Wikipedia’s Subtle Makeover: A New Look After a Decade


Last updated August 2, 2023

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia widely recognized for its up-to-date information. The site attracts billions of monthly users looking for in-depth information on any topic. Its formal appearance encourages visitors’ attention to the text. Today, Wikipedia has made some changes to the interface to make it more user-friendly.

Wikipedia’s updated interface has made it easily accessible by adding new features. The new features allow users to easily navigate and access information. It is now much easier to search for information on the site. The tool to switch between languages ​​is now visible. Then all commonly used links are quickly accessible on the updated header. Many others Wikipedia redesign the changes now make Wikipedia a friendlier and more easily accessible site.

However, the site has not made any radical changes. The site has made some small but crucial changes. Users notice these changes slowly. However, according to the site, the updates were necessary to make it compatible with the new generation of users. The designers had Internet users and new website users in mind when making the changes.

What is Wikipedia’s mission?

The Wikipedia website was launched on January 15, 2001. Since then, it has seen considerable growth in terms of searches, number of users, languages ​​and pages. The world’s largest reference site currently hosts more than 61 million articles, attracting more than a billion visitors per month. The site publishes articles in more than 300 languages.

The website creates and updates its content regularly, so articles about new events appear instantly. Wikipedia is a site where anyone with Internet access can edit or write new articles. In only a few cases does the site allow users to edit posts with permission to avoid vandalism.

Anyone can visit the Wikipedia website and edit its content, references and images. The site believes that content is essential, no matter who writes it. However, articles written or edited must comply with Wikipedia’s policies. These policies include verifiable content and published sources. Personal opinions, beliefs and experiences do not matter here.

So, it is a popular website that users visit regularly to get updated information on any issue. The site also made its purpose clear.

Wikipedia’s mission is “to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every person on the planet in their own language… This is also the goal of the Wikipedia community: build and distribute the best possible encyclopedia. It is a crucial role Wikipedians are flourishing in the world. So when editors get bogged down in conflict while editing Wikipedia, it may be helpful to think of another quote from Jimbo (from the same interview as the original quote above).”

Why did Wikipedia change its website design?

The Wikipedia Foundation enlisted the services of more than 30 groups of volunteers from different fields to refine the interface. These volunteers came from India, Indonesia, Argentina, Ghana, etc. They all participated in testing the updates and gave their ideas and feedback.

The intention behind the new design of Wikipedia was to make the website compatible with the demands of modern Internet users. It also aimed to make the site simple by removing clutter. The foundation also wanted users to be able to contribute easily through the updated interface.

The foundation also wanted to make the desktop and mobile versions of the site consistent.

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What are the important changes made?

Changes Wikipedia makes to its website are not instantly visible to regular users. But when you start using the site, you notice them. So here are the changes:

Improved search box

Wikipedia now has a new search box with different search features. The search box allows visitors to use descriptions and images in the site’s autocomplete suggestions. Suggestions appear automatically as the user types in the search box. This way, the search box can direct users to the article they are looking for.

This may be a small and unnoticeable change, but it helps speed up searches. According to the Wikipedia Foundation, this minor change alone resulted in a significant 30% increase in user searches during testing.

Header made sticky

The header is now sticky. It remains visible even when you scroll to the end of the page. One advantage of the sticky header is that you can still see links, such as page name, search, and sections, while scrolling. It stays pinned and visible at the top of the page, helping users read or edit the text.

The Wikipedia Foundation noted that this minor change saved users time navigating between different sections and pages during the testing phase.

Website design

Language switching tools moved

One important change is the location of the language switching tools, which is crucial for this website. Visitors want information in different languages. They should therefore have easy access to this tool.

The updated Wikipedia website now has the language switching tools at the top right, where they are instantly visible. Since the top right corner is a prominent corner on a website page, users can quickly locate it to switch between hundreds of languages.

New table in the Content section

The changes in The new layout of Wikipedia also relate to how the table of contents appears on the website. Currently, the content table is on the left side of the articles so users can easily browse long-form content.

But now the content table will still be visible when you scroll down. So users can know the content section while reading and scrolling down. The user can now easily move between different parts of an article while reading it.

Foldable side bar

Another useful Wikipedia change At the design of its page is the sidebar. It is now a collapsible sidebar. Now users can have a better reading experience since the sidebar is no longer distracting. Additionally, due to the removal of sidebars, the width of the content has increased. This resulted in a reduction in the length of the article. Readers can only scroll down a little to access the full detailed text.

But each page has a toggle for users to log in and out. The toggle is intended for users who read text on a monitor with 1600 pixels or higher. These users can use the toggle to increase the page width of their choice.

It was the significant changes Wikipedia made to its website that helped users. These changes aimed to make the site compatible with the new generation of Internet users.

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Wikipedia is a popular website where millions of people find useful and up-to-date information on all topics. The site has modified its presentation and functionalities to make them easily accessible and compatible with modern Internet users. These changes are not immediately noticeable but are useful.


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