Wiki homepage redesign

Discussions about the wiki documentation of FreeCAD and its translation.
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yorik
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby yorik » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:31 pm

bejant wrote:That could be quite the debate!
Hmm I fear you are right :)
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NormandC
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby NormandC » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:06 pm

yorik wrote:To resume more or less all that was said: Looks like everybody is happy with the general direction. Cool!

About the length of the page, I don't find it really too long now, it's still pretty manageable and comfortable IMHO.
I'm sorry Yorik, I've refrained from replying up to now because I didn't know how to. Still don't, but I have to so: I don't find this change desirable.

This page screams two words to me: information overload. There is way, way too much stuff in there. I don't see how this can be seen as friendlier than what we have now. I think it may confuse and possibly intimidate newcomers.

But I don't have alternatives to suggest as of yet. If everyone else agrees with this then I'll just bow to the majority.

How sad that our savior is not here to tell us how to do it. ;)
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yorik
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby yorik » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:40 pm

hmm... okay... well let's see if more ideas emerge...
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ralvejd
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby ralvejd » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:16 pm

I like this new page. Feels easier to find what you are looking for when you see it all at once.

If you divide up the information into many pages, then must new users know what to look for before they know what they're looking for. Gets a little like searching information by looking through a straw.

My three cents(öre).
sorry for my outrageous English, but I have a bad excuse
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NormandC
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby NormandC » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:02 am

ralvejd, I am guessing that like me, you already have 3D CAD experience.

In my previous reply I made fun of a newcomer who came in here almost 3 weeks ago intending to work on the wiki (and which was never heard from since). But he did have a point: for someone with no CAD experience at all, this page may be very confusing because he/she is not familiar with the vocabulary, the modeling methods, etc.

He called this "Expert blindness to beginners difficulties".

Granted it may be a great quick access tool for experienced users, but we have to cater to inexperienced users too.

Would it be possible to have "fold-down" sections? You click on a header, and the content under it appears. Like this: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual

I agree with Yorik on this point:
yorik wrote:I came to the conclusion that separating things into subsections like the hub pages we currently use is actually an obstacle
As I said, I don't really have an alternative to offer. I do know that we have to provide to people who visit the wiki expecting to quickly get going.
yorik wrote:One other point everybody raises, is that there are not enough tutorials and badly organized. I agree totally!
It would be nice if we could show a thumbnail besides each tutorial, and have a short description under it. But the Tutorials page is a category page. I wonder if it's even possible to do such a thing with MediaWiki?

I like the Tutorials page on the Blender website (the redesign is great BTW). http://www.blender.org/support/tutorials/

And the top level of that Tutorials page: http://www.blender.org/support/

You'll notice that the Blender Online manual (which our wiki actually is) is just one of the subsections under the Support page.

I'm wondering if it wouldn't be best to treat the wiki as just an element of a wider "support system", just like the Blender site does. The Tutorials section should have more importance. Obviously, this would require a lot of work, and we don't have the same resources as the Blender community...

Anyway, sorry for the disorganized thoughts. Having difficulty to think this last day of the week. ;)
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yorik
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby yorik » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:29 am

normandc wrote:Would it be possible to have "fold-down" sections? You click on a header, and the content under it appears. Like this: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual
Looks like yes! http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Co ... e_elements

I agree that the blender site has really become very good since last update.
The "all-in-one" feel is basically what we've been trying to do too with the static homepage, still some long way to go I guess...
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ralvejd
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby ralvejd » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:54 am

normandc wrote:ralvejd, I am guessing that like me, you already have 3D CAD experience.
Not at all, but I have been using 2D in Autocad, in my profession since 1994.
So I might not be counted as a novice when I found FreeCAD.

But I can only speak for myself.
How others experiencing something, I can only guess. :oops:

<OT>
3D in Autocad really sucks. :x

At home, the following CAD tools are used:
. FreeCAD 0.15.3829 (I update and compile from "Git master" when necessary.)
. KiCad 0.20120526+bzr3261-1(stable)
. QCAD Professional 3.6.4.0
. Runs on:
. . Debian GNU/Linux 7.6 (wheezy)
</OT>
sorry for my outrageous English, but I have a bad excuse
ediloren
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby ediloren » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:11 pm

I took my time before giving my small piece of advise (more of an opinion, actually). I like the concept of a single main page with a broader scope. However:

1. Merging sections. I would not merge user + power user with development. While power user is an important part of FreeCAD, meaning that every user sooner or later will use Python in FreeCAD, at least to cut&paste some code for some specific function from the Wiki or from the Forum, I don't think that the majority of the users need to know anything about development. I would leave this section apart, also because it has a different goal, and is updated with a different target in mind.

2. Icons. 3 columns vs. 4 columns. Actually I would not include the tool icons :? for the simple reason of redundancy. Not much because you find the same information in the specific workbench page, but for consistency. The least number of times you repeat the same information in different parts of the wiki, the least probability you have to have disconnects. It happens frequently, and it is confusing, to find some parts of the wiki that are updated, and some others, where the same information is present, older. A possibile solution of course could be to use Templates, but then they must be used consistently.

3. Sidebar. Well it would be great if finally we can align the sidebar. We make it two sections (if comment 1 is valid) or one only, and maybe this is the right time to align all the titles to the actual page titles.

4. Wiki is not the Manual. But the manual should be a subsection of the Wiki. Of course you cannot include in the pdf manual the tutorial videos. But I still think that a ToC like the one I proposed some time ago could be very useful to streamline the comprehension of the wiki manual. I mean, no matter how long you make the main page, a good ToC helps getting your bearings. I had not a big consensus however at the time, but I am still willing to go on in that direction if it can help.

5. Quick reference card. Ok this has nothing to do with the new main page, but I think that the idea is good. Usual problem, somebody with a thoroughly experience of all the workbenches should do it.. so far I admit I don't feel proficient like you all (but at least I can use the space bar to toggle hidden mode ;) )

Ciao,
Enrico
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sliptonic
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby sliptonic » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:38 pm

Other than anecdotal information and opinions, do we have any hard data about user interactions with the wiki? Google Analytics gives some very interesting reports about user behavior that might be helpful in deciding which parts of the wiki front page should be optimized. GA is the only tool I've used personally and it's free but I know there are lots of others out there.
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yorik
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby yorik » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:58 pm