Difference between revisions of "Talk:Sandbox"

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::: As I said the first time you mentioned the idea, I love it. I just like gradients, but I am not terribly attached to the idea. The colors you chose are good. I think we should implement the idea as you have it and hold off on the gradient. It would look messy if it was separate in every box. Perhaps there can be a backgrounds color over the whole page? Maybe that would be nice with a gradient, something that starts off strong and ends light. --[[User:His portliness|His portliness]] ([[User talk:His portliness|talk]]) 22:00, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
 
::: As I said the first time you mentioned the idea, I love it. I just like gradients, but I am not terribly attached to the idea. The colors you chose are good. I think we should implement the idea as you have it and hold off on the gradient. It would look messy if it was separate in every box. Perhaps there can be a backgrounds color over the whole page? Maybe that would be nice with a gradient, something that starts off strong and ends light. --[[User:His portliness|His portliness]] ([[User talk:His portliness|talk]]) 22:00, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
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== Color block changes and flex-flow reflow ==
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This post refers to [[Special:PermanentLink/124168|this draft revision]].
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 +
So, I had an idea about the flat colour blocks, trying to think a little about {{u|His portliness}}' suggestion of trying some colour gradients. I'm sure this isn't what he had in mind, but I realised that the colours that were chosen for the blocks in the long-ago just happen to line up quite well with the desktop Godville color themes.
 +
 +
So I went back to {{tlx|Diary}} and reimplemented those themes that were taken out when it was rewritten and modernised (perfectly reasonable decision at the time, they weren't used) and then replaced the flat color blocks with the corresponding diary styles. I've also reflowed the flex box layout so that it may be a little more intuitive: main, large boxes make up the left column, small narrow boxes the right, and on narrower displays they will collapse to a single column.
 +
 +
There's plenty of tweaking to be done, especially around the <code>flex:</code> parameters (relative column widths, how narrow it can be without collapsing to a single column, etc), along with padding between the blocks. This also is purely addressing layout, not the content in the boxes; the text still needs editing, and I still consider the ''Random Image'' box in particular to be pretty disposable, especially if someone can come up with something better to go in there. (Perhaps moving some of what's currently in ''Welcome to the Godwiki'' to the fourth box might improve both?)
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Also, as always, feel free to hate my idea, so long as you express yourself constructively! 😁 -- [[User:Djonni|Djonni]] ([[User talk:Djonni|talk]]) 09:15, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

Revision as of 09:15, 11 December 2020

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Sandbox article.
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Main Page Facelift 2020

For the proposal and initial discussion of this, see Talk:Main Page#Facelift.

Hey all! Happy this is happening. Perhaps white space with little black borders around each category would look good? --His portliness (talk) 07:21, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

I was mucking around with the layout at the time you left the above, His portliness, and I had already set 2px bottom borders as an experimental layout before I saw your suggestion. 😊
My feeling is that the facelift should really move away from the heavy, boxy styles that typified the Early Utilitarian design era of the Godwiki to embrace some lighter, more open designs with that use colour highlighting and eschew the entire boxes-in-boxes-in-boxes schema we had with all the early infoboxes and main page design. I removed the enclosing div that did nothing but made the front page boxed in and grey. The yellow colour scheme — especially the khaki colour of the border and underlines — want really intended to be final, so I think we can and should play with that. (I have a Sony fantasy about having the colours of the top box slowly shift from cool to warm to cool as the Godville seasons progress...)
So, I think all the colours are up for debate and experimentation!
Next: display: grid vs columns. I think the original choice to use columns was to make an attempt at responsive design in a system which leaves us very few options. I think the display: grid looks good on mobile, but on desktop it creates a looooot of whitespace... More than I really expect to see. What do others think about that...? -- Djonni (talk) 18:43, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
The color changing sounds so cool. Basically a gradient from yellows or light blue to purples and back? Like this maybe?
As for the desktop issue, it isn't terrible. Is there a way to force the layout for desktop to be 3 columns? --His portliness (talk) 20:38, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
If we were in a standard web page, we would just have to add a media query in the CSS and everything will be solved. Here, it's another story. Though I do agree the grid with two columns tend to feel empty on fullscreen desktop, it works well on halfscreen desktop and mobile screen. The columns method was the opposite, looking good on both desktop way, but not mobile-screen friendly since some screens were displaying a single column.
There might be another way to do things like we wish, but we may need to ask ourselves one big question : mobile-first or desktop-first? Ideally, we would optimise for both ; realisticly we may have to make a choice. --WardPhoenix (talk) 21:09, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
I did some quick website analytics in the hopes of finding a mobile vs desktop user traffic analysis. Sadly I could not find that info, although I did reach out to the devs. The overall visits per month average to 246684 and average visit duration is 00:06:51. Currently the mobile vs desktop worldwide hovers at 50% since 2017. I think because this is a game, it is safe to assume that there is a large percentage on the app itself with over 500k downloads on the app store which is automatically mobile, plus, of those that go straight to the website (like myself), at least 50% are using mobile. Which means overall mobile would seem to be the larger platform. Does this make sense to anyone?
Also, I noticed that on desktop, since there are 12 categories to view (such as artifacts and records), they line up as 7 on one line and 5 on the next. If the 5 would be centered that would be nice, but currently they are aligned to the left and it looks a bit off. Same with the list of 6 main categories like the guidebook. I know that the layout changes based on the size of the window, but perhaps centering can be forced? --His portliness (talk) 22:40, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The columns method was the opposite, looking good on both desktop way, but not mobile-screen friendly since some screens were displaying a single column. From my testing, that's not an artifact of the columns: technique; the exact same thing happens now on narrow screens with the display: grid approach. It's simply because we're replaced a collection of small items with a collection of large items. Some screens are simply too narrow to fit two of these items side-by-side. The only way to fix that is to make the size of the items smaller. Maybe we can adjust down the font-size until it works well on the narrow screens (iPhone 4-5 screen width is probably the target for our 'small screen' layout, 320px wide).

I don't know display: grid very well, but from what I understand it's powerful and flexible... but in ways we simply don't need (and mostly can't take advantage of without access to the site CSS). Using columns: kinda gives us what we want for free: it automatically chooses the column count in such a way as to keep the content as even as possible. This is actually why there are 12 items in the banner: 12 is kind of a magic number for grids, as it's divisible by 6, 4, 3, and 2. Perhaps there's something technical about display: grid which gives some advantage which isn't obvious to me, but as it stands I advocate for a return to columns: 3 or 4, and try to adjust the item width so that we get 2 columns on a 320px wide display. Right now, it looks like we're collapsing to 1 column at somewhere around 350px width, we so we probably need to drop our column size by around 10% or so.

one big question : mobile-first or desktop-first? No question — mobile first. The least sophisticated users are most likely to be mobile users using the wiki through the app. Those statistics, His portliness, are they for the Godwiki (wiki.godvillegame.com), or for godvillegame.com, or an accumulaton of both?

the layout changes based on the size of the window, but perhaps centering can be forced? Again, this is a strong reason to return to a columns: 3 or 4 6-8em. No need to centering, we get balanced columns with nice spacing for free.

One last point: though I'm generally a gleeful advocate of all uses of {{daily choice}}, I think we should reconsider using it for the equipment emoji this way. One of the main reasons to have a pretty image (image ≡ emoji) next to each option is to give people a clear visual aid to find the item they're looking for in the list. We lose that if the icon's different every time the person visits, and risk creating some confusion. ("If I click that will it lead to the same place as last time?"). Personally I think we should pick one clear emoji to represent equipment in the list and stick to it. 😊 Thoughts? -- Djonni (talk) 06:44, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

Those statistics, His portliness, are they for the Godwiki (wiki.godvillegame.com), or for godvillegame.com, or an accumulaton of both? After a quick recheck, they are for all extensions of godvillegame.com. When I tried a check on just wiki.godvillegame.com I got an error that there isn't enough traffic above 10,000 visits a month to give a good estimate. So I guess the wiki gets somewhere in the 10k range... --His portliness (talk) 07:11, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
To the devs:
"We are redoing the wiki main page. Can you let me know if the wiki gets more desktop traffic or more mobile traffic? This would enable us to focus on the larger contingent of users.
Thanks"
Response:
"Mobile traffic is a bit bigger. However, it's also important not too leave behind people because of their device type or screen size (ideally it should be usable on both mobile and desktop)."
--His portliness (talk) 21:50, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Haaaaah, mmmkay, great. I think that FeRDNYC ʿalayhi s-salam would find that comment from the devs... some mix of hilarious and enraging 😂 The way to achieve what they, and we, think we should be doing, vis. making the Godwiki usable on both mobile and desktop, is to update the hell outta everything, start installing some damn extensions, unlock the damn CSS so that it can be made responsive, and enable us who invest so much of our time and energy into this thing to use proper modern web and mediawiki systems.
Buuuuut we'll just stick with making the best possible use of the resources we have, rather than moaning about the resources we don't. 😅 -- Djonni (talk) 12:29, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
Lol exactly what I responded to the dear devs. I said without access to the CSS at a minimum, we can only do our best. I think if enough of us ask for it they will seriously start considering this. --His portliness (talk) 13:55, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

New topic on mainpage

I reached out to some players in a very unofficial and incomplete sort of survey. Many said they don't use the wiki so much because they never figured out what the heck was going on. Talk pages were foreign to them, they had no idea what they were or how to use them. They weren't sure how to leave comments or how to find and create their own pages. Perhaps a more comprehensive beginner's guide would be a nice thing. The GodWiki guidebook is nice, but it needs a bit more step by step instruction and it's missing a bunch of the important stuff that a first timer would want to know. --His portliness (talk) 23:24, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

So, first response to this is, go ahead!
Second response: I'm all for making the wiki as welcoming and well-signposted as we possibly can, but there's a horse-to-water element to this. My feeling is that a lot of players don't familiarise themselves with the wiki because they just don't care. I... honestly, I don't feel like it's actually very hard to get to grips with it, but maybe that's my own bias. However, I will point out that this is exactly why there was so much text put on the Main Page in the first place, to try to give everyone the biggest chance possible to understand and find resources and help. So, if we prune the Main Page's text and resources down and move them somewhere that's less obvious and easy to find... what are we achieving...? -- Djonni (talk) 06:49, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate your faith in my writing abilities 😂. I'm not sure that I'm the one for this, since I barely understand the GodWiki myself. I think I'm still close enough to the other side of the fence to be a good critic about what needs explaining. I'll definitely try to put something together though.
I think having a box on the main page that says "if this is your first time here, click me!" or something along that vein, it wouldn't be less clear at all. --His portliness (talk) 07:06, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
The Godwiki Guidebook is currently unneccessary IMO, though it was written by the Devs themselves and it appears in the sidebar, so we can't ignore it sadly. Maybe we could indeed replace said guidebook to a real ultra-dumbed down step-by-step guide.
Note: by ultra-dumbed, I don't intend to say that deities are too dumb for current stage of Godwiki but, as I agree with Djonni there, Deities that don't understand how Godwiki are probably not even trying to do things and want us to do it for them. (Yeah I am overreacting I guess).
I joined the wiki on late 2018, not knowing a single thing on how wikis worked and absolutely no programming knowledge. Trial and error is the best way to learn something, that's what gaming and most of things are about.
Nethertheless, we can still try to reach to those people and improve things for them I guess... -- WardPhoenix (talk) 12:41, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
So, I think that between WardPhoenix's excellent point that the Guidebook, as it currently exists, isn't that useful, and His portliness' observation that a huge "New here? Click me!" somewhere prominent on the main page might be useful... perhaps this thread should graduate to a discussion on Talk:Godwiki Guidebook about repurposing and rewriting that page to be something we thing might help capture those users...?
The only trouble with this is that writing like that is actually super hard, and someone's gotta do it... 😅 -- Djonni (talk) 12:54, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am ok with trying to give the writing a shot. I copied the text to a local file and will make a rough draft, and then I will repost it to a sandbox for discussion. I know that it would be ideal to do the whole thing on the wiki, but I don't think I will have time to do that type of writing if I can't have access when I am away from wifi.

Djonni, feel free to move this discussion to the talkpage for the guidebook, I just don't know how. Maybe I'll write a giude on how to move it 😂. --His portliness (talk) 19:20, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

Color scheme

I think a color gradient (perhaps that is "style = linear-gradient|bottom"?) would look nice on the page. Maybe a bold modern color fading out. (You can see an example of this on the talkheader) Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by His portliness (talkcontribs) 29 November 2020‎

Hmm, across the whole page...? Or on the top box? We've been using simple gradients more and more in the various hatnote templates to try to make them a little more aesthetic than the block colours that they were before. Too many gradients in one page can be quite distracting if not done well though, so it's one of those "use wisely" CSS features. 😊
I had mentioned, somewhere... oh right, just up in #Main Page Facelift 2020, the idea of having the colours of the top box slowly shift from cool to warm to cool as the Godville seasons progress. That's certainly not incompatible with a gradient. I thought I should mock up the kind of thing I had in mind to make it clearer what that could look like.
So, with four seasons, I imagine the colours slowly shifting through shades between four colour points, each colour being strongest mid-season. I had thought (but am open to alternatives) that broadly speaking, Winter would be blue, Spring would be orange (tough that transition may be strange), Summer would be green, Autumn would be red. (As an Australian living in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm painfully aware that the Godville seasons cycle in opposition to the Souther Hemisphere's seasons, but c'est la vie.)
So, with plenty of room for tweaking and changes, I imagine the key frames of the colour schemes to be something like this. Winter, peaking on Day 0, with a highlight color of rgb(50, 160, 220):
Gameplay
Next, Spring, peaking on day 365/4, with a highlight color of rgb(235, 160, 15):
Gameplay
Summer, peaking on day 365/2, with a highlight color of rgb(50, 160, 60):
Gameplay
Autumn, peaking on day 365*3/4, with a highlight color of rgb(235, 90, 60):
Gameplay
Obviously, in between these peak days, the colors would be in transition between those shown above. At the change of seasons from winter's blue to spring's orange, or day 365/8, for example, the color would actually end up being a surprisingly nice earthy green color:
Gameplay
Now, doing all the math is fine, it's just a matter of some clever parser functions, but doing it elegantly and in a way that someone reading the code might stand a chance of understanding, well... I'm still gnawing on that. And I'm definitely not so attached to this idea that I can't throw it out if we think it's a terrible (or ugly) idea. Just thought I'd do some mock-ups for us all to consider. 😊 -- Djonni (talk) 15:02, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Edit: the original Autumn colour, rgb(235, 75, 60) seemed a little pinker than I liked, so I adjusted it to a slightly oranger red. -- Djonni (talk) 16:41, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
As I said the first time you mentioned the idea, I love it. I just like gradients, but I am not terribly attached to the idea. The colors you chose are good. I think we should implement the idea as you have it and hold off on the gradient. It would look messy if it was separate in every box. Perhaps there can be a backgrounds color over the whole page? Maybe that would be nice with a gradient, something that starts off strong and ends light. --His portliness (talk) 22:00, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

Color block changes and flex-flow reflow

This post refers to this draft revision.

So, I had an idea about the flat colour blocks, trying to think a little about His portliness' suggestion of trying some colour gradients. I'm sure this isn't what he had in mind, but I realised that the colours that were chosen for the blocks in the long-ago just happen to line up quite well with the desktop Godville color themes.

So I went back to {{Diary}} and reimplemented those themes that were taken out when it was rewritten and modernised (perfectly reasonable decision at the time, they weren't used) and then replaced the flat color blocks with the corresponding diary styles. I've also reflowed the flex box layout so that it may be a little more intuitive: main, large boxes make up the left column, small narrow boxes the right, and on narrower displays they will collapse to a single column.

There's plenty of tweaking to be done, especially around the flex: parameters (relative column widths, how narrow it can be without collapsing to a single column, etc), along with padding between the blocks. This also is purely addressing layout, not the content in the boxes; the text still needs editing, and I still consider the Random Image box in particular to be pretty disposable, especially if someone can come up with something better to go in there. (Perhaps moving some of what's currently in Welcome to the Godwiki to the fourth box might improve both?)

Also, as always, feel free to hate my idea, so long as you express yourself constructively! 😁 -- Djonni (talk) 09:15, 11 December 2020 (UTC)