Wikipedia, the crowdsourced online knowledge repository that’s often the first point of reference while researching anything and everything on the web, is finally getting a refreshed look after ten long years. According to the Wikimedia Foundation – the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia – the desktop version of the website will soon don a new look that will enhance the experience for both readers and contributors.
In an official blog post announcing its plans, Wikimedia said that it has been working for more than a year on the new desktop design. “Since May 2019, we have been working to strengthen the Wikipedia desktop interface — focusing on bringing our content to the forefront, and making the site easier to navigate. Our 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 … We want to create an experience that feels similar to our long-time users, yet straightforward and intuitive for new folks”, said Olga Vasileva, the Lead Product Manager for the Reading Web Team at Wikimedia.
As part of the redesign, the Wikipedia website on desktop will get a reconfigured collapsible sidebar, table of contents and more. It will also get article tools, a new user menu and widgets incrementally over the coming months to allow for ample user testing and feedback. If everything goes according to plan, the changes will be available across the entire website by the end of 2021 in time for the Wikipedia’s 20th birthday celebrations.
Since its inception, Wikipedia has become the primary source of information on the web, with a whopping 53 million articles across 300+ languages. However, while the site’s content has grown rapidly, the website’s design hasn’t seen any substantive changes for the past 10 years, which is why the Foundation is finally getting down to bringing the platform on par aesthetically and functionally with other, more modern-looking websites.