Images + categories on the front page of the wiki

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ohaimark
Kingpin

01 Mar 2016, 13:57

This idea stemmed from the "Keyboard Theory for Beginners" thread.

We were discussing ways to make the front page friendly to less experienced users. I brought up the common "image + category" GUI system used by E-commerce sites. Such images might make navigation easier/faster, and could slideshow through various things. (Keyswitches: MX to Alps to rubberdome... Etc.)

I still strongly endorse a "beginner's guide" page, but our categories are an intimidating wall of text for the uninitiated.

Halvar recognized the fact that our goal isn't to be popular, but to retain information. I agree, but forward the caveat that information is useless unless it can be disseminated in a useful way. My penultimate intention is improving usability for all demographics that use the DT wiki.

This idea might not be worth pursuing, which is totally cool with me. Just thought I'd put it up for evaluation.

Example image from Newegg:
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kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Mar 2016, 15:05

I am clearly opposed to pictures other than those actually showing specific information.
In the end it would be just bling-bling.

The wiki introduction page as it is now is organized clearly (even if of course ameliorations are possible):
there are boxes displaying a title and containing (more or less well) structured textual information,
allowing the user to move step by step to what he is looking for.

Anything not static is an absolute no-go.
A slide-show is a real horror because you have to wait until the item you are looking for appears, which implies you have to already know what you are looking for.
It is like the voice message of an health insurance company: "please press 1 if you want general information, 2 if you need information about a particular disease, 3 if you seek information about our special programmes, 4 if the information you need relates to your account, 5 if none of the preceding applies".
Rotating content is a similar horror: it things move, they will be somewhere on the screen at a given moment and somewhere else at another moment, compelling the user to search the screen every time he visits it. I shiver at the thought of "Cherry article codes" being now here, now there.

We could of course arange text in an optically and logically clearer hierarchical way, but let it remain text.
As images need far more room than text for a comparable information content, the introduction page would either display way less information or have to not show it all at a time.

So no, no, no to images.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

01 Mar 2016, 15:19

You do know we have many images in the wiki kbdfr? Just not on the main page. Like I said before the main page may seem clustered and confusing to a person not familiar with the DT wiki.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Mar 2016, 15:28

seebart wrote: You do know we have many images in the wiki kbdfr? Just not on the main page. Like I said before the main page may seem clustered and confusing to a person not familiar with the DT wiki.
Of course I know we have images in the wiki :lol:
My point is just the main page. Rearrange it if you like, but leave it free from pics.

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

01 Mar 2016, 15:33

kbdfr wrote: Anything not static is an absolute no-go.
A slide-show is a real horror because you have to wait until the item you are looking for appears, which implies you have to already know what you are looking for.
Most of that is your opinion, which you are entitled to. The above, however, isn't always accurate. I'm not saying that images ought to be the ONLY navigation. Rather that they might enhance it somehow -- little to no text would be removed from the front page.

Scenario: Joe Blow knows nothing about keyswitches and he sees an unbranded Alps switch for the first time. He doesn't know what to Google, so he goes to our wiki.

1) A text page that says "keyswitches" confronts him. He doesn't know where to go.
2) A rotating slideshow of a few major switch types cycles through several images as he looks at the page. He sees one that looks like his, noticing the label that says "Alps." He searches Alps in the wiki and finds results.
Last edited by ohaimark on 01 Mar 2016, 15:37, edited 1 time in total.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

01 Mar 2016, 15:34

kbdfr wrote:
seebart wrote: You do know we have many images in the wiki kbdfr? Just not on the main page. Like I said before the main page may seem clustered and confusing to a person not familiar with the DT wiki.
Of course I know we have images in the wiki :lol:
My point is just the main page. Rearrange it if you like, but leave it free from pics.
As you know you and me are not alone here, any change will not be decided upon by just the two of us. ;)
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User avatar
Halvar

01 Mar 2016, 15:55

ohaimark wrote: Scenario: Joe Blow knows nothing about keyswitches and he sees an unbranded Alps switch for the first time. He doesn't know what to Google, so he goes to our wiki.

1) A text page that says "keyswitches" confronts him. He doesn't know where to go.
2) A rotating slideshow of a few major switch types cycles through several images as he looks at the page. He sees one that looks like his, noticing the label that says "Alps." He searches Alps in the wiki and finds results.
"You know nothing, Joe Blow" :D

There's a switch recognition guide for these cases, and despite of the quite prominent link on the start page it seems to be hard to find.

I have no problem with a few small images for illustration even on the start page, but to begin programming new stuff like image link rotators is trying to throw technology on a problem where it isn't needed.

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

01 Mar 2016, 16:05

Fair enough. I'd be happy to work with a few small images as opposed to slideshows and whatnot. Those are always a pain.

Some people don't process text-based info well, otherwise I wouldn't bother advocating for this. -shrugs-

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Mar 2016, 16:24

Halvar wrote:
ohaimark wrote: Scenario: Joe Blow knows nothing about keyswitches and he sees an unbranded Alps switch for the first time. He doesn't know what to Google, so he goes to our wiki.

1) A text page that says "keyswitches" confronts him. He doesn't know where to go.
2) A rotating slideshow of a few major switch types cycles through several images as he looks at the page. He sees one that looks like his, noticing the label that says "Alps." He searches Alps in the wiki and finds results.
[…] There's a switch recognition guide for these cases, and despite of the quite prominent link on the start page it seems to be hard to find.
Yes, this is a typical example of what would be needed here: a link to that page at the top of the box "Keyboard switches", probably just under "List of all switches".
There is much more info useful to Joe Blow in a text "Switch recognition guide" leading to a static page which he can study without hassle than in a rotating slideshow of all possible switches where he has only a few seconds to decide whether the one shown is the correct one. Remember, he doesn't know anything about switches.

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

01 Mar 2016, 16:28

Which is why I backed off from the rotating slideshow idea.

Still think some small category photos could be nice, though.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Mar 2016, 16:50

ohaimark wrote: […] Some people don't process text-based info well […]
That doesn't apply to keywords, except of course for illiterate people, for whom the wiki will be of little value anyway :lol:

Imagine Joe Blow found a keyboard marked "Cherry" and, having no clue at all, wants some info about it.
He goes to the wiki and finds a rotating slideshow of all 60 Cherry keyboards shown there :lol:
I think the "List of all Cherry keyboards" will be more useful to him: now he will know he just has to look at the label of his keyboard.

Adding a small but clear pic of each keyboard in the above-mentioned list could add value to it, of course,
but the main page doesn't need any pics.
ohaimark wrote: […] Still think some small category photos could be nice, though.
Nice, perhaps, but useless - and space-consuming.
Even without a pic everyone will know what a "keyboard", a "switch" or a "keycap" is.
And would you really want to show logos of "Brands and companies" next to their names?

-----------------------------------------------------

By the way, I am not attacking anyone,
this is just my usual way of screaming when I am terrified :mrgreen:
Last edited by kbdfr on 01 Mar 2016, 16:53, edited 1 time in total.

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ohaimark
Kingpin

01 Mar 2016, 16:52

Well, you've talked me out of it. It might have been "nice" looking and served a small role in making the front page less intimidating, but it would consume a lot of space.

I will take another look at the front page's text organization to see if there are any useful changes to suggest, though.

ReleaseCandidate

01 Mar 2016, 17:05

Ohaimark is right, the front page has _way_ too much text.
I'id throw out any text in the middle and replace it with a big search field and a link to google - to actually have a usable search.

At least drop the utterly useless 'Latest posts from the Deskthority wiki talk forum'.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

01 Mar 2016, 17:08

ohaimark wrote: Well, you've talked me out of it.
That's kbdfr's strengh and tactic. But this topic is not done yet. This thread will remain active. :evilgeek:

User avatar
HAL

01 Mar 2016, 17:20

ReleaseCandidate wrote: At least drop the utterly useless 'Latest posts from the Deskthority wiki talk forum'.
I did not know we have 'Spy' in the wiki as well - and it is not even a link :o

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Mar 2016, 17:32

ReleaseCandidate wrote: Ohaimark is right, the front page has _way_ too much text.
I'id throw out any text in the middle and replace it with a big search field and a link to google - to actually have a usable search. […]
Not sure you have read ohaimark’s post:
ohaimark wrote: […] Scenario: Joe Blow knows nothing about keyswitches and he sees an unbranded Alps switch for the first time. He doesn't know what to Google, so he goes to our wiki.
…where according to you he finds "a link to google" :lol:

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

01 Mar 2016, 17:36

We don't need any links to goooogle...that's for sure.

https://metager.de

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Mar 2016, 17:39

seebart wrote: […] this topic is not done yet. This thread will remain active. :evilgeek:
I do hope so Image

ReleaseCandidate

01 Mar 2016, 17:52

kbdfr wrote:
ReleaseCandidate wrote: Ohaimark is right, the front page has _way_ too much text.
I'id throw out any text in the middle and replace it with a big search field and a link to google - to actually have a usable search. […]
Not sure you have read ohaimark’s post:
ohaimark wrote: […] Scenario: Joe Blow knows nothing about keyswitches and he sees an unbranded Alps switch for the first time. He doesn't know what to Google, so he goes to our wiki.
…where according to you he finds "a link to google" :lol:
I didn't say ohai is right with anything else but the frontpage having too much text ;).

No, really, my biggest gripe with wikis is the search function. If I search e.g. 'alps' I do _not_ want to get directed to the wiki page about 'Alps'.
seebart wrote: We don't need any links to goooogle...that's for sure.

https://metager.de
Metager can't limit the search to the DT wiki, can it?
DuckDuckGo is fine too https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Adeskth ... %2Fwiki%2F or Bing http://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3Ades ... %2Fwiki%2F

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Mar 2016, 18:11

ReleaseCandidate wrote: […] If I search e.g. 'alps' I do _not_ want to get directed to the wiki page about 'Alps'. […]
That’s an interesting search strategy - to say the least :D
What do you expect instead, particularly from a reference work like a wiki?

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Halvar

01 Mar 2016, 18:23

I would expect a list of search results (with the Alps page as the first result), too, instead of just as redirection to the page. The design of the pages could probably be improved by considering that a page with information about the company was maybe not what the reader was searching for in most cases.

BTW, Beardsmore's pedagogical, copious use of the "stub" phrase is annoying.

ReleaseCandidate

02 Mar 2016, 10:59

Halvar wrote: I would expect a list of search results (with the Alps page as the first result), too, instead of just as redirection to the page. The design of the pages could probably be improved by considering that a page with information about the company was maybe not what the reader was searching for in most cases.
This!

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