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Tiki Community 2021 Navigation Revamp


Let's review, rethink, revamp and reorganize the navigation of

There are hundreds of thousands of pieces of information (wiki pages, forums posts, comments, tracker items, commits, etc.) related to the Tiki software and the community. There are hundreds and hundreds of URLs in the various home pages, menus or gateway pages. Stuff has been added for 15+ years and it's quite confusing. Let's re-organize!

Some challenges expressed here: https://arilect.com/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=31
Some areas and steps proposed here: 5 Simple Areas and Steps To Improve Tiki.org Navigation in June 2021...


  • Weekly meetings until it is done (Likely 4 to 8 weeks, 2 hours per meeting)



The Show Instance (bsfez-11581-7774.show2.tikiwiki.org)

I added a page http://bsfez-11581-7774.show2.tikiwiki.org/tiki-index.php?page=Tiki_org_homepage_IA_G an "information architecture" kind of mockup based on our list of tiki.org audience types and how they might be grouped. Some of the links would be to existing pages, and new pages will have to be written in other cases. The next step will be to actually style this page to make it visually interesting.

A couple of opinions after copying my local content to the show site: I'm really pretty tired of the catchphrase we've been using. In my mockup's intro section, there is some text that could be reworded as a catchphrase, for example. I edited the top module to appear only on the HomePage — I don't suppose it's meant to be on every page, right? Plus I wanted a fresh page for new ideas.

Also, I don't care much for some of the top menu's items being buttons, and some not. I would say use the same typography on all of them, and for ones that need to stand out, make sure there is a call to action below, early in the page.




The first steps consist in 2 actions.

  1. The technical design of the Top Menu, Optional Topbar menu and footer.
    • The top Menu will be available everywhere
    • The topbar menu available per sections: Doc, Dev, Start Tiki (requirements, install, first steps, admin, etc), Troubleshooting Tiki, etc.
    • The footer should be common to all with useful/positive (contents) links - We may need more studies on what goes to "a" footer.
  2. The page/links prioritisation
    • Page/Links should be evaluate per content, audience, benefit (do they add something to the project), per stats and visits. (more?)
    • They should be placed per Tiki project priority (what we want to promote, what we need, what people need to see without searching it). Explanations: If a new visitor come to a page he should be encouraged to participate and try Tiki with minimum clicks and the other hand a advanced user doesn’t need such assistance as he knows already what he is looking for and where to find it.

@Gary Cunningham-Lee and @Bernard Sfez / Tiki Specialist will work on the first step and started to meet (19/07/2021).

  1. @Bernard Sfez / Tiki Specialist will setup a Tiki23 to prepare the technical design on an owned server.
    1. @Gary Cunningham-Lee commented that we can use tiki.org also, as Marc mentioned in an earlier meeting, especially for pages, etc. that can eventually be part of the live solution.
  2. @Gary Cunningham-Lee will review the checklist to use as fields for the prioritisation list
    1. I made a new page — Tiki Community Audience and Navigation, a public copy of my local notes, with the audience types/groups, tables of proposed pages, links, etc. I'll add more to this shortly.
  3. @Bernard Sfez / Tiki Specialist will create a tracker for links (evaluated around 50 links to be sorted) ranking with rank values, etc
  4. @Bernard Sfez / Tiki Specialist and @Gary Cunningham-Lee will meet next week
  5. ...


  • The artistic part (color, fonts, etc) was not formally started yet. @Gary Cunningham-Lee feel confident he can to create a design for the navigation. He mentioned Marc willing to have someone external to create a design. @Bernard Sfez / Tiki Specialist suggested that having a "fresh" look at it may produce very good results however, we should have the work done externally or invest a lot in an external work for the following reasons; Tiki has its complexity and only "us" knows it all, there is dogfood values in integration per ourselves, it can lead to improvement in Tiki.
  • Another part of the revamp is the top content of a page (what is displayed on a screen below the menu after you load a page. This is also navigation but will come as a second step using the same tracker that list and sort links/pages.
  • Old info (blue) topbar links treatment/replacement

To be sure no actual navigation ability was lost by removing the menu in the topbar on the info (blue) pages, this table shows the menu label, where it linked to, and what replaces it in the nav revamp (more checking needed regarding the topbar menu on the main (orange) pages):

Topbar Menu Label Link Revamp Treatment
Home HomePage Redundant as site logo and title already link to home
About Tiki # (only anchor, no link)
Introduction Introduction Page content now on Project Introduction
Features Features Page content now greatly expanded and on Software Overview and Model
Benefits Benefits Linked to from Evaluating Tiki,
Facts Facts Linked to from Evaluating Tiki, from Project Introduction
Versions Versions Linked to from Get - Try Tiki, from Software Overview and Model, etc.
Start Using # (only anchor, no link)
Try Tiki Demo Page content now on Get - Try Tiki
Get Tiki Download Page content now on Get - Try Tiki
Hosting Hosting Included in Get - Try Tiki, linked to from New Users and Admins,
Get Help # New page: Get Help
Documentation https://doc.tiki.org Linked to from Get Help
Community Community Linked to from HomePage and Get Involved
Forums Tiki Forums Linked to from Get Help
Chat https://wikisuite.chat Linked to from Get Help
Mailing Lists Mailing Lists Linked to from Get Help
Consultants Consultants Linked to from Get Help
News News No change, moved to top menu
Contact Us Contact Us No change, moved to top menu
Join Us Join Page content now on Get Involved

Solving real and declared problems (novice and advanced)

We have little data on Tiki users, our websites navigation, etc and we don’t really spend time to analyse what we have:

  • Tiki stats
  • Google analytics
  • Google dev console
  • Users feedback
  • ...

As we have no real analysing team we are taking a lot of assumptions from our own experiences and that’s not the best way to find out what we can improve. A more pragmatic approach, sticking to reality to improve may produce better results for the overall project.

This approach is clearly related to Actions by our audiences and our previous work should be used and included. I tried to stick to navigation revamp but added some general remarks out of the scope (to be taken in account anyway before creating a path leading to frustration). To keep being concrete I volunteered where I felt I can help.

Case : Is Tiki for me?

Using or not Tiki for evaluation and have communicated at least once with someone of the team, the forums, the list.

Patrice V (March 2021)

New Tiki user experimenting Tiki and to moving his small/medium company information onto Tiki. Encoutered problems to register (validation) and declared a bug on the forums that was never solved. Has potentially rejected Tiki. 🥴

New user with financial potential and case that may open doors for other companies with the same needs. Evaluating Tiki that make several efforts to be a Tiki user that lead to frustration and eventually rejection of Tiki. Could have been solved by having a dev fixing a bug to recruit and new user and against some money... unfortunately from the user point of view nothing was rapidly proposed

Case : I use Tiki

Using Tiki and have communicated at least once with someone of the team, the forums, the list or the feedback form

Samuel S (May 2021)

New Tiki user with light code experience (HTML, CSS and Javascript) started to use Tiki and is a bit lost with some features and parameters (improve doc is another section). Read the forums but do not participate and wasn’t aware at all we have regular meeting.

An enthusiast with capabilities we need to encourage him to ask for support and stick him with the band. Potentially can join the dev team.

Responses (easy to hard?) :

  • Encourage people to join event with better visibility of our TRM content
    • Available and bold on the top bar
    • Interesting links or section at the top of the homepage (next TRM topics - not just "we have a meeting...come")
    • Better integration of Tiki calendar with listing the events content (reuse the tracker and tracker calendar started for the Tikifest)
    • Require better TRM organisation (@Bernard Sfez / Tiki Specialist: make TRM visible and important, I’ll do my part)
    • More educational events (Workshops ?)
    • ...
  • Better forums - promote community support
    • Available and bold on the top bar
    • Forum moderation (@Bernard Sfez / Tiki Specialist I can do the Features / Usability moderation but we need working tools - see wishlist)
    • Improve interface (let’s just copy what others do - sticky rules, solved/question nice icons, add a "it helped me counter, best answer, etc
    • Have a correct answers time
      • Some devs/specialist must give time to help with our support
    • ...
  • Better registration (join Tiki) process
    • Available and bold on the top bar
    • Make it work simpler (one short form => validation => success page/form tell us more)
    • Make it automatic and instant for some actions
      • New user should be able to post in forum instantly (moderation should deal with problems)
      • 2-step validation (=> Tiki user group) may be in 2 steps to avoid spammers defacing pages
      • ...
    • ...
  • Solve users problems (100% is certainly not required)
    This is mostly out of scope but still have real interest for navigation as some items should be included in the topbar menu
    • Community Forums (see above)
      • When the initial post lead to bug report/fix, the moderator should provide help (instruction to report) (instruction to hire a "bug fixer") How to have dev available ?
    • Hiring a dev or consultant
    • Available and bold on the top bar
      • Screen Shot 2021 07 03 At 11.26.43
      • Promote and encourage the people that "lives" from Tiki (devs helping in the forums)
      • (instruction to hire a "bug fixer") How to have a dev available ?
      • Encourage (guide) users that want to fix or request something (including offer to pay)
    • Request/suggest a feature (including offer to pay)
      • (instruction to hire a "bug fixer") How to have dev available ?
    • Feedback form (contact Tiki, Report a can't login)
      • One or two admins should be officially volunteers for this
      • Using Tiki webmail desk capabilities (we have this!)

Case : I help Tiki become better



Examples to look at (including projects similar to us)

Semantic Menu items comparison in a table with screenshots and grouping


Topics (unordered)

  • Determine types of users and determine objectives of each -> Tiki Community Audience and Objectives
  • Determine the Tiki site usage as it impact the navigation layout and content. (marketing usage impose less drawers than technical usage)
    • Technical (dev, doc, themes, ...)
    • Marketing (tiki, ...)
    • Community (informal, news, support, ...)
  • Where to place "other" navigation tools (edit, social network, top links, etc) that are impacting navigation clarity and the message.

  • Look at stats / data
  • Inventory of content
    • For gaps: Add placeholder and add as tasks on Community items (Navigation revamp should not wait)
  • Rethink and agree on where content should be
  • Decide on what should be in consistent navigation (ex.: common footer) vs specific to a sub-domain.
    • Content on all pages: Register, Search, etc.
  • Review all sites to determine if some need to be upgraded.
  • Restructure navigation

Principles (unordered)

  • Mobile first
  • Dogfood
  • Keep in mind technical debt
  • We don't break URLs. Put a redirect or Page Alias
    • Don't commit to ongoing work / updates (which makes us look bad if not done). Write timeless content.
  • Do not duplicate information. Decide where it goes and add redirects or PluginInclude
  • Stay in our scope: Some people seem to have taken to defining the world on our wiki pages. That is fair game on user pages, but otherwise, it should be elsewhere (Wikipedia exists!)
  • Understand the history of why things were done a certain way. We can change of course, but try to avoid mistakes and pain of the past. Ex.:
    • Projects started by well-meaning people who then disappeared and left a mess, which impacted the community and added work on existing community (Jonny and Marc have dozens of example of cleaning up messes over the years)
    • Too many times, well-meaning marketing/branding/communication/strategy specialists will get involved and come to the conclusion that we need a new logo, or a new name or a new branding. But they never offer an implementation plan. How will such a transition happen? Who will do it? When? And why would this action have more impact than other things we can do? They focus on "easy" and "visible" things. Latest example is here: Branding and Marketing Creative Brief 2016 and nothing materialized. Now, let's be honest: If the logo had changed, would Tiki really be different today? However, what would have been useful and had an impact is if the current project (re-organize the information architecture so community members can more easily participate) had been done years ago. Or even make a nicer one pager in HTML as a gateway to the different sites, like https://kolab.org/
    • For whatever reason, it was decided to spin off a new Tiki at info.tiki.org to replace tiki.org as main information site. Years later, it was decided to merge back in. Each transition caused a lot of work, and broken URLs. And multi-domain perspectives caused all kinds of issues.
  • Try to think of ways to get more and different people involved and resist the tentation to add yet more work on the shoulders of the people that do the most
  • Be data-driven
  • Truth. Please see section about truth here: https://wikisuite.org/Branding-Guidelines
    • Since Aris pointed out some of the catchphrases that are being used, this one on the Community page is now stopping me: "The Tiki Community is a global network of developers, site operators, consultants and end users interested in the Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware. Currently tiki.org has over 25,000 registered users and over 300 developers at this site. " — That strikes me as quite over-stated. Although there are Tiki users (and, ok, the community) all over the world, the phrase "global network" implies a much stronger interconnectiveness that really exists. And the figures for registered users and developers are meaningless. By far, the majority of those are dead accounts. Let's dial back statements like that. Update: I edited it to tone it down, and fixed little things in the page, but it all could be revised/replaced.
  • Discuss information architecture approach: Lead by audience or Data type?
    • Data type: All forums on one site
    • Audience: Everything related to developers is on dev.tiki.org, so dev forum goes there.
  • Do we present from the angle of features or solutions or use cases or audiences or?
  • Most decisions to keep or remove will be unambiguous. In case of doubt, keep or remove?
  • Decide if / how we talk about the alternatives. Bernard and Marc have different points of view on this and it would be nice for everyone on the team to express their point of view. Even better some opinions from relevant experts in the field (product marketers)

Expected outcome

  • A major revamp of the navigation which works for target audiences
  • A list of high priority bugs and issues tracked on dev.tiki.org and can be taken on by different people. Ex.: Fabio volunteered for this. This list needs a clean-up: Community items. Types include:
    • Bugs in features
    • Missing or incomplete features
    • Content need major work. Ex.:
      • We need 40 screenshots for an overview of Tiki
    • We should add/change things in how our community works. Ex.:
      • We need a better Docker strategy for new devs
  • Some conventions (ex.: Only show info for supported versions, thus 18.x LTS+)
  • How to keep this clean enough? (ex.: A review once per year)
  • Documentation on lessons learned
  • Be in a position to bring in a graphic designer to make it look great (which is another project)

Actions by our audiences

Is Tiki for me?

  • Learn about what is Tiki?
  • Does Tiki do what I need? ("Pre-sales" question, try demo)
    • First impression/high-level vs detailed check list
  • Demo request
  • I want to hire someone to help me
  • When is next event?

I use Tiki

  • Register
  • Report a bug with Tiki
  • Ask for support with own Tiki
  • Learn how a feature works
  • Learn about the community / process / how to contribute
  • Report an issue with infrastructure (can't login)
  • Request/suggest a feature (including offer to pay)

I help Tiki become better

  • Share information about Tiki software (new features, etc.)
  • Share information about Tiki community/events/etc.
  • Express a concern/opportunity in the community and suggest a change
    • Operational
    • Strategy/vision
  • Contribute code
  • Help others
  • Improve docs
    • Mark as outdated (text vs screenshot), propose deletion, add to archive, etc
  • Vote on event date
  • Participate to event
  • Triage issues
  • Cleaning data

Ideas / links about dealing with complex navigation

Technology we can leverage

  • Mega Menus (Would require help from Andon, and that all sites be upgrades to recent versions)
  • Federated Search

Out of scope

  1. Forum revamp
  1. While the theme and visual aspects should also be revamped, this will be a distinct project with a graphic designer (and current project is a pre-requisite anyways)
  2. Decision about and implementation of a chat system for the Tiki community to replace #tikiwiki on Freenode. One scenario is to replicate the wikisuite.chat experiment on tiki.org so all users registered on tiki.org would seamlessly be in chat rooms on chat.tiki.org
  3. Dedicated demo sites (which are more like show.tiki.org than demo.tiki.org) where each user can experiment for a while and demos are not messed up by random people.

Meeting recordings

Listen to and watch the recordings of the meetings.

Page last modified on Wednesday 27 October 2021 06:24:28 GMT-0000

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