Hi devs,

Yesterday I’ve asked my wife to try out XWiki...

Exercise 1 

I gave her the simple task of creating a wiki page with some content to 
organize a party with a list of people to invite. 

Here’s some feedback from this session, in the order she discovered them: 

* She started reading the Welcome block (good!) but was puzzled by the 
terminology of ‘“spaces”. Especially since the English wording said “sorted by 
—> Improvement: Rephrased with “organized by spaces” + had a one line sentence 
explaining what a space is.

* Then she saw the Spaces list below and started clicking on the existing 
** First Blog, she understood what it was about and decided that was not where 
she would put her new page. 
** Then she clicked on Main and after 2 seconds of puzzlement (it didn’t do 
anything since she was already on the main space) the understood that it was 
where she was already
—> Improvement: Highlight the current space differently in the Spaces list to 
make it clear on what space the user is currently on
** Then she clicked on Sandbox and understood it was a page to try out stuff 
after reading the content. She clicked on”Sandbox Test Page 1” and found the 
edit button and started typing some text and saving the page. It worked fine 
but she understood that this wan’t her missing since I had asked her to create 
a new page…

* She navigated back to the home page by clicking on the Home menu entry at the 
top. Actually I was surprised that she used those menus to navigate very 
quickly and it did not seem to be an issue. 

* Then she tried sending a message (don’t ask me why, this wasn’t part of her 
mission but she wanted to try it out, Strangely she picked the “group” item in 
the visibility box and then started typing my name. It did print “Group not 
found” and she understood she had done something wrong but still clicked 
—> Nothing to do IMO here except maybe remove this message section as we 
discussed already

* Then I asked her again to create a new page and she didn’t know how to do 
that. Then after asking her to look better at the UI she found the “Add” button 
and clicked “Add Page”. Again the issue with “space”. It was written “Main” and 
she didn’t fully understand that and started typing here own content in there 
“anniv MAM !!” and then in the page name she put “liste invités” and clicked 
create. I’m not sure what happened after (I don’t recall) but she clicked on 
the space menu entry at the top (which was displaying “anniv MAM !!”) and this 
led her to the WebHome page with a message saying that the page didn’t exist 
and she clicked on “edit” in that message to create it. She wondered why it was 
written “WebHome” in the title field and why she had to type again “liste 
invités” there but she did it and added content to the page and saved. Then she 
was surprised to see in the top menu “WebHome”. She didn’t understand that. She 
was expecting to see “liste invités”. 

* Then I asked her to create another page which she did correctly. 

* Then she wanted to navigate between the 2 pages she had created but she 
couldn’t find how. Actually the saw the “My Recent Modifications” panel but 
told me that this was ok because she had just edited the pages but if that 
wouldn’t have been the case she wouldn’t be able to navigate. She clicked 
several times on the menu entries at the top (wiki, space and page level) but 
never thought about clicking the little arrows there… When I asked her she said 
she saw those arrows but didn’t think it would do any good clicking them. 
Actually she told me that she was puzzle by those top menu names. She said she 
would have preferred to see “Spaces” and “Pages” with the arrows next to them 
and then she would have clicked on them to see all the spaces and all the 
—> We need a simpler way to navigate between pages (either some navigation 
panel or change the way the top menu works)

* Then I asked her to create a link between her 2 pages. She couldn’t imagine 
how to do that. Then I asked her “what would you do if I asked you to put some 
of the text you created in bold” and she understood that she had to edit the 

Exercise 2 

The second exercise I gave her was about changing the wiki’s home page to be 
her own content.

I tested it with several options:
- option 1: clicking edit on Dashboard.WebHome (XE 6.1)
- option 2: clicking edit on Main.WebHome (XE 6.1)
- option 3: clicking edit on Main.WebHome but forcing the “inline” mode (XE 6.1)
- option 4: clicking edit on Main.WebHome but with the proposal of 

Results in short:
- option 1: She selected the text she wanted to change with the mouse and hit 
backspace… resulting in navigating to the previous page in the browser. Her 
rationale: she had clicked edit first so she thought she was in edit mode…
- option 2: The WYSIWYG appears, she again selected the text to change and hit 
backspace… resulting in the whole include macro being removed… Then she didn’t 
understand what happened…
- option 3: The dashboard appears in inline mode but a warning is displayed 
with technical explanations that confused her and same problem as with option 1 
- option 4: She couldn’t use the first version I did because she didn’t 
understand why when she clicked edit she wasn’t in the standard edit view (as 
with other pages she had edited before). I tuned the text leading to 
http://jira.xwiki.org/secure/attachment/28082/step2.png and thereafter she 
could use it just fine.


This was very useful to me. It was worse than I imagined… but I now better 
understand how newcomers think when they see XWiki. To summarize we need to:
- explain the concept of “space” or replace it by “folder” which is an already 
known concept.
- show titles everywhere in the UI instead of page names (this is very 
confusing for the user): top menu, index livetables, etc
- add ways to navigate between pages more easily (either by changing the top 
level menu or introducing some navigation panels)
- there might be something to improve on the top level menu: She saw it as 
navigation only whereas it’s not fully and thus it’s not obvious that it 
contains actions that can be done at a given level (because it displays the 
current position and not generic terms such as “spaces”, “pages”.


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