Forum:New skin - feedback and bug reports

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As you have probably noticed, I have enabled a new skin today. Its key features are a more modern design and a content width of 958px, which is ~300px or 45% more space for content in comparison to our previous host (and 150px more than our previous skin here). This is still a beta version, so please bear with us while we're ironing out the issues - or even better, help us by submitting bug reports :)

The skin will be active for a trial period of one week so we can gather feedback and bug reports from a wider audience. After the trial period, the community will decide whether it should be kept or whether we should return to a more traditional wiki layout.

The banner, background and color scheme are not final yet - they are still being discussed by the community - feel free to join in.

If you have any feedback, suggestions or bug reports, you are more than welcome to leave them in the sections below :) -- Porter21 (talk) 23:56, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Feedback & suggestions[edit source]

I freaked out for exactly 12 seconds when I couldn't find Recent Changes on the right side. Mousing over the Navigation drop-down is alright, but I think having all that garbage on the left side was kind of quaint. In addition, I think that the banner at the top could use some lengthening; the power armor shoulder underneath the Vault logo is a little jarring. I really like being able to have so much text on the screen after dealing with the fixed width stuff for ages, though. :3 Nitty the Kitty! 02:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The skin is still fixed width (I'd assume you're using the NoFixedWidth gadget); the difference is that in this layout, all of the fixed width is actually available for the content area. -- Porter21 (talk) 10:21, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I believe the side navigation is--though an older design and noticeably less space-permitting for the main content--a better design than the current drop down. The simple style with animated collapsible sections is more pleasing to me, personally. And as it is now, the site header is too cluttered for the underlying graphic to be enjoyable.

I also believe the new body graphic doesn't fit the style of the site as well, but it is a beta, and I'm just offering my humble opinion :) Ghouly89 09:27, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I prefer side navigation as well, I think it being expandable on mouseover like in the old Monaco skin would be cool, though. I definitely think that some basic links, like recent changes, upload image, etc. should not require a mouseover. I had a hard time finding "upload image" at first. Ausir 12:26, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

To each their own, I suppose. I always found the Monaco-style slideouts to be highly annoying. -- Porter21 (talk) 10:21, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

FYI everyone, this discussion is about the layout (i.e. side navbar vs top navbar), the color scheme, background and banner are being discussed in another topic (see above). User:AvatarUser talk:Avatar 13:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

From a web design perspective, to me this layout is so much better. The layout is utilising the full page width and negating that wasted space below the side navbox (kinda like the wasted space on Wikia and there sidebar full of ads, chatbox, calendar etc.), also it fixes some of issues with page layouts. The sidebar was overly crowded and really off putting to the casual viewer. The top bar allows for a lot more to be added without having a crowded effect and gives in my view easier navigation. Trust me, I am going to miss the sidebar a lot, since I had it fixed in place no matter how far down the page I was. But I have been using the skin for the past week and really do think it is the way forward, after using it for that week and then going and looking at Wikia, I cringe and realise how bad there layout really was and how we wasn't that far off.
What we need to balance out in all this is editor vs reader, for me this seems the perfect layout for the reader and casual editor, which would be the majority of the sites traffic. Although, I do agree that there needs to be one essential direct link to the help section. I really don't see upload images as an essential link, compared to something that helps people and encourages them to contribute by overcoming there hesitation, trust me - my learning curve and the pitfalls of not knowing how to help properly are still fresh in my mind. As for for the hardcore editor, things can always be added via gadgets which they can enable if they desire, like the floating toolbar we already have now. We really need to take a step back from how we want it, and look at how we impact vistors and impart the knowledge of this wiki to those who navigate here. A good site layout and easy naivagtion for the casual reader will encourage further backlinks to here, increasing are Google ranking. To me that is far more important than having to hoover over the menu bar. User:AvatarUser talk:Avatar 20:53, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Personally I like the banner, though I think its too game spacific. Could we make the banner stay at the top of the page when we scroll though? Also I liked the older backround better, seemed to me like a old fallout weathered book, and I prefer it to this metal wall backround.--Ant2242 01:29, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

You need easy access to all the basic MediaWiki functions, which includes all of the toolbox links (Upload File, Special Pages, etc). I do not find that anywhere. Please add it. Just found it, and really don't like it. It's not intuitive for editors, being labeled with only the strange non media wiki standard icon. --Wynthyst 13:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Thank you, Porter, for the effort you have probably put into this. It seems that most people here either don't realize how much work goes into creating a new skin or they take everything you do for granted. I feel this needs to be said.

I like the new site layout. The navigation especially is much better and I love that the articles do not look "compressed". No offense, but the previous setup gave me the impression that this is the Fallout Wiki for the people who are stuck in the past. On the other hand, the Wikia site (forgive me for bringing it up but it's prudent here) looks boring and just like dozens of other websites. This new layout is both modern, unique and much more appealing. If you could use the additional space to make the text in tables larger I'd be a very happy bunny (-:

I like Ant2242's suggestion for the top area. It would be another big improvement if the navigation stayed on the screen when scrolling. 13:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

ye Porter should just go back to Wikia. i'm sure they'd be more grateful —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

I'm not much a fan of it. Looks way too Fallout 3-y to me (especially the header background image) and the background makes it feel very picture heavy. I am more fan of websites with a light design. Now I can't really concentrate on the article pages, because I have to look left and right all the time (using a 1920x1080px resolution and therefore have big metal plate borders now). I don't mind the other changes so far. --Mr.Lexx 19:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I would like to see the banner and tabs in a separate frame from the rest of the content so that it would stay visible when scrolling down. I also had trouble finding the Recent Changes link, but I don't think it's a big deal (people new to the site aren't going to be looking for it, and the rest of us will hopefully only have to find it once to learn its new spot). --User:HunterZ(talk|contribs) 22:16, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Please people, background and banner elements are being discussed on this page. This is not about those elements or the sites color scheme. It is about the layout. If the layout goes ahead, those elements will be discussed and changed based on the community discussion. User:AvatarUser talk:Avatar 19:08, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I have to say you guys have done wonderful job with the Layout, much better than when we were over at Wikia. ---bleep196- 13:38, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

The auto change to the editing section alwas makes things more difficult. When I go to make a link after I write a single word it desides to add the rest in, most of the time it just changes it to some thing else, but some times it changes it from Ex. Anti-materiel rifle to Ex. Anti-Material Rifle OR Ex. [[Anti-material rifle]]rial rifle]]. I belive that this feture should be removed.--Ant2242 18:41, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

That's not really related to the skin; see my reply in Forum:Move - bug reports. -- Porter21 (talk) 10:21, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Reply to feedback[edit source]

I've intentionally held off on commenting so far since I did not want to influence people's feedback. But since the initial trial period has passed now (well, it was over a week ago but I had to take a little job-related leave) I'd like to comment on what's been said so far.

Banner and background: I'll be honest - I'm a bit disappointed that half of the feedback in here revolves around these when I explicitly stated they are temporary. Banner and background are secondary; I ran the trial and created this thread because I need to know whether people accept the basic layout before I sink more time into it. I'm simply not interested in (and don't have the spare time for) wasting another 40 hours on something which then ends up being discarded.

Side vs top navigation: Personal preferences seem split at best; 3 people like top navigation, 2 prefer side navigation. In terms of factual arguments, little has been provided in favour of the side navigation while the top navigation actually has a tangible advantage (150px more article space). All in all, I'm inclined to keep it.

Toolbox: Yes, using the icon is not ideal, but I'd argue that even with the icon the toolbox is getting more exposure than with the previous layout as evidenced by e.g. this comment by HunterZ in the bug reports thread. The reason why I've chosen to use an icon is simple: Since I'm not allowed to modify the underlying HTML, I have to employ some creative positioning in order to place the toolbox anywhere else but in the navigation bar (where it'd certainly be out of place). In consequence, I need to rely on the toolbox tab being a fixed width (which is most easily achieved by using an icon), otherwise the layout breaks if people select a non-English interface language (as the toolbox tab would then overlap the other action tabs). I'll look into ways to turn it into a text tab, but it might have to stay icon-based for aforementioned technical reasons.

"Navigation" menu/frequently used links: Truth be told, having the "Recent changes"/"Random page"/etc links in the "Navigation" menu wasn't really a conscious decision; I merely kept it the way it was in the previous layout. I agree that certain links need to be surfaced better; however, before deciding how to do that we'd first need to decide which links that should be. A first selection from my point of view:

  • Random page - not used much by editors I suppose, but a popular way of navigating the site for readers (based on information from the Oasis beta which I'm not allowed to share in detail, NDA and all that).
  • Recent changes (and maybe "Recent images")
  • Create article
  • Upload file
  • Help

Anything I've missed?

Fixed navigation: This was/is on my list of future improvements. I didn't add it for the trial run because it requires quite a bit of work, but it's something I'd definitely like to have. My idea was to have a bar with site navigation, search and edit tools appear at the top of the screen when you scroll down the page. Of course, I'll have to see how this works out in practice; I might not be able to add all that due to space restrictions.

-- Porter21 (talk) 10:21, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Update (19 February 2012)[edit source]

I've enabled a new version of the header today. As usual, if you run into any issues please remember to clear your cache. The changes are as follows:

  • Header area is now slightly larger so it doesn't look as crowded.
  • Changed color and font-weight for navigation menus and tabs.
  • Added "action buttons" to right corner of main nav area (requires JS):
    • Left button is for surfacing wiki content. Clicking the left area of the button directly takes you to the selected option; clicking the arrow opens a popup menu with the available options. The left area "remembers" your last selection.
    • Right button is for contributor tools. It doesn't remember the last selected option and only opens a popup when clicked.

-- Porter21 (talk) 10:18, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Bug reports[edit source]

Before reporting a bug, please clear your browser cache first and see if the problem persists.
When submitting bug reports, please include which browser you are using.

When you move your mouse over the login button a additional black line appears below the normal white one. I'm using the latest version of Google Chrome. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Thanks for reporting this. I'm aware of the issue; will be fixed soon. -- Porter21 (talk) 09:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Forgot to post here - this has been fixed a couple of days ago. -- Porter21 (talk) 13:26, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Sometimes when loading the Navigation button in the top bar, takes a second longer to load.--Ant2242 23:59, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

This is because the collapsible navigation used by the previous skin hasn't been disabled (yet). Basically what happens is that the page loads, then the collapsible navigation script kicks in and the "Navigation" menu vanishes, then a script of mine undoes the changes made by the collapsible navigation script and the "Navigation" menu re-appears. If this skin is kept, I'll simply ask the Curse techs to disable the collapsible navigation script and we won't encounter this issue anymore. I just didn't want to request that the script be disabled for the trial period only to have to it re-enabled later in case people do not want to keep the skin. -- Porter21 (talk) 13:26, 2 February 2012 (UTC)