Forums: Index > Watercooler > Redesigning the main page

For quite a while, I've noticed that the main page looks pretty bland. I've said so in the past and I'll say it again: "it is far too bland; with a lot of whitespace and to be frank, horrible at places." I still stand firmly on the point that it needs to be redone to be made more visually appealing.

If you frequent Special:Recentchanges, chances are you might have already noticed that I've been frequently editing my sandbox. As you can see, it looks horrible in its current condition. That's because all styling is handled by the css that's within the "Beautify" collapsible table. Here's a screengrab of what it's supposed to look like. If you find the background distracting or the resolution too low, you can copy-paste everything under the table (or more conveniently, this) to your wikia.css, clear your cache then have a look. What I propose is that we use the current design in my sandbox for the main page.

I've used character portraits for the headers, so it's mostly the original cast, since aa5/dgs characters don't have proper portraits for it. If someone could arrange for their portraits too, they can be included as well. I've also limited the number of items in the "The Daily Express" section to 10, since that section takes up a lot of the right side. We could also add another section to the right side, now that we have some space left over there. Another solution would be to move "Featured article" and "Flavor poll" to the right side, and add a "Characters" section to the left one. Also, if we have enough character portraits, we can also randomize the background for headers.

Please leave your thoughts, concerns, suggestions below. --slyst

Alright, my initial thoughts are that I generally really like it. It's more striking and visually interesting than what we have at the moment. I've tried my best to make the front page look the best I could over the years, but since I'm awful at wiki code, templates, and whatnot, it's not been anything too drastic (although, and with absolutely no offense intended to the folks who designed it at the time, it is a little better than it was when I started editing here). Anyway, I particularly like the design of the headers and outline boxes for each section. The use of the character portraits are also a really nice touch (I've been meaning to sort the ones we have into a new image category to make them easier to find).
That being said, there is stuff I'd like to suggest as improvements:
  1. Header colour: This just doesn't feel right to me somehow. Would it be possible to make it closer to the colour used for the buttons in the court record in Dual Destinies maybe?
  2. Spoiler text: You've removed the spoiler text alerting people that this wiki is packed full of unmarked spoilers. I feel this is an important thing to have at the top (or near the top) of the page and have it fairly obvious to visitors.
  3. Headers without character portraits: Maybe evidence icons could be used for these?
  4. Welcome!: Would it be better to make the "Welcome!" speech bubble as the header instead of just the text saying welcome? I don't know if that's possible or not. Maybe it would just clash with the rest of the page...
  5. Edgey/Nick image: Since I was the one who put it in, I'm probably just massively biased in wanting to keep the image of Edgeworth and Wright back-to-back. Maybe it could be put into the "Welcome" box by placing it to the right or left of the "Welcome to the Wiki" image and then putting the rest of the information in that box underneath it?
  6. Quotes: My intention with the '"Can I quote you on that?", end quote.' thing for the long quote template was to reference Spark Brushel, so if you're changing it to what you have in your version at the moment, you should probably just change the wording entirely. To be honest, I'm not really the biggest fan of it anyway, although that might just be because I don't really like Brushel all that much...
  7. News: Although the name of the news section is a reference to an in-game newspaper, I actually think it should be changed to something more generic, since it just reminds me of a real newspaper here in the UK. Well, "real" is a matter of debate. Come to think of it, "newspaper" is debatable too, actually...
  8. More space on right: Maybe we could combine the Quote and LongQuote templates into one template? Or have the long quotes expanded by default?
  9. Character portraits: Randomised portraits sounds like a good idea. I mean, you don't have Apollo or Athena at the moment. Or, and this is the biggest sin, Gumshoe! Poor Gummy! :(
I hope there's at least some useful suggestions there. I kinda feel bad pointing out stuff for you to change when people doing the same thing elsewhere on this wiki often grinds my gears. Oh well... ^_^ - Strabo412 (talk) 19:37, September 5, 2015 (UTC)
Glad you liked them. :)
  1. Header color: I've ripped those headers directly off the japanese ace attorney website using background images (specifically this, this and this). Can you pinpoint the exact hex for the color used in Dual Destinies? Those images include gradients and I don't expertise in image editing, so if someone could redo them, I'd have no objections in adding them.
  2. Spoiler text: Whoops, forgot to port that. I'll add it in one of those boxes.
  3. Headers without character portraits: Those headers were originally supposed to have character portraits, but someone suggested that they were a bit too distracting, which is why I removed them. I can re-add them, but we don't have enough portraits to be consistent with the look. I originally intended to use the original aa cast for the left column and aa5/dgs for the right column/footer. If we use evidence icons for these headers, then we'd need them to have a transparent background. I was thinking of using the ones from Dual Destinies *cough*quality*cough* Also, should we randomize them too?
  4. Edgey/Nick image: I'm fine with that. It should look good and expand the left column, giving us a bit more space on the right one.
  5. Quotes: '"Can I quote you on that", end quote.' would make it a two-liner, which is what I wanted to avoid. If it needs to be reworded, do you have anything in mind? I can't think of anything suitable.
  6. News: What I had in mind is what a lot of wikis do. A simple "News" header, with everything stored over at Project:News. The items are transcluded from the project article itself, so that we don't have to update separate templates. This would essentially defeat the purpose of Template:Current events, too.
  7. More space on right: The "can I quote you on that" thing can be expanded by default, but even then, the space is quite huge. It could definitely benefit from another section ot two.
  8. Character portraits: I'm still wondering where were those portraits originally from. Because we have at least one portrait from each of the games (except aai/dgs). Right now, Apollo is probably the main concern, followed by Gumshoe. For the record, we have an Athena, but it might need some adjustments.
Quick update: I've added the spoiler box and the nick/edgey image, along with the evidence icons. Screenshot here. The evidence icons look like a great addition, so I guess we should just focus on getting more portraits for the left column headers. Also, a possible section for the right column (since there's a ridiculously huge space left there now) could be "Did you know..." or maybe a section with some links to the policies and the manual of style. Thoughts? --slyst
  1. Header colour: This is probably just me, but maybe a sort of wood-like colour might work better? I tried to get something close to the court record buttons and came up with something I think is sort of between the PW trilogy and DD versions (HTML#853E00). But I'm afraid I'd be no help with proper image editing myself, sorry... :(
  2. Spoiler text: Great! It definitely stands out more than what we have at the moment.
  3. Headers without character portraits: I do like those evidence images! They look great! Although if the character images do get randomised, I think the evidence ones should probably stay the same. Or at least only pull from a very small pool of such images.
  4. Edgey/Nick image: That gets a thumbs-up from me!
  5. Quotes: Maybe something thematic like "Expanded court minutes" or something along those lines?
  6. News: That does sound much more logical.
  7. More space on right: Have you experimented with the longest quotes? I'm not sure how much space they would take up. It might also be worthwhile keeping this in mind even if the box stays collapsed by default; we don't want expanding it to mess up the look of anything added to the right. I'm probably just overthinking and overestimating here, though.
  8. Character portraits: User:Sligneris instigated and did the vast majority of them (see Forum:Character Profiles), but I don't think he is really about any more on this wiki. There was a lot of arguing about some of the stuff he wanted to do on the wiki last year, and I think he just got fed up in the end. A pity in my honest opinion. I guess I could have a bash at making more, but I can't promise anything.
  9. Additions for right column: The problem with something like a "Did you know..." is that it would probably require a lot of upkeep. You could put links to policies and the manual of style, but they could just as easily go in the "Community Corner". Honestly, I can't really think of anything suitable at the moment. I might poke about on some other wikis for ideas...
Overall, I'm really liking the ideas and improvements! I think I'll link this page in the News section on the front page in an attempt to incite some more discussion. - Strabo412 (talk) 22:38, September 7, 2015 (UTC)
1. Header color: I don't have any issues with that color, but I can't do the editing, especially since they include gradients.
3. Headers without character portraits: Agreed, since there's not much of generic evidence available. Case-specific evidence would not be a very good idea imo. Right now, I'm thinking of Wright's badge, the magatama, Polly's bracelet and documents (those used for autopsy reports and such). Widget looks odd because of the chords. The stepladder, maybe?
6. More space on right: The longest quotes would take, at most, 600px (almost as same as the dashed box reserved for ads). Even then, one more section could be added.
7. Character portraits: One thing I'm wondering about though, is where were these portraits originally hosted? I've searched the japanese ace attorney website, but couldn't find any artworks of that quality.
8. Additions for right column: For the "Did you know..." thing, I've written a script for it, using which any number of random choices can be generated. You can see it working here (non-javascript version here). Using that, we would only need to update it once (twice, maybe) with a lot of "did you know" facts and they'd be generated randomly on each page load.
The character portraits are either just cropped versions of the official art we already have on the wiki (e.g., Edgeworth's DD full art and portrait) or are cropped from the HD sprites (e.g., Powers' portrait image). The version of "Did you know..." that you're suggesting does sound far more appealing than what I originally thought you meant and basically sounds like what the random quote template is just now; generated randomly for each page load and occasionally added to as time goes on. - Strabo412 (talk) 14:50, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
It's good to know that someone appreciates the design. Although, if it's not obvious enough, we would need an admin to do all the necessary css/js work, which is why my response is so late. I had hoped capefeather would eventually come across this and reply, but I guess not. He either missed this message, or chose to ignore it completely. I'm inclined to believe the latter, as this is not the first time it has happened, especially in this regard. --slyst
Or he's simply forgotten, or he doesn't have the time to make a proper response, or a multitude of other reasons. Who knows what's going on in the life of another person on the other side of the internet? I might start (politely) badgering him about it next week if he still hasn't responded. - Strabo412 (talk) 09:23, September 12, 2015 (UTC)

Just wanted to stop by and say I have been following this. I don't have anything specific to say, but the changes look really nice and I appreciate the effort as the current main page has always felt kind of hacked together to me. It seems like there's still some amount of discussion going on and I want to make sure everything's been accounted for. capefeather (talk) 17:31, September 12, 2015 (UTC)

Good to know that.
I say that we should update the main page, as I doubt there is going to be anymore discussion regarding anything other than what Strabo has already pointed out. If someone gets around working with the portraits/header color (which I might, eventually), we could update them then. Everything can be easily implemented now except the "Did you know..." thing, since javascript editing is disabled. --slyst
Actually, I realized that I do have a question. You talked about having a "Project:News" and this would replace "Template:Current events", but after some looking around, I'm not sure I see what you have in mind. Different wikia have different ways of handling their news, and even different names for the templates that they use. For now I'll push this design through. capefeather (talk) 21:03, September 14, 2015 (UTC)
All news items (that is, everything in Project:News archive) would be in a project page. The noinclude tags can then be used to transclude specific items. You can see how it works here (source), being used here.
Glad to see the new main page! I'll be tweaking it a bit, so I hope you don't mind. Also, another thing I had in mind is that we should use meta templates instead of direct inclusion. For instance, Template:Main/top (instead of maintop--er, maintop just seems... wrong) for the spoiler warning and the welcome box, Template:Main/nav could contain the slider and the boxes with the game titles and major categories, Template:Main/featured could contain the features article, and so on. Also, I suggest that we move all images that are currently hosted over at imgur, to this wiki, just to be on the safer side. All of them can be safely categorized under Category:Site images. --slyst
What if we took this further and put each section into its own template page under Template:Main? Maybe the headers could then each have a link directing to each section's template page, either saying something like "edit this section" or using a picture with title text reading something like "edit this section". Mainly it's a similar idea to the usual section-editing links on wiki pages. I also agree that the header images should be uploaded here. It would probably be most appropriate for you to upload them and use the self licensing tag in the descriptions. capefeather (talk) 18:41, September 15, 2015 (UTC)
I don't find the need of having section edit links on the main page. They're simply not needed. Not to mention, they would only obstruct the sprites that are on the right. But if we ever agree to have an edit link, I'd say we go for a pencil icon, or anything similar.
I've uploaded the images, so if you could update the css to this (includes one other fix too). Also, can you state your stance on the way "News" section is handled and the "Did you know..." section? --slyst
I was focusing on the Template:Main stuff because it would affect how we structure everything and thus deal with some of the specifics. I think the most efficient way to do this is to make a meta-template for constructing the box (I guess this would be Template:Main) with parameters indicating which header class to use and which sub-template to use (i.e. Template:Main/nav, Template:Main/featured, etc.). So if we were to put links to the templates (if not a separate link graphic then maybe the title itself could link to each template), then the Main meta-template could be made to handle that instead of mentioning each template twice for each box.
In any case, using includeonly/noinclude tags for news seems so obvious now, and I'm not sure how it never occurred to me or anyone else. About the "did you know": I was reading the script (or, trying to read, anyway, as I don't know Javascript) and I wasn't sure where it's specified how many items would be chosen. I saw that your example picked out ten items from the list, and I couldn't find where that's specified. capefeather (talk) 21:09, September 16, 2015 (UTC)
I really like that idea. That should be easy to implement and should reduce repetition of code over all the subtemplates. Even though I'm still unclear on the need for linking the template page along the box, having a single link would seem odd. Maybe the v (view) • d (discussion) • e (edit) links somewhere at the end of the box would be better?
It's specified here. See the div with the "randomize-container" id that has data-limit="10". If it's not obvious enough, data-limit specifies the number of items to pick. --slyst
Also, on a somewhat related note, I'm thinking of modifying all the notice boxes (template:wikipedia and the like) so that they look more like the spoiler notice in the main page. Thoughts? --slyst
If no one seems to have any objections, I'd be changing the notice boxes. As for randomizing the character portraits, I'm thinking of dropping the idea now, since not all portraits are uniform, which causes a multitude of issues. Right now, I'm thinking of having Apollo (the DD one, with Terran's jacket) in the footer instead of Pearl and Butz. --slyst
Although I do like the uniformity of the new notice boxes, maybe they might be better with a wee bit of colour? They kinda blend into the background a bit when they're just white... - Strabo412 (talk) 19:35, September 27, 2015 (UTC)

(reset indent) This somehow slipped off my mind. I don't have issues with changing the background. Would you mind suggesting a color for it? I was thinking about #f5f5dc since it somewhat complements the background.

Also, anything on adding the "Did You Know" thing? I've re-written the script, so if it could be imported here, I'd be happy to add it to the main page. - slyst (talk) 13:03, November 28, 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, I think that looks alright. I could try and come up with a list of stuff for the "Did You Know?" if you'd like. How many facts would you need? - Strabo412 (talk) 13:39, November 28, 2015 (UTC)
Alright, done with the background. You can do as many facts as you want - the more the better. The randomize script would only select a few of them (5 or 10 maybe?) and there'd be a link to purge the page to get new dyk facts. - slyst (talk) 15:02, November 28, 2015 (UTC)

Bumping this because it's stuck at the bottom of my priority list. Even though capefeather has added the javascript necessary for randomize to function, he has not submitted it for review yet, so the script is not going to function for users who don't have test mode enabled. I tried contacting him, but that was ignored yet again, so I'm afraid there's not much that I can do. slyst 15:59, December 22, 2015 (UTC)

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