Grants:IdeaLab/Friendlier "Proposed deletion" (WP PROD) page

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Friendlier "Proposed deletion" (WP PROD) page
Friendlier "Proposal for deletion" page.
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idea creator
this project needs...
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created on16:45, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Project ideaEdit

What is the problem you're trying to solve?Edit

The links on the current page leads the editor into long pages of complex wikipedia guidelines and doesn't say clearly how to fix the issue for a newbie who doesn't understand wikipedia jargon. We need to recognize that when you have just created an article and to your surprise, a big scary looking red block is put at the top of it, you may not read it very carefully or understand it easily. So let's make the first couple of sentences in the warning as straightforward and easy to understand as possible.

I think this is also a good general rule for warnings on wikipedia. Often they seem very technical and could do with a short introductory sentence or two in plainer language that doesn't depend on you knowing how various concepts are understood in wikipedia.

This is in response to the Inspire initiative to reduce on-wiki harassment.

What is your solution?Edit

Just write it more simply with friendlier language.


"An editor has proposed that this article is deleted.

Can you improve it? For instance, you may need to add citations to reliable sources to the article, or work on the language for clarity. If you can improve it, just do so and then remove this notice. You can also remove this notice if you object to deletion for any other reason. Although not required, you are encouraged to explain why you object to the deletion, either in your edit summary or on the talk page. If this template is removed, do not replace it.

If you created the article, please don't be offended. Instead, consider improving the article so that it is acceptable according to the deletion policy.

The article may be deleted if this notice stays in place for seven days.

The many ways to fix articles include: improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming, or merging

The original is here: Template:Proposed_deletion

For an experienced wikipedian there's no difference. But it's much clearer for a newbie. I think we'd get many more users improving their own articles this way and less need for prod patrollers to fix the articles to remove the template. Also the "An editor has proposed" is clearer than "It is proposed" - it's just another editor like yourself, maybe more experienced, can make it less scary for newbie,

I put the reliable sources first as the lack of reliable sources is the most common reason for the template to get added to a page in my experience. Robert Walker (talk) 16:55, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Generally I think templates that are targeted towards newbies need to be presented in a more friendly easier to understand way. With the wiki jargon left for later on in the notice and for the links you click through to. Plus it would probably do no harm to also add a link to places in wikipedia to ask for help if you don't understand the notice.

The original may seem just the same, to an experienced wikipedian, but look at it carefully:

If you can address this concern by improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming, or merging the page

There is no mention there of citations or reliable sources. I know it says sourcing, but what does "sourcing" mean here? If you are a newbie, you'll need to click through to check and it may take a while before you understand what is meant by "sourcing" in wikipedia. After all you have already done sourcing to create the content, haven't you, so what are they asking for? And that's the third of the things it says, and the renaming and merging are unusual ways to need to fix a newly created article. Also a newbie editor has probably never tried to rename a page or merge it and may well not have found those features yet - those are quite tricky things to do especially a merge, seem simple to experienced wikipedians - but try to imagine telling someone who is very inexperienced with the internet how to do it over the phone? They need to be mentioned but not prominently on the second line, later on as more specialist things you may need to do.

So, I'd say that it's quite technical for a complete newbie. And improving is not clear, not as one in a list of options of things you can do. Again you've made it the best you can already, why does it need to be "improved"? You need to click through to a complex looking page to find out. Do you see how my version is more direct and simpler for someone less familiar with wikipedia's intricacies? My version also uses "improve" but it explains what it means with an example.

Other notices of similar type I think could also be improved with a friendly first or second line that presents the main point in clear and jargon free language, and without need to click through links to understand the basic gist of what is being said.


Get InvolvedEdit

About the idea creatorEdit

I used to patrol the "proposals for deletion" and many of the articles get this template put onto them when all that is needed is to add a few citations to the article.

It's often clear that the original creators just had no idea what to do to fix the article, maybe didn't even realize it can be removed, as they could have fixed it just by adding a few links to reliable sources.



  • Strongly think this is REALLY important. Anecdotally when I've assisted or led newbie editathons they've found the current templates really discouraging and off-putting and often supremely unhelpful in actually getting them to fix the problem and learn at the same time. I understand Admins on page patrol don't always have time to review problem pages in depth but I wonder both how many potential editors and valid articles we lose because automated warnings aren't written in a way newbies can understand.

I would be more than happy to help develop this idea, for example, by running online focus groups with new editor via surveys for proposed wording and designs Leela0808 (talk) 10:45, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

  • I agree, wording has shown to be very important. Warning templates and speedy deletion templates sometimes still have bite-y language that drives away editors that could have contributed to Wikipedia. Often, they lead to long and technical explanations of policies that, while well written, don't explain a specific concern well. Additionally, PROD use can lead to similar problems - experienced editors may unintentionally use short links to policy that are incomprehensible - what's GNG? what's NACTOR? (I've been guilty of doing that myself), though I'm not sure the best way to resolve that. Appable (talk) 18:29, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
  • ENDORSE, ENDORSE, ENDORSE. This would make a huge difference for newbies. We get newbies coming in all the time that find our policies hard to understand, especially when we just give them a basic "notability not established, use reliable sources" line. Last year I did a test run account just to see what newbies saw when first signing up and the results weren't good - they're thrown into article creation with no introduction to guidelines or explanation, then shown articles that have tags that really only make sense once you've had more experience. This doesn't solve that problem, but this would help pave the way for overall changes to make Wikipedia more clear and inviting for newbies. Tokyogirl79 (talk) 05:44, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I hope this will help with new editor retention John Cummings (talk) 08:02, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
  • yes, but it's not the template language; it is how it is used by reviewers which will require a culture change. Slowking4 (talk) 01:22, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

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