose a lot of its appeal.
  • I like additional information on the picture of the day.
  • Do people actually use the Browse Wikipedia section? I never do. I think we can replace the whole section with a link called "Categories" and use the freed up space to increase the size of the other contents.
  • I think the "Ask a question" link should be replaced with separate links to the Help and Reference desks. Since there is already an Introduction link, this could be reduced to a single link to the Reference Desk.
  • The Sign in paragraph can be removed - all pages already have a big sign in at the very top.
  • It's a good idea to have less languages on the page, but should we keep the 'Complete List' link?

I understand that people feel that the current page is too cluttered and will cause information overload in most users. However, I would prefer even more information. What is the possibility of having two main pages - a simple and a super one?

Good job! - sYndicate talk 03:19, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

It's very nice. More compact than the earlier layout. But where is the 'Over 1000 articles' language list in the "Other Languages" section?? Jam2k 07:20, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

........I guess I'm one of the people who does not like the new layout.....

Today's Featured Article

Unfortunatley, the biggest loser in the redesign is "Today's Featured Article," which now gets only a small amount of space. I'd suggest that this is a mistake:

  • It does not make Wikipedia look like a serious encyclopedia
  • It removes a small but not insignificant incentive for people to try and write "Front Page Quality" articles
  • It just accords less attention and respect to the work that is at the heart of Wikipedia

I'd suggest putting the "Browse" stuff at the bottom of the left-hand column, and continuing to accord plenty of space to the Featued Article, which is always the best thing I see when I visit the frontpage, and which consistantly provides an exciting look into Wikipedia at its best. --ThaddeusFrye 16:51, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Search box

Small point but the search box doesn't highlight when selected. --hydnjo talk 19:00, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

In what browser? Tom- 15:39, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

move "Browse Wikipedia" section

My suggestion is to move the "Browse Wikipedia" column to the bottom-left of the page and move the "picture-of-the-day" up to replace it next to "Today's headlines".

In other words, keep all the unchanging links in the first (left-most column).

--Luis Fernandes Nov 23, 2005

I could definitely see that, and agree with it. Pylon 17:26, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
agree the featured ficture should be higher up --T-rex 04:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

RSS or similar feed for the main page

Would it be possible to extend the capability of the Main Page by adding an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) link to:

  1. capture the Main Page contents complete (i.e. Today's Featured Article, In The News, Selected Anniversaries and Did You Know.) providing a full Main Page RSS feed from Wikipedia.
  2. or have individual RSS feeds for each section to precede the Archive – By email – More... tag.

As a minimum it would be great to have the anniversaries in RSS format.
Main Page RSS links would have the advantage of making Wikipedia even more accessible to the public when not browsing directly.
Unless there is another way of doing it?--Steve Marquis 11:22, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

See also: Main Page, RSS

  • Something that might be related to RSS feeds, and something that all the people wanting to implement _their_ design ideas might stop and think about. Why not make it easier for people to construct their own personalised design that they use to view, or check on, selected areas of Wikipedia? That way you can have your own design, and worry less about getting your ideas implemented on the main page that most people (those who can't be bothered to design their own views) use to view Wikipedia? Kind of like a template with six spaces, and you slot different areas (Featured Article, Collaboration of the Week, Wikipedia Signpost, etc) into the slots. Does this sound possible? It would look much like this page does at the moment, except you would maintain it in your own "space". 17:20, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

A quick show of hands (5 December 2005)

Layout suboptimal

Four problems seen with Opera 8.5 under windows XP: Image overlapping table border, stupid dots to close to border and two funny white spaces

Please help. The draft looks ugly in some points, at least with Opera. It's ok with FireFox. - TesterX 00:29, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

I have the same problems, also in Opera 8.51 on Windows XP. 04:32, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

So Much White

Three items:

  1. My main concern with this draft is the color scheme - White is awfully harsh on the eyes. Yes, I know, the main namespace has a white background anyway, but could we please use the soft pastels present on the current main page?
  2. The "Browse Wikipedia" box looks's mirrored with the normal navigation links, but the background is a different color, it's strange. It might be unnecessary - most people pick up an encyclopedia to search, not browse.
  3. Is this going to come up for a vote before it's implemented? Is there a process for that? -- stillnotelf has a talk page 04:19, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I get the impression that most people seem to like the many colours, but I kind of have the same problem with it as with having many different font faces (ie. the "ransom letter" effect). They're distracting, and it's not really clear what their purpose is. It may just be the particular mismatched pastel theme, especially with the "Welcome to Wikipedia" yellow-ish colour, which tends to draw the eye up from the text (making reading bothersome, and I suppose the text should be the focus, not the welcome). I think I do prefer colors (or at least shades) to nothing, but the current scheme makes me think of a children's toy or Pez candy. On the bright side, according to the ColorBlind Web Page Filter, the page appears to be very accessible to different forms of color blindness. 04:44, 13 December 2005 (UTC)


It's ugly - too "busy" - and we don't need two search boxes. Nowhere near as good as the existing page. Dan100 (Talk) 13:50, 3 December 2005 (UTC)


The featured picture is in a very strange place. It has to go somewhere.--Ewok Slayer --(U | T | C) 04:19, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Also we should include this on the main page.
The Signpost
20 February 2018

Very few actual improvements (non-technical)

The good:

  • different colours & boxes for; Today's featured article, Did you know?, In the news, On this day: November 24th. cleaner & clearer.
  • cleaner Browse Wikipedia


  • Browse Wikipedia is in wrong place. should be in dead space below toolbox on left.
  • the featured pic is tiny with little text to explain context. better to have nothing at all, though i would miss the pics. therefore, don't change it.
  • no need to change Other languages & sister project as they are at bottom of page anyway.
  • Generally too radical. ONLY MINOR TWEEKS ARE NEEDED.

Veej 16:08, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually Decreases Usability

The new design makes the main page far too cluttered, especially those who use a larger-than-default text size. A one or two step increase causes the three column layout to degrade far more quickly than the two column layout. Additionally, lower resolutions will recieve similar problems. A bunch of narrow coulumns of text does not generally increase "Usability".

Plainer colors

Tom-, I guess you didn't like my color scheme, since you moved my changes to Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Unforgettableid. :) Anyway, the reason why I don't like the huge pink and blue boxes that are used on the Main Page now is because colored backgrounds are usually used to highlight small amounts of text, not 15 square inches of text. Also, I feel that having such large areas of color of almost exact opposite hues on the color wheel clash against each other, similar to purple and yellow. How about limiting the amount of color, e.g. by doing what was done on the Estonian main page and by using different colors, like pale blue and pale green, that are more similar to each other? :) --Unforgettableid | Talk to me 08:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


Also, how did you like my smaller changes, e.g. to the search box? --Unforgettableid | Talk to me 08:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Encyclopedia image

It's difficult to recognize the encyclopedia image on the search box background as an encyclopedia, since the image is so faded out. Perhaps it'd be better to use that image in a darker form in the logo space in the top-left corner, above the Main Page...Recent Events...Random Article links on the left? --Unforgettableid | Talk to me 08:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Move browse to left, move feature pict.

Main page draft by --Aude

From reading comments from everyone, I agree with moving the browse column to the left nav space and making the featured picture more prominent.

1. A lot of people have commented about the main page being too crowded with three columns. By using the available space on the left nav bar for the browse categories, we can eliminate the third column. In my opinion, I think "Browse wikipedia" should go below the 'navigation' and 'search box' and above the 'toolbox'. The 'Useful links' could be added to the toolbox, in some way.

2. The featured picture should be prominent, perhaps below the Featured article. I think pictures greatly add to the visual appeal of Wikipedia and enhance article text, and the main page should reflect that with the featured picture. The size and shape of the featured picture box varies greatly from that used by "Today's featured article" , "In the news" , and other features. We could use the same size box for featured picture, dividing it into two subcolumns. The left subcolumn can have "Featured picture", "Title", and we could add "the caption text". The image can go in the right subcolumn.

To illustrate these ideas, I have mocked-up the design in photoshop (see right). ---Aude 22:10, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I like it. Why not move "browse by topic" higher up though? It would look more balanced if both toolboxes were touching each other, like usual, and "browse" was above them. Btw, thanks for making up that mockup! Moving that browse box to the left would've been a pain to mock up in HTML/CSS since it involves changing the MonoBook skin for one page only. 13:40, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Unforgettableid 13:33, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I still think the Featured Article shouldn't lose prominence in the front page. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ | Esperanza 13:42, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Taking another look at this, I think more space needs to be devoted to the Featured article. Maybe just have the featured article and featured picture on the left, and put less emphasis on "Did you know?" — maybe move to the right column and making the box smaller/shorter? ---Aude 14:56, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Modified main page mock-up

Modified main page draft by --Aude

I have modified Image:Wikidraft_kmf164.jpg (see above), to incorporate more user comments and attempting to find some consensus. The image is created using Photoshop, rather than with HTML/wiki coding.

This design (see right) follows incorporates the following changes:

  1. Reduces the number of different colors, inline with the current design. When adding the featured picture and using boxes around all these page elements, there would be five boxes and five different colors. User comments suggest that's too many different colors — plus the yellow used in the heading.
  2. Includes the browse menu on the left, but without the subtopics and using the same style as the navigation and toolbox.
  3. Moves the featured picture to the right column.
  4. Expands space used for Today's featured article.
  5. Moves "Archive - By email - More anniverseries" up slightly, to make On this day more compact. Same is done for Did you know ..., and In the news.
  6. Reduces the number of In the news items, by one. Also reduces the number of Did you know items, to provide the space for the Featured picture.

---Aude 17:05, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

More Languages

I would like to see the languages with 1,000+ edits reintroduced. One of the things I always enjoyed was the multilingual nature of Wikipedia--it would be good for these smaller but established wikipedias to be able to have native speakers notice that Wikipedia is available in their language as soon as they hit the main page. The Jade Knight 07:48, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


I find it always difficult to know to which article a picture belongs on the main page. Even though the articles say picture I have to go over all the lines to find the corresponding article. So either use a picture only for the first article so it's clear from the beginning for all pictures to which article they relate or mark articles that feature a picture on the main page with a different color. Maybe I'm not alone who doesn't know what's on the picture and wants to find out but without the hassle to go over all the mentioned articles in a box. I think people see the pictures first before they read. I hope someone's reading this here and comments on it :-) --Bernd 12:44, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

"Make this you homepage" link

I think it would be valuable to put a "make this your homepage" link on the main page for less technical users who don't know how to make Wikipedia their homepage. Many major websites include this sort of link on their homepage and Wikipedia, being one of the top visited pages on the whole internet, should also because many people probably want to make it their hompage. P-unit 05:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I second this. - JustinWick 06:28, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia is great, and I have done quite a lot of editing, but I don't go to the Main Page for fun. Instead, I go to Slashdot, LWN or another true news website. But wouldn't this seem like shameless self-promotion? Why would non-editors want to make Wikipedia their homepage? --Unforgettableid | Talk to me 18:07, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I think people are curious, and Wikipedia is the ultimate cure. For instance, why would they want to set Google News as their homepage? Because people want to know what's going on. Wikikpedia is the ultimate site for random knowledge, whether you are an editor or not. I come here just to read random articles all the time and probably would even if I was not an editor. (This is how I got drawn into being one, actually.) Essentially, what I'm saying is that lots of people are interested in Wikipedia and come here for fun. Additionally, I think self-promotion to this degree is okay. We're not boasting about ourselves but rather offering an opportunity for the interested users to make this their homepage. If anything, a little self-promotion like this can't hurt and it is not disgraceful.P-unit 04:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, I see your point now. But if we add it to the Main Page, let's make the text Make Wikipedia your Homepage a template, say, {{homepage}}, so we can also add it to {{welcome}} also. :) --Unforgettableid | talk to me 04:59, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry to self-reply, but I created the template {{homepage}} but did not add the necessary JavaScript as from [2]. --Unforgettableid | talk to me 05:17, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Is there a way to get around the JavaScrit problem? I tried it on my page and Wikipedia wasn't accepting the HTML Javascript tags. (i.e. I didn't find a solution) Can some exception be made for the Main_Page to use Javascript because it is alwasy locked or is that out of yours and the system's capabilities? 02:39, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Nice design

The design is good but why are there two search bars on the main page? It is good to have more information on the front page but be careful not to add too much or it will be difficult to read and not aesthetically pleasing (Not that I'm the expert when it comes to web designing).-- 20:03, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Could someone please overlook my ignorance and tell me how to make Wikipedia my homepage? It would be much appreciated.-- 20:03, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I like this design, I like the four colors that easily differentiate those areas, but my favorite part about it is how prominent the sister projects are, because I find myself using those a lot also.

Should they be so prominent? Some of them are new; others have a surprising amount of ugly, unfinished content linked close to their Main Pages. --Unforgettableid | talk to me 05:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Wiki membership

One of the things I like about Wikipedia is that you don't have to fiddle about with a username and password before you can access (or even edit)the pages. I hope the site does not become too member-inclusive and makes some things open to members only. (But it's a great site)-- 20:01, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Sadly, it has been starting to become so. Only members can now create pages. A sad farewell to the Wiki Way :( --Unforgettableid | talk to me 05:03, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Primary Links

The primary links for each blurb (news, featured article) are bold, but this there are usually so many other links that it can still be confusing what a person is supposed to click on to get at the actual primary focus of the blurb. The featured article has a "full article" link, but, especially when there are multiple consecutive linked items (one of which being the primary and bolded), I still end up sometimes clicking on something I didn't want to click on--I'm used to there only actually being one link, and being able to just carelessly click somewhere near what I want. At the possible expense of writing clarity, could primary links always be presented at the immediate start of blurbs, or, less preferably, have a "full article"-type link at the end of each blurb? Or use some other method of more clearly presenting the link? I think this is especially important for the news articles, and, to a lesser extent, Did You Know. FireWorks 02:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Maybe we should make the "Full article" link at the heading? E.g. "Today's featured article (view full article)" --Unforgettableid | talk to me 05:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Why the "browse" box?

I seriously doubt anyone uses that stuff, people just search these days. It takes a lot of room and is quite ugly... Dan100 (Talk) 13:14, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I can see people using it for school (before post-secondary, mostly) research and stuff, where they just want to read about things that fall in certain categories of interest. Or maybe someone that wants to learn everything about astronomy, say... FireWorks 02:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
those people will type "astronomy" in the search field. axe it. --Gbleem 22:06, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree. P.S. an e.g. "geography" search should take you to Category:Geography, a portal, though. --Unforgettableid | talk to me 05:05, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I use it,I like just casually browsing and finding something interesting to read.Somethings are competely new to me let alone that I could search for them.I don't see why you would actually want to remove a feature.Certainly with so few people desiding over it.--Technosphere83 23:01, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


I actually like the new design, but think that it should be only two coloums, (nobody uses the browse option anyhow). Also I think the picture should be more visable, and I wonder why wikipedia is in bold, but i dont think this will go through anyways

Accessibility - ALT tags, screenreaders

Looking at the source HTML, I noticed ALT tags missing for some images such as <img src="" alt="" width="140" height="105" longdesc="/wiki/Image:Hotairballooninflation.jpg" />. This may present accessibility issues. Instead, there should be a short caption in the ALT tag for screenreaders.

Also, as mentioned by User:Jeffthejiff on Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Usability/Main_Page#Less_wikilinks, having the browse box code at the top of the source code, above the main body, is also problematic for screenreaders. The browse box will be read before "Welcome to Wikipedia ...". ---Aude 17:02, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Collums not Rows

Hi I just saw your idea to improve the main page, and think it's great. Everything you have done will make wikipedia way better. I don't know HTML or alot about templates, so I can't say much from an experts perspective, but I do have a sugestions.

  • Instead of collums, there should be rows. I think that the top row should be the FA, then the search (with A-Z next to it), then the catagories, then the other stuff.
    • It would look way better with rows
    • I don't think anyone reads the did you know, or the anaversaries. I just think that rows, not collums would make it much easier to read. Also, most wikipedia articles are not in collums but in rows.

Do you guys agree with me? Tobyk777 04:39, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

  • No. Websites (except for entirely flash-based pages, which Wikipedia is obviously not)are based on vertical space, not horizontal space - in other words, you always scroll down for the rest of the page. This is true of the main page as well. And columns work much better than rows when you're scrolling down - your eye is naturall moving up and down already with columns, whereas with rows your eyes are moving side to side and then when you scroll down you have to reorient yourself. To be blunt, rows would be terrible. Zafiroblue05 06:00, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Truth in Advertising

Please change the byline from "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." to "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that almost anyone can edit." Seriously how long has Wikipedia been around and only now you're circling the wagons? Heptapod 00:38, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

"almost" is sort of repelling isn't it? --hello, i'm a member | talk to me! 05:43, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

A quick show of hands (26 December 2005)

Other Featured Items

I think the new main page should also show other featured items other than the featured article and featured pictured. Just look at all the other featured content there is.

Wikipedia featured content

Articles | Lists | Pictures | Portals | Topics | Sounds

Tarret 14:43, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree we need all featured items. Tobyk777 01:39, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I disagree, as Featured pictures and Featured articles are the only features that contain enough pictures/articles (respectively) from which to select "Today's Featured Article" and "Featured Picture". For example, we have just the Cricket portal, and no Featured sounds or Featured topics. I think these all need more work before appearing on the main page. ---Aude 02:23, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Default Cursor Position

It seems like the cursor should be in the Search box when you open the page. I don't know whether that is possible.

I'm using: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051111 Firefox/1.5

Webpages that use JS to move your focus are evil. Elaboration can be supplied at request. Unrelatedly, I like the new proposed design as it is now (Dec 28) a lot more than the one currently in use, and previous drafts. Probably in part because it's a lot more like the current design than some of the previous drafts were. The news section is kind of squishy though, even at 1024x769 (and anything less than that, or a window that isn't fully maximised, is kind of ugly looking). It also says "In the news" twice. It's also a bit long-ish for a main page, but I don't know what could be cut. Does the software allow the title ("Main Page", or, now, "Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft") to be hidden? Everything above the "Welcome" banner could go (except during fund drives, etc. of course) FireWorks 09:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply, just happened across this while trying to find a way to get Firefox's default cursor position to the search box rather than the address box. I totally agree with Fireworks, I hate when websites put the cursor in a text box of any sort (using any method, I'm assuming JS is the norm if not the only way) because I don't use the mouse as much as I do the keyboard. Basically when the cursor is in a text box (at least in my browser, Firefox 1.5) you can't use the page up or page down buttons until exiting all boxes (and putting the focus or cursor on the page). It would certainly be possible for Wikipedia to have the cursor default to the search box upon loading up (or whenever they want really) but I pray this doesn't happen and hope that either other sites change this or that I find some way to avoid this problem. I'm going to checking out GreaseMonkey scripts by the way, anyone else out there let me know if you have or or are interested in a solution to this. --David Monaghan 05:21, 31 May 2006 (UTC)