Discussion:
[tw] New User Experiment #1 (Long Post)
(too old to reply)
'Stephen Kimmel' via TiddlyWiki
2014-12-09 13:15:07 UTC
Permalink
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.

How better to decide where to improve the documentation needs improvement
than to watch some novice users try to do a few of the basics, see where
they had problems and work on the documentation to ease them through their
difficulties. So I have recruited some victims... er... volunteers who I
thought might be reasonable candidates for my experiment. All of them are
daily computer users. All of them are well educated with at least a
bachelors degree from well regarded universities and colleges. None of them
have ever done any programming or serious modifications of a computer
program. All of them know what the word macro meant in context. They seem
the sort of individuals who might try a program based on the recommendation
of a friend or colleague. They are quintessentially the sort of person we
would like to see adopting TiddlyWiki in greater numbers.

And the task I picked seemed simple enough.

1. Download an empty Tiddlywiki file and get it working on your computer.
2. Create two tiddlers.
3. Enhance the text in some manner; underlining, italicising or bolding.
4. Create a link between the two tiddlers.
5. Change the title of the wiki.
6. Save their new Wiki.


I wanted them to do this with minimal intervention on my part so I could
see what a novice user without an experienced user at hand would
experience. It all seemed so reasonable and simple at the time.

Then I had my session with the first experimental subject, G, and the
results were both illuminating and discouraging at the same time.

G was able to find the Tiddlywiki site and got as far as starting the
download process but got no further before they became frustrated to the
point of quitting. The pop-up screen read "*You have chosen to open:
b4430791-9e6d-4eea-b1cd-f1b075462833 which is: Firefox HTML Document (1.2
MB) from blob:*" My test subject responded, "That wasn't what I wanted to
download. I wanted Tiddlywiki.html or Empty.html. What is this blob
nonsense? Something has gone wrong." They cancelled the first download and
tried again but got a similar bit of gibberish. G was about to give up when
I intervened for the first time suggesting that they go ahead and save the
file.

Of course, the file G got had a name that bore no resemblance to the
gibberish that had been on the screen and G was uncertain if that was
really the file they wanted but with some encouragement (intervention #2),
opened the file and saw the "GettingStarted" tiddler.

The next task, create two tiddlers proved equally discouraging. G found the
plus (+) sign but again struggled almost immediately. G attempted to name
the tiddler by entering text in the search window, the enter a Tag Name
slot and the Field Name slot. G then went on to enter a few words in the
space labelled "Type the text for this tiddler." Since G had left the
TiddlyWiki site in favor of the new empty wiki, they were uncertain of what
to do next and clicked on the plus sign and thus started to create "New
Tiddler 1" which would also contain just a few words.

G was completely lost about what to do next and went back to the TiddlyWiki
site. Returning to the new Empty wiki, G clicked the tick button... I
assume the British name for that character is "tick" and not "check" but
since it had a picture of it, G had no problem clicking on it and creating
two tiddlers "New Tiddler" and "New Tiddler 1." The two tiddlers collapsed
to normal size for tiddlers containing a grand total of six words.

G saw that the GettingStarted tiddler said "Save changes using the
'download' button in the sidebar." After a bit of searching, G eventually
discovered that although there was no button labelled "download," there was
one with the help text labelled "save changes." G clicked that and shortly
thereafter discovered that they had not installed TiddlyFox and thus
everything they had done was lost.

It was at this point that G gave up once and for all. Without my presence,
G would never have gotten that far before quitting so it seems reasonable
to assume that a user of G's calibre, college educated with an advanced
degree, experienced computer user, would not end up adopting TiddlyWiki
without a lot of hand-holding by an experienced user. G never made it as
far as the documentation so it would not have mattered how good the
documentation was.

After we called a halt to the experiment, G asked why anyone would bother
with this amount of effort. What would it do? I stepped G through some of
the sites linked in the Community Tiddler, an exercise that took more
effort than I would have guessed... and after showing G a few of the
possibilities, Dave's Obadiah, Alberto academic wiki, the baby journal...
the response I got can best be described as a less than enthusiastic "hmm."

Like I said, I was discouraged. We would have lost this potential user very
early in the procedure.

A few suggestions seem obvious:


1. Get away from the current download mechanism to one that downloads a
file with the expected name. Getting one with an apparently random name is
confusing at best.
2. Add the words "This is a tiddler" to the current GettingStarted
tiddler. That would be a clear indication of what the program means when it
says "Create a New Tiddler."
3. For Beginners at least, we need a version of the empty wiki that
isn't quite so empty. I recommend we include a version of the
GettingStarted tiddler so that the novice can be reminded of the required
addins, etc. I also recommend "Formatting in WikiText" and the Community
tiddlers. Experienced users know how to delete that handful of tiddlers and
new users need them convenient so perhaps we should add them to the single
empty wiki.
4. Add a placeholder that says "Search" for the sidebar search space.
5. Use the term "New Tiddler Title" instead of "New Tiddler" as a cue to
the new user where to put the title.
6. Add an instruction on how to save the new tiddler on the current
GettingStarted after the line "Create new tiddlers using the 'plus' button
in the sidebar".
7. Change the line "Save changes using the 'download' button in the
sidebar" to refer to a 'Save Changes' since we don't have a 'download'
button

I have lined up three more test subjects. I'll keep you appraised.

Stephen
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Tobias Beer
2014-12-09 13:56:05 UTC
Permalink
a truly admirable effort, Stephen

although I can feel the discouragement,
your approach is very educational
and the resulting feedback rather valuable

best wishes, Tobias
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David Gifford
2014-12-09 14:08:10 UTC
Permalink
Stephen, what a great idea to experiment like this, with such fascinating,
if disheartening, results. Brings back memories. Bad memories. I like your
suggestions, too, especially 3, 4, and 6. Though rather than multiple
tiddlers in empty, see my thought below.

This experiment makes me realize that even though I am one of the people
who most pushes the techies here to remember new users, I too have become
quite jaded and forgetful about some elementary hurdles to adopting TW:

1. The disconnect between the downloaded file being empty and the
instructions on how to use it being on the site. Not a problem, per se, but
a forgotten discomfort for new users. There isn't even a question mark
symbol (or, yikes, an anthropomorphized paper clip!) somewhere on an empty
file to lead users to a help desk, as in other software. Maybe a question
mark that opens a shadow tiddler with a. a general link to the
tiddlywiki.html file b. a link to this group, c. a link to the formatting
on tiddlywiki.html, d. a link to Eric's future book, and any other highly
relevant links.

2. Also easily forgotten are he browser modifications we have all made in
the past, like TiddlyFox, to get TW to work. Once you get used to the ease
provided by such modifications, it is easy to forget what it is like for
someone who hasn't yet made those. Although in defense, I should say that
tiddlywiki.com's opening tiddler does say "follow our simple instructions"
and the link takes you to browser-specific instructions that include a
discussion of TiddlyFox. Not sure how much simpler that could be.

3. Also easily forgotten after much use is the fact that we use the same
button for downloading and saving, depending on the context, and the
inherent difficulty of knowing what to call that button.

4. Another newbie blind spot for me is the tiddler title field not being
immediately clear to a new user that it is a title field that one can and
should edit.

Thanks, I will look forward to reading what happens to your future victims!

Dave
Post by 'Stephen Kimmel' via TiddlyWiki
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.
How better to decide where to improve the documentation needs improvement
than to watch some novice users try to do a few of the basics, see where
they had problems and work on the documentation to ease them through their
difficulties. So I have recruited some victims... er... volunteers who I
thought might be reasonable candidates for my experiment. All of them are
daily computer users. All of them are well educated with at least a
bachelors degree from well regarded universities and colleges. None of them
have ever done any programming or serious modifications of a computer
program. All of them know what the word macro meant in context. They seem
the sort of individuals who might try a program based on the recommendation
of a friend or colleague. They are quintessentially the sort of person we
would like to see adopting TiddlyWiki in greater numbers.
And the task I picked seemed simple enough.
1. Download an empty Tiddlywiki file and get it working on your computer.
2. Create two tiddlers.
3. Enhance the text in some manner; underlining, italicising or bolding.
4. Create a link between the two tiddlers.
5. Change the title of the wiki.
6. Save their new Wiki.
I wanted them to do this with minimal intervention on my part so I could
see what a novice user without an experienced user at hand would
experience. It all seemed so reasonable and simple at the time.
Then I had my session with the first experimental subject, G, and the
results were both illuminating and discouraging at the same time.
G was able to find the Tiddlywiki site and got as far as starting the
download process but got no further before they became frustrated to the
b4430791-9e6d-4eea-b1cd-f1b075462833 which is: Firefox HTML Document (1.2
MB) from blob:*" My test subject responded, "That wasn't what I wanted to
download. I wanted Tiddlywiki.html or Empty.html. What is this blob
nonsense? Something has gone wrong." They cancelled the first download and
tried again but got a similar bit of gibberish. G was about to give up when
I intervened for the first time suggesting that they go ahead and save the
file.
Of course, the file G got had a name that bore no resemblance to the
gibberish that had been on the screen and G was uncertain if that was
really the file they wanted but with some encouragement (intervention #2),
opened the file and saw the "GettingStarted" tiddler.
The next task, create two tiddlers proved equally discouraging. G found
the plus (+) sign but again struggled almost immediately. G attempted to
name the tiddler by entering text in the search window, the enter a Tag
Name slot and the Field Name slot. G then went on to enter a few words in
the space labelled "Type the text for this tiddler." Since G had left the
TiddlyWiki site in favor of the new empty wiki, they were uncertain of what
to do next and clicked on the plus sign and thus started to create "New
Tiddler 1" which would also contain just a few words.
G was completely lost about what to do next and went back to the
TiddlyWiki site. Returning to the new Empty wiki, G clicked the tick
button... I assume the British name for that character is "tick" and not
"check" but since it had a picture of it, G had no problem clicking on it
and creating two tiddlers "New Tiddler" and "New Tiddler 1." The two
tiddlers collapsed to normal size for tiddlers containing a grand total of
six words.
G saw that the GettingStarted tiddler said "Save changes using the
'download' button in the sidebar." After a bit of searching, G eventually
discovered that although there was no button labelled "download," there was
one with the help text labelled "save changes." G clicked that and shortly
thereafter discovered that they had not installed TiddlyFox and thus
everything they had done was lost.
It was at this point that G gave up once and for all. Without my presence,
G would never have gotten that far before quitting so it seems reasonable
to assume that a user of G's calibre, college educated with an advanced
degree, experienced computer user, would not end up adopting TiddlyWiki
without a lot of hand-holding by an experienced user. G never made it as
far as the documentation so it would not have mattered how good the
documentation was.
After we called a halt to the experiment, G asked why anyone would bother
with this amount of effort. What would it do? I stepped G through some of
the sites linked in the Community Tiddler, an exercise that took more
effort than I would have guessed... and after showing G a few of the
possibilities, Dave's Obadiah, Alberto academic wiki, the baby journal...
the response I got can best be described as a less than enthusiastic "hmm."
Like I said, I was discouraged. We would have lost this potential user
very early in the procedure.
1. Get away from the current download mechanism to one that downloads
a file with the expected name. Getting one with an apparently random name
is confusing at best.
2. Add the words "This is a tiddler" to the current GettingStarted
tiddler. That would be a clear indication of what the program means when it
says "Create a New Tiddler."
3. For Beginners at least, we need a version of the empty wiki that
isn't quite so empty. I recommend we include a version of the
GettingStarted tiddler so that the novice can be reminded of the required
addins, etc. I also recommend "Formatting in WikiText" and the Community
tiddlers. Experienced users know how to delete that handful of tiddlers and
new users need them convenient so perhaps we should add them to the single
empty wiki.
4. Add a placeholder that says "Search" for the sidebar search space.
5. Use the term "New Tiddler Title" instead of "New Tiddler" as a cue
to the new user where to put the title.
6. Add an instruction on how to save the new tiddler on the current
GettingStarted after the line "Create new tiddlers using the 'plus' button
in the sidebar".
7. Change the line "Save changes using the 'download' button in the
sidebar" to refer to a 'Save Changes' since we don't have a 'download'
button
I have lined up three more test subjects. I'll keep you appraised.
Stephen
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Andreas Hahn
2014-12-09 15:18:17 UTC
Permalink
Hi Stephen,

very interesting and enlightening experiment, although somewhat
disillusioning.
Also your suggestions make a lot of sense and I would certainly like to
see a "beginner" edition of TW. Maybe we should start compiling a list
of must-have tiddlers for beginners ?
Also, as Dave mentioned, when working with Firefox, people probably want
to use TiddlyFox, so it might be useful, if such a beginner edition
contained a plugin, which detects the browser and displays a notice
based on that (like: "You're using Firefox, we strongly recommend using
TiddlyFox to ease saving TiddlyWiki!").

A couple of months ago, when Jeremy created the new introduction video,
there was a discussion on one of the weekly hangouts about creating an
edition of tiddlywiki that would teach users the basic functionality by
starting out simple (bare) and then step-by-step building up the
individual components of the TW UI whilst explaining what they're used for.

Also I want to thank you for putting in the effort for conducting these
experiments, please continue, I think it will produce a lot of very
useful results.

/Andreas

----------------------------------
Personal Note: When I got into TiddlyWiki, the old introduction video
really helped me a lot, because it just straightforward showed me how to
start using TW. That is also the only critisism I have towards the new
video: I can watch the video and still won't be able to use TW on a
basic level .. also since using TW is what I want, I might stop watching
the video after 30 seconds. (as a new user)
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Tobias Beer
2014-12-09 16:27:48 UTC
Permalink
Hi Andreas,
Post by Andreas Hahn
Also your suggestions make a lot of sense and I would certainly like to
see a "beginner" edition of TW. Maybe we should start compiling a list
of must-have tiddlers for beginners?
I think those should be concise... well, bundles ...someone uttered
"swarms"... and they should ship with an empty TiddlyWiki. Perhaps called
the "GettingStarted" "plugin" ...which doesn't do anything but helping you
get started with the kind of information that people are known to need. And
once you're all set, you can safely remove it.

Another bundle should be something like...

http://tb5.tiddlyspot.com/#Markup

,,,with some more links to find more information at tiddlywiki.com (I'm
working on it).
Post by Andreas Hahn
"You're using Firefox, we strongly recommend using TiddlyFox to ease
saving TiddlyWiki!"
Very good idea.

To me, the same is true for TiddlySpot... because I'm so used to using it.
It is just very easy to do it all online and not worry too much over saving
...of course, with the premise of your content being online,
which is clerly not for everyone.

Best wishes, Tobias.
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Michael Wiktowy
2014-12-09 15:54:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by 'Stephen Kimmel' via TiddlyWiki
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.
It still is a great idea! Thanks for going through this effort. This kind
of usability study is pretty illustrating as to what steps, even mildly,
experienced TiddlyWiki uses have already committed to muscle-memory.

Identification of these kinds of snags will greatly help my evangelistic
efforts at work. I have had to face some of those as I have been forced to
use Chrome at work for TiddlyWiki and while it is a good browser, the file
saving process is a bit of a PITA compared to TiddlyFox. But even if we had
a plugin available, I highly doubt my IT security policy would allow me to
install it and getting anything added to the official build is a PITA
several orders of magnitude higher than doing the click-save-as dance.

Currently, I am using the approach of just using TiddlyWiki in my
day-to-day project management and presentations and letting those
early-adopters that notice get drawn in like moths to a flame. Then I plan
to put together a short brown-bag session to kick-start people over the
initial learning barrier. I would like to show them a few potential
beginner use-cases, introduce some useful in-house reference tools that I
have put together where they can use TiddlyWiki in a "read-only" manner and
give them a sneak peek at some advanced database-like functionality.

So thanks again for your efforts, I think they will help the project become
more refined and accessible.

/Mike
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Danielo Rodríguez
2014-12-09 18:51:17 UTC
Permalink
Very good post Stephen.
And also a bit funny. Please keep making those experiments. Just curious, G
ended up using TW ? I'm afraid the answer is NO.
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'Stephen Kimmel' via TiddlyWiki
2014-12-09 19:12:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Danielo Rodríguez
And also a bit funny. Please keep making those experiments. Just curious,
G ended up using TW ? I'm afraid the answer is NO.
It's too early to tell given that we had our session last weekend. At this
point the outlook doesn't look good.

However, if we had a ready made Recipe Book or some other application that
a new user like G would instantly recognize as being useful... Perhaps that
is something some of us could work on... then the outlook would be
different.

On a different note, I know I've seen folks other than Mozilla with Firefox
available for download. Would it be possible for us to have a version of
Firefox available for download that already has TiddlyFox installed?
Possibly with some other customizations in place? Perhaps our own Help File
installed? Links to our sites already set up as favorites?

And I do like Tobias's http://tb5.tiddlyspot.com/#Markup%20Reference for
novice users. Though I had no problem with the filterable version, my
recent "experience" with novice users has left me a bit shy of things that
aren't crystal clear.

Stephen
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RichShumaker
2014-12-09 19:14:13 UTC
Permalink
I am watching the discussion about this thread on TW Hangouts #72.

My .02 about new users, being a person that uses a lot of 'apps'.
With "Apps" people download first and try out then delete, especially when
it is free.
If they are not up and running fast, and the app is not easy to use, they
usually Move On to the next free thing.

That is why I created 5 Steps to TiddlyWiki 5 -
http://www.richshumaker.com/tw5/FiveStepsToTiddlyWiki5.htm

What do you really need to know about TW to get up and running?
Once you get some very basic concepts your brain CLICKS and 'Boom Goes the
Dynamite' you are off an running.

I do not currently have a download in my tutorial and that is something I
need to address so hearing issues about downloading is very helpful.
Old users like me and most on this board are not the best people to ask
about what a new user needs.

I think a good experiment would be to download the software, a blank
version, and say, 'Use it' and see what they can do and what they can't.
Obviously a file that downloads should have some name that reflects the
product, "TiddlyWiki5.1.5" as an example.
Having a name like 'index.html' would be counter productive as you are not
branding your brand.
Even the Empty TW should have TiddlyWiki <<Version>> Clear and Front and
Center.
Brand your Brand and Product. So when the person hands it off they already
have that in there.

I think some viral school marketing would be great, a few hundred USB keys
with TW passed out among Techno College Students.
The train the trainer model, give away style model.

Raspberry Pi has Jams.
What could we have like that, small group meetings to show new people the
Awesome power of TW?
That is how I met people on this board was in the real world not just the
virtual one.

Thanks everyone for all the help.
Without the community I would be lost.

Rich Shumaker
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Greg Davis
2014-12-09 21:16:09 UTC
Permalink
Hi, been meaning to comment, first time, since shortly after the moratorium
but couldn't quite decide where. Stephen's post seems most appropriate. I'm
a returning user, some years ago I tried TiddlyWiki Classic to store my
notes for a book I was trying to write. I stuck with it for awhile but Real
Life intervened. I finally returned some months ago to find TiddlyWiki5
beta. I tried to get started again but hit basically the same problems,
with a few new twists, as when I first encountered TWC.

1. I've been around long enough that I knew about the need for TiddlyFox.

2. As mentioned in the discussion, I went round and round trying to figure
out what happened to empty.htm. Finally gave up and just put in a name and
found the TiddlyWiki would open.

3. I work off-line, so I look at an empty TiddlyWiki and I can't remember
the markup used. It has been a long time since TWC and there are changes.
Started using HTML in the tiddlers rather than trying to figure it out.

That I think is one big assumption made these days, "Everyone is online."
Maybe they are but I frequently run out on my data plan so I only go on
when necessary. Besides helps save the batteries on the laptop.

4. Before the moratorium I decided I should try to use more markup. And I
wanted a reference in the TiddlyWiki I was working on. So I started
importing the tiddlers to make my own reference (help) section, just like I
finally did on TWC. Nothing really in order. But I still tend to use HTML
so can copy into a web page.

5.I also tried various things like the Left Menu but frequently couldn't
get to work or didn't seem to work like the original. Did get frustrated
and basically quit to wait for TiddlyWiki to come out of beta.

6. I was excited when the TableOfContents was added but had trouble trying
to get working. Thanks to Tobias for pointing out
http://toc-tutorial.tiddlyspot.com/, now I have a TOC. Sometimes wish it
was in a Left Menu but I have a TOC. Also, Tobias, thanks for pointing to
http://tb5.tiddlyspot.com/#Markup%20Reference.

The current thread reminded me of what I have been doing with my basic
TiddlyWiki master that I copy. Can't remember all the imports or small
changes I made so went back and made a new one. Probably imported more just
to cover links from the top level that fill out details. Made a few
additions based on the recent discussions. Probably not complete, but a
start on what I think a basic TiddlyWiki would be. I've put it on Dropbox:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/hjdhlbvya1yyppf/ec4FNmB1.htm?dl=0/ec4FNmB1.htm

I'm still excited about TiddlyWiki but have to agree the intial experience
leaves something to be desired. Thanks to Jeremy and all for the work
they've done on an
open source project.

Greg
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Tobias Beer
2014-12-09 22:43:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by RichShumaker
My .02 about new users, being a person that uses a lot of 'apps'.
With "Apps" people download first and try out then delete, especially when
it is free.
If they are not up and running fast, and the app is not easy to use, they
usually Move On to the next free thing.
Try not to call TiddlyWiki an app, I think that's a major faux-pas. It's
really a platform which can*not* be said of most "apps" out there. It is
actually what differentiatesTiddlyWiki from most any "app". It may not be
exactly as perfect, but you can get it to even higher grounds with a little
persistence.

Even the Empty TW should have TiddlyWiki <<Version>> Clear and Front and
Post by RichShumaker
Center.
Brand your Brand and Product. So when the person hands it off they
already have that in there.
Interesting. The version seems quite prominently displayed in the
controlpanel. But to have the name called TiddlyWiki.html rather than
empty.html makes a lot of sense, I think.
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RichShumaker
2014-12-09 23:12:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by RichShumaker
My .02 about new users, being a person that uses a lot of 'apps'.
Post by RichShumaker
With "Apps" people download first and try out then delete, especially
when it is free.
If they are not up and running fast, and the app is not easy to use, they
usually Move On to the next free thing.
Try not to call TiddlyWiki an app, I think that's a major faux-pas. It's
really a platform which can*not* be said of most "apps" out there. It is
actually what differentiatesTiddlyWiki from most any "app". It may not be
exactly as perfect, but you can get it to even higher grounds with a little
persistence.
I am using the terminology that the average 'New' user can relate too.
They don't use software or programs they use apps(which are technically
programs).
I totally understand what you are saying about calling it simply an App.
TiddlyWiki is a Master App Builder that could create 1000's of apps from
Recipe TW app to Math Note Research TW apps.

What would you call it to make it 'understandable' to new people?
Post by RichShumaker
Even the Empty TW should have TiddlyWiki <<Version>> Clear and Front and
Post by RichShumaker
Center.
Brand your Brand and Product. So when the person hands it off they
already have that in there.
Interesting. The version seems quite prominently displayed in the
controlpanel. But to have the name called TiddlyWiki.html rather than
empty.html makes a lot of sense, I think.
I agree it is in the controlpanel, which is not front and center.
I am running 10 TW about right now and I need to make sure I have
consistency so I have been doing this for myself on all my TW's.
I see New people having issues knowing right off the bat I am using TW5
version X.Y.Z
Putting it in the Title avoids this issue.

This is about New people, would it not be easier to say 'What numbers are
in the top right corner?'
than
'Click on the controlpanel and let us know what numbers are listed under
the version?'
I can see the reply 'Where is the controlpanel?'

Raspberry Pi has Jams.
Post by RichShumaker
What could we have like that, small group meetings to show new people the
Awesome power of TW?
That is how I met people on this board was in the real world not just the
virtual one.
TiddlyWiki has TWIGs (TiddlyWiki Interest Groups)

The first TWIG gathering, BAYTWIG, was held many years ago in San
Francisco, and Jeremy has held several events in Oxford, England (OXTWIG).

Thanks Eric.
I think I was at that BayTwig years ago.
I need to figure out how to have a TWIG in LA or near me in SoCal.
Maybe make a presentation at local makers groups.

Rich Shumaker
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Tobias Beer
2014-12-10 09:31:14 UTC
Permalink
Hi Rich,
Post by RichShumaker
TiddlyWiki is a Master App Builder that could create 1000's of apps from
Recipe TW app to Math Note Research TW apps.
What would you call it to make it 'understandable' to new people?
That is a good question.

I think making the answer as prosaic as it is is actually a good thing,
e.g... It can be a notebook, a wiki, a website, a database, a presentation,
a collection, whatever you allow yourself to imagine it to be. Of course,
with visual examples to all those facets, not mere words.

I see New people having issues knowing right off the bat I am using TW5
Post by RichShumaker
version X.Y.Z
Putting it in the Title avoids this issue.
Yes, the default title could (initially) show TiddlyWiki 5.1.5, but it's
the first thing I change and the first thing user's should change. As for
the controlpanel, perhaps the version could be the one thing outside of the
tabs, but then it is really a technical information and not difficult to
spot, if you really need to know it.

'Click on the controlpanel and let us know what numbers are listed under
Post by RichShumaker
the version?'
I can see the reply 'Where is the controlpanel?'
Actually, the easiest trick and a good exercise, too, is <<version>>...
rather than "go to place xyz".

Best wishes, Tobias.
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Eric Shulman
2014-12-09 22:53:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by RichShumaker
Raspberry Pi has Jams.
What could we have like that, small group meetings to show new people the
Awesome power of TW?
That is how I met people on this board was in the real world not just the
virtual one.
TiddlyWiki has TWIGs (TiddlyWiki Interest Groups)

The first TWIG gathering, BAYTWIG, was held many years ago in San
Francisco, and Jeremy has held several events in Oxford, England (OXTWIG).

-e
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Alberto Molina
2014-12-10 11:29:53 UTC
Permalink
Very interesting. Thanks a lot!
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Mat
2014-12-10 13:41:09 UTC
Permalink
Thank you Stephen! More than disillusioning, this is extremely valuable for
us. Curious to see what happens with the others. Try to have them not talk
among themselves about their experiences so to not color eachoters.

It's ironic but when it comes to being a *new* TW user they know more than
we do. As David points out; most of us here have been trained over years to
accept these quirks, just like with most technology. (A painfully evident
phenomenon when borrow someones computer for something and it turns out to
be a Mac! Heck, I can't even use the mouse! Still, people sear Macs are
more usr friendly, and they're probably right. We're all quirkified ;-)

Eventually, I hope user tests can be build into TW so that we can measure
where they actually get stuck (obviously with the precondition that they've
allowed it). I have a few ideas on this (suprise, surprise).

Again, thank you for doing this and reporting Stepen.

<:-)
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Mat
2015-01-09 13:27:49 UTC
Permalink
@Stephen

Dare I ask if you've had a chance to do any more testing? It was just very
interesting to hear your review. And has that first subject commented on
anything afterwards?

General note for these types of tests:
In a hangout Jeremy rightfully pointed out a problem in having test
subjects who are not by themselves motivated to use TW, i.e why would
anyone who is not looking for, say, a note book or wiki system be
interested in TW. I'm thinking that maybe for the types of tests you're
doing, one should ask what "systems" they're currently using and then kind
of indicate that TW might just be even better because it can be customized
(etc), i.e to give them motivation to *want* to explore it.

<:-)
Post by 'Stephen Kimmel' via TiddlyWiki
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.
How better to decide where to improve the documentation needs improvement
than to watch some novice users try to do a few of the basics, see where
they had problems and work on the documentation to ease them through their
difficulties. So I have recruited some victims... er... volunteers who I
thought might be reasonable candidates for my experiment. All of them are
daily computer users. All of them are well educated with at least a
bachelors degree from well regarded universities and colleges. None of them
have ever done any programming or serious modifications of a computer
program. All of them know what the word macro meant in context. They seem
the sort of individuals who might try a program based on the recommendation
of a friend or colleague. They are quintessentially the sort of person we
would like to see adopting TiddlyWiki in greater numbers.
And the task I picked seemed simple enough.
1. Download an empty Tiddlywiki file and get it working on your computer.
2. Create two tiddlers.
3. Enhance the text in some manner; underlining, italicising or bolding.
4. Create a link between the two tiddlers.
5. Change the title of the wiki.
6. Save their new Wiki.
I wanted them to do this with minimal intervention on my part so I could
see what a novice user without an experienced user at hand would
experience. It all seemed so reasonable and simple at the time.
Then I had my session with the first experimental subject, G, and the
results were both illuminating and discouraging at the same time.
G was able to find the Tiddlywiki site and got as far as starting the
download process but got no further before they became frustrated to the
b4430791-9e6d-4eea-b1cd-f1b075462833 which is: Firefox HTML Document (1.2
MB) from blob:*" My test subject responded, "That wasn't what I wanted to
download. I wanted Tiddlywiki.html or Empty.html. What is this blob
nonsense? Something has gone wrong." They cancelled the first download and
tried again but got a similar bit of gibberish. G was about to give up when
I intervened for the first time suggesting that they go ahead and save the
file.
Of course, the file G got had a name that bore no resemblance to the
gibberish that had been on the screen and G was uncertain if that was
really the file they wanted but with some encouragement (intervention #2),
opened the file and saw the "GettingStarted" tiddler.
The next task, create two tiddlers proved equally discouraging. G found
the plus (+) sign but again struggled almost immediately. G attempted to
name the tiddler by entering text in the search window, the enter a Tag
Name slot and the Field Name slot. G then went on to enter a few words in
the space labelled "Type the text for this tiddler." Since G had left the
TiddlyWiki site in favor of the new empty wiki, they were uncertain of what
to do next and clicked on the plus sign and thus started to create "New
Tiddler 1" which would also contain just a few words.
G was completely lost about what to do next and went back to the
TiddlyWiki site. Returning to the new Empty wiki, G clicked the tick
button... I assume the British name for that character is "tick" and not
"check" but since it had a picture of it, G had no problem clicking on it
and creating two tiddlers "New Tiddler" and "New Tiddler 1." The two
tiddlers collapsed to normal size for tiddlers containing a grand total of
six words.
G saw that the GettingStarted tiddler said "Save changes using the
'download' button in the sidebar." After a bit of searching, G eventually
discovered that although there was no button labelled "download," there was
one with the help text labelled "save changes." G clicked that and shortly
thereafter discovered that they had not installed TiddlyFox and thus
everything they had done was lost.
It was at this point that G gave up once and for all. Without my presence,
G would never have gotten that far before quitting so it seems reasonable
to assume that a user of G's calibre, college educated with an advanced
degree, experienced computer user, would not end up adopting TiddlyWiki
without a lot of hand-holding by an experienced user. G never made it as
far as the documentation so it would not have mattered how good the
documentation was.
After we called a halt to the experiment, G asked why anyone would bother
with this amount of effort. What would it do? I stepped G through some of
the sites linked in the Community Tiddler, an exercise that took more
effort than I would have guessed... and after showing G a few of the
possibilities, Dave's Obadiah, Alberto academic wiki, the baby journal...
the response I got can best be described as a less than enthusiastic "hmm."
Like I said, I was discouraged. We would have lost this potential user
very early in the procedure.
1. Get away from the current download mechanism to one that downloads
a file with the expected name. Getting one with an apparently random name
is confusing at best.
2. Add the words "This is a tiddler" to the current GettingStarted
tiddler. That would be a clear indication of what the program means when it
says "Create a New Tiddler."
3. For Beginners at least, we need a version of the empty wiki that
isn't quite so empty. I recommend we include a version of the
GettingStarted tiddler so that the novice can be reminded of the required
addins, etc. I also recommend "Formatting in WikiText" and the Community
tiddlers. Experienced users know how to delete that handful of tiddlers and
new users need them convenient so perhaps we should add them to the single
empty wiki.
4. Add a placeholder that says "Search" for the sidebar search space.
5. Use the term "New Tiddler Title" instead of "New Tiddler" as a cue
to the new user where to put the title.
6. Add an instruction on how to save the new tiddler on the current
GettingStarted after the line "Create new tiddlers using the 'plus' button
in the sidebar".
7. Change the line "Save changes using the 'download' button in the
sidebar" to refer to a 'Save Changes' since we don't have a 'download'
button
I have lined up three more test subjects. I'll keep you appraised.
Stephen
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'Stephen Kimmel' via TiddlyWiki
2015-01-09 15:34:31 UTC
Permalink
@Stephen
Post by Mat
Dare I ask if you've had a chance to do any more testing? It was just very
interesting to hear your review. And has that first subject commented on
anything afterwards?
In a hangout Jeremy rightfully pointed out a problem in having test
subjects who are not by themselves motivated to use TW, i.e why would
anyone who is not looking for, say, a note book or wiki system be
interested in TW. I'm thinking that maybe for the types of tests you're
doing, one should ask what "systems" they're currently using and then kind
of indicate that TW might just be even better because it can be customized
(etc), i.e to give them motivation to *want* to explore it.
<:-)
The test I reported on was intended to replicate, to the extent possible, a
"novice" user who has a friend recommend the program and decides to give it
a try. The sort of thing that might happen if people are talking over a cup
of coffee and one of them tells them what a wonderful program TiddlyWiki is
and what they are doing with it.

I have done this a couple more times but the results were mostly the same.
G simply illustrated difficulties particularly well.

I have four more subjects going through a second exploring an experience I
had at work. Two of my co-workers had seen what I was doing with TiddlyWiki
and were duly impressed. In both cases, I actually installed the program on
their machines and walked them through the basic operation. Despite the
previous exposure and having the installation difficulties cleared for
them, neither of them used the program for long. I'm hoping to better
understand why in this next round. Again, two of the four have seen and
actually used the program. I gave the two who had not seen the program in
action, Wikis that were specifically tuned to their interests. One of them
got a copy of Roma's GSD wiki. The other, who fancies herself a gourmet
chef, got an updated version of Larry Russell's cookbook. The thought that
actually seeing what the program can do and possibly working with it will
give them more motivation to pursue it. I'll report on what I find assuming
I come up with something interesting.

Jeremy's observation is largely spot-on. As illustrated by the responses I
got to my questions in
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/tiddlywiki/i58udKt8U-4,
specifically "What were you looking for when you first found TiddlyWIki?"
virtually everyone had a specific task or need when they got started with
the program. Very few were simply looking for new powerful tools.

What I was specifically looking at in those first set of tests were the
"barriers to entry" for the new user. Think about the task list I gave
them, get a copy of TiddlyWiki, create a couple tiddlers, highlight some
text in those tiddlers, create a link between those tiddlers, change the
title of the wiki and save it. For everyone in this group those are almost
reflexive. But how many tiddlers does someone who isn't experienced with
TiddlyWiki have to look at to figure out how to do those? If you were a new
user, how would you go about figuring out how to change the color of a
sentence? Would you have to install a plugin to do that? We all know the
answer is no but would someone who didn't know TiddlyWiki be able to figure
that out in a timely manner? How motivated does the new user have to be to
stick with it long enough to get there? Can we make it easier for the new
user to start to see actual value to the program so they don't have to be
"highly motivated" to stick with it?

These are some of the questions I find particularly interesting.
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Tobias Beer
2015-01-09 17:14:28 UTC
Permalink
There's always that trade-off between what might be simpler and then what
eventually isn't, as "simplified" often means restricted.

http://tb5.tiddlyspot.com/#text <http://tb5.tiddlyspot.com/#Colored%20Text>

I think it's a good aproach to empower new users and be patient in teaching
all the little core tricks that are, of course, forgotten in the next
minute and need some practice before part of your vocabulary.

Best wishes, Tobias.
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Mat
2015-01-12 18:28:49 UTC
Permalink
@Stephen

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the thinking you put into this.

But how many tiddlers does someone who isn't experienced with TiddlyWiki
Post by 'Stephen Kimmel' via TiddlyWiki
have to look at to figure out how to do those?
I'm reminded of, RichShumakers request for a sequence to learn things,
where there at his level probably is none, but for complete newbies there
probably can be - also for more technically competent people.

<:-)
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