Hello, recently I have seen some flaws in our Avatar Wiki's Main Page. I’ve tried to get to some conclusions and constructive solutions. Before I go ahead, I would like to show you which flaws that are compromising the look of our Wiki:
- Flaw 1: The Community Banner takes the two sides of the main page. It's unnecessarily big, when it could go only at the left side, and especially when half of that content is in the bar that is upside (Wiki Navigation).
- Flaw 2: The Welcome Section is unnecessary. It states the obvious, has a “create article” button, which is already displayed next to the number of articles, which by the way is also included in the Welcome Section.
- Flaw 3: The Twitter and Facebook buttons take too much space, while they can be shortened in two lines with 3 extra links (Wiki Forum, Answers Wiki and IRC), as showed in my proposal of a main page (see below).
- Flaw 4: The News Section is way too big, taking unnecessary space. It takes a big part of the main page, while it could be reduced to one thin line with 2 less news, which date about 8 months old.
- Flaw 5: The Blog Section could only display 2 blogs, as there is a “see more” link, which gives you the access to the latest blogs (around 20).
- Flaw 6: The Heading is one big picture that, in my opinion, looks terrible. You can barely see that it is a Woodsprite, and it makes the main page “shiny”. It could easily be avoided with a shorter and better heading.
Click the image to be redirected to the prototype.
Finding solutions for this problems wasn’t easy, but I tried to fix them by doing a prototype of what could be a better solution. You can find the prototype and explore it HERE. Yes, it is a big change, and it was created while I was playing with some codes to improve the wiki. Of course that it is only an option, and the flaws can be fixed by just editing the main page in a few minutes. But this is just a fresh proposal that some people may like.
Probably the biggest addition would be the Slider. It is a way to display four different images, while linking them to important articles or Avatar news. It would look great on the wiki, and the best part is that it doesn’t take space, it actually reduces it. The bad part would be that main page is 3MB, which means at least 25 seconds on a 1mbit connection (which is what many people have today). The loading time people are usually willing to wait is somewhere around 5 seconds. Of course that’s for the minority of the users, but it has to be considered.
The good parts and improvements of the prototype are:
- The Slider can display several images while linking them to important wiki news and articles (The Avatar Con blog, for example).
- It deletes the entire unnecessary Welcome Section (see above) and turns it into one single line that speaks for the whole content. The content inside the current Welcome Section is already displayed in different parts of the main page.
- The Twitter and Facebook logos that took a considerable space, takes only one single thin line now. Even more, we have added the links for the Answers Wiki, the Avatar Wiki Forum and the Answers Wiki. All in a smaller place.
- The Category Navigation (the small circles) used to take both sides of the main page (left and right), and now it only takes the left side, leaving more space for more information.
- The Featured Article has a more detailed and bigger summary that looks better than the previous design. (That is of course, a matter of opinion)
- We have moved the Featured Image to the bottom of the left side, to give space to our new section: Featured Quote. Yes, as there is more space, so we can add the Featured Quote next to it.
- The News Section took too much space, space that is needed. So we have moved it into the right, and we removed two news. That means that the news from 8 months ago are now gone to leave space for more information.
- Finally, we have reduced the number of blogs displayed from 3 to 2. Why? Because there’s already a link to the past blogs, and space is always important. There is still space for a third spot, but we find it unnecessary now.
So, the main goal of this new proposal is to keep everything tighter, while adding new sections. I find it easy to use, and it will definitely attract the eyes of the new users that visit us for the first time. Did you know that we get 64 thousand visitors monthly? We have to represent all of them in an easy-to-use main page. Also, if you don't like the Slider, we can remove it and stay with the rest, it's up to you guys.
Now, of course, this is a proposal. We can still just make those little tweaks in the current main page, it’s up to the Avatar Wiki community. 'That’s why we need ideas in your comments! Would you prefer to use the new proposal, or just tweak some things in the current one? If it is the tweak option, then how would you improve the current main page?
I appreciate in advance any type of answer and help you can give us!
NOTE: Please keep your comments constructive, and remember that it is a matter of opinions