Community Win: User Experience Guidelines

Hello and welcome everybody to our Thursday - Community Win.

A lot has changed since the old days back in the early 90s, especially in the IT world. Go back with me into this time just for a moment. What was the appearance of computer programs at this time? Normally it was executed in an ugly black console. As a user you needed some knowledge to work with these programs. What has changed since these days? Of course, you could say that programs looks nicer, but there is one thing that has changed dramatically (as part of programs which looks nicer): the user experience. Since the iPhone/iPad and Windows 8 user experience is the holy grail to satisfy your users.

What has this to do with our wiki?

Beside the information you provide in your articles the appearance is an important part of a good article. The ninja guru Ed Price has started an article about the User Experience Guidelines for the wiki. It will help you to transform your article into a master piece. It starts with guidelines about casing rules and gives information about fonts, page layout, links, tags, and many more. Why should I care about all these things? It will help other community members to find information faster and it creates an equal experience throughout the wiki.

- German Ninja Jan (Twitter, BlogProfile)

Comments (9)

  1. It's been way too long since I had looked at this article. Thanks so much for the reminder, Jan.

  2. Jan,

    Do you think that Guidelines limits our originality? I think if everybody uses "the" guidelines every article will be the same and the creativity.. no?


  3. Horizon_Net says:

    I don't think that these guidelines limit creativity. For me creativity in an article comes more from the style of writing instead of the appearance. But the good thing about guidelines is that they only this, guidelines.

  4. Gokan, it's a good argument. But it's inevitable for a wiki. Like Wikipedia is full of guidelines. The point being that in a wiki you're reading a community encyclopedia, and so if every page is so different that you have to re-think how to navigate it, then you'll stop reading. The guidelines were built from need, and not before the need. For example, we had hundreds of articles flowing through without a technology name in the title. So 50 articles named "Error Message" becomes a huge problem. Thus the guidelines work to solve that. And so on.

  5. Another one that Ana brought up on this blog is personalization in wiki articles. We want to encourage some credit, but if wiki articles are about how someone thought of a great idea when they were taking a shower, then it pulls them out of the content and away from the purpose. That's the voice you'd expect from a blog. So we encourage you to post such commentaries in a blog and include the more factual version on the Wiki. It's actually synergetic that way… it sends people to the blog for ther personal story and to the wiki for the more factual data that they can collaborate on. Also, another point we mentioned, if the content is too personal, then people don't feel that they can contribute, which defeats the purpose of the wiki.

  6. One more example: the font issue came up because there were so many articles in so many different fonts. There were also many articles with different fonts in the same article. And different font sizes. And different colors! And different color highlights! When all was said and done, you couldn't even read some articles.

  7. Ed,

    I agree with you .. Having an article with different colors and font sizs is not the spirit of a wiki.. ok, i'm convinced we need guidlines..

    Thanks for you limitless share and comments 🙂

  8. Gokan,

    I'm glad I convinced you. Victory! =^)

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