Reading/Web/Accessibility for reading/Community prototype testing

A note on the testing

Screenshot of the prototype

As the Web team, we are temporarily enabling an experimental prototype. We are asking a series of questions on your experience while reading and using Wikipedia. Since the choice of typography is most relevant while reading (as opposed to editing), our questions focus on reading the text.

We hope that you focus on the way you, personally, read Wikipedia. We are also asking you to imagine yourself in the shoes of a casual reader or someone completely new to Wikipedia. How do you think changes in typography would affect their experience? Do you think this experience will be different from the experience of an editor or more-involved community member?

This prototype is not a proposal for changes. It is not an early version of the feature either. In particular, we're not planning on providing sliders or individual settings for font size, line height, or spacing. Sending us your opinion will inform conversations about what an ideal reading experience might look like. We will not implement the individual preferences of every participant. Instead, we will use the results of the testing to produce a proposal that combines these variables into simpler settings.

Instructions for testing

  1. Enable the prototype and start reading articles. (Note that editing mode will not be changing as part of this work, except for VisualEditor. Wikitext editors will not work with this prototype.)
  2. Explore various options for font size, line height, and spacing over the course of a few days
  3. When you're ready, click the "share my preferences" button in the prototype widget. The pre-filled form will copy over the values of last settings you were viewing as well as the page you were on. Feel free to fill out the form as many times as you wish.

More about the project


We would like our interfaces to be easier to read and scan. Our research suggests that the following improvements would increase accessibility and readability:

  1. Making the default font size bigger (but not too big) to improve readability
  2. Increasing the information density (how much information appears on the screen) of articles to improve scanning
  3. Increasing the space between paragraphs and article sections to improve scanning
  4. Allowing readers (including logged-out users!) to customize the density of text


Our desktop and mobile sites have typography which makes them difficult to read comfortably. Our content takes longer to read. Compared to the more accessible text, the information on our wikis is more difficult to retain after reading. It's important to remember that people engage both in in-depth reading, as well as scanning of text. We want to improve our typography to take into consideration and optimize for both of these important ways of using the projects. Especially, we need to remember about casual readers. They make up the majority of all Wikipedia readers. Go to the main project page to learn more.