Prominently link to track specific installation instructions

From many interactions with students I have gotten the impression that the track specific installation instructions (e.g.) are effectively hidden from the students.

It seems the above «Learn more about solving exercises locally» link does get noticed. (Whereas, apparently, pursuing «View track documentation» is postponed and/or rejected.) Therefore, I propose to add a link to track-specific installation instructions right above or below «Learn more about solving exercises locally», or perhaps even links to all the track-specific documentation files:

(modulo styling)

I agree with making it more prominent.

I would suggest that the reason the first one gets seen is that it’s a link by itself (signal), whereas the others are many links together (noise). I suspect that by adding all the things together, we add more noise rather than adding multiple signals.

We’re going to remake this page entirely, so I’ll definitely think about how we incorporate this as part of that. It also feels to me like this is more part of the Track page than the Exercise page - you don’t need to see “how to install Haskell” on every exercise really. Maybe we need more of a question here like “Installing Haskell for the first time on this Exercise?” that then links off to those other things.

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@JonniMcCool Do you have thoughts on this?

One disadvantage of the track Overview is that while is it very frequently passed through, it is rarely visited. At least in my experience.

I agree, but the same could be said about the «Learn more about solving exercises locally» link. Still, I wouldn’t want to remove the latter. When the student is ready to make the switch from web to local, it is really nice that the relevant link is already there right in front of them and they have had many opportunities in the past to notice it.

I worried about this as well, hence my prior proposal to add only the installation link.

If all links were added together, the goal would not be as much to offer the student a choice (to click and read or not) every time they navigate the exercise page, but rather to plant the idea that that

  1. certain information is available, and moreover
  2. said information lies by the side of their frequently traversed path.

So, a kind of temporal shotgun approach.

:point_right: Actually, alternative proposal: move the track docs into their own tab, same as «Dig Deeper», «Code Review», etc. I think that might make them much more discoverable, simply because the tabs are much more attractive to navigate to.

First, i would like to share my experince with the «View track documentation» link:

  1. I only first noticed the “View Track Documentation” link now that i see it on the image.
  2. Now that i see it, its naming does not seem to lead to something useful in terms of solving execises (locally or via exercism editor).

I totally agree. I only ever take a look at it when i want to see my progress of a track.

Since there is no specific «Learn more about solving exercises locally» for each track but only a general one, i suggest putting the general link to the track specific docs into it with a small paragraph like: “Struggle with the local installation of your programming language? Take a look at the track specific documents! [Link to general page for track specific documents]”

One way that could achieve this is adding the track specific docs as a new tab for each track. That way, the pathway is there, despite beeing only rarely traversed. But the idea of more information is planted.