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Tag wikis are important

Tag wikis are awesome, and I like their format. However, I think it can be counter-intuitive for users to get there.

Often there is a vast amount of useful information in the tag wikis when they cover large topics. Looking at the tags sorted by popularity and clicking through to some of the first page will yield a good example of the amount of information available in these tags.

Figure 1 For example, the c# tag wiki

Getting to the tag wiki from tagged questions

Unfortunately getting there can be kind of an ordeal if the user is not aware of them. The entire top-bar renovation removed all hover actions to navigate. Tags still have the hover feature in order to access. Hovering the tag is the fastest way to access the "info" section. If hover is not an option, there is a series required to click through in order to access the information, and at each point the click through name is changed.

From a meta standpoint, all issues related to the tag wiki are tagged with . There is no tag-info tag. In general there is no reference in conversation made to "tag-info", and especially not for the "about" section (which shows as a link next to the tag in the side bar "about >>").

Figure 2.1 Highlighted links to the tag wiki

Reviewing figure 2.1, there are 3 highlighted areas that will give access to the tag wiki. None of them mention the word "wiki". Standardizing the naming will increase the chances users find these tag wikis.

  • Yellow "info". When going from the basic "Questions" link to the more specific "[c#]" tag questions, the info tab barely shows up. When first clicked, newest is still the selected tab, and because many users are looking for questions (since that is the main format) their eye focuses on the list of questions and not the small tab which appeared marked "info". The user may give a cursory glance to the tab, so it should at least be more descriptive of what it represents.

  • Green "learn more...". This seems to be the common click through link as it resides just below the abstract. Again it does not follow a naming convention, and it is hard to tell from the small abstract how much actual information is really going to be present. Moreover, right next to it is "improve tag wiki" which in my opinion is out of place. There is a link to edit once the tag has been read, and the link to edit here, and also in the hover popout, are just noise.

  • Red "about >>". Before researching this a bit and gathering information on the tag-wiki workflow I had never noticed this link. About is rather vague. More than that though, is the placement of this link. It is on the sidebar and there is available space there to actually place another blurb for getting the user to the tag wiki aside from just a single word.

  • The abstract. The blurb is nice as an intro to the tag wiki. Perhaps it would be possible to include a similar down arrow as is being used in the new profile page, and then have that expand the entire tag wiki there in the box.

I think these areas could be benefit from having the highlighted changes from figure 2.1 changed to have a more standardized naming convention as shown in figure 2.2.

Figure 2.2 suggested improvements to current design

Figure 3.1 Hovering a tag

Figure 3.2 Hovering a tag suggested modification

Getting the word out in the 2 minute tour

Users are really never pointed to tag wikis from the walk through either.

Figure 4.1 lack of any mention of the tag wiki

Figure 4.2 Brief note towards the tag wiki inside of the 2-minute tour

tldr;

Standardize the naming convention for the tag wiki (which is currently either "info", "about", "learn more...", , etc). Include some tip of the hat for the tag wiki in the 2-minute tour. Perhaps add a lazy load arrow to expand the abstract. Perhaps include the popout as a sidebar widget.

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    "Every tag has an associated tag wiki" no… – bjb568 Mar 8 '15 at 22:20
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    @bjb568 - Using only the word "no" as an argument is not a good form of communication. Please use your words. Are you saying that every tag does not in fact have an associated tag wiki? If that is the case you are incorrect, as every tag has a wiki (even if some have no information yet because they are new) - some are associated to tag wikis which are synonyms but they still have an associated tag wiki. Or perhaps you just dislike the wording, which would be understandable. Hard to tell though, since all you said was "no", to which I would probably say "yes" and await further reasoning. – Travis J Mar 9 '15 at 8:22
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    I mean "no"… i.stack.imgur.com/LNW68.jpg – bjb568 Mar 9 '15 at 14:28
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    @bjb568 - That still has an associated tag wiki, it just lacks any information. Perhaps if you feel strongly about that tag you should edit some information into it. Seeing as how some tags still lack a summary in their tag wiki, increasing the exposure to them would make even more sense. – Travis J Mar 9 '15 at 15:42
  • I don't get it. There's a post on MSE with id 99999999999 but it just doesn't have any content? And it doesn't exist? So there's no post? – bjb568 Mar 9 '15 at 18:45
  • There is no post for meta.stackexchange.com/questions/99999999999, however there is a tag wiki for spl-autoloader. You can find it right here: stackoverflow.com/tags/spl-autoloader/info – Travis J Mar 9 '15 at 18:47
  • Keep in mind also, that this is one edge case, which in reality should probably just be a synonym of stackoverflow.com/tags/spl-autoload-register/info . While you may point to one tag, there are 42000 on Stack Overflow alone, and plenty more network wide, many of which have a well groomed tag wiki. – Travis J Mar 9 '15 at 18:54
  • Many != all.... – bjb568 Mar 9 '15 at 18:57
  • @bjb568 - Are you daft? Many have well groomed information, all have a tag wiki. – Travis J Mar 9 '15 at 19:01
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    I have cookies, never mind that I have exactly 0 cookies… – bjb568 Mar 9 '15 at 20:49
  • Humph. You take my idea and spend more than two minutes thinking about it and you think it makes you a better person???... .... you're right :( – Won't Sep 29 '16 at 12:42
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    @Won't - I am just happy that you brought up the tag wiki discussion again! It seems to just fall by the wayside all the time. Personally, I thought that documentation's entrance should have been through the tag wiki, but apparently tag wikis are like 8th-hand citizens. – Travis J Sep 29 '16 at 19:07
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+100

A little addition from me:

  1. Make the tag box more headerish, I mean, increase the font size. Also border it (orange is great in case of Stack Overflow). That's just because this section should feel like a header.

  2. There is no need to duplicate the excerpt in the side bar, but "about" could be changed to "about this tag" and be styled as a button for better visibility

  3. Create an option to expand tag excerpt to the tag wiki right in the box, not a link to the other page. The button itself should look like this:

    show description and usage (tag wiki)

    As you see, I'd add the link to the explanation what is the tag wiki. In the linked page, I'd bold tag wiki:

    Clicking on a tag below a question brings you to a page that shows all questions within that tag. You also see a description of what the tag is and how it should be applied on Stack Overflow (since sometimes the tag name is a common word that has a broad meaning in the real world but a very particular, narrow meaning on this site.) These descriptions comprise the tag wiki, which is editable by the community like any other post.

  4. Also: just because we're there ( :-) ), the link to the jobs should certainly styled differently, I even didn't notice it earlier.

As a result, I'd like to see the whole thing like this (with unexpanded wiki):

With expanded wiki...

...there are some other requests:

  1. Needz <hr>s, of course :)

  2. Replace "history" with "wiki history"

  3. Remove "improve tag wiki", which otherwise would duplicate "Edit Tag Wiki" (in which I personally prefer to remove capitalization on ever word, leaving it only on the first word)

  • Kitteh approved! This looks mildly usable even! – bjb568 Mar 9 '15 at 14:24
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    I like your idea of coloring it like a header, I think that is smart and will differentiate it more from the page. – Travis J Mar 9 '15 at 15:43

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