Opinion Watch

From Wikimedia Usability Initiative
  • To discuss the Vector skin or anything else go to Talk:Prototype.
  • To discuss the current Toolbar go to Toolbar.

Watch + Unwatch (as Icons)

In the Babaco Design phase, we have been updating existing toolbar icons and developing new ones. In attempting to pull "watch" & "unwatch" out of drop down menu and up to the always-visible tab level, we are considering representing this with icons as well. We have prototyped this here.

We are interested in hearing your opinion on this change. We are interested in the use of icon, the icon itself, and we are also particularly interested in your feedback on the animation we have employed while the server calls are being made.

  • I like the animation, and displaying the difference between watched and unwatched with colors.
  • The icon itself is nice, but the star could be confused with the star for Featured articles as used for instance in en:wikipedia articles like en:Autism
  • a bug: The hint text for adding and removing is both the same. On previous versoins you could see it by the Text Watch/Unwatch. I just noticed the hint text in the past was the same as well, but with only a difference in color you need a different hint-text.
  • On the prototype the Move fuction is not available. Together with other (adminstrator) fuctions like Delete and Protect you still need a drop down menu. HenkvD 15:24, 17 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Watch icon & feedback message

To avoid the confusion with featured article icons, we could consider using an icon with glasses (it would be closer to the "watch" feature). I looked for "eyes" icons but they don't look good. I think I still prefer the star, which is a pretty universal symbol for favoriting something.

I have another comment though. I think we could get rid of most of the feedback message that displays when you watchlist a page. Right now, a gray frame appears that states:

The page "Foo" has been added to your watchlist. Future changes to this page and its associated talk page will be listed there, and the page will appear bolded in the list of recent changes to make it easier to pick out.

Although this frame is better than the previous feedback action (the user was redirected to another page only to tell them that their action was succesful), I think we could go a bit further and trim the message to keep only what is necessary. A feedback message is not really the place for documentation:

  • The user doesn't need this message to explain what the watchlist is. If they want to know, they will click the "watchlist" link and find by ourselves; if any information about what the watchlist is should be given, the watchlist should be the place for it.
  • Is the information about the recent changes really useful? On large wikis, nobody uses the recent changes page anyway, because they're going too fast. On all wikis, any change or a watched page that would appear bolded in the recent changes would also appear in the user's watchlist anyway. And, as I said for the watchlist, this information (watched pages are bolded in the recent changes page) should be given on the recent changes page, not here. So this information is completely unnecessary here.
  • Last, the user don't need the message to tell them what page has been added to their watchlist. They know that already, they're on the page! This is an example of a message showing the implementation model rather than conforming to the user's mental model.
Quick proposal

By shortening out the message to the actual feedback ("You have added this page to your your watchlist."), we could display it as a temporary info notice right below the star icon (see attached picture). It would be automatically dismissed after a few seconds. guillom 20:22, 17 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks so much for your feedback guillom - we really appreciate it. Messaging is certainly something we think about and would like to work on further along the road. We will definitely consider your suggestions when we do. --Parul Vora 01:12, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

It should only be a user preference : customization is the key!

This is an important change to the interface, and should not be taken lightly. It might disturb significantly the users. Plus, an icon without text (and only a tooltip) will never be as clear and easy to use as "Watch / Unwatch". Please remember the following discussion. Dodoïste 21:10, 17 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

For watchlists specifically, we want to look into a "star icon" type approach that's familiar from GMail, Firefox, and other apps. This would save space, allow us to always have the watch feature present, and make the watch state immediately obvious.--Eloquence 04:56, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I've been using gmail and Firefox for one year and one year and a half respectively. Thanks for explaining me what the star actually means, 'cause I've been wondering what it is until now. I felt it was not important since it is so small and clueless. So I never really tried to use that star. 11:09, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Case in point: I don't think that the star (or any icon) will work. Also, remember that watch is not available to anonymous editors. So the skin will have to change by privilege. I like the idea of each user being able to customize which buttons are shown to his/her liking.HereToHelp (talk) 00:08, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
That makes three things we want: (1) better defined defaults, (2) responsive to editing privileges and screen resolution, and (3) customization. The fourth concept is a "star icon", that is the icon would light up if the page is watch and remain either hollow or dimmed if the page is not; well right now if a page is "watched" the text simply changes to "unwatch", the reversed if the page is not watched. I think this fourth concept is not worthwhile discussed alone, there are two reasons for this: (1) without the text, and for new users, the idea of a star lighting up would be ambiguous; (2) if we had the text and the star, then why not cut the redundancy of the star. Now, with customization, then this could be something to our own choosing, and those who want it or something similar will get exactly that. ChyranandChloe 04:58, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I disagree that it should be a user preference. Preferences are already way too much cluttered by dozens of useless options, we don't want to add dozens of others that are equally unnecessary. guillom 06:20, 18 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
You're half wrong here. Preferences are already way too cluttered by dozens of useless options on the french Wikipedia. On english Wikipedia, there are fewer gadgets and user preferences, and as far as I can tell, they are much more useful. The quantity of user preferences on fr.wiki is a problem the french users should deal with themselves. It has nothing to do with the Usability Initiative. 09:09, 18 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
So I am half right as well? :) Anyhow, preferences are mostly the same on all Wikimedia wikis, so I'm not sure I get your point, unless you're saying that there should be a gadget, not a user preference to change the appearance of the Watch button (and in this case, I'd disagree too, but as you said, it would be a local matter, and I'd probably not argue about it). guillom 09:52, 18 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, so you're totally right. :-) But what should we do then ? Some users may like this feature, but some might really dislike it. If we can't solve this issue with a user preference, what should we do ? Should we make a pool to gather opinions ? 12:18, 18 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Forward to a friend

Hello there,

It would be really useful to be able to email a link to a specific page to a contact from the page; for their interest/referral. Is this possible/planned?

All the best,

Jenni B