Open Help: Peter Coombe Wikipedia: Too much documentation
I did a bad job of writing up notes for the other demos, but this one is very relevant to WordPress.
- accumulated lots of cruft over time
- Too long (Wikipedia:Citing source is 8145 words)
- Widely varying in complexity
- duplication: 5 pages about to do tables
- poor navigation
Different entry points
- links in site sidebar
- warnings and welcome messages
- page and talk page templates
Different target audiences
- new and wannabe editors
- experienced editors
The old Help:Content got 10,000 hits per day.
- Getting Started link linked to another page of links.
- Wikipedia:Citiing Sources has around 8,000 words.
Resistence to change
- Movement politics, resistance to top-down
- editors find it hard to identify with users
- ownership of pages
- sunk costs
How to approach it:
- improve existing wikipedia:help project
- did a lot of research beforehand, reports and presentations on the problems. Did usability testing with real users
- worked around existing pages where needed
New help pages:
- still a lot to do
- better guidelines for writing help pages, based on what they’ve learned
- make the software easier to use – getting a WYSIWYG editor