Talk:Main Page

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In discussion at IRC #wikiversity-en, it has been suggested that Main Page be converted into a resource for new visitors and that we leave Wikiversity:Main Page as it is for more experienced wiki users. --JWSchmidt 17:45, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

We can work on new ideas for Main Page at subpages such as Main Page/Draft version 0.1. I like the basic approach of Draft version 0.1 because I think we should try to identify sub-groups of visitors who come to the Main Page and give them good options for how to get the information they are looking for. I'd also like to see a short promotional video on the Main Page in the spirit of "a picture is worth a thousand words". I would be interested to hear comments on the analysis/ideas at Supporting Wikiversity participants. --JWSchmidt 19:31, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Main Page as a learning resource[edit]

What kinds of learning resources do new visitors to Wikiversity need?

  • my guess is that most people who visit the Wikiversity website have never edited a wiki. At Wikipedia, this does not matter much because the project is well established and people come looking for content that they can read. Wikiversity is new and is more concerned with creating content; the priority for Wikiversity should be to encourage new visitors to participate as editors at Wikiversity, not just look at a few pages and then leave.
    • a distinction should be made between people who are familiar with wikis (such as Wikipedia) and those who are not. People who are new to wiki need special help to learn what a wiki is. People who are familiar with Wikibooks want to know how Wikiversity relates to Wikibooks. Experienced Wikiversity editors can go right to Wikiversity:Main Page.
  • Student and teacher tracks. By the nature of Wikiversity, we can expect that some new visitors will be students expecting to find learning resources and others will be teachers, possibly looking for learning resources or how to use Wikiversity for editing projects with their students.
  • By my count, there are at least ten items needed for Main Page; see Main Page/Draft version 0.2
    --JWSchmidt 20:43, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Critique of the current main page[edit]

The current Main Page was first designed at User:Trevor MacInnis/MainPage starting in the first week after the Wikiversity project launch. Additional development of that design took place at Wikiversity:Main Page/Design. Like the original Main Page design, the current design has many links that are irrelevant to new visitors. The current design was influenced by experienced Wikipedia participants who have never contributed significantly to the Wikiversity project. As such, the current Main Page probably serves best experienced Wikipedians who follow a link to Wikiversity and stay just long enough to observe that there is very little Wikiversity content. As a young project, Wikiversity needs is to attract new participants, most of whom are not experienced wiki editors. Does the main page serve the needs of Wikiversity or is it an artifact resulting from the efforts of a few Wikipedians who created it and then went back to Wikipedia?

Without being too rigorous, artifact. I think we should seriously consider allowing the main page to be less static than other Wikimedia pages. A learning project could be drawn up to identify essentials that the main page should have, and with enough participants, perhaps we could even cycle through different layouts throughout the year. --HappyCamper 05:38, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Main Page namespace[edit]

Which namespace should the Main Page be in? The current Main Page is in the "Wikiversity:" namespace because it is viewed as a "meta page" about the Wikiversity project. An alternative would be to return the Main Page to the main namespace so that it can take on the primary function of being a learning resource; a page where new visitors can learn about the Wikiversity project.

Main Page target audience[edit]

The Main Page should be designed for the least knowledgeable visitors with the least wiki experience. These "Wikiversity naive" visitors need to be efficiently guided to basic information about wiki, the purpose and mission of Wikiversity and the current status of Wikiversity (essentially, a content development effort). New visitors who are not experienced wiki editors need to be shown how easy it is to participate by editing Wikiversity pages. More experienced wiki users can take care of themselves and make use of the pages linked to in the "navigation" and "community" side boxes. Can we identify a few key types of Wikiversity Main Page visitors and re-design the main page so as to better serve them?

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose[edit]

I oppose a different main page for different folks - I can't see how it would be productive. Instead, why not have a much improved (ie simplified and targeted) main page that funnels people by what they are likely to want to do - catering for the complete newcomer as a primary goal. More complicated links for experienced editors should be taken care of at the Community Portal (or some other specialised portal). I think it might take a few introductory pages working together, rather than this proposed split, to make it easier on all participants (or potential participants). Also, is this not a fairly out of the way place to be having such discussions? How about centralising all such discussions from Wikiversity:Introduction Overhaul Taskforce? Cormaggio talk 20:24, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Having said that, however, I'm all for maximising the learning potential around the main page (and its backups) - and I think the kernel of the idea here is good. There's good stuff here to work on - I just urge us to think about this as an integrated system... Cormaggio talk 20:30, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
"different main page for different folks" <-- I don't know what that means. User:CQ suggested that Wikiversity should have its main page as a learning resource located in the main namespace. Accepting that reasoning at least temporarily, and in the hope that we could actually get some work done towards improving the main page, I came to this page. "why not have a much improved (ie simplified and targeted) main page that funnels people by what they are likely to want to do - catering for the complete newcomer as a primary goal" <-- That sounds like a description of what I am trying to do at Main Page/Draft version 0.2. "out of the way place to be having such discussions" <-- This page is linked to from Wikiversity:Main page design changes and Wikiversity:Introduction Overhaul Taskforce. --JWSchmidt 22:58, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, I read this sentence: "In discussion at IRC #wikiversity-en, it has been suggested that Main Page be converted into a resource for new visitors and that we leave Wikiversity:Main Page as it is for more experienced wiki users" as an indication that there were to be two different main pages. If it's just the redesign of the (one) main page, then of course I'm all for it. As for keeping things here, I just hope people will be keeping track of pages and developments, and so will participate here. It's quite a fundamental change, so I'd like as many people involved here as possible (or, at least, people who have an interest and expertise in web design - preferably educational web pages)... Cormaggio talk 23:15, 28 April 2007 (UTC)