IRC office hours/Office hours 2012-05-25

Session Start: Friday May 25th, 1800:-1900 UTC
<StevenW> Hey everybody
 We should probably get started I guess.
<philinje> Hi everyone, my name is Phil, and I am the product manager of mobile
 Today I wanted to open a discussion about the new navigation UI for Wikipedia mobile
<freakofmimsy> hiya philinje
<philinje> hi

  • aude waves :)

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<StevenW> Hi aude, MF-Warburg
<philinje> In order to see an early version of the UI, we put a version on our mobile beta site
<aude> philinje: coming to berlin?
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<philinje> hi aude, sorry, won't be there
<aude> philinje: sad :(
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<aude> but you'll be in DC right?
<philinje> but the all of the mobile engineers will be
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<philinje> sorry again  :(
<aude> and yay to meet maxsem and yuvipanda
<Matthew_> philinje: Is there a link to the mobile beta site?
<aude> philinje: very sad
<philinje> yes, first you must opt-in to the beta by...
 going to:
<philinje> and click on Yes
<StevenW> The, not Meta, has the opt-in :)
<philinje> how many folks were opted in previously?
<tommorris> hey StevenW, philinje
<StevenW> Hi Tom
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<philinje> we might have to repeat these instructions in a minute as other people join
<tommorris> free 3G on the Kindle and mobile wikipedia got me out of a real pickle when in Belgium recently. ;-)
<Matthew_> philinje: Minor compaint, but it's the first one I see. Clicking "random" should make the article selection menu disappear.
<philinje> yes, that is something that has been fixed but is not visible, sorry
 again, this is an early version  ;)
<aude> tommorris: heh :)
<Matthew_> That's fine :) Just giving feedback
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<StevenW> philinje is grabbing the link to the feedback page
<tommorris> ooh, the new beta is very, very Facebook-app-ish with the sidebar thing
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<tommorris> like the Facebook iPad app but a lot less blue ;-)
<Matthew_> Heh, everyone's moving to that. I guess Facebook started something ;)
<sumanah> Sorry StevenW I missed the sort of agenda layout for the meeting - questions/ideas/etc. throughout or wait till the end?
<philinje> yes, we tried a few different approaches, but the menu was not discoverable unless we switched to the icon with lines
 but also the menu sliding in is of course a convention started by FB and adopted by many apps
 here is the feedback page:
<StevenW> sumanah, feel free to shoot questions in where relevant, or PM to me :)
<sumanah> OK!
<philinje> in terms of an agenda, I thought we would give a sneak peek of the UI and then talk about some of the design goals
<tommorris> I presume the mobile feedback will tie in with the ArticleFeedback ;-)
 'cos, you know, if not, why not?!
<philinje> do you mean AFT?
<tommorris> yup
<philinje> if so, the idea is we will eventually deploy a mobile version of AFT
 we also recently deployed a new Contact Us page, which ties into OTRS
 that page is very prominent in the new UI, but is also visible in the current production site
 shall we talk about design goals?
<StevenW> Yeah it would be good to get background first
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<philinje> so when we looked at the long list of features we wanted to deploy in mobile, it became obvious that we needed a rational navigation structure
 the idea is not to mimic the desktop site, or even achieve some degree of overlap, but to incorporate the things people would do on mobile
 even the reading experience could be enhanced in many ways
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<philinje> and of course we want to lead people to contributory acitvities
<tommorris> as an incidental aside, is there any central place where one can find Wikimedia design thinking?
 either on or perhaps some kind of blog
<tommorris> StevenW can take that one, to not interrupt your flow philinje ;-)
<philinje> for mobile design we have a central page that links to the various design projects
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<philinje> mw - mobile design
<StevenW> Not for all work, but for mobile there is that central design page.
<philinje> so back to the goals, the first step was organizing functions in a way that was intuitive
<sumanah> also, tommorris
<philinje> that is why there is a Main Menu, and a separate Action Bar
 the Action Bar applies to article-specific actions
 you can easily imagine that bar filling up with activities related to articles, and even eventually editing
 the Main Menu provides general or site-wide functions
 both are flexible, in that they can become longer (or wider)
 also, we wanted to unify a design across platforms, while still accounting for the flavor of apps in Android and iOS
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<philinje> any questions so far?
<StevenW> For those interested in exploring more, the related page is
<philinje> should we talk about what's coming next?
<tommorris> philinje: has the Foundation been doing any user research and user testing on how (and in what contexts, locations etc.) people use mobile?
<StevenW> Great question
<tommorris> if so, are there any plans to share that research?
<philinje> yes, there are numerous studies from Global Dev, and we are conducting user testing on a constant basis
 yes, the research is available on a Global Dev page, which Steven is looking for
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<StevenW> Mobile readers survey:
<philinje> our user tests are mailed out to mobile-l for feedback
 i just started compiling that onto a wiki page, and can point to an early version
<StevenW> Mani's global research:
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<philinje> here it is:
 in fact, on this page anyone is free to suggest user tests
 with the new UI design, we are testing at every step, and in fact that is how we figured out how to solve discoverability of the Menu and Action buttons
<StevenW> That, and a lot of discussion on mobile-l ;)
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<philinje> in terms of next steps, we are looking at both contributory features, such as AFT (v5 with comments), and a mobile-friendly version of Visual Editor
 also, we are in a major push to develop photo uploads on mobile
<StevenW> as part of WikiLovesMonuments correct?
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<philinje> yes, this will initially focus on Wiki Loves Monuments for this year's contest
<aude> what's the time frame for the wiki loves monuments app?
<philinje> we are aiming for a feature-complete beta at end of June
<aude> philinje: yay
<philinje> the contest is this September
 here is the project page:
<aude> we're doing wikiexpedition (photo contest) as part of wikimania in july
<philinje> oh cool
<aude> we can be a guinea pig
<philinje> sounds good!
<sumanah> there's also the GSoC app
<philinje> at least we will have something working
<aude> sumanah: yes :)
<sumanah> philinje: I encourage you to update re your app
<philinje> yes, the GSoC project is a good example of how the community can help add to our mobile projects
 sumanah: will do
<sumanah> Thanks philinje
 For anyone who doesn't know about the desktop WLM app:
<philinje> we are just now finishing requirements for the WLM app, and Brion has a working prototype
<sumanah> philinje: which GSoC project were you thinking of?
 philinje: Platonides's WLM app is desktop, not mobile
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<StevenW> I think Phil was talking about the Wiktionary app
<sumanah> That's not GSoC, that's UCOSP - just so people know.
<philinje> there is a mobile app called Layar which includes a WLM layer, that was developed by a volunteer
 but our app will have more complete functionality
<sumanah> philinje: , I see
<philinje> Layar is proprietary and can't be extended for uploads
<sumanah> What!
<StevenW> Did that answer your question tom? :)
 The previous stuff about mobile research, that is.
<sumanah> Oh, this is
<aude> layar is cool but.....
<philinje> back to next steps, we can talk about contributory features, and we will want to reach out in the near future to discuss possible features
 for example, some of the E3 projects could be applied on mobile, as well as volunteer efforts like MrClean
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<sumanah> (I need to head off in 15 min so I may gracelessly interject my questions and interrupt Phil)

  • sumanah looks up MrClean

<sumanah> philinje: you're referring to ?
<StevenW> Yes
<philinje> probably we should get back to the current UI
 are there any more reactions or questions about what is on the beta site?
<StevenW> Sounds like your work collecting feedback is done. ;)
<philinje> we would encourage folks to subscribe to mobile-l, where we send out regular updates and ask for feedback
<StevenW> Unless Matthew_ or tommorris had any further thoughts
<Matthew_> StevenW: Sorry, I've been working on other things. If I have anything else, I'll put them on the MW page :)
<StevenW> Thank you!
 sumanah, did you want to throw in your question?
<sumanah> Sure!
 I'd like to help bring this conversation into Wikimedia's awareness: - request for the regular URL to be 1 tap away rather than 2 (while on a mobile site page), to make it easier to copy, and also following up on the issue with hash anchor links
<philinje> ok, thanks for pointing that out, i will look into it
 we are in general working on migrating MobileFrontend into Mediawiki core
<sumanah> Thanks philinje .
<philinje> that will eventually make it easier for any project to optimize mobile output
<sumanah> philinje: if you have any updates for me and you do not have a MetaFilter login, please feel free to fwd to me and I will post in that conversaion
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<philinje> so aside from the UI, that project is very important for leveraging efforts in the contribution space
 ok, so next week we will have a more complete UI beta out, and will notify folks on mobile-l
 in addition, we will do our first blog post about the new UI
 how about a general reaction - are folks positive about the direction?
<StevenW> I hate it.
 (Just kidding!)
 Sounds like we need to do more recruiting for mobile-l etc.
<philinje> looks like we should wrap up early, and try again on a day that is not Friday
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<StevenW> Just a last check, does anyone have any questions before wrap up?
<Soapy> ok
<philinje> ok, thanks, hope to talk again soon
<Soapy> Ive found that hte Wikipedia mobile app doesnt work that well, and prefer to just use the normal browser
 is that a known common complaint?
<StevenW> On which platform, Android or iOS?
<Soapy> i dont know if this is the right place to ask
 because I know you arent the developers
<StevenW> philinje, works with the developers every day :)
<philinje> if you are using the official app, we are the developers
<tommorris> in an ideal world, we wouldn't have .m., right? we'd have a lovely responsive design that scales to the type of device you are using
<sumanah> Soapy: when you say doesn't work that well, could you be more specific?
 Soapy: and at least one of the developers, YuviPanda, is here
<YuviPanda> hey Soapy
<Soapy> difficult to use. It's as though it wasnt designed for a touch screen and then someone added touchscreen support as an after thought
<philinje> responsive design has been started on another project, and we have considered dropping the m subdomain
<Soapy> if I was on an Android phone that had a keyboard itd be nice
<YuviPanda> Soapy: sorry to hear that :( What Phone are you using?
<Soapy> HTC Thunderbolt
<philinje> Soapy: are you using the official app?
<YuviPanda> Soapy: and can you give me examples of what problems you're running into?
<Soapy> tryuing to click links with my hands most of the time doesnt do anythuing
 and I dont have the arrow keys so I cant just navigate down to where I wanyt to go
<philinje> good feedback, thanks
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<YuviPanda> Soapy: are you using the beta version?
<Soapy> I dont know
<YuviPanda> Soapy: is the wikipedia icon black or white?
 black is the beta verison
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<Soapy> it's whatever's in the app store on Android
<YuviPanda> *version
 Soapy: okay, then try
 it's the beta, should be better.
<tommorris> not at all useful, but I just want to say: switching over to OSM on the Android app is brilliant. I can edit the wiki pages *AND* the map ;-)
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<philinje> both the beta and standard release are in the app store on Android
<aude> tommorris: we'll be implementing our own custom osm maps asap but what's there is a good step
<sumanah> I need to head off, but thank you all
<Soapy> it's OK, I'm not that concerned about it since I can just use the browser

  • aude is volunteering to help with it

<sumanah> Thanks StevenW, philinje, YuviPanda, and the rest of the team
<Soapy> I just wanted to know if other people had had problems with the touchscreen not working
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<YuviPanda> Soapy: a few, but nothing we've been able to reproduce consistently
 Soapy: when you tap a link, do you see a spinner in the search bar?
 Soapy: helping us nail it down would be wonderful :)
<philinje> tommorris: thanks for the comment, would love to discuss in more detail
<Soapy> no, on the app there is no search bar
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<Soapy> wait, sorry, yes there is
 yeah there is a spinning circle when it works
<philinje> for the technical questions, there is the wikimedia-mobile channel
<Soapy> but like I said, the touch screen input doesnt work properly most of the time
<philinje> Soapy: you are free to join us there any time
<Soapy> Im guessing the app doesnt have the functions that the main browser does
<YuviPanda> Soapy: no, this is a bug that seems to manifest only in certain devices
<philinje> the app has some functions that the browser doesn't have, such as Nearby and Save pages
<YuviPanda> Soapy: we've had another person with a different device run into similar problems
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<Soapy> I can get some more phones and try it on them
<YuviPanda> Soapy: that'd be wonderful!
<Soapy> I work at a cellphone store so it's easy to get hold of dfifferent devices
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<YuviPanda> Soapy: *awesome*!
<Soapy> I wont be able to connect here from there though
<philinje> Soapy: nice, can you check in with us at wikimedia-mobile?
<tommorris> we're having a barcamp at O2's offices soon. I'm gonna try and get them to let me go near their "device cabinet"
<YuviPanda> Soapy: can you join #wikimedia-mobile + put that on autojoin so that it'll be easy to keep getting hold of you as an awesome person who can help us test?
<Soapy> I suppose so
<philinje> tommorris: same with you, Tom, we really appreciate your comments
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<YuviPanda> tommorris: good luck :D
 tommorris: and if you've not checked it
<tommorris> YuviPanda: I'll install that in a sec
<philinje> thanks, Yuvi
 it's a nice feature of the store on Android that we can publish a beta there
<YuviPanda> indeed
 experiences on iOS and Android stores have been quite… different :)
<tommorris> Main Page not displaying
<philinje> running out of time, hopefully we recruited a few folks to the IRC channel and mobile-l mailing list!
<aude> philinje: thanks for doing office hours
<YuviPanda> tommorris: hit the 'W' icon, looks like the update I pushed y'day isn't out for all regions yet
<tommorris> beta version isn't showing at all
<philinje> aude: you bet, we'll do more of these going forward
<StevenW> I can replicate that bug. ;)
<philinje> tommorris: can you join us on wikimedia-mobile, would be great to chat more
<YuviPanda> StevenW: tommorris apparently google play lied. I just activated a newer version of the beta app, should update i a bit :)
<StevenW> Sweet
<philinje> thanks, everyone!
<YuviPanda> thanks philinje
<philinje> bye