The category pages, used to navigate articles on Wikia pages, has had a redesign. The new structure will aid navigation, be easier to maintain and be more meaningful.
Category pages have been problematic, since the start of the RR3 Wikia, when I joined this Wikia in January 2015, category pages were even used in place of article pages. Kuzz joined as the administrator, and created a lot of the article structure we have today, however the Category pages were frankly a mess. When RomGuyony and myself took over from Kuzz in October 2015, we spoke about category pages many times, and how they needed to be redesigned, but we always had more important things to do! Category pages were always a low priority. Some editors appeared to use category pages to make allot of quick edits, to increase their Leaderboard rank, often these edits would add meaningless new categories, with little or no benefit, which should be to aid navigation of the site or link articles. Clearly categories needs to be redesigned!
Several polls were used to gauge if category pages were being used and useful.
Do you use the Category pages?
- Yes: 182 (47%)
- No: 209 (53%).
Total: 391 replies,
Do Category pages work?
- Yes: 85 (83%)
- No: 5 (5%)
- Needs improvements: 12 (12%)
Total: 102 replies.
Given the number of people who use category pages, they needed to be maintained. However they needed a redesign.
Thanks to posts from Mr Procrastinator, in particular, category use was researched. Clearly we were not using them as they were intended. We looked at a new tree structure for category pages, that would allow navigation and be more accurate.
Tue Oct 18, 2016, the Special:Categories page was queried and there were 323 Categories which had 5,244 members (linked pages)! This was going to be a massive job to clean and implement the new design. RR3G'hamO. pulled an all-night marathon to clear most of the work! After a further two days work, thanks to Mr Procrastinator too, we are now down to 97 categories and 1,486 members (linked pages). Importantly the structure is now in place!
The new design is a tree structure, starting from the content category, it can be viewed here:
All category pages start from Category:Content, there are two main structures.
- Category:Manufacturers, which link all the car makes (Arial to TOYOTA), which in turn link to all the car model article pages.
- Category:Series, which links to Career or Limited-Time Series, Career is further divide into, each named Career category (Amateur to Exclusive Series), which in turn is sub divided into:
- Bonus Series - These contain all the bonus series article pages
- Career Series - These contain all the career series article pages
- Special Events - These contain all the bonus series article pages
There are also links to other Category pages:
- Category:Achievements - Every achievement article page
- Category:Circuits - Every circuit article page
- Category:Special Events - Every Special Event article page
- Category:Article stubs - Article pages that need additional content
The design still has some tweaks to iron out, and is open to suggestions, templates will need to be modified to allow new cars, series and manufactures to be added to the correct new category, when they are created, each release. No more mass editing and creating of category pages are required :) New links to the Category Tree will be created on the home page and navigation menu to the top level.
We hope you find the new design useful, it should be especially useful for mobile users, as category pages are normally only text and will therefore be light to navigate.
If you have any suggestions please contact RR3G'hamO. or myself.