Wikipeida Redesign: The Popular Online Encyclopedia Is Being Improved After 10 Years


Wikipedia is completely redesigning their entire desktop website for the first time in 10 years.

For the past twenty years, Wikipedia’s online encyclopedia platform has been a vital part of the internet culture by allowing their millions of users to access millions of crowd-sourced, text-heavy informative pages that can be created from home via phones, computers or tablets.

Wikipedia has been a beloved and widely-used platform for its users for almost 20 years. Over the past two decades the site has been active, they have generated approximately 53 million articles in over 300 languages.

Now, Wikipedia has announced that, for the first time in ten years, they will be redesigning the entire of their desktop webpage in order to increase its approachability and aesthetics.

Wikipedia has released a post on their platform that allows you to browse their proposed new features, including animated gifs that show users what the platform could potentially look like when the redesign is complete around the end of 2021.

Credit: Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a significant knowledge base for millions of people.

For instance, there is a proposed change to the page where there will be a table of contents, where you can click at the top of the page to find the different sections in the page without having to scroll through the entire text. This feature is something people are liking the idea of, as it makes the experience easier and allows users to skip over parts they don’t want to read.

Additionally, there will be a collapsable sidebar. This feature is said to be the first change to be made to the system and will give users the ability to collapse the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. The functionality of this feature is to minimise distractions, limit irrelevant content and make it easier to focus on content without the links of the side of your screen.

It will also be easier to switch between languages on the site – they are making it possible with just the single click of a button.

To make it easier for users to find the pages that they are after, Wikipedia has also proposed that they will add improvements to their sites search tool. Further, they will be adjusting their logo and making it smaller so as to minimize distractions and encourage focus when on the webpage.

In a recent blog post regarding the changes, Wikipedia’s parent company, Wikimedia Foundation, has announced that the changes that have been proposed will occur “incrementally over a long period of time.” They have chosen to make the changes over time to allow users to test each new feature before they officially change the entire website.

They have plans to have the entire desktop website redesigned by the end of 2021.

They have yet to release whether the mobile version will also receive a new look.

Although many users appreciate the minimalistic and simple interface that Wikipedia has had for the past decade, others believe that the site is not only clunky but out-dated. Those users who go to Wikipedia to create content and learn as readers and editors believe that this simple and direct format is overwhelming and do not appreciate it the way others do.

According to their website, “their goal is to create a more welcoming experience for all who come to our projects, regardless of background or level of experience with Wikimedia sites.”

Despite their significant growth during their lifespan, Wikipedia and many other Wikimedia Foundation projects have received virtually no changes to their interface. Which leaves the question why now?

Wikipedia is gaining a lot of new traffic from users who have only joined the internet in the last decade, and to the newer, younger users, the website can often feel outdated and unorganised. This is more so relevant when they compare it to other websites that are less overwhelming and more aesthetic in their view.

While Wikipedia wants to cater to their new users, they also don’t want to lose their long-term users who enjoy the functionality of their current design. In their redesign, they are confident that they can balance familiar elements while establishing a newer experience that can be more intuitive and straightforward for their new users.

“Our goal is to make Wikimedia wikis more welcoming and to increase the utility amongst readers and maintain utility for existing editors.”