Halopedia:Interface Overhaul Project
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The Interface Overhaul Project (IOP) is a project which aims to overhaul how readers and editors interact with, browse and edit the wiki, and to modernise the overall interface in all areas. This
|Front page||Overhaul and modernise the wiki's front page.|
|Navigation||Streamline the navigation options for ease of use by readers.|
|Standard templates||Overhaul standard templates (infoboxes, navboxes, etc) to match overhauled skins.|
|Dark mode||Implement a skin-agnostic dark mode toggle that can be applied to all skins.|
|Onyx||Finalise the existing Onyx skin project.|
|Trove||Complete Onyx's planned mobile skin companion skin: Trove.|
|Noble||Complete the planned Noble skin, a ground-up rewrite of Nimbus, then deprecate and remove Nimbus in favour of Noble.|
|Requiem||Design and implement an entirely new responsive MediaWiki skin to replace Nimbus/Noble as the site default, while maintaining Nimbus/Noble as an option for pre-existing users.|
|Future||Continuously iterate upon and improve the design of Requiem in response to user feedback. Maintain all skins in accordance with the evolving requirements and best practices of MediaWiki as it continues to be updated.|
|Project Luminary||Plan and develop for an eventual Halopedia app that flows with the chosen skin of the wiki and design of the templates.|
The current front page layout has remained broadly unchanged for a decade, and thus is considerably outdated with regards to modern web design principles (e.g. responsive web design). In addition, it features a lot of text and clutter, making it less useful as a navigational tool for users.
Since the creation of a new default skin (see Requiem) will significantly impact site design, the main page would have needed attention as part of the IOP anyway, but in light of these issues, the IOP will endeavour to completely overhaul the main page, with the following principles in mind:
- Consistent - It is consistent in terms of aesthetic and layout with the rest of the wiki.
- Useful - It is the entry point into the wiki for many readers. Thus, it must display information that conveys what the wiki is, and most importantly, navigational links to allow a reader to quickly find the pages they need.
- Responsive - It must be fully functional and aesthetically pleasing regardless of platform: desktop PC, tablet or mobile phone.
- Concise - Currently there is an overabundance of text on the main page, making it somewhat intimidating; the amount of text should be carefully reduced, so that only crucial pieces of text remain - which has the added benefit of highlighting such text.
The nagivation bar currently contains too many links, and should be streamlined for ease of reader use. More obscure pieces of media need not be linked in the navigation, and many of the categories in the current navigation contain too many links, which is not ideal for mobile use.
Along with the new skin, common templates like navboxes and infoboxes, which are seen on the majority of pages, will need to be overhauled to fit the theme. At the same time, it would be wise to also remove the options to individually style a navbox/infobox, as this is bad practice; all templates of a particular type should be styled the same across the whole wiki.
The Onyx skin is fully functional and working, but requires updating to modern MediaWiki skin coding standards (i.e. Mustache), as well as a few quality of life features and bug fixes. Furthermore, it also needs to be styled to be responsive (i.e. work better on mobiles and tablets). In addition, the standard styling for the Onyx skin requires improvement, as it is currently barebones, using only varying shades of grey to denote different objects. While this will not impact Halopedia's Onyx implementation, as it is styled to recreate the Halo Nation theme, it is a significant hurdle for other wikis to cross should they wish to use Onyx.
The Trove skin is intended to be a companion to Onyx, using the MobileFrontend extension to provide a mobile/tablet skin taking inspiration from Minerva Neue and Wikia's Mercury mobile skin, while keeping a consistent theme/layout to Onyx and crucially, being fully feature-complete when compared with a desktop skin.
Many users will want to retain Halopedia's previous look-and-feel. As a result, the Nimbus skin will not be removed, so that logged in users can choose to opt back in to the old skin. However, Nimbus is also a very old skin, which on the backend is not coded in accordance to modern MediaWiki standards, and uses a lot of custom "homebrewed" solutions created to service the particular needs of Halopedia.
As a result, the IOP will also produce the Noble skin, a reimplementation of Nimbus using modern MediaWiki skin coding methods, and reducing the skin's reliance upon heavily customised code/scripts. This would make the skin significantly easier to maintain for the foreseeable future, allowing those who wish not to opt into the newer skin to remain with one essentially identical to the current one. Once Noble is complete and fully implemented, Nimbus can then be deprecated safely.
Requiem will be an entirely new skin, developed with the specific aim to supplant Nimbus/Noble as the wiki's default skin, adhering to modern web design principles while remaining as practical and useful as the existing skin. It must be responsive, scaling well to desktop, tablet and mobile. It must have a modern look-and-feel, in keeping with other modern sites, while not sacrificing much screen of the to dead space - one of the aspects Nimbus is praised for and many other sites and MediaWiki skins (especially modern Oasis) have been criticised for.
Once all of the above steps have been completed, the active phase of the IOP will have been completed. However, it will remain passively and implicitly ongoing, listening to user feedback and making adjustments to the skins, themes and templates as necessary in response. Additionally, all MediaWiki skins and extensions created as a part of this endeavour will need to be maintained, and kept up-to-date with MediaWiki's evolving standards and APIs.