Forums: Index > The Wizengamot archive > Infobox improvements

Hi, guys. I'd like to suggest a few ways to improve the infoboxes on this site. Firstly I like to suggest that they be divided up into the following fields. The reasons for this is, mainly to create an infobox that serves the article better by acting as kinda like a fact file. Secondly I think the Behind the scenes section should be removed from the Template. Mainly, as per Wookieepedia, because including fields such as portrayer contradicts the in universe perspective of the wiki.

Biographical information

  • Date and place of birth=
  • Date and place of death=
  • Family members= (Notice that Wookieepedia dosn't have a family members field? Not quite sure why, but I think it's to avoid the great long lists of in-laws etc, that we have here)
  • Blood status= (Not sure if this should go in physical description or not?)

Physical description

  • Gender=
  • Height=
  • Hair color=
  • Eye color=
  • Skin color=

Magical characteristics

  • Animagus form=
  • Boggart form=
  • Patronus form=
  • Wand statistics=


  • Affiliated organizations, goverments etc=

I think this is a much better way of organizing the information in the infoboxes, and prevents them from becoming cluttered by removing non essential fields. Let me know what you guys think, I've also got some ideas on how to make the templates more asthetically pleasing. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 17:55, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Also I think it might be beneficial to have less infoboxes, or to have more general ones that would apply to more characters. For example, we have Beauxbatons and Durmstrang infoboxes, yet there are only two or three articles that require these, so it's kinda wasted. I think having ones for the major factions for the majority of characters, and having a basic one for individuals who can't be placed. So it'd be "Order of the Phoenix character infobox", "Death Eater character infobox", "Ministry of Magic character infobox", "Muggle character infobox". That classifies nearly all the characters in the series, rather than having Gryffindor Slytherin Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw for characters who could all share a single template like Hogwarts student infobox. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 15:43, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I have been working on the appearance of the infobox, and I think I have made a more appealing version. I'm going to try and incorporate some of the changes mentioned above.--Matoro183 (Talk) 01:22, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jayce's proposal. But I think we should keep the relatives field, because it allows readers to quickly scan the infobox for this information, which is often scattered throughout the text of an article (and thus not easy to find). As to who should be included, immediate family like parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, children, and grandchildren are obvious choices. Extended family like aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws are okay in moderation. It makes sense to list Bellatrix Lestrange as "sister-in-law" in the infobox of Lucius Malfoy, due to the level of interaction these two characters have in the books, but it's hard to justify cluttering up all the Weasley pages with twenty minor cousins/nieces/nephews/uncles/aunts/etc.
Blood status belongs under the heading "Biographical information" because it does not effect physical appearance. I also think we should add a separate Hogwarts House field as this can be hard to determine from the colour of an infobox alone. And what about occupation? I guess that should go under "Biographical information." Starstuff (Owl me!) 03:23, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Although it might seem unnecessary, I also think we should retain the gender field, because a character's gender is not always immediately apparent based on their name (especially if they are known only by a surname or have a unisex given name like Terry, Dominique, or Blaise). Starstuff (Owl me!) 03:41, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

We should definately retain the gender fields as it is a essential part of a character. I suppose we could keep the family members but we definately need to tighten the restrictions. A persons occupation is determined by their afilliation, so I'm not sure if it's needed. Also I think titles and or alias should go, I've noticed a lot of people putting things like "Hagger" as Hagrid's alias and "Crack pot old fool" as Dumbledore's, so yeah a line needs to be drawn somewhere I think. And like I said before including fields such as a charcters first and last appearance in the books and there portrayer in the film directly contradicts the in universe perspective of the wiki, so the behind the scenes section should definately go. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 07:48, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think occupation can always be linked to a particular organization. For instance, Luna Lovegood is a magizoologist, but we don't know which research institute, if any, is her employer. And what about characters who have two or more careers during their lifetimes? Ginny Weasley started out as a professional Quidditch player but went on to write for the Daily Prophet. It would be awkward trying to incorporate this sort of information in the affiliations field.
I completely agree with your suggestion to thin out non-essential fields like titles and aliases, although I feel there is an argument for keeping significant and/or widely-used nicknames (Moony, Prongs, Lord Voldemort, The-Boy-Who-Lived, Mad-Eye, The Half-Blood Prince, etc.). But we should definitely get rid of trivial and one-off nicknames like the examples you gave. Starstuff (Owl me!) 08:46, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The main concern I have is that, by looking at Matoro's test page, I believe that the physical description info should go before the biographical; since having the family list so high up looks wrong to me. The family field is important to have in the infobox since family (or the essence of family) is a strong plot thread throughout the Potter novel.

I propose a slight tweak:

Biographical information

  • Date and place of birth=
  • Date and place of death=
  • Blood status= (Not sure if this should go in physical description or not?)

Physical description

  • Species=
  • Gender=
  • Height=
  • Hair colour=
  • Eye colour=
  • Skin colour=

Family information

  • Family members= (Following our previously established policy on the matter)

Magical characteristics

  • Animagus form=
  • Boggart form=
  • Patronus form=
  • Wand statistics=


  • Occupation(s)
  • Affiliated organisations, governments etc=
Also, the behind the scenes information section could be done away with. By keeping our Appearances section as it is, we can clearly show exactly where and when a character was first introduced or mentioned, and which books/media they appear in. Also, a mention of the film portrayer would be more appropriate to the bts section. In addition, adopting a Wookieepedia-style required for reffing the infobox would be recommended. - Cavalier One(Wizarding Wireless Network) 08:53, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Personally I don't think there is a need to have an occupation field at all. A general rule on Wookiepedia is less is more, only include the bare neccesity of information and let the article itself fill out the details. Thats what it is there for afterall, the infobox is meant to just be a quick rundown. I agree with Cavalier One, we need to start refrenceing the infoboxes. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 09:21, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Of course, remember that we are not Wookieepedia, and our way of doings things can and will be different from theirs. The information recorded in the infoboxes are what we believe to be important to the characters in our respective universes. We would also need to include a species field in the biographical section for non-Human characters. - Cavalier One(Wizarding Wireless Network) 09:32, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

True, that would be physical description.

I also think we should discuss the possibility of condesing the number of infoboxes we have and getting rid of some uneccsery ones. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 09:58, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

The occupations of characters play an important role in the series and influence the story at many points. It's the kind of information that readers probably want to be able to access quickly. Unnecessary information, to me, would include things like hobbies and interests. Leave it to articles to reveal the fact that Dean Thomas liked drawing and Eileen Prince liked Gobstones. Starstuff (Owl me!) 10:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Which ones would you class as unnecessary? Currently, for characters, we have:
Template:Dark wizard individual infobox
Template:Beauxbatons individual infobox
Template:Durmstrang individual infobox
Template:Hufflepuff individual infobox
Template:Gryffindor individual infobox
Template:Slytherin individual infobox
Template:Ravenclaw individual infobox
Template:Individual infobox
Template:Muggle individual infobox
The only ones I can see might be expendable would be the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang ones. The house infoboxes are, I feel, important since a lot of the characters pride themselves—and identify themselves with—their house, even after leaving the school. Individual is needed for characters whose affiliations are unknown, and Muggle to clearly differentiate between Wizards and non-Wizards. - Cavalier One(Wizarding Wireless Network) 10:23, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The Muggle infobox probably isn't needed. I always use the individual infobox on Muggle articles, because the Muggle infobox lacks a job field, and is also impossible to distinguish from the individual infobox due to its identical grey heading. There is no colour which intuitively represents Muggle status. Adding the word "Muggle" to the blood status field instead makes it immediately apparent to readers that a character is a Muggle. Starstuff (Owl me!) 10:40, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Right, here is what I think. We should get rid of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, as well as Dark wizard. Merge the house infoboxes into one "Hogwarts character infobox", which would have a field in the "Affiliation" section for their house. Instead of just putting a link to their house in that field, Slytherin etc, we would put a template, "Slytherin", which would detrmine the infoboxes color as well as automatically categorizing the article. Sounds complicated I know but it can be done i think. I'd say we need a "Muggle character infobox" a "Wizard character infobox, as well as a "Order of the Phoenix character infobox, a "Death Eater character infobox" and a "Ministry of Magic character infobox". Here's my proposed listing.

  • "Muggle character infobox"
  • "Wizard character infobox"
  • "Hogwarts character infobox"
  • "Death Eater character infobox"
  • "Order of the Phoenix character infobox"
  • "Ministry of Magic character infobox"

Using those templates we can clasify all the charcters in the series, it also a lot simpler and more clear cut. I also feel color schemes are something that sould be decided on, currently there are some really revolting ones, like black and pink. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 11:48, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I would strongly be against removing the House templates unless you can prove to me that adding a template to an infobox would change the colours of said infobox. If someone can show me on a test page, then I'd be grateful. - Cavalier One(Wizarding Wireless Network) 11:59, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I recommend a broadly inclusive "Dark wizard" infobox over a narrowly specific "Death Eater" one. Not all Dark wizards and witches were associated with Lord Voldemort (e.g., Gellert Grindelwald). Starstuff (Owl me!) 13:02, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

But more dark wizards were Death Eaters than not. And as Death Eater is one of the major factions it is more appropriate to have it's own infobox. The dark wizards that werent death eaters can use the general Wizard character infobox, as they dont have affiliations that we know of. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 13:10, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm gonna go out and put my foot down and say absolutely NO to removing many of the infoboxes. The only difference in the infoboxes are the colors (i.e. Gryffindor is red & gold, Slytherin is green & silver (grey)). There is no reason to remove them. They are all the same infobox anyway, its just a combination of subst's on colors that makes them the way they are. If you take the {{Individual infobox}} and include that with some code it creates the {{Gryffindor infobox}}, etc. (see the bottom of that page). What're you're saying is essentially the same thing, but in a much more convoluted way -- why render the colors on real time (using a "Slytherin template") when they can be rendered beforehand using a "Slytherin infobox". It just makes it much easier.
I like some of your suggestions, (Ministry of Magic, Order of the Phoenix, possibly Death Eater) but in general I would say those should be added to the current infoboxes, not used in place of them. The reason that it is "Dark Wizard" right now instead of "Death Eater" is to include people such as Grindelwald...although he currently has a Durmstrang infobox. Are there any characters using {{Dark wizard infobox}} that are not Death Eaters? if no, then we can simple move it to Death Eater infobox. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 17:02, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with DarkJedi. By the way, Herpo the Foul and Morgan Le Fay weren't Death Eaters and they use the dark wizard infobox. -- Seth Cooper Owl Post 17:19, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Morgan La Fay and Herpo the Foul are the only ones. And afterall the Dark Arts are not a faction so it really does not need it's own template, those two charcters plus Grindlewald would be better off with a general Wizard infobox, the color scheme of which could be customized to reflect the characters dark nature. I don't belive Grindlewald should have a Durmstrang infobox, as he was expelled, and never finished his education there. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 17:21, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Also, this is just my opinion, but I think your remark about the house infobox is kinda contradictory. Basically you say there all the same so why merge them into one, wheras my thinking is, if there all the same why do we need four? It's kinda of a two edged sword I know, but... Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 17:30, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm saying they are all made off the same source and should be have exactly the same and its easier to use just one template (Slytherin infobox or Gryffindor infobox) instead of two templates (Hogwarts infobox then one that does the colors). What're you're suggesting is either:
  1. Use 5 templates (Hogwarts + 4 coloring ones)
  2. Use 1 templates (Hogwarts) and be forced to use color codes
I'm saying to simply use 4 (one for each house) which in my opinion is the best situation, it doesn't require remembering random hex codes and it uses less templates (and is easier to implement), etc. Its also been working for a long time and doesn't require a refactoring of lots of articles.
Also, we don't necessarily only use infoboxes to represent factions here -- they are a way to quickly categorize a character by the color of the infobox. For example Wookieepedia has a "Bounty hunter character infobox" and a "Dark Jedi character infobox" these are not factions, they are just simple a category someone can be lumped into. We use a similar system. After all the houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw) are not really factions, they are just a category the characters strongly identify with. I would be for creating a "Death Eater infobox" but not for removing the "Dark wizard infobox". -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 18:23, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I got the idea of the color template from UESP. They have one race color template, which has a list of colors and a corresponding codeword. When you put a clean template at the top of the page you enter the code word into a field, the template then activates and assigns the infobox it's color. It only requires one template, though it may be to complicate to use with color combinations. I know Dark Jedi and Bounty hunter arent factions, but Wookieepedia have vast numbers of articles that require these templates, we have two articles that use the dark wizard infobox, and they could easily use an already available template. Jayce Carver Slytherincrest Talk 18:45, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

But there really isn't any reason to get rid of them! It doesn't confuse anything having them. And you could set up the template that way...wouldn't be terrible difficult (I did a similar thing for the Month template we use here), but I don't see any benefits. You still have to remember a keyword. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 19:56, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

It less about having a good reason to get rid of them, and more about not needing them in the first place. It's just not needed. But anyway as for the keyword, er, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin. Wouldn't be too diffcult to remebr. But I'm not going to argue on the houses anymore has it seems to be going nowhere. But i do support the use of a general Wizard character infobox in place of multiple infoboxes that only apply to two or three people. Jayce Carver Slytherin banner Talk 20:10, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Right, but isn't it easier to type "Hufflepuff infobox" then to do "Hogwarts infobox" and "|house=Hufflepuff". Just think of it as a shortcut. And to counter your point -- I would feel the way you're saying to do it is unnecessarily difficult. What i would propose we use is:
  1. {{Dark wizard individual infobox}}
  2. {{Death Eater individual infobox}}
  3. {{Beauxbatons individual infobox}}
  4. {{Durmstrang individual infobox}}
  5. {{Hufflepuff individual infobox}}
  6. {{Gryffindor individual infobox}}
  7. {{Slytherin individual infobox}}
  8. {{Ravenclaw individual infobox}}
  9. {{Individual infobox}}
  10. {{Muggle individual infobox}}
  11. {{Order of the Phoenix individual infobox}}
  12. {{Ministry of Magic individual infobox}}
The last two should only be added if they are necessary. Many of the characters that would use those might currently have their House infobox in use. I'll post later about my thoughts of what should be in them. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 22:35, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with DarkJedi on keeping the Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw infoboxes, and possibly creating Death Eater ones while retaining the Dark wizard one. There is no reason to give Morgan le Fay, Herpo the Foul, etc. less specific infoboxes than they already have, in my opinion.
The only issue I take with other proposed changes is the inclusion of height in the physical description section. Do we even know the measurements of any characters? Or are we just planning to use the heights of the actors who portray them? I don't personally feel we should do this, because in some cases the novels and films are not uniform – e.g. Ginny Weasley is described as short in the books, but Bonnie Wright is 5'6"; James and Oliver Phelps are taller than Rupert Grint, though their characters are meant to be shorter than Ron; and so on. Oread 22:56, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
It should be heights of the characters, not of the actors...although this doesn't even really make sense since most of the characters are teenagers whose height would obviously change a lot during the novels. Something to look into. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 23:39, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree completely. But the novels don't reveal characters' exact heights (except in very rare cases, such as Grawp). We only have ambiguous adjectives such as "tall", which I don't think would be at all appropriate for an infobox. Oread 00:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Ok, you guys win. It just seems common sense to me not have a great number of templates that are only ever going to be used by two people. But like I said, I yield. As for the height, I'm not sure. It is an important statistic, but since we don't know any of them. I'd say include the field, as it may be adressed some day. Also I know that many charcacters who would have a MOM box or a OOTP box already have their house infobox, but I think that a major faction such as the Ministry would take precedence over what house they were in at school. It just makes more sense to me to use the faction they were best known for in universe rather than out of universe. Well we appear to makeing progress, I think the color schemes of proposed new infoboxes should be discussed, as well as revisions to the current ones. Jayce Carver Slytherin banner Talk 08:35, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I've come up with a few possibilites. Take a look and let me know what you think. User:Jayce Carver/Infoboxes. Jayce Carver Slytherin banner Talk 08:39, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

All current colors being used at available at User:DarkJedi613/Colors (I think that's all of them?) Seems to me the Muggle infobox is pretty much the same colors. I have problems reading the text on Dark Wizard, Ministry of Magic and Wizard. I think the color needs to be lightened a bit. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 14:11, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah you're right. I tried to select colors that represent the organizations in some way. Also, this may just be me, but I think a single infobox should have two shades of the same color, rather than two diffrent colors. I just think it looks better. Jayce Carver Slytherin banner Talk 14:45, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

I like the extra color that the two colors add, but it can also be a bit distracting. Doesn't make a huge difference to as long as they're readable. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 03:34, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

True, I just think the that two colors, especially when it's two completely oppsing colors, can be a little garish. Also as for the house infoboxes, I think bolder shades of Blue and Yellow should be used for Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, not dark shades, just deeper as i think the current ones are too pale, and don't reflect the colors described in the books or shown in the films. Jayce Carver Slytherin banner Talk 11:36, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

How about these colors? I think all of the others can stay the same. Ravenclaw was too...light before. When are we going to implement the changes to the infobox?--Matoro183 (Talk) 23:49, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

They great. But I do think Hufflepuff should be more...yellow, it's too brown at the moment. Presumably we all have to vote on the various issues discussed. Does anyone want to bring anything else, up, or further discuus what is already proposed. Jayce Carver Slytherin banner Talk 10:48, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry I've been busy the last few days. We're probably ready to vote (I suggest using the talk page for it...makes it easier to follow). Pretty much things we need to vote on:
  1. Stuff in the infoboxes
  2. Order of stuff in infoboxes/categories
  3. Colors of infoboxes
Anything else I'm missing? -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 23:49, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

The creation of Death Eater, Order of the Phoenix, and MOM character infoboxes. As well as the deleteion of the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang infoboxes. Also wether or not to implement the athestic changes personofied in mine and Matoro's sandboxes, unless we are already agreed on that? Jayce Carver Slytherin banner Talk 13:21, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I fixed the issue that was causing the birth, death, and eye color fields not to show up inside the newly-designed infoboxes. Another problem I noticed is how the section headings don't disappear if all the fields under them are empty (see Antonin Dolohov for an example). This causes the section headings to clump together in an aesthetically unappealing way. I don't know how to fix this.
I added a "House" field to make up for the phasing out of House infoboxes on the articles of characters who weren't Hogwarts-age in the books. It also seemed redudant to have an "Affiliation" field under the heading "Affiliation," so I changed its displayed name to "Loyalty," though the name used in the code (i.e., "|affiliation=") remains the same so that the field will still show up in articles without a significant number of changes needing to be made. Starstuff (Owl me!) 09:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Several things: I have fixed the issue with collapsable fields. The new templates now have fields marked as hideb (Biographical information), hidep (Physical information), hidef (Family information), hidem (Magical information), and hidea (Affiliation information). Adding a y to any of them will hide that particular section.
Now the main thing - simply changing the title of the infobox on article pages will not upgrade the infobox to the new fields. You've changed the basic layout of the entire infobox - every character article will need to be manually recoded. - Cavalier OneGryffindorcrest(Wizarding Wireless Network) 11:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I understand that we're going to need to go through articles and add new infoboxes where appropriate (Category:Death Eaters, Category:Order of the Phoenix, and Category:Ministry of Magic employees would be good places to start). This would mean filling in the new House field, wherever it is applicable, as well as clearing all fields under the now-defunct "Behind the scenes" section. The reason I left "|affiliation=" the same was so that any infobox with that field filled in would still display the field's content in the article; if I'd changed it "|loyalty=", everything would've gone blank, and I was concerned about breaking the functionality of a field across so many infoboxes. But we've got to change all the infoboxes, anyway, so why not everything out of the way in one fell swoop? Maybe we should put a notice under the site-wide spoiler warning to let visitors know we're currently working over all the infoboxes and that things might be out of order? Going through all the articles and updating the infoboxes could be another project for the House Points Game. Starstuff (Owl me!) 11:57, 26 November 2008 (UTC)