The character navigation boxes the Gundam wiki is currently using are way, way too large and unwiedly, to the extent that they're completely unhelpful for use in actually navigating the site. The Universal Century characters template is the most egregious of them, because that continuity is so large. Just look at some of the shorter pages, such as Elle Vianno— the navbox is so huge that it's longer than the actual content!
I propose the following changes:
1) The creation of new character navboxes, broken down by series: "Mobile Suit Gundam characters", "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam characters", "Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ characters", and so on. This would make things much more focused and useful. Going back to my example of Elle Vianno, someone on that page would be much more likely to want to navigate to other ZZ characters than immediately jump from there to, say, Zeon Zun Deikun.
2) If the continuity-wide character templates must be kept, it should be made collapsible, and collapsed by default. This is how, for example, the Final Fantasy Wiki handles their templates, which are indeed quite huge.
Hey I guess I'm back at this again. I've come up with a revised layout for the templates, which can be seen on my sandbox. Compared to before:
• tighter, more compact layout; it's about a third shorter than it was before!
• the individual series navbox is now collapsed by default. It dawned on me that some characters, like Bright, appear in multiple series, and would thus have many of these on their page… if they were all displayed in full, it would make the page even longer than it is now…
• added some flair to the box, by way of a border and some colour. The idea is that every continuity would have its own colour in templates… I used yellow for UC based on the official CC timeline.
I welcome feedback on the changes, but I'd also like to know if there's any objection to instituting these sort of navboxes in general.
I think we should just remove the timeline-based navboxes and have multiple series-based ones if a character appears in more than one series. I don't mind having an MSG and a MSZG navbox with the same character highlighted in bold in both so long as they are collapsible.
It's especially problematic when a character switches allegiances.
I'm inclined to agree. I know I'm just repeating myself now, but the UC character navbox is so huge and packed with characters that it's long ceased to be useful as a navigation tool.
I can, however, see a use for it if it were drastically cut down to only list the essential characters. As in, you could probably do without characters like Woody Malden and Kamaria Ray being included.
Simplifying the factions and subfactions could help, too, especially on the subject of allegiances. Looking at the template, I can see several names repeat, but some of them are just characters moving between subfactions— like Bright as both EFF member and Londo Bell member. Beyond that… I don't see too many characters listed across factions (aside from EFF->AEUG, which is probably unavoidable): really just Char and Reccoa.