The Main Page is expected to be used by:
- New users
- Advanced users
- Technical users
- People not fluent in English
All groups are important. The design is intended to direct each of these groups to the information they need, without emphasising one group over another.
Because the Main Page is a unique portal, for a wide-ranging audience of different interests, the Main Page has a unique design intended to highlight the distinction between the different and largely unrelated areas.
Other pages should be on one topic, and should follow a standard and simple Wiki design.
Editing the Main Page
The Main Page design requires the use of HTML markup, making the source code more complex. It should not normally be necessary to ever edit the Main Page.
The content for the Main Page is stored within templates. To edit these templates, you can choose to edit the Main Page. Scroll down to the bottom of your web page and you will see a list of the templates used in the Main Page. You can click on these templates which you can then view and edit as you would for any other Wiki page. The changes you make in the templates are automatically included in the pages that use the templates, including the Main Page.
Templates are used because the same information can be used on more than one page. In particular, it is useful for the main page for each country. Those that speak English will use the Main Page templates. And countries that don't speak English can still include the English templates until such time as a local language translation is used.
Historical Discussions to 22 September 2010
Objectives of the design change
Hm I´m not sure if the latest changes do realy improve the usability. What was wrong about the old layout without a table. Sorry, but now it looks a little bit confused. morlano
The first two things you see are how to get started with Waze, hitting all the problem areas at once, and that Waze supports different languages. So you can immediately jump your your country/language, without being put off by a swathe of English.
Then how to help develop Waze as a next logical step, side by side with current problems.
Finally at the end, giving people encouragement that Waze is at work with various projects and developments. Why your pet project hasn't been implemented because there are bigger, more urgent developments being worked on. And then more technical stuff.
So you can get to everything from the front page. Working down from beginner to ultra advanced.
Yes we could lose the table, but I want to be able to see Getting Started, and my country at first glance. And there's plenty of space that can be used. --Waynemcdougall 09:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
This discussion is only concerned to the use of the table. The contextual changes are without doubt a great improvement. --morlano 11:03, 19 September 2010 (CET)
The use of tables
Some suggestions from the w3c on the use of tables for markup languages (here HTML).
In summary there are those who argue that table should only be used for tabular data, and others who use tables for layout because (before CSS) that was the only way to do it. That is a slightly separate issue from how the layout should appear because you can create the same effect without tables.
I am a purist. I agree tables should be for tabular data. I think there is a small argument that the objectives proposed are in fact tabular.
But I used tables because
- table tools are built into the Wiki
- Wikipedia does it that way :-)
- it will be easier for other people to maintain and change it, using built in Wiki formatting commands
- cluttering the source code with div style='float:right;width:50%' etc was just going to put people off editing, and get broken by people who didn't know CSS
So given the same effect can be done using the purist CSS, and given the good reasons that tables were used for the same effect, I think the real debate should be on the resulting layout, rather than how it is made.
Remembering that it is just proposed for the Main Page
The conclusion on the mediawiki page (second paragraph) was: "As a general rule, it is best to avoid using a table unless you need one. Table markup often complicates page editing.". For great usability and clear representation. --morlano 11:15, 19 September 2010 (CET)
What other Wikis do
I do not agree with the layout changes.
We already learned how a wiki page is organized and how the layout works. There are a lot of wikis on the web and they all are, more or less, looking the same. So we get used to it. -- morlano 14:03, 18 September 2010 (CET)
And yet when you look at Wikipedia and German Wikipedia you find they use tables on their own front page. For the same reasons I do. I think the first, front page can be exceptional. --Waynemcdougall 20:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the front page needs an exceptional layout. --morlano 11:17, 19 September 2010 (CET)
Colours on the Front Page
What sense do the colors make? Is there a code which I do not understand? morlano
The colours don't mean a lot. Green for getting going. Red for problems. Otherwise just making it more attractive. --Waynemcdougall 09:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
O.K.. Color to draw attention on important sections. --morlano 11:15, 19 September 2010 (CET)
There is a complaint on the forum about kindergarten colours. Maybe a lighter shade, or possibly a border. I'd still like to show that these are radically different areas, but of importance so it's not a hierarchy. Time for some experiment. --Waynemcdougall 05:51, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
On the main page the complete english information should be available (maybe within sections and subpages) and then there should be links to language pages where the specific or translated information could be found. So moving language specific links to a dedicated subpage would make it more easy to keep track of and you can see what already had been translated. -- morlano 14:03, 18 September 2010 (CET)
This is one of the changes I made --Waynemcdougall 20:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I have seen. But all the english content and subpages from the main page are copied over. Now it´s hard to see what content is available in the specific language (on the subpages). The separated pages for each language are a great improvement and cleaning up the front page. --morlano 11:33, 19 September 2010 (CET)
It appears on the forum that one person thinks all those links should be on the front page.
My feeling is that the aim needs to be each country/language page is a front page portal for them - the Wiki is supposed to be about support - over time they should all become fully supported in that language. Yes, we could have the language pages with just the language specific links and nothing else. But that doesn't encourage growth in the future and means you have to look in two places for your answer. One place that is going to be all English.
No good answer, but perhaps that is because we are still in transition.
--Waynemcdougall 05:55, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
English in the Language Sections
I agree with you concerning the contextual changes although in the language sections you are still confronted with a lot of english because the links are only copied over. -- morlano 14:03, 18 September 2010 (CET)
1. By creating a separate page for each language, that gives Wiki contributors the chance to tailor it to their language as much, or as little as they prefer. You will see that the Italy and Czech pages have already started that transition. 2. By putting the sections in templates, it allows language pages to choose whether they are all native language or a mixture of English and native language. We can expect in the early days of Waze that many people will have some fluency in English as a second tongue so this is tolerable. Particularly for rapidly changing information like bug reports, it would require a major commitment for someone to maintain this information in their own language. They have that option. But if it isn't taken, the option is at least available, with their own language headings, and additional information around the English language template insert. So it can be: here's the important stuff in our language, and if you can handle it, here's more related content but you'll haver to deal with it in English. And if you don't like it, you can translate it for us. --Waynemcdougall 20:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Process for major Wiki changes
Maybe major changes to the wiki should be discussed first befor valuable work is invested.
EDIT: Please do not only roll back the version, as I still think structure and information is now much better and should only be organized another way.
-- morlano 14:03, 18 September 2010 (CET)
Or you can look at the old page and realise that it was rotting away without useful updates, direction and purpose, growing without reason or structure and completely unhelpful.
The work invested has been the content. Layout is trivial and easy to revert. Some times are for discussions and some times for action. There wasn't even a discussion page on the main page. There's no permanent harm and a push for improvement.
There's more effort being put into this discussion section. :-)
And I've gone and moved things around here to try and keep some order. Also without consultation. Hope you don't mind. Previous versions are available. --Waynemcdougall 20:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you that the changes to the content are a great improvement. But the representation of the content now is confusing to me. No discussion that the old main page needed some cleaning and improved structure. In my opinion:
- A table of content and a linear organization makes scanning the text on pages easier (usability).
- Using tables where appropriated as for tabular data or for comparing statuses rather than for layout purposes makes it more easy to contribute for novices (clean code).
- Using color to catch attention on important themes is fine (usability).
Maybe you are right that the main page needs to be exceptional and we only need some additional formatting like headlines and paragraphs to make organization clear. --morlano 11:50, 19 September 2010 (CET)
Column versus Contents Layout, etc
The current page is a usability and maintainability nightmare, there's a lot to be improved (to put it in a positive way).
What needs to go: - The mismatched table layout: tables add nothing to the content, rather they distract a lot and make it hard to find the right content. The various cell sizes only add to the confusion. Why is the left column so small? It suggests that that content is less relevant. - The colors need to go as well, they do not add any value the way it is now (and probably are the result of trying to make the table more accessible). They really strain the eyes the way it is now, without adding to usability (only obstructing). - The wiki headers need to come back, it will create an index automatically, so a user can find the content he is looking for instantly, or at least very quick. A user needs to scan the whole page now, in order to find the specific bit he needs. Currently it us written like a book (you have to read all) instead of a manual (get the parts you need *now*).
Please use some more wiki-style formatting, it has been proven usable...
Just a quickie, way more readable: Main Page Test
--robin1979 00:26, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
It has also been proven not to be the most welcoming for new users on a front page, which is why Wikipedia and others make an exception for their front page.
The tables columns are sized by your browser.
The value of the colours is that it shows that these are distinctively different areas. And the green subtly tells us there is where to go. The red subtly warns us about problems and dangers.
The presence of the contents immediately pushes everything down. You speak Polish you come in,. You will see nothing on the front page about Poland or Polish. You have to read an English link to hope there is something further down. It's side by side so you immediately see there is support for you in your language.
Remember. It's not about sitting down and reading it. It's about jumping off to the section you need. --Waynemcdougall 06:02, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
"Remember. It's not about sitting down and reading it. It's about jumping off to the section you need." Exactly what I'm saying. Because of the huge scattered information now (really, there is no *logical* order in the cells), you now need to read all of it. There's a reason manuals have index pages and not huge tables as the first chapter.
The 'Contents' mechanism of the Wiki does its function really good, please do not try to reinvent it. I like the new content you put on here, but I (and lots of others) really dislike the way the mainpage turned out visually. --robin1979 09:58, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Totally disagree with "Because of the huge scattered information now (really, there is no *logical* order in the cells), you now need to read all of it." Rubbish.
There are 5 reasons you come to the Wiki. New users, beginning Wazers. First section you see - getting started. You go straight there and work down. Second: You want to help with waze...there you go...look and see what you can do. Third: You've got a problem. Is it a problem? Is it just you? Is there a fix? A workaround? Do you need to report it? Is someone working on it? Go to the Problem section. Fourth: What's happening in the Waze world? What improvements are coming? Whats being worked on? Has my big issue been forgotten? What's the future of Waze? Where's the Waze Road map. Fifth: technical. How does Waze routign work? where's the source code?
Note that these are ordered from most likely and common to least likely. The more experienced the user, you just move down to the next section that helps you.
And then there are those users for whom language is not their first language, or a language at all. All these people may come for the first 5 reasons, but we let them immediately jump to the page that caters to their language needs.
So there is a rationale for the ordering. And to describe it as "scattered" is absurd. It is ordered and categorised. --Waynemcdougall 00:11, 22 September 2010 (UTC) Robin1979:"The 'Contents' mechanism of the Wiki does its function really good, please do not try to reinvent it."
I think it is unncessary clutter and too much English at the top of the Main Page. This point is debatable. --Waynemcdougall 00:11, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Robin1979:I (and lots of others) really dislike the way the mainpage turned out visually.
Lots of others? Well four that I know of. Two (that I know of) are in favour. Of course we can expect those who don't like something to say something. Those who like it aren't going to complain. :-) --Waynemcdougall 00:11, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
In the meantime, plenty of content to work on. As Morlano has said, it is trivial to change the look and layout.
I find it a bit hard to navigate to a parent page of the child page I might have stumbled upon from Google. Can we/you, I don't know who, but can the pages include more ways to get to their parent page, such as at the top or at the bottom, a link to return so navigating to another option might be easier. I couldn't find Area Manager information by clicking from the links on the left or through the main page. A bit of discontinuity it feels like.
the1who in KC 08:21, 16 January 2011 (UTC)