CZ:Proposals/Unified Feature-Rich Workgroup page design template

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Driver: none

Complete explanation

Many workgroup pages are either extremely well developed, somewhat developed, or not developed at all. The situation could be broadly improved if a unified feature-rich design template were used on each Workgroup page.

The following outline probably indicates what is necessary to make this happen:

  • Discussion and community agreement upon use
  • Total community input on the value and components of such a system (appearance, looks, features, what is important and what's not)
  • Polling to determine elements

This is only about appearance, and not necessarily about trackers, or data.

Most of this idea is inspired by David's work on the Chemistry style guide and the CZ:Howto page.


There are several justifications for this. One is to increase the visibility of each workgroup page collectively, and to enhance their functionality. This would be a benefit to all workgroups across the board.

Two, a better appearance and streamlined homepage might enable more participation within workgroups.


Actual implementation would be pretty easy from a cosmetic perspective.


Please discuss here!

At some point, we need to have a "perfect" article example for each workgroup for new users to compare with to go with the style guide and template approaches. I am not quite sure exaclty what your proposal means Robert, could you expound on it a little more? For example in chemistry, would the template automatically put in a blank chem_infobox or elem_infobox, or a check to decide which is needed? Are you talking color schemes within a group?

Could you look at Phosphorus and Ketoconazole and then describe what this template would do? David E. Volk 13:58, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

This is just on the workgroup pages themselves, not in workgroup articles. --Robert W King 14:21, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
Robert, I agree with the proposal as you intend it. A standard feature-rich workgroup page design would give CZ a more professional appearance. In addition to the template, however, each workgroup might want to have special sections particular to their workgroup.
Not sure about David's idea of a exemplary "perfect" article for each workgroup. Authors should have some flexibility in how they might to show "Notes" and "Citations", for example. Haven't thought that through, however. --Anthony.Sebastian 13:42, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
I also agree with the general concept of a "standard template" for workgroup home pages, but it really isn't a full-bodied proposal yet, so it's impossible to evaluate. When can we see a mock-up or example? --Larry Sanger 14:02, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
I can't possibly make an example or a mock-up until I know what workgroups would like to have featured on their workgroup page! It's a catch-22, almost. I need a survey to know what to implement so I can design an example based on that survey. --Robert W King 14:07, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
Can't we just guess? You can be sure that if it's not great you'll get feed back and suggestions for improvement. Why don't we just take the best features from the current batch of pages, add some that have not been fully utilised and then let it evolve. The important thing is that nothing has to be fixed and even a year from now we can move things about, add things or remove things. After all, look at how the left menu bar was changing every week for a while and that is far more prominent. Than the workgroup page. Chris Day 14:47, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
I suppose I could. I'll be able to work on it this weekend. --Robert W King 14:56, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
Robert, I too think the proposal is a good one, and you find yourself in the position of coming up with a good action and then being asked for another one. Be flattered--no, really!
I'd like to echo that this is about the workgroup pages, not about standardising individual articles, discussions about which would probably take *years*, the way we carry on.
Would it be of help RK if we picked out ideas for you from the CZ top of the pops greatest Workgroup hits?
Aleta Curry 17:32, 11 April 2008 (CDT)

Possible subjects / examples

I think the most highly developed workgroup page we have is the Anthropology page CZ:Anthropology_Workgroup. But a sampling of the various workgroups seems to indicate a little more than a half-dozen of sections that will be applicable to every workgroup:

  • high priority/needed/core articles
  • subject areas
  • to-do
  • members
  • tools/templates
  • news

add on top a space for a graphic or a logo for each group, and this seems to be a pretty robust list. --Robert W King 11:53, 12 April 2008 (CDT)

A dissenting thought

At the risk of seeming cantankerous, I'm not really for an article template. Suggestions or guidelines would not hurt, but a template seems over-confining to me. The reason being, that I feel CZ is already overloaded with rules, which are changing rapidly, and I don't know that we need more rules about how articles should be structured. I worked quite a bit on the Computers workgroup page at some point (haven't looked at it lately--no time!). I'm still finding the regular article templates burdensome and aggravating for the most part. If there were a set of suggestions instead of a strict template, anyone deciding to clean up a particular workgroup page could then point to the guidelines/suggestions as backup rationale. The problem with templates is that they are full of pre-conceptions and they would prevent some person more imaginative than I am from completely revising and workgroup page in a way I cannot yet envision but that I might like. How about just a list of things that ought to be included in some way? The rest seems obvious to me: they ought to welcome people, egg them on to edit, and help them find the information they need to get started or keep on going.Pat Palmer 04:13, 19 April 2008 (CDT)

I might change my mind if presented with an actual template to evaluate. I have also enjoyed reading this page and thinking about the matter, and looking at some of the other workgroup pages (which I normally wouldn't bother to go to). Robert, thanks for your energy and idea.Pat Palmer 04:22, 19 April 2008 (CDT)
I appreciate your input but you don't consider the facts that many of the workgroup pages are illmaintained, while very few are maintained very well. This will give us a better professional appearance all across the board and reduce the appearance that some workgroups get treated better than others. The net effect is about raising the bar for all workgroups. --Robert W King 14:02, 19 April 2008 (CDT)
I am not strongly against the idea, just not eager for it. If others think it's worth doing, I say go for it.Pat Palmer 18:59, 20 April 2008 (CDT)

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