Reading/Web/Accessibility for reading/Updates/2023-12

A new beta feature: Accessibility for Reading (Vector 2022)

The new menu in the un-pinned version, next to the user name

The Web team from the Wikimedia Foundation launched a new beta feature. The goal is to make reading on desktop more comfortable. The feature is only available to logged-in editors using the Vector 2022 skin. To try it out, go to the "beta" option in the user menu and select "Accessibility for Reading (Vector 2022)". You may also enable it on all wikis using the global preferences.

In the new menu, there are three text settings – small, standard, and large. Small is the current default. Large is for users who need additional increase in size. The standard setting may later become the new default. This was recommended by both the literature research and prototype testing. To this menu, we have also added the page width setting. Before, it was available in the bottom corner of the screen. Now, it's easier to find. The menu is pin-able in a similar way to the Tools and Main menus, both placed in the side columns of the desktop interface. When it's not pinned, it's displayed next to the user name.

About the above mentioned prototype testing: in October and November, we shared a prototype with 13 Wikipedia language communities. It allowed editors to experiment with different text settings, and report which configuration was most comfortable for them. We received feedback from 632 users. They were interested in changes and preferred options that fit within three size categories – small, medium, and large. You may learn more about the testing here.

These changes are a part of the Accessibility for reading project. Its goal is to improve the typography on the desktop and mobile sites. Ultimately, logged-in and logged-out users will be able to choose their preferred settings.

We welcome you all to try the new menu. We will collect your ideas and comments to make this feature better. Please, if you have the time, check it out and give us your thoughts!