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Note: This topic has been unedited for 1692 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not continue it unless it really needs a response.

This is a request for comments about my proposal for changes to the front page.

There is a great deal of room for improvement in the front page. It is a page that hasn't changed much in the past month despite the huge surge in traffic. While this game is popular, and through the rest of the holiday season, I propose that we make a few updates to the front page to draw in new players, and help existing ones get more immersed in the lore of the game.

First of all, there is an awesome trailer of Dragon Age out there - the Sacred Ashes Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqVAjmqgmcY. It would make for a better "advertisement" for DA out there - and would drive more curious visitors to buy DA. This in turn will result in more readership for this wiki.

Secondly, I think we can drop a Character Highlight and just go with featured article. They are both "featured articles" in a sense, with the Character Highlight having a restriction that it has to be about someone. By removing one, we have more articles to cycle through and it would give the front page a fresher look. On this note, we also have many good articles and I think its conceivable that we can rotate one every two or three days and still be able to keep content fresh.

Lastly, if we do remove the Character section and move the Media section to the bottom, it would allow us to put the News category into the no-need-for-scrolling screen space. That way, anyone can see what's the most recent update / shout-out, announcements without having to scroll. We could use this section to thank a new contributor who has made a lot of changes, or to bring attention to an important article that needs updating.

--Tierrie 20:34, November 30, 2009 (UTC)
Good trailer, makes me want to buy the game again. Good point as well about having more pages to cycle through by removing the character highlight section, although it's possible the powers that be want to advertise various characters (although Duncan has pitched a tent there for awhile, if I'm not mistaken). Seeing the news without scrolling seems like a pretty good idea, as well. All in all, I can't disagree with anything you said; great ideas. If it picks up steam and seems likely, I might be able to find time to kick the GIMP and see what falls out. - Pwr905 03:08, December 1, 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I definitely want the front page to be as good as possible. Don't think the Sacred Ashes trailer passed us by ;). It was front and centre of the main page from October 13 to November 25. So as a long time visitor I was ready for a change, though it is undoubtedly the most spectacular DA:O trailer so it might be worth switching back. You're exactly right that there's no reason a character article can't be a featured article, and there are probably only 10-15 characters that could be used in that section, so I think it makes sense to nix "Character Spotlight". I don't know why it hasn't occurred to me before.
Putting the news up the top sounds good, hopefully we'll have a lot of exciting news to add.
Something else I've been thinking about is changing the origins button to a quests button, and whether the side bar needs to be re-organized. I think it functions, it could just function better. Any thought? Loleil 00:45, December 2, 2009 (UTC)
I love that idea. Its great! The only thing I'd suggest is to make it even MORE ambitious. Here's an example of a great Wiki site. Its a simple game but its table of contents are one link deep. Anything I need can be found within one level. Our game is more complex, but two level of tables makes it non user friendly. Plus, there's no need for the top Content - people either know what they are looking for, or they are browsing - at which point we should have them check out the "most recent cool page" linked from the news section. --Tierrie 19:45, December 2, 2009 (UTC)

Alright so we are building consensus. So is the suggestion for the side-bar is to give each category its own row? So instead of reading

Dragon Age
Top Content
Forums
etc.

It will read

Dragon Age (link to main article)
Classes
Creatures
etc.

Open to suggestions about what should go there. It looks like there are no objections to the other proposed changes. I will get started on the other changes tomorrow. Also would people be interested in my setting up a news archive. Currently old news is just deleted, but it wouldn't be much work to make one, but I don't know if it would actually serve a purpose. Loleil 09:07, December 3, 2009 (UTC)


RevertEdit

I loved the new changes, the news was finally in no-screen-scroll place. But Snfonseka reverted those changes. With no explanation. I am perplexed why this was done - especially after this lengthy discussion and a request for comment from the community. If he/she had an issue with the changes, I would again would have loved to listen to their point of view here. --Tierrie 08:42, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Regarding RevertEdit

Please note that by moving the video to the bottom of the page we are making sure that the user won't see the video unless he / she scroll the page to the bottom (we have a lengthy "News" section). Actually, if we are going to keep this setting, I believe we are ignoring the entire purpose of placing the video in the first place. The entire first page is filled with text where this video is the only "multimedia" feature we have in the front page. Are we going to sacrifice that over the ability to view the news without scrolling?

Please keep in mind the amount that the user needs to scroll when the "video" is in the bottom of the page vs. the "news" in the bottom of the page. According to my understanding by keeping the "video" on top of the "News" we are archiving the both goals. -- Snfonseka 09:13, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

That's correct that the user will need to scroll to see the video. However, I am taking into consideration how often someone needs to see a video (once per new user) vs how many times news is checked (every day for every user). In my opinion, the entire Front Page is an inefficient use of space. The 6 icons take up nearly 50% of the space. I have never once clicked on any of these icons. I cannot say that my user experience is the same as everyone, but judging by the most visited pages, the forum posts and discussion boards on the internet - the most pressing questions are ones such as "what is the level cap?", "where do I find this item?", "how do i get past the landsmeet?", "how do i get romatically involved with X". These questions cannot be answered within 1 mouse click off the main page. And until the recent table of content changes, they often needed to be searched to be found.
So my proposal was to redo the front page - and Loleil did a great job in handling that initial change. So lets move forward instead of back in bringing back those repeat users by making sure their questions can be found easily --Tierrie 09:22, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for making those changes. I made some suggestions regarding revamping the front page - and that's something only the admins can do. So it has to be you, Selty or Loleil. Mytharox is working on maps at the moment and Pwr905 and I are working on including every item in the game into the Wiki. Once that's done, I will be glad to template up some front page changes. --Tierrie 09:28, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
I didn't mind, the video up the top, but I do feel the aesthetically it looks better at the bottom, and Tierrie's point that we are unlikely to have access to new videos for a while, but very likely to have access to lots of new news, is a valid one. Also the news bar is probably a little longer than I would usually keep it as I was loathe to delete JoePlay's news about 1k articles and 1 mil page views. If it's a bit shorter, videos will be easier to view without scrolling.
To my mind, the front page is still a work in progress, and I would welcome any suggestions on how to improve its functionality. And Tierrie, the front page is only locked to new and unregistered contributors, so if you want to make some minor updates I'd encourage it. No one stopped me or Snfonseka making changes before we were admins, so it seems only fair to give others the same chance Smiley. Loleil 10:46, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Front Page EditingEdit

Please let the all the admins know if there any change in the front page. Because front page should be change after some agreement among the users and the admins. As for the 6 icons I think Selty has done a great job and I don't see any reason for changing that since it adds more attractiveness for the front page (Also please don't forget that we have a long list of quick links in the right hand side for quick reference). Because I believe the front page should be a attractive page rather than a page with a bunch of links. It will be really unwise decition to reversing these excellent work done by Selty.

Also I need to say moving "video" in to the lower section is a mistake according to the my understanding and believing. So I will suggest we need to consult other admins as well regarding this front page matter before changing this. If the majority agrees with the changes we can proceed, if not we cannot. So I will change the front page to the previous status until we can agree on this. Please note this is a temporary change until we agreed on the changes. Please let us use a democratic way to come up with the changes to the front page, because front page is the heart of this Wiki. -- Snfonseka 12:53, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Snfonseka. Personally I think we need more front page links (not buttons just indexes to categories and articles) and perhaps even another picture at the top?--Selty 14:28, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

What ever we do to the front page, we need to make sure that the final result should be more attractive than the current one :) -- Snfonseka 14:41, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

That's a great idea - I do really like Selty's icons. If I do end up making mock-ups of the front page, I will be sure to keep them. In fact, I was hoping Selty could make some more for the newer categories that popped up. What I dislike is that huge amount of black space to the top, left and right of the logos. --Tierrie 18:35, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

I just made a css edit to hide the main heading on the main page, so that Dragon Age Wiki no longer displays, which removed a bit of the blank space at the top. As for the space to the left and right, for the area with the link images, we have to design it so that the main page contents still appear correctly for the lowest common denominator resolution (1024 width), which means the images need to take up no more than about 400 pixels of total width. So the larger your resolution, the more blank space you're going to see on both sides of the images. There's not much we can do about that. If you guys decide to add more images (for more categories/topics), something to keep in mind is to slightly scale down the size of the images. For example, if you add 2 new images, you could set each image to a width of 100 pixels and display 2 rows of 4 images to prevent creating a 3rd row.
Regarding having more links on the main page, I agree that six may be a bit too few. An alternate way to go is to limit the link images to the 3 or 4 most popular/important categories, then create a few separate contents sections below (with specific links) using a nice, subtle background image. See examples at Boderlands, Diablo and Brütal Legend. If this method is decided upon, I would be glad to help set it up. JoePlay@Wikia (talk) 20:48, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

So three more buttons? Quests, Walkthrough and Equipment? Or perhaps we just keep three/four buttons instead? I really like the Borderlands table with the links. It looks great. --Selty 01:31, December 8, 2009 (UTC) p.s I miss the "featured character" front page article. :( --Selty 01:32, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

Yea, I miss the "featured character" section too. Is there any way to keep the "featured character" section and solve the "scrolling issue"?. Regarding icons I suggest we can keep 4 icons in a same raw. My suggestions are Quests, Characters, Lore and Locations. If we are going to re-create the icons, we have to make sure that we give categories which are popular and have good quality content (We should find the balance between quality vs. popularity).-- Snfonseka 03:42, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

The argument against having a featured character did not have anything to do with the scrolling issue. The argument against having a featured character section is because it is a replication of the Featured Article section, with the limitation that the featured character be about a character. --Tierrie 04:31, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Let me explain this "featured character" issue. In "featured character" we only publish articles related to most popular characters in the game and "featured article" section contains all the no character articles and even though I miss the "featured character" section I also understand what Loleil mentioned in my talk page regarding this issue. As for connection between "featured character" and the "scrolling issue" I have found the following lines in the above discussion, that's why I think there is a connection.
if we do remove the Character section and move the Media section to the bottom, it would allow us to put the News category into the no-need-for-scrolling screen space. That way, anyone can see what's the most recent update / shout-out, announcements without having to scroll. -- Snfonseka 05:35, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Well it seems like you misinterpreted that section - removing the character section has the additional benefit of moving the news category. That much is correct. But you missed the entire paragraph prior to it that justifies its removal. --Tierrie 05:39, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the front page should only change after some sort of community consultation, like a forum topic. ;-).
I think the buttons look great, but I too wouldn’t mind if they were a few less now we have more content to link to. I probably would pick characters, classes and quests as my top three, with lore as number four. I quite like your suggestion Joe about multiple links under the buttons. Then we could add the secondary categories, like lore, locations, weapons and armour, (whatever we decide). Maybe we could finally use this as a background image?
That's the image I had in mind when I posted the idea. :) JoePlay@Wikia (talk) 18:57, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Yay! Loleil 00:17, December 9, 2009 (UTC)
As to the featured article/character, we have links to all our prominent topics already, so perhaps as we have so many new articles, we could use it to highlight quality articles that visitors may not otherwise now about. However, I still prefer only using one section of the front page for specific articles. The space is limited, and I think it be better utilised linking to categories. There's no reason we can't alternate between general articles and characters if people want to make sure they're still featured.
As to how to help featured media stay relevant, I noticed on the Mass Effect Wiki they include pictures in featured media. I think this might be something to consider here as we have plenty of pictures to select from and if we include them we could probably consider updating the media very frequently, giving returning visitors a chance to see new content, rather than a trailer they may have seen before. Loleil 04:51, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
One option you can do to keep images "fresh" in a Featured Media section is to set it so that it displays a random image from a list. Using this method displays a different image with each unique visit a user makes to the wiki. You can also hard refresh (Ctrl+F5) while viewing the main page and a different image will load. Along those lines, you can add a line that says something like "This image changes dynamically. Refresh!" where "Refresh!" will be a link that hard refreshes the page. Using a template would be the best way to go if you guys decided to do it. It would look like this:
{{HeadingA|Featured Media}}

{{FM}}

...where Template:FM would look like this:

*<choose>

<option>[[File:Image1.jpg]]</option>
<option>[[File:Image2.jpg]]</option>
<option>[[File:Image3.jpg]]</option>
<option>[[File:Image4.jpg]]</option>
<option>[[File:Image5.jpg]]</option>
<option>[[File:Image6.jpg]]</option>

</choose>

This image changes dynamically. [{{fullurl:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|action=purge}} Refresh!]
<noinclude>[[Category:Featured content]]</noinclude>
JoePlay@Wikia (talk) 18:57, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Wow Joe that sounds great. There's some really nice concept art I'd love to see there and no doubt as the wiki continues to grow we'll have access to more and more quality screenshots. I'd love it if we could include this feature. Loleil 00:17, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

Top ContentEdit

I would like to mention that we should bring back the "Top Content" menu section back, because it is very easy to get an idea abot, which pages are the most popular, most edited pages etc. and if you take a look at many Wiki sites they are keeping this because it is very useful. If we are going to remove this we need to inform the others as well and get their ideas also. -- Snfonseka 13:30, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Looking at many of Wiki sites, only the ones that keep the default templates have Top Contents. The sites that have gone through some growth like Borderlands remove it entirely. Others like WowWiki modify it so that it is at most, one link deep. I prefer the former to remove it entirely. But, if there are strong opinions that it be kept, I suggest that it is made more friendly so that the articles are at most one link deep. The subsection "Recently changed" is a duplicate of the "Latest activity". And "Editor's Pick" is in essence, "Featured Articles". I suggest updating Featured Articles more often as well. --Tierrie 18:33, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Regarding ""Featured Articles", please feel free to contribute for it. Please see "Category:Featured content" for more info. -- Snfonseka 03:30, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

I don’t mind if we put the top content row back in the sidebar, but I was concerned it was becoming too long and that seemed a good candidate to go. If we put it back I would probably stick with Most Visited and pages with the most editors AKA Editor’s Choice. I think newly edited is well covered by the recent changes bar, highly voted, well the articles I've seen highly rated aren't always indicative of quality. Loleil 04:51, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Huh. I see you've put it back in without waiting for a reply. I still don't stand by what I've said above. Loleil 04:55, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Like I mentioned above I am referring to the all categories such as "Most commonly changed", "Most popular" etc. not only for one category -- Snfonseka 05:20, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
I believe what Loleil is trying to say is this - she removed it because she does not think it is necessary for the reasons stated above. And that, despite that, she is willing to compromise by bringing it back, albeit with less categories so that it isn't filled with redundant subsections. I am of like mind here - I don't think Top Content is needed at all, but I am also willing to accept that we can reach a compromise by reducing the number of subcategories and making it only one link deep. --Tierrie 05:24, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I was trying to say. It has been a hectic day and my brain is somewhat scrambled! My first choice would be not to it feature on the sidebar at all,but if we decide to keep it I'd like to see the code go from this
  • mainpage|Top Content
      1. popular#|most_popular
      2. visited#|most_visited
      3. voted#|highest_ratings
      4. newlychanged#|newly_changed

to this

  • mainpage|Popular Content
      1. popular#|most_editors
      2. visited#|most_visited

So it's a bit clearer, with less redundant categories. Loleil 06:49, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

BlogsEdit

Have you guys thought of using the blog functionality for news, like we do at The Vault? Ausir(talk) 02:37, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

I hadn't considered it, but now I know about it I certainly would. It seems like a useful way to deal with stories that could do with expansion (like the new patch), and it would also help preserve stories for posterity's sake, something I would like to do. If others are in agreement, your help in setting it up would be much appreciated. Loleil 08:40, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

Quest IconEdit

It seems like everyone likes the idea of a quest button, so what do we want as a background? As concept art has been used for everything else. How about

Tower

this

Orzammar concept art

or this?

Both are from major quests, and both look good (to me). I'd probably just give my vote to number two. Any other opinions? Loleil 11:16, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

I like the first one better - it is cleaner, less cluttered. After you crop the borders around them it might look different though - so, try both and see? --Tierrie 19:29, December 10, 2009 (UTC)
Okay forgive the scappiness, but here are some suitable pics in button form.

I think I still like 3, as I have an urge to straighten number one. Loleil 00:31, December 11, 2009 (UTC)

Yeap. Now I like number 3 too. Try moving the big building a off center to the right and lower? It'll look better. --Tierrie 00:33, December 11, 2009 (UTC)

Like that? I'm still coming to grips with the circle select, so it might still need the application of your fancy photographic rules. Loleil 03:32, December 11, 2009 (UTC)

Yeap! Might need a little straightening. By the way, keep in mind that this website's background color is not black. I *think* it is #080808 --Tierrie 07:10, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
Oh best way to handle it is to make the icon a png, and use transparency. Or send me the file with the diameter (or radius! i r smurt at maf) of the icon and I can do it for you. --Tierrie 07:15, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Shhh. No-one was supposed to notice the black background Tonguesmiley. I can send you the original and my edited file, but I'm not quite sure what the radius is (I ain't so smart on the maths). I'd just been going off the other buttons (135 x 137). Loleil 08:30, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Quests

It's beautiful! I shall add it in.Loleil 10:00, December 14, 2009 (UTC)


Helping out section Edit

As you all notice there is a blank area in our front page (under the "Featured Article" section) and I am hoping to start "Helping out" section in that blank area (See Mass Effect Front Page). I like to get your ideas. -- Snfonseka 03:56, January 5, 2010 (UTC)

I don't mind that idea, but there are a couple of issues we need deal with first. Firstly, I would like to implement JoePlay's suggestion regarding featured media. Having a random image pop up will be a great way to deal with the upcoming trailer drought. Most importantly though, I think we need to decide what to do with the buttons and headings. I would still like to use JoePlay's above suggestion of removing some buttons and adding a contents section. Unfortunately the most visited pages section hasn't updated since before launch, so I'm not sure if there have been any changes in popular categories, but I think we can loose creatures and locations from button status. For contents I would include, locations, creatures, equipment, and gameplay, and maybe some more.

Once that has been changed the layout of the front page will likely need to be reassessed. It is at this point I think we can look at where to put a helping out section, how long the news bar should be, where to put featured media, and things like that. Loleil 04:17, January 5, 2010 (UTC)

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