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Our goal is to pilot the Minimum viable product (MVP) of Flow on a subset of WikiProject discussion spaces where users have agreed to trial the software, in order to get feedback that can help us continue to expand and improve Flow features and design. This document outlines the proposed basic features of this first release; however, this is not set in stone. Flow will be developed iteratively and gradually, so the details are subject to change based on user needs. See our Community engagement strategy to learn more about our release plans and how you can collaborate with us.
If you have any feedback or concerns about the requirements for the MVP, feel free to leave them on the discussion page.
Users of Wikimedia projects need a lean, responsive, modern interface for collaboratively improving content. WikiProject discussion pages are one of the places on English Wikipedia where peer-to-peer content collaboration occurs. The first release of Flow to a live Wikimedia project will be geared toward tackling the core needs of Flow as a peer-to-peer content discussion system in the WikiProject discussion space.
This release aims to support existing workflows (discussing content, including markup from that content), as well as improve the user experience of talk pages by facilitating:
- Productive, efficient discussions that resolve the issue at hand quickly. E.g., It should be fast and easy to ask and answer a question. It should be equally fast and easy to remove off-topic, inappropriate, or harmful posts from the discussion.
- Transparency and clarity of communication to ensure good-faith dialog among peers. E.g., It should be fast and easy to get a sense of who the participants in any given discussion are and what they're talking about.
- Ease of use to ensure that anyone can participate if they have something constructive to add to the conversation, regardless of their level of experience with the WikiProject, the Wikimedia project, or with editing wikis in general. E.g., a volunteer translator with little Wikipedia editing experience who is assisting a WikiProject should feel comfortable discussing her translations in the WikiProject discussion space.
Personas and goals
New/potential WikiProject member
Advanced markup editor
Proposed user experience
See an early interactive prototype to try out some of the proposed functionality, and visit the Flow design hub on Mediawiki.org for visual and interaction design brainstorming. Please note: all of this is rapidly evolving software, not the final look or feel of the product!
A Flow-enabled WikiProject discussion space will become a structured discussion spaces with the following features:
- A configurable header area, wikitext compatible and editable (for images and information related to the project, links to archives and FAQ, or any other information that WikiProject members deem useful)
- A start new topic affordance, containing:
- a dialog for naming and starting a new topic
- A list of topics, in order of most recently updated to least recently updated, top to bottom. Each topic contains:
- an editable title
- moderation features (see below under Posts)
- Posts (replies to the topic). Each individual post contains:
- author information
- a human-readable timestamp indicating when a comment was posted, when it was last modified, and by whom, if not the original poster
- Parsoid compatibility, allowing users to copy-paste markup for most templates and advanced wiki syntax (math, IPA symbols, etc.) into their comments
- an affordance for editing a post (available to those with appropriate user rights)
- an affordance for hiding or unhiding a post – hidden comments will leave a placeholder visible to all users
- an affordance for deleting or undeleting a post (viewable only for administrators) – a deleted post will leave a placeholder visible to all users
- an affordance for suppressing a post (viewable only for oversighters) – a suppressed post will only be viewable to oversighters
- a history of the post, including modification and state changes (edited, hidden, unhidden, etc.)
- a permalink
Summary of features
|Header area||Anyone can edit (unless the page is protected; standard user-rights apply).|
|New topic||Anyone can start a new topic (unless the page is protected; standard user-rights apply).|
|Posts||Anyone can add a new post on a topic (unless the page is protected; standard user-rights apply).|
|Notifications||Everyone receives notifications when a user adds a new post to a topic they started or directly replies to them in a thread. These notifications take them directly to the relevant topic/post.|
|Editing posts||Anyone can edit their own posts (unless the page is protected; standard user-rights apply).|
|Hiding/unhiding||Anyone can hide or unhide posts left by others (unless the page is protected; standard user-rights apply).|
|Deletion||Trusted users can delete posts (user-rights set by local projects) and can see the content of deleted posts.|
|Suppression||Oversighters can delete and suppress posts. Only oversighters can see the content of deleted and suppressed posts.|
|Watchlist and recent changes||Anyone who is watching the discussion or monitoring recent changes can see changes to the discussion (new topics/posts, edited posts, deleted posts, suppressed posts) in those views.|