Discussion of Wiki Design

perrinmiller

Visitor
I think this needs it own thread. Copied the discussion posts here as quotes for reference:

I've been thinking about and working on the wiki a little lately. The Adventure Tracking page is becoming unwieldy with all the sundry adventure informations on it. I'd like to make a couple of format changes if there is no major objection. The changes I'd like to make:

  • Keep only the Submitted, Upcoming, and In Progress lists on the Adventure Tracking page.
  • Link Active Adventures and Adventure Timeline pages on the Adventure Tracking page. The Adventure Timeline page is a list of all adventures by start date, with currently playing games highlighted.
  • Move all DMC related information to the specific users profile page (like I've done on my profile)

Alternatively I suppose the DMC information could be left on the page but I think the info about DMC earned/spent would be easier to keep track of if it was together in one spot.

Comments?
I like it all together as it is currently on one page. I would rather it stays there.
a) It's a bit long, but all the information is there.
b) Switching between multiple pages to track the DMCs will lead to info getting lost.
c) With all the data in one place, an audit is quick and easy.
d) I would prefer others to not be editing my "Personal Profile" page. Yeah, I haven't done anything with that in more than a year, but it seems to me the one page that others should not be editing.

If it wasn't for the fact that one can click on the game link to find the first and last dates of a game, I would say copying that data from Adventure_Timeline back to the Adventure_Tracking page would be good. As it is, that is unnecessary.

The Adventure Logs is what needs work to be finished out. A second or third sentence about the storyline of the game as to what BBEG was defeated would be make the page more interesting than "here is a list of adventures". After the adventure logs are filled in, then they need to be added to the top menu. Right now, you have to chase through three pages to get to the info. In other words, the interesting page of our adventures is pretty much hidden.
I can live with that. Having the information on one page was the one thing I figured would be the deal breaker. Didn't really think about the profile page as being an issue since most people probably haven't even done anything on it at all. But I see your point about it being personal space.

I agree that adventure logs need work. I've been experimenting with some ideas there also as I'm sure you've noticed on Qalabash's pages.

So, how about I mention what bugs me the most about the Adventure Tracking page and see if we can work out a usable format that is a little friendlier than what we have currently.
a) The page is long. I can handle that if we can organize the information a little better because working on those really long sections can be confusing when it is a massive block of wiki markup.
b) No organization to the 'Completed Adventures' list. It started out alphabetical but then adventures were added to the bottom of the list as they were completed. When looking for something specific it's hard to find.
c) Browsing through the long 'Completed Adventures' list to audit what DMC I've earned I could easily miss something.

What do you think about the following format:
Submitted Adventures
--
--
Upcoming Adventures
--
--
Adventures in Play
--(all like we do now)
--then...
Adventure Timeline (tabbed)
2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013
[Takes the place of the Completed Adventues list minus DMC info which would be listed by DM below. Adventures added when they begin play here and by specific DM below. This could be a simple list with the links to Adventure Logs when finished.

DMC Tracking
SoandSo (tabbed)
Total | DMC Earned | DMC Spent
I really like having earned and spent DMC listed together. The only issue I worry about is how device friendly the tab stuff is. I'm also not sure how a list of tabbed information would look. What do you think of the DMC block that I added on my profile page and do you think that would work for our DMC tracking?
b) I think that part should be resorted to be chronological. The order in which games finished up has just a smidgeon of more use than being alphabetical to me.
c) I would simply do a CTRL-F search for your name, then repeat until I had walked the full page. So, chasing all the values is not too difficult there.

The link going from the Adventure Timeline section should go to the game itself. I use the tracking page a lot to find the games a player has been in in order to verify the XP they have earned.

The wiki section tabs don't allow searching by the browser's search function in a tab that is not the current view. That is my strike against them. Having to open each of the tabs to look visually for the info you want is time consuming. The collapsible tree format like I have with Tasanto's expected feat progression is also not useful for the same reason.

Let me think on it for a bit. At the moment I am not coming up with a better proposal, so we might go with the tabbed design.
 

perrinmiller

Visitor
Okay, so much to cover.

1. Adventure Tracking Page:
Hmmm, yeah. I agree the Adventure Tracking page is getting unwieldy, but the short Table of Contents is faster than scrolling. However, I don't use it to look at active/in progress adventures at all, using the Active Adventures page instead.

So for me , the main use of that page is mostly DMC related. So, awhile ago I went and separated DMC tracking into Active and Inactive, making it much easier to find my section. I agree with SK, that we as Judges need to update other people's entries, have it all located in one spot is better than on user profile pages. Honestly, until today I never even looked at my user profile page. :p

2. Adventure Timeline and Adventure Logs:
GE, until you linked the Adventure Timeline and Adventure Logs, I had never seen them. Not even sure why we need both actually. Where are they linked to find them easily? Maybe that is a problem since I have not once put anything for my own adventures in that area of the Wiki. We perhaps need some more links to navigate around to pages that are not under Key Pages or Characters.

3. Editing the Active Adventures Section:
Also, where are the instructions on how to add an adventure so it will appear on the Active Adventures page and be a selectable category? I would have done my latest adventure "Elenore's Jewels" myself, but I do not know how.

4. Approved Characters Page:
I would like to do something about the Approved Characters Page, though. Maybe we can break that into two sections; Active and Inactive Players, with the list of inactive at the bottom.

5. Tabs on the Wiki:
I have not played with Tabs much yet, but once you enter editor mode it is no longer be tabbed and really only changes presentation while adding extra formatting. I don't like them. I like a short Table of Contents (not a long one like Fury's) instead and each section has its own edit button. Not much scrolling to do that way.

I use the tracking page a lot to find the games a player has been in in order to verify the XP they have earned.
I think you should use the links from the character's adventure log to do that. If they are missing, kick the problem back to the player to fix. However, if the Adventure Log is linked on the Key Pages and alphabetical, then you can use that instead.

Solutions:
1. Add Adventure Log and Timeline pages to Main Wiki page.

2. Shift Adventure Log to Key Pages (and then we need to make it a list in alphabetical order)

3. On Active Adventures, put the links for the Adventure Timeline and Adventure Log, removing the laundry list of past adventures. Can we add a short Table of Contents to that page as well?

4. Reorganize the Adventure Tracking to to focus on what it is mainly used for. DMC tracking.

I would change the layout to this, as the Table of Contents would show:

1. Submitted Adventures
2. Upcoming Adventures
3. In Progress Adventures (includes a Link to the Adventure Log and/or Timeline)
4. Active DMs (Shows his completed adventures & DMC tracking)
4.1 Deuce Traveler
4.2 Etc...
5. Non-Judge Approvals of characters earn 0.1 DMC (includes their DMC tracking)
6. Inactive DMs (DMs are not linked in Table of Contents)

So mainly all your completed adventures are listed on the page, but they are underneath the DM's name. Easy to check math since the spent DMC are right there under the completed adventures. We don't need to look at inactive DMs much at all, so they are at the very bottom. Each DM is given a sub header and on the table of contents to navigate to them instead of scrolling if you want.

I edited my DM section as an example.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Still thinking over comments to the above.

Meanwhile, I did some work on one of the Adventure Logs here. I expanded the summary, added links, and a gallery of pictures of the NPCs and characters. I'm not happy with the gallery and am thinking it should be cut out, particularly since for decent pictures most of them would have to be edited to bust shots and uploaded to the wiki. Too much work imo.

I would like something visual on the page, though, instead of just blocks of text.
 
Take a look now. Using divs, I created something similar to the gallery line, but with properly shaped thumbnails. Putting the players at the bottom, and also the class/level they were in the game seems appropriate.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Very nice! That works much better than the gallery which made a thumbnail image from the center of the image. And now that you've done it once I can copy what you've done for other adventures.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
I have comments just haven't had time lately to write 'em down. Depending on the work I have tonight I may be able to post them up later.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Ok, finally getting around to jotting down my thoughts and reactions to the above.

Adventure Tracking:

Like you, PM, I mainly use the Adventure Tracking page for the recording and tracking of DMC. I'm not sure I agree with dividing the page into active and inactive DMs. I can't really express what it is about the division that I don't like and I can live with the division so I hadn't mentioned it before. Otherwise, I am fine with the solution (#4 in PM's post above) for the Adventure Tracking page.

Adventure Timeline and Adventure Logs:

The Timeline page I created some time ago so that there would be a list in order of adventures played and that I could add brief summaries to of the adventures. Recently I realized that page was becoming very long so I recently started breaking that list out into the Adventure Logs by year. So, the Adventure Logs are new within the last month or so, so it's not surprising you hadn't run across it. I disagree that the Adventure Logs should be in alphabetical order (and that's saying a lot coming from a librarian). Our alphabetical list of completed adventures on the Adventure Tracking page didn't stay that way very long because it is easier to just add the latest adventure to the bottom of the list. Maybe no one but me thinks it is important but I like being able to read summaries (ok, titles at this point in time) in the order that they occurred. Kinda gives me a feeling of history for our game world.

Editing Active Adventures page:

SK wrote that up and posted it. It's lost somewhere in old discussions and I'm not sure even what thread it is in. I did copy and paste that info into a word doc. It might be easier for me to find that though putting those directions on the wiki with a link somewhere on the Active Adventures page would be good, I think.

Approved Characters page:

I disagree with breaking this page into active and inactive. The whole point is to have a complete list of characters. I feel if you want to look at active characters you should use the Active Adventures page. I suppose an alternative is to have subcategories of the Approved Characters page then we could also add Retired/Deceased as a subcategory.

Tabs:

I like tabs. Or rather, I like the neat presentation of information using tabs and I think that presentation outweighs the points against them brought up by PM & SK. Even if we don't use them on Adventure Tracking I'm going to use them to maintain my spell lists; much easier than the template and spacing that we've been using up to this point.

So, my take on PM's solutions in short:
#1-3: Basically this all seems to be about adding more links where we can. I agree, with the exception of alphabetizing the Adventure Log pages and whether Active Adventures has a TOC; I don't use the TOCs much anymore (though I don't mind if they exist) and I addressed the alphabetizing above.
#4: I'm on board with those fixes (though I would prefer the use of tabs).
 
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Systole

Community Supporter
I don't have a whole lot to offer here. I don't find anything particularly difficult or unwieldy, so I'll go along with whatever the consensus is.
 

Maidhc O Casain

Na Bith Mo Riocht Tá!
Likewise. Left to my own devices, I seem to have a tendency to organize in way that's just a little . . . off . . . from what other folks do. I'm good with whatever you wikixperts decide.
 

perrinmiller

Visitor
Approved Characters page:
I disagree with breaking this page into active and inactive. The whole point is to have a complete list of characters. I feel if you want to look at active characters you should use the Active Adventures page. I suppose an alternative is to have subcategories of the Approved Characters page then we could also add Retired/Deceased as a subcategory.

So, my take on PM's solutions in short:
#1-3: Basically this all seems to be about adding more links where we can. I agree, with the exception of alphabetizing the Adventure Log pages and whether Active Adventures has a TOC; I don't use the TOCs much anymore (though I don't mind if they exist) and I addressed the alphabetizing above.
#4: I'm on board with those fixes (though I would prefer the use of tabs).
Actually, I probably don't need to use the Approved Characters page, except to find a character that is not on the Active Adventures page. Since it is based on the Category assigned on the sheet, it is probably more trouble than it is worth to mess with. So lets leave that alone, then. :)

On the other stuff, can someone take care of doing the some of the changes for #1, #2, #3. Mainly adding in links and the changes to Key Pages Header (Moving Creating a Character to Characters & adding the Link to the Adventure Log). I think those are no argument changes and the other suggestions can be left alone. I don't really feel that strongly about them if they are not desired. :p

I will work on the Adventure Tracking Clean-up and restructure. If we don't like it when it is done, we can revisit. But I think it will be more functional for what we are using it for. Maybe we should rename it?
 
I kept pondering, but wasn't coming up with a better solution. And at the moment, I am behind in character reviews and closing down two games before I get the new one up. So, too many things in the todo box to fiddle with that page yet. Maybe sometime next week I could.
 

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