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Forums: Yew Grove > Reworking the Main Page
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This thread was archived on 24 August 2016 by Liquidhelium.

The Main Page is our most viewed article on the wiki, with more pageviews than the next ten articles combined; therefore, it needs to be better. My proposal for improving it can be previewed at [[Map:Main Page]] with this CSS installed (and in the screenshot to the right).

Design

The "slanted" border-radius is a vestige of the poop brown theme from 2012. I've replaced it with styling that matches our current messageboxes and diffs, slightly lightened the gray background, and added a faint box-shadow.

I have completely removed {{Portal-links}}. In retrospect it's pretty pointless, and I have no idea why I suggested it in the first place. The links are not specific enough – you cannot actually sort or search for items on Items, for example, and I don't think anyone used it apart from the guy that hacked Chiafriend12.

To make up for that absence of color, the Featured image box has been moved up one spot, above the Twitter feed. The CTI/today's date box has also been moved back to the top where it belongs (gtfo).

To reduce the huge disgusting whitespace created by the ads that push the right side down, I have merged the Community box on the right into the RuneScape Wiki section on the left to even the columns out a little.

Content

The {{Contents}} template has the same problem that {{Portal-links}} did. It's an unorganized mess with too-general links that do nothing to help players find what they're looking for. I have instead narrowed it down to six major categories, each with more specific subgroups and links. Any suggestions on more relevant links (especially for calculators) or better organization are welcome.

Most of the changes to {{Wiki News}} are a response to the survey that was added to the sidebar a few weeks ago; looking at the results, one of the biggest issues is the lack of participation. We have a difficult time getting readers to fix incorrect information mainly because:

  • They don't know where or how to start editing
  • They're afraid of doing something wrong and getting yelled at
  • They don't realize they can edit (I guess they missed the "that anyone can edit" part of our tagline?)

In response to another question, "If you could change one thing about how the wiki operates, what would it be?":

  • "Not entirely sure how it operates"
  • "Make it more approachable for newcomers"
  • "Nazi mods, get rid of them." (solution: fire Coel)

As a result, I have created a new section called "RuneScape Wiki", which contains the old Wiki News and Events Teams templates; has sections on Editing and Maintenance as a starting point; and has a section on Community and a link to active Yew Grove discussions to make our inner workings more open.

Here is a nice tune for you to listen to while you prudently support my thread.

Discussion

Support design and content changes --Iiii I I I 09:53, August 11, 2016 (UTC)

Do you have a tune to listen to if I support just deleting the main page? Korasi's sword Archmage Elune  TalkHS Void knight deflector fetus is my son and I love him. 10:03, August 11, 2016 (UTC)

Concerns and thoughts
1) Do we really want YG discussions to appear on the main page, including block/unblock discussions? What do we want to achieve by that? What if there are more than just a few open discussions? Wouldn't a link to the YG suffice? Personally I think the "Discussions" section from your preview shouldn't be on the main page.

2) The current "Community" block does a pretty good job at summarising the various different discussion channels, I'd prefer it to stay. However I support putting "Wiki news" and "Events" together in one block.

3) {{Portal-links}} have to go. They don't aid navigation or encourage participation in any way. The only thing they do is look fancy, that's about it. I like what you put in that place instead. Strong support.

4) Remove CTI from the main page altogether, it's a remnant of the old times that serves little purpose.

It's certainly a start. 5-x Talk 14:55, August 11, 2016 (UTC)

Comment - The current Community box should stay, especially in place of listing discussion topics like ban and unban, on the main page. On another wiki where I edit, listing forum topics on the main page only seems to encourage trolling. The trade index is kind of useless/meaningless, but some people seem to think it's important. --Saftzie (talk) 18:48, August 11, 2016 (UTC)

Support - I think it looks nice. I think keeping a limited number of forum threads on the main page is an interesting idea and would like to try it. Also, maybe it is just me not liking change, but I'd like to keep the CTI thing. 22px-Logo.svg.pngTyA_userpage_image.png 04:06, August 12, 2016 (UTC)

Support - Nice job! I agree that the 'Discussions' list would be pointless if not counterproductive, so leave that out. If there is an important discussion outsiders might be interested in, we can always link to it via Wiki News. What else...keep CTI, it looks professional and fancy if anything, but some people will probably enjoy it. Maybe add the most recently released quest to the Quests thingy. Portal-links were indeed useless, good riddance, but they do look fancy. Bumping FIMG helps a bit, but the design still lacks a bit of colour. Maybe add runestones to the headings? :D 18px-Avatar.png Fswe1 26px-Brassica_Prime_symbol.svg.png 11:30, August 13, 2016 (UTC)

Support - I've never been a fan of our main page, it's far too cluttered with different things and it ends up not really serving any purpose very well. I'm glad someone's taken initiative to improve it and I like the mock up you've done. I also think that adding more things about editing help is a good idea.

I do think that discussions should be featured on the main page, we don't get much response to discussions here and I think we need to be looking to get more people involved. The survey showed us how little people know about how the community works here and I think making the yew grove more visible on the main page could help with this. I agree that some of the more drama-y threads, like unblock threads, don't create the best impression but I'd rather have the discussions there than not have them.

I agree the CTI isn't really something that needs to be on the mainpage. I also think featured images and the opinion poll aren't really main page worthy, but I guess that would be something for another discussion and not really within the scope of what you're doing right now.

For things that could be possible improvements right now I'd suggest replacing the "On this day" section with something more relevant. I think something helpful for the main page would be a list of the most important pages from the latest update - sortof like what we have with recent updates in the top bar thing (what is that thing called?) but an expanded version. I would guess most of the people coming to the wiki are looking for information about new content and its where newcomers could easily find things to do to start out contributing to the wiki, so I think this is something that could be valuable to have on the main page.

Also, maybe add some more pictures? I like that you've split things up with bullet points but there's more text on the page than before and pictures might help it look less like a big scary mass of text.

Apologies if my non-technical thoughts are not practical or possible technically, Magic logs detailIsobelJRaw rocktail detail 12:55, August 13, 2016 (UTC)

Concerns - Whilst I agree the portal links didn't add much to the page, they did add something: colour. I feel like the proposed design is too much reliant on plain text. I feel like I just booted up AOL with a dial-up modem looking at it. My main concern is that it lacks, shall we say, personality. It just looks like another plain website, which couldn't be farther from the truth. --Sucy_orb_2.pngScuzzy BetaLuna_Nova_sigil.png 22:49, August 13, 2016 (UTC)

Comment - Looks like some good set of changes. The only issue is it looks text-heavy, as Scuzzy said above. I really like the idea of having a section for recent updates though. Haidro (talk) 07:32, August 16, 2016 (UTC)

Comments - Overall I kinda like the new look (thin headers etc.), however I really don't like the lack of images and colour. Looking at the overview it looks text-heavy, and would put me off from reading it... More images and colour pls.

Just some more thoughts: I'm still not sure what the CTI even is, and if anyone cares about it, let alone it being main page worthy, but meh. I also agree with Iso's comment about the 'On this day' section maybe being replaced with something more relevant. I feel like the RSWiki twitter should be above featured images, as more interesting, but again meh. I like the YG being on the main page. I liked the look of the portal-links, but yeah I don't feel they added anything. I also like the community box on the side, but I also like how it is now, even if it may get less attention due to standing out less. Star Talk Star sprite 07:39, August 16, 2016 (UTC)

Obligatory - Why are we listening to 3i+1's proposals for redesigning the main page? This is in his track record. --LiquidTalk 00:40, August 17, 2016 (UTC)

Support - :( Honour Coelacanth0794 Talk Square sandwich 00:49, August 17, 2016 (UTC)

Support - --Deltaslug (talk) 03:56, August 17, 2016 (UTC)

Comments:

  • I have added a Recent updates section at the top, which also addresses the text-heavy issue with an image for each update; the code is atrocious though (onei plz help)
  • I have changed the colors of the bars in the poll
  • I would prefer "On this day" and Yew Grove discussions to stay
  • I have no strong feelings one way or the other about CTI

--Iiii I I I 04:49, August 17, 2016 (UTC)

Support - I like the new proposed design. As interesting as it was to keep a pseudo record of the current index of the trade market, CTI doesn't do much in the end. I like seeing discussions from places like the Yew Grove on the mainpage to try to draw attention to feedback needed in some cases. Maybe it would be possible to make exclusions though for certain types of threads to not show up on the mainpage? Overall, it's indefinitely better than the existing one. Ryan PM 05:31, August 17, 2016 (UTC)

Exclude Category:Forum archives/User-related and Category:Forum archives/Clan chat, maybe? It's definitely doable with dpl. On second thought, those are only added when the thread is archived --Iiii I I I 05:36, August 17, 2016 (UTC)
Really like the recent changes section :) Magic logs detailIsobelJRaw rocktail detail 08:57, August 19, 2016 (UTC)

Support - Definitely possible to add a category/parameter to exclude a thread from the main page. I'd like the CTI to stay as it's currently/recently been worked on. It's a unique feature, and is one of few places we link to the market watch pages. I believe we have the most complete set of data as far as the GE is concerned, so it's good to show it off. I was disappointed with the choice of music, please try better next time. cqm 07:22, 18 Aug 2016 (UTC)

Forums can now be ignored on the main page by adding mainpage=no to {{Forumheader}} which adds Category:Forums excluded from the main page. This only works on active threads, it is ignored on archives. cqm 07:48, 18 Aug 2016 (UTC)
And here's some JS/CSS to hide the results of the mainpage poll until it's been voted on as requested. Has a couple of slight side-effects/issues with the vote detection, but it's pretty much impossible to avoid them. cqm 07:09, 19 Aug 2016 (UTC)
If we are going to exclude certain threads from appearing on the main page I think that there should be some discussion about who is going to be responsible for making that decision/what conditions its going to be used in. I feel like there's going to be some differences of opinions on what it should be applied to. For example, I personally would disagree with clan discussions being excluded. I totally get why you suggested this, because some of our clan related threads have been rather unpleasant and something that I would be embarrassed to have new people see. On the other hand I would love to try and encourage more clan members to comment on clan discussions: the number of people who are not regular editors here but who are active in the clan far out numbers the number of regular editors in the clan, but we only ever seem to have the latter commenting on clan threads. This is not a new observation, and I'd like to try having these threads on the main page as a way to improve that situation.
While technically all the discussions on the wiki are open for anyone to comment on, I think promoting some threads on the main page could result in some difference in opinions/closure from having new people involved in them compared to not having the same thread appear on the main page and just having regular wikians' comments (this being through my rose tinted glasses where we put threads on the main page and suddenly get loads of new people commenting on them). I feel like having us say "well only regular editors would need to see this" is a bit presumptuous and dodgy where RS:CANVAS is concerned: I don't want it to be like people could take advantage of the thread appearing on the main page or not to potentially affect its outcome.
As another suggestion: would it be possible to extend this section to include the other things that are mentioned on RS:AD (user-related and content related) in addition to yew grove threads? These are also discussions and people might be interested in them. Magic logs detailIsobelJRaw rocktail detail 08:57, August 19, 2016 (UTC)
It's definitely possible to extend it, although we'd need to balance it with how long the page becomes (which I'll let fetus deal with).
I agree that some threads are more suited to the mainpage than others and some threads that may start with good intentions may devolve into something less pleasant. We've done something similar in the past where we added them to the sitenotice if we wanted to promote a particular discussion. However, that was one or two curated threads with no risk of heated debate.
Realistically, I think it would be best to either agree or disagree on the concept of the discussions area here, and then have a follow up discussion on what should be excluded (or indeed included as Saftzie suggested below). cqm 08:45, 21 Aug 2016 (UTC)
It would probably be better to exclude threads by default, then opt in with mainpage=yes. I can easily imagine people forgetting to exclude things that should be excluded. --Saftzie (talk) 21:17, August 20, 2016 (UTC)
Explicitly including threads instead of excluding them runs the risk of the section being empty. I'd rather turn it on by default and then revise it down the line if we feel it doesn't work in the majority of cases. cqm 08:45, 21 Aug 2016 (UTC)

Support - yes pls Fallen leaves ThePsionic Eek 08:32, August 19, 2016 (UTC)

Support fetus's proposal Holy crap, those 3 images make a LOT of differences. Sea port --Sucy_orb_2.pngScuzzy BetaLuna_Nova_sigil.png 23:25, August 19, 2016 (UTC)

Closed - The main page will be redesigned with the general principles discussed here. God help us all if he does it again. --LiquidTalk 00:57, August 24, 2016 (UTC)

To clarify, with Cam's parameter, Yew Grove discussions can be featured on the front page. If the creator/community wishes to keep private the parameter can be added. --LiquidTalk 01:13, August 24, 2016 (UTC)

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