Research:Left-hand navigation

Background edit

Clicktracking on the Community Portal page suggests that readers and editors are making heavy use of the left-hand site navigation. By optimizing the information architecture of data and links provided in this area, we may be able to provide users with useful deep links into the site as well as provide links to activities we'd like to encourage such as creating accounts, curating pages, or participating in Village Pump discussions.

Current nav structure edit

Primary Label & Link Secondary Label & Link Makes sense to keep?
Main page yes
Contents maybe
Featured content yes
Current events yes
Random Article yes
Donate to Wikipedia yes
Wikipedia Shop yes
Interaction (section) rename
Help yes
About Wikipedia footer only
Community portal yes
Recent changes yes
Contact Wikipedia footer only
Toolbox (section) rename
What links here no
Related changes no
Upload file yes
Special pages yes
Permanent link no
Print/export (section) no
Create a book no
Download as PDF no
Printable Version no
Languages (section) yes (dynamic based on IP or preferences?)

Additional/alternate sidebar links on other wikis:

  • Report a mistake - a pop-up form where readers can report a mistake to a queue or fix it themselves (Russian Wikipedia, Polish Wikipedia, Portuguese Wikipedia)
  • First step - a simple introduction page to Wikipedia (French Wikipedia)
  • Participate - overview of how to contribute (German Wikipedia)
  • Creating a new article - tutorial for creating a new article (German Wikipedia, Portuguese Wikipedia)
  • FAQ - reporting a mistake is the first commonly asked question (Polish Wikipedia)
  • Disclaimer - about using Wikipedia (Polish Wikipedia)
  • For readers/For Wikipedians tabs (Polish Wikipedia)
  • Maintenance - tasks and cleanup categories (Portuguese Wikipedia)
  • Welcome page - for new users (Portuguese Wikipedia)
  • Sandbox (Portuguese Wikipedia)
  • Village pump (Italian Wikipedia)
  • The Wikipedian - like the EN Signpost (Italian Wikipedia)

Justification edit

In service of reader and editor engagement, we should provide the most useful links and tools possible in the left-hand navigation.

  • Impact: A navigation change will affect all users of ENWP. For a positive impact, we'll need to surface links most relevant to the tasks users from newbies to veterans do on the site.
  • Community: During the usability initiative and the rollout of the Vector skin, there was a tremendous amount of dissent about the left-hand navigation. We anticipate this experiment will generate similar conflict.
  • Workload: The workload for making this change is small; the load on the servers to collect clicktracking data will be very large and should be considered before moving ahead with this experiment.

Research questions edit

RQ1. <research question> edit

  • H1a. <hypothesis>


  • H1n. <hypothesis>

Overall metrics edit

Metric 1
<metric description>


Metric n
<metric description>

Experiment 1: NPO-style nav edit

Utilize a navigation structure more common to non-profit websites, where links are sorted categorically by verbs that encourage the user to do something - Contribute, Explore, Get Involved, etc.

Primary Label & Link Secondary Label & Link Notes
Home page rename Main to home
Contribute call to engage with WP
Become an Editor Explicit call to edit - link tbd
Curate pages Promote new page curation toolkit
Find tasks point users to available tasks
Explore Wikipedia listing of content areas
Featured content highlight good content
Community portal revamped CP will help newbies
Recent changes important to veteran editors
Current events highlight current-ness of content
Random Article good entry point for users who don't know what they want
Portals promote portals/groups idea
The Signpost surface newsletter of current activities
Village pump promote community discussion
Find Help Point newbies reworked help pages
Get Involved promote other ways to interact with WP
Donate to Wikipedia make em give $
Wikipedia Shop make em give $ for schwag
Languages yes (dynamic based on IP or preferences?)

Contextual content tools edit

Primary Label & Link Notes
What links here is this useful?
Recent changes duplicated in history and last modified timestamp
Permanent link is this useful?
Cite this page is this useful?
Upload file shortcut to upload images (maybe contextually available on edit screen)
Improve this page AFT jumplink
Create a book Create book tools

Analysis requirements edit

Results edit

User experience and technical documentation edit

Notes edit