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Archmage_Bael
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PostSubject: Wiki Reorganization?   Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:55 pm

I don't think a thread has been proposed for this yet, so here goes...

The Felarya Wiki has become overburdening in its length and menus and unorganization (at least I think. It's a pain to shuffle through everything). For one thing there are two main menus, contents and general contents. Why is this? There should be only one.

Here’s a suggestion: One menu, but have something like “Nature”, “Civilization”, “Timeline” (though there’s not an official one yet…) “Characters”, “Locations”, and “Community Portal”
There should be sub menus in each page, with a general description in each section saying what you will find. For example, Physics, Felaryan Ground, Minerology, even “Races” and “Heaven and Hell” could fit into the “Nature” category as well as plants. Races could also be added to the characters section for “Races and Characters” in the main menu.

“Civilization” could include Lore, Currency, Magic, Religions, Treasures and Artifacts, Vehicles and Weapons. You wouldn’t need to change the content, on each page, but it would help organize it into a more understandable page. Two main menus is unnecessary.

On the Main page of the Wiki, could be “Basis”, “Dangers”, and “Dimensional Plane” and “Dimensional Portals” could be merged into just “Dimensional Properties”. However, the “dimensional pocket storms” would go under weather, which would be under nature in the main menu.

Things related to culture aspects would be displayed under “Civilization”. When little tidbits about culture pop up for races like Mantoids, Gyspas, Nemesii (sp?), or Fairies, then a little information about their culture could be under their general description in the races section, and additionally, a link could be provided under the “culture” section in “Civilization”.

For “Community Portal” that would obviously include information about the Forum, Vent, DeviantArt Group, the IRC (not leaving that out, it is a part of the community), and also advertise the Manga as well. Community Portal would be in the main menu, so it would be there in plain sight.

Locations would be self-explanatory, having information about all the different locations, possibly main areas could be listed, and then indented with a list under with sub regions near it. For example:

Fairy Kingdom
Sunfall Thicket
Kortiki Town
Central Felarya
Negav
Ur Sagol
Grove of Carnivorous Plants
Deeper Felarya
Evernight Forest
Jungle of Perils

Or something similar to that at least; this is merely a suggestion to better organize the wiki, at the moment it feels way to cluttered.

edit: Might I add on the front page, A map is alright, a couple basic things is alright, but a basic description about Felarya would be great too. If you make it a wikia, there can be color backgrounds and such =3


Last edited by Archmage_Bael on Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:26 pm

When I look on wikias, which are wikis for other things, though some did manage to break free of the wikia bond, they generally follow wikipedia's format. While I admit that it may be a bit of a hassle, I think we could do the same for Felarya, since it keeps things more streamlined. I am aware that it will demand will power, and likely, more than one man to do this.
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Karbo
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 am

I'm not really sure what you mean by the wiki having two main menus ?

I'm all for making things smoother but since we are on Mediawiki, there is a bit less things we can customize than on Wikia ^^; ( but in return Maediawiki looks more solid and clear to me )

I personally think the Main page could be a lot clearer indeed, no doubts about that.
but I'm not that convinced by your idea of having two main divisions : nature and Civilization versus the current one which is : fauna - carnivorous plants - plant life - Races - Characters - Locations. I feel that it would make finding an entry a bit more difficult since there is many aspects that don't look that clear-cut to me... ( some locations, the fauna, characters etc.. )
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:30 am

I'm working on something that should cover all the bases for organisation. I don't want to present it just yet though.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:13 pm

well just like I said, there's two menus.



I know one is a jump menu, but it's still confusing.There should still only be one Table of contents, many of the things on the front page can be categorized into different sections. They don't only need to be "nature" and "civilization" but it was a suggestion. Doing so will clear up the front page, and provide more organization, as many of the links in the items on the jump menu takes you to places inaccessible by the "other" main contents page. Which doesn't help either.
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Karbo
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:04 am

ah.... well that is something hard coded in the wiki ^^;

As soon as you start to make categories, the wiki will automatically make a break up summary to hierarchize it ( I'm not sure the word is correct in english )
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:10 am

Well there has to be a way around that, since Wikipedia's front page is a bit different from the other wiki pages.
Even then the links under "general content" are not in the "Contents" menu. That just shows that they don't have to be in it.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:36 am

Nothing is ever hard coded, but that also doesn't mean changing it is something one can do.

For those that don't know what really started the whole binge with my site involves COPPA, US Laws/Regulations on mature content, and me being a government employee and getting a pertinent warning only moreso enforced by what I've seen happen to people in the past.

You would think adding the features I need to be compliant to be an easy thing, but so far I've torn down and rebuilt my site 10 times since the last time it 'went offline' with no fucking end in sight and I'm literally at the point of tears trying to make this shit work. I thought I had gotten a good system up for the Felarya site only to realize it destroyed the administration backend and made it impossible for me to accomplish simple tasks.

On top of that I was trying to keep my journal open, but that didn't work out either so now I'm just trying to establish a portal leading to a registration page where user membership extends to any and all sites contained within.

And it's a fucking nightmare.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:01 am

Well you don't need to have so many things on the main page right? Even if you still can't get rid of that menu, just having 2 or 3 things instead of like...15 would be less confusing. Plus trying to keep everything within one menu would greatly help as well, since like I said, there are some links in the "miscellanious" links that aren't accessible through the other menu.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:56 am

I've found that I can only figure out how to get to certain pages only through the list of all articles. I may just not be seeing some links, but I can't get to some of the pages, such as currency, through any other means.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:40 pm

Yeah sparky, that's a problem. The current wiki is quite disorganised.
There is information on pages that it doesn't make that much sense for it to be on. On top of that there are many pages that either don't have links to them or only have a link on the front page, down with all the other ones.


Last edited by Anime-Junkie on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:41 pm

Personally, I think all the text in the main page of the wiki, aside from the welcome, should be in its own separate page.
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Karbo
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:33 pm

Ok I definitely agree with that. I'm noting that in my list of things to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:44 pm

your to-do list isnt stoping growing dear karbo Razz <3
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:12 am

At the risk of swimming against the current, I rather like the main page the way it is.

There needs to be a page providing a general introduction to Felarya. It makes sense for that to be the main page. That's where readers will first arrive; that's where they'll first be looking for information.

The main page should provide basic information about Felarya, as well as links to more detailed articles. That's what it currently does.

As the saying goes, and as I see it, it ain't broke.

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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:36 am

Frenchsnack, I partially agree with you. There needs to be an introductory page. However, the main page should not be that page.
In it's current state, the main page doesn't really do any job particularly well.
The main page in any website is the index. An index should provide a concise explanation of the purpose of the site as well as, well, being an index. Like a directory, it should provide links to content in an well ordered fashion. To quote wikipedia: "An index is a system used to make finding information easier."
Look at the index page for most sites. It's not very large.
Again, take wikipedia for example. If one were to remove the featured content section (including the "in the news" and "on this day" parts) then one would be left with a very small page that explains what the site is and provides links to the content, not the content itself.
Small and easy to navigate.

Let's start from the top. Unlike wikipedia or many other index pages, there is no explanation as to what the site is for. Instead, there is a link to a page titled "About this wiki. " A page that contains a small explanation for what the site is for. The text in that page should be put at the top of the index page. On top of that there's a note about an unnamed person. On the 'about this wiki' page there is the same thing. We know that's Karbo, but other people don't. It's poor practice to refer to people like that on a web page, because it assumes that the reader has a fair bit of foreknowledge. The only way a reader can know that the person referred to as "me" is Karbo is by following the links on the "About this Wiki" page. That's going 3 pages and leaving the site to find out something that could be easily shown on the front page. In fact, if we ignore links, the word "Karbo" does not appear on the front page at all.

Now for the links to the content. They are highly disorganised. At the top of the page we have a section titled "General Content" with 6 links in no particular order." While these serve their purpose, they could be organised far better.

In addition to these links; There are 8 headings on the front page of which only seven have corresponding text. Text that should either have its own page or be moved to existing pages. Some of this text is outdated. That doesn't make too much sense, considering we have threads for wiki corrections and a forum for change suggestions. That only proves that nobody reads them.
If we count sub-headings, then there are 18 headings on the page, of which 10 are links.

Heading 8, titled "Miscellaneous", has 10 sub-headings, none of which should be in a miscellaneous category..
These unordered, disorganised subheadings are actually links. 8 of them have text that should be on the relevant pages that the headings link to or is already on these pages. Are uses expected to read the same text twice or are they expected to read that text then go to the relevant page to find out what the text was talking about?
For the sake of consistency, why do only 8 of these headings have text?
If links are supposed to have text under them, why do the links at the top of the page under General Content have no text?

On top of this, the amount of page space between these headings-cum-links and the links under General Content is huge. Navigation links should be groups together, not strewn across the page. It forces users to scroll all the way down a cluttered page for no reason.

I believe the reason we accept this is because we are used to it.
Karbo has told me that he prefers when people are frank, so I'll be frank.
The wiki, especially the main page, has no design. Things have been tacked on again and again. The result is a highly unwieldy and hard to navigate website.

Designing a website without having a design in mind is an obvious fallacy. Unfortunately that is what has appear to have happened. Content is usually added to general pages that quickly fill up, meaning that more general pages must be created. The result is messy, with each page so undefined that users must wade though all of them to find the information they want.

I'm not one to present a problem like this without a solution in mind, so here's my proposal for the design and site layout of the wiki.
For those not able to access google documents, there's this lower resolution image. Keep in mind that it will quickly become outdated.:
 

I believe that this design is conductive to easy navigation as not only does it provide an organised hierarchy of pages, but it allows for interlinking between those pages.
It also allows for new content to be added quickly and easily. As I said before, this is one of the problems with the current wiki.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:14 pm

As someone who was new to to the wiki not that long ago I must agree with AJ. It was some time before I figured out thst there was important info on the main page below the contents. You only see the contents list when first loading the page. It would probably be better to have it on it's own page with a bold link from the main page labeled 'Introductory Information' or something of the sort.

While we're on the subject I'd love to see a settlements (cities, villages, etc.) list page. Probably linked to from locations.
I see you've already thought of this. ^ Embarassed


Last edited by 2Ron2R on Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Noticed Cities, Towns and Bases Pages in flowchart.)
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:31 pm

So you can get to cities towns and bases from characters and vice versa? following the solid arrows around the area with characters, cities towns and bases, organizations, that whole area is a bit cluttered, it's organized but still difficult to follow what exactly links to what, since some arrows meet up in the middle of a line that links two pages.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:42 pm

Yeah I know It's a bit hard to follow there.
The line styles are simply there to differentiate between lines.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sun May 01, 2011 2:37 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:
Again, take wikipedia for example. If one were to remove the featured content section (including the "in the news" and "on this day" parts) then one would be left with a very small page that explains what the site is and provides links to the content, not the content itself.

It's not exactly the same, though. The Felarya wiki is about a specific fictitious world. Even if it presents this world in a broad and detailed way, it's not quite the same as Wikipedia, which as a universal encyclopedia can't exactly be summed up on its main page... I remain in favour of having a presentation of the world, rather than merely of the wiki, on the main page.

Still, I do see your points, and that structure you suggest is quite neat. Nice work.

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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sun May 01, 2011 2:58 am

I'm in favour of having a separate page for introduction and a (rather large) link to it on the main page.
I believe that users would be far more likely to click the link than they would be to scroll down the page and see that the introduction is there. It's a similar situation to the one we have now.
French snack wrote:
, and that structure you suggest is quite neat. Nice work.
Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Tue May 03, 2011 3:39 am

Well me I think we must still have an introduction on the main page, even if a brief one.
And that's a great job you made with that idea of organization. I don't agree with everything but many parts makes sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Wed May 04, 2011 9:51 am

I agree with Karbo, it's fundamental for every website to have an introduction on the main page. That's what all my programming instructors have told me regarding web page creation, it makes sense, and it's a bit more welcoming. Also, it's what I've been saying from the beginning.
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Wed May 04, 2011 10:19 am

Well yeah, I'm saying that we shouldn't have full, detailed intro on the main page.

Something like this:

Welcome to the Felarya Wiki, a site for the... <short introduction goes here>
...for a more detailed introduction, follow the link below.
<introduction page link here>
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PostSubject: Re: Wiki Reorganization?   Sat May 28, 2011 8:48 am

Alright I'm redesigning the main page. I think it looks way better now ^^
Thanks for your suggestions, they help a lot Smile
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