[Foundation-l] hiding interlanguage links by default is a BadIdea, part 2

susanpgardner at gmail.com susanpgardner at gmail.com
Sat Jun 5 18:03:52 UTC 2010

Sorry for top-posting.

Austin, think about who "everyone" is.  The folks here on foundation-l are not representative of readers.  The job of the user experience team is to try to balance all readers' needs, which is not easy, and will sometimes involve making decisions that not everyone agrees with. People here have given some useful input, but I think it's far from obvious that the user experience team has made a "mistake.". (I'm not really intending to weigh in on this particular issue -- I'm speaking generally.)

Aryeh Gregor has said a couple of very smart things in this thread, particularly this bit I'll quote below:

"Users don't explicitly complain about small things.  They
especially don't complain about things like clutter, because the
negative effect that has is barely perceptible -- extra effort
required to find things.  But if you take away a feature that's
important to a small number of users, or that's well established and
people are used to it, you'll get lots of complaints from a tiny
minority of users.  Basing development decisions on who complains the
loudest is what results in software packed with tons of useless and
confusing features and lousy UI.  Like most open-source software,
including MediaWiki.  Good design requires systematic analysis,
ignoring user complaints if the evidence indicates they're not


-----Original Message-----
From: Austin Hair <adhair at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2010 15:56:26 
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] hiding interlanguage links by default is a Bad
	Idea, part 2

On Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 3:47 PM, David Levy <lifeisunfair at gmail.com> wrote:
> Austin Hair wrote:
>> And yes, I'll echo others when I question the original rationale and
>> suggest that the interpretation of what very little data was collected
>> is completely wrong, but I think I'll direct my focus toward a
>> practical fix, rather than just calling the usability team stupid.
> Your last sentence surprised me, as I haven't seen anyone opine that
> the usability team is stupid (and I certainly am not suggesting
> anything of the sort).  Everyone makes mistakes, and we believe that
> one has been made in this instance.  As for a practical fix, one
> actually was implemented (and quickly undone).

Sorry if that wasn't clear—I didn't mean to indict you or anyone else
for doing that; all I meant was that although I, personally, could
easily focus on mistakes the usability team made, the way forward is
to simply fix it to everyone's satisfaction.


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