Thursday 18 May 2017

A Month in the Human Sphere

A month ago I announced the launch of the Human Sphere Wiki. In that time I've had a lot of helpful feedback, suggestions and some very kind comments from people who are using the new site.

I thought it would be interesting to take stock of the site a month on from its public release date, see how it is doing and talk about plans for the future.
Stats for the first calendar month of operation

The Numbers

Over the past month (15th April - 14th May) it has served up more than 80,000 pages to over 3,000 unique users. Users spend on average a bit more than 7 minutes on the site at a time and look at an almost 13 pages during their stay.

Over the last week, we seem to be settling down towards serving around 100 users a day, about a quarter of which are new users to the site and who, on average, spend a bit more time browsing the site than their returning counterparts.

We've also had a few seriously committed users. There have been 422 sessions of over a half hour in length with an average page view count between them of over 63!

The pages are loading in 1.72 seconds on average (faster for Firefox, slower for Chrome) Some seem to load much slower for some reason (looking at you, Books and Limited Edition Minis) and I'll be working on addressing that as much as I can if the issue persists. Mostly its just a case of too many images on a single page.

The Future

I've taken a bit of a step back from the Wiki since it was released, partly in order to let the dust settle and partly for my own sanity! It's been good to collect user feedback, some metrics on the site and to get some kind of consensus on next steps. So, here's a five point plan for the future of the Wiki.

1. Regular Updates

This is going to be the key. Each month I'll be going through and uploading new units as they are released. My response time on this is going to fluctuate, but expect things to be up within a month of them hitting the shops.Whilst I appreciate that people would like things loaded as soon as possible, I'd rather hold out until good resolution images are available.

This also includes replacing images with higher quality ones as and when they become available.

2. Better Navigation

I'll be aiming to add better navigation options to the unit and faction pages to help people get around the Wiki more quickly and efficiently.

The exact format for this is yet to be decided, but I'm thinking a table at the bottom of each unit page with a list of all other units for that faction. This is also going to be paired with proper categorisation of all the Wiki pages.

3. Troop Profiles

This was the single most requested feature and it seems there are a lot of people who want to use the Wiki as a 'one stop shop' for all their Infinity info. Originally these weren't included because I didn't want to step on the toes of the army builder and the official PDFs and the Wiki wasn't intended to be used as a gaming aide. If the demand is there though, then I'll try and meet it!

There's also the question of what to do about historical profiles. Several troops have had their stats and equipment changed between editions, have had tweaks made to them within editions or have simply been discontinued. At the moment I'm not sure that the amount of work it would take to get these loaded is worth it, but I'm open to revising that opinion in the future.

4. Translations

I've had requests for Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese translations of the Wiki. Wikis in general don't handle multi-language support particularly well so any solution would most likely involve cloning the existing Wiki and then uploading translated text. Realistically I only want to start on this when the rest of the site is up and running fully, including the navigation and troop updates.

Needless to say this isn't going to happen soon, but be assured that the requests have been heard!

5. New Content

In the long term I really want to continue using the site to collate lots of different kinds of Infinity information and I think the logical next step will be unit/faction guides, tactics articles and information on how to get started with the game.

I think there's a lot of possibilities here, and needless to say I'm pretty excited about the future!


  1. Taxonomy and a more curated layout would be my go-to request.

    1. Is there any particular format for that which you think would be helpful?

    2. Besides the fact that monobook itself is a quite boring layout (vector is marginally better), the biggest issue might be how loose is the association between image and caption.

  2. I'd really like to have the old profiles up there. It's really cool to see how some changed. If there's something I could do to help, let me know.

    1. For many units it isn't going to be too exciting I think - other than BTS flipping around. I'll see what I can pull together though!