Forum:User-Facing Categories

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This thread was archived on 22 April 2010 by Endasil.

Now for a hopefully less controversial issue. I've been looking into the navigability of our site, particularly for new users. I'll probably add some discussions later about tweaking the sidebar links to be most effective, but here's a little one for now.

A unique part of our site is that there are an almost infinite number of ways to get to each page, but none of them are particularly standard or accommodating to users who are unfamiliar with the concept of a wiki.

One of the most common ways is to provide links to the many main categories we have, such as Category:Quests. These links are often directly linked from the links in the side bar. They are also reached by starting with the "Navigate by Category" menu option.

I've been noticing a lot of User pages in such user-facing categories. These are usually harmless inclusions from sandbox pages. But they really cloud up what would otherwise be a great way of navigating content on our site.

Proposal: Can we agree that user-facing categories should not include Userspace pages? If so, we need to do the following steps:

  1. Remove explicitly added user-facing categories from user pages.
  2. In templates that are often transcluded into pages, categories that get transcluded should be in a conditional that checks whether the page name starts with User:.

I suggest this doesn't need days and days worth of discussion. Does anyone have an issue with this, and if not, are there volunteers to help?

Addendum: Oh, one other thing, I think it would be useful to have a project space page for categories, at the very least to introduce people to using them and to set up some guidelines such as this. I couldn't find one in RS:POLICIES or by searching. Does such a page exist, and if not, would you support creating one?

Discussion

Support as proposer. Endasil (Talk) @  03:24, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Question - What is a user-facing category? scoot4.pngscooties 03:26, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Good question - By user-facing I mean one that is meant to be used by users of the site, not exclusively by editors. Some categories for mainspace things like Category:Needs image are meant to be used by editors primarily and we're not too worried about small issues in usability with those. These are categories in which users would be very likely to look around for the article they're looking for. Others include Category:Skills, Category:Items and any subcategories of such categories. Endasil (Talk) @  03:29, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Support - We already do the template part. User pages should be kept out of main categories to keep order. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 03:30, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - One other thing that I forgot to mention is I had already started implementing this mostly on the basis of RS:UCS. But since I would be editing dozens of User pages without a specific policy to back me up I took a step back to make sure people are OK with it. Endasil (Talk) @  03:35, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Just do it - Rich Farmbrough, 18:52 14 April 2010 (GMT).

Comment - Hasn't this already been brought up here? Apparently the consensus was not put into effect. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 01:14, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the link; I don't know how that didn't come up when I searched for past topics. I'm not sure it was an issue of not being put into effect. I haven't checked, but it's entirely possible that the user pages I've seen in those categories were added after that discussion was closed. Let's just move on to making it happen. Endasil (Talk) @  06:19, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Doesn't {{mainonly}} already do that? --Iiii I I I 01:17, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, as Kitty mentioned the template issue is not a problem in practice. It just so happened that I managed to find a template on a sandbox page that didn't have that; and that's because the template itself was rather "sandboxy". Endasil (Talk) @  06:19, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Support - I brought up a similar proposal here, but I wasn't the best typer at that time, and that proposal was rejected. --LiquidTalk 01:29, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Well, those categories weren't about the mainspace, but yeah. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 02:14, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Does anybody feel the need for a specific editing guideline or policy, or should we just leave it at this? Endasil (Talk) @  06:19, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Policy Page

Alright since I wouldn't have started this topic if we had made a guideline/policy page the last time this was discussed, I bit the bullet and drafted up a page. I threw more in than just what we talked about here since as I was applying the enforcement we discussed above I saw many cases of people clearly not understanding how categories should be used. The policy is at RuneScape:Categories. Feedback welcome, otherwise we'll close this in a couple more days Endasil (Talk) @  09:11, April 17, 2010 (UTC)