2023年9月: Results from the Content separation (Zebra #9) A/B test
In June 2023, we ran an experiment which compared different content separation layouts of the interface.
This prototype shows the tested design; we're calling it "Zebra". The goal was to improve readability and focus on the content of the page. The experiment tested the prototype design and compared it to the current all-white Vector 2022 design. The results of the experiment showed:
- A 3% increase in pageviews per session in the treatment group attributed to Zebra
- A 3.4% decrease in edits per session in the treatment group attributed to Zebra
- A 17% decrease in the click rate of the table of contents
- An 87% increase in the page tool pins per session
After reviewing the settings of our test, we did not find any issues that would result in data inconsistencies. Next, we studied other factors which might affect the results of the test. We noticed that a significant amount of the decrease in edits and pageviews came from screen sizes narrower than 1200 px. We combined these results with the results of our user tests.
These did not indicate significant differences in readability between the test and control designs.
Our conclusion was that the prototype did not, in its tested form, improve readability and could negatively affect edits.
We decided not to proceed with the deployment of this prototype in its tested form. Instead, we plan to improve readability and focus on the content through the following:
- Introducing changes to the typography, focused on improving readability and content comprehension. This is the goal of the new project, Accessibility for reading
- Introducing improvements to Zebra, optimizing for narrower screens, and repeating the tests.
2023年5月: Continuing work on Vector 2022, and making plans for the new fiscal year
We have been focusing on continuing deployments across remaining wikis and running experiments for further improvements.
We have also done some work on the plans for future projects.
- Rollouts. Vector 2022 is now the default skin on Polish and Spanish Wikipedias, and French Wikinews. We are also discussing with the Chinese Wikipedia community. Special gratitude to everyone who helps us and editors have better understanding in the discussions, find and resolve bugs, and explain decisions. If the community of your wiki would like our skin to become the default, please reach out to us!
- Experiment: toggle indicator. We have launched an experiment which introduces an indicator pointing to the fixed width toggle. This is to ensure that readers are aware of the location of the toggle and able to switch between full and fixed width. (T335307)
- Content separation (Zebra #9) A/B test. We will run an experiment that compares different content separation layouts for the interface (based on this prototype). The experiment will be run in May across a set of 10 large to medium-sized Wikipedias. Once the experiment is complete, we will analyze the data and continue the process of selecting the best page layout. Read more about the on-wiki test here. For more information, check our documentation on the previous user testing experiment. Many thanks to everyone who has commented on this topic on our project talk page, on other wikis, or at online meetings with us! (T333180, T335972)
- Plans for the future. In the next fiscal year of the Foundation, we'll be working on new projects. We invite you to read the draft of the Wikimedia Foundation annual plan, section Infrastructure, Bucket: Wiki Experiences. Also, read the more detailed description "WE2: Reading and media experience". This is the part our team will focus on. Among others, dark mode and reading lists are mentioned as examples of the possible projects. We will be glad to read your comments on the talk pages of the linked Meta-Wiki pages. Post in any language! The deadline is .
2023年3月: Vector 2022 on more wikis and other updates
Over the past few months, the team has been preparing and changing the skin on the largest Wikipedias.
Vector 2022 has become the default for all logged-in and logged-out users on Czech and English Wikipedias.
Since then, we have been discussing further improvements to the skin with the communities. As a result of these discussions as well as working on the previous plans, we've implemented many changes. These include:
- Persistence and availability of the full width toggle. The full width toggle (available at the bottom of the page) is now persistent for both logged-out and logged-in users. This means that they see the width of their choice in spite of refreshing the page or opening a new one. The toggle is also available at narrower screen widths.
- New page tools menu.
- It allows for a separation between navigation related to the entire wiki and tools related to a specific page. In the first group there are, for example, Main page and Random page. In the second group there are, for example, What links here, Related changes, and Cite this page. The new menu also collects the page-specific tools in a single menu. Before, some of these links were the main menu (sidebar) or in the More menu (next to History). Our goal is to make it easier for new readers and editors to understand what these links do. Users also may pin and unpin the new menu. More information is available on the project page.
- Making this change also has the benefit of showing the table of contents further up the page. Now, people need to scroll down to see the table of contents more rarely. This is one of the concerns we've been hearing over the last couple of days and hope this addresses it.
- Moving the log-in link outside of the drop-down menu for logged-out users. This change makes it quicker to reach the log-in link, without requiring logged-out users to open the drop-down menu.
- Various small improvements to the Table of Contents (ToC):
- Increase the height of the ToC. This will allow the ToC to appear longer, and for more sections to be visible (T319315).
- Where the page lands when clicking on a ToC link (T314419). We've heard that the ToC opens too close to the beginning of a section, without giving any space for the title and previous section. This change will increase this space, making it more comfortable when navigating.
- Threshold for when a section is considered active, and marked in the ToC (T317661). We have also heard that a section is considered active only after the user has scrolled the previous section out of view. This had lead to some confusion on the active state. This change will allow sections to be shown as active earlier, when the majority of the section is displayed on the screen.
- Navigating directly to sub-sections and expand the parent section if collapsed (T325086). Some of the feedback relates to the way that subsections appear on the page. We've heard that subsections should appear more consistently when needed. This change ensures that subsections are open when the user opens a direct link to that subsection.
Upcoming changes and explorations
We are currently working on the following changes:
- Page layout. We wanted to address one of the main concerns which has come out of the feedback around the skin so far. It's about the separation of content, and the brightness of the interface. We've developed a prototype we would like to get your feedback on. How should we measure the potential changes as compared to the current layout? We've posted more details and specific questions on the talk page. There are a few sections for discussions in different languages. Add your comments and questions there!
- Configuration of the table of contents. We want to allow the ToC to be more configurable. Then, editors could determine when the ToC needs to be expanded or collapsed by default, and how many sections of the ToC can be shown by default. This will replicate the functionality of some of the "magic words" used in the ToC.
It will be especially useful on pages like the Village Pump or coordination pages in the Wikipedia namespace (T317818).
2022年12月: More deployments, full width toggle, page tools, and other updates
For the past few months, our focus has been on discussing deployments across various large wikis.
This includes English Wikipedia. Its community has agreed to have Vector 2022 as the default under some conditions. We have addressed those.
Currently, we are discussing next steps with the English Wikipedia community.
We have also been switching the skin on in the majority of Wikipedias.
Currently, there are ~300 Wikipedias with the default of Vector 2022. Last week, the skin became the default on Arabic and Greek Wikipedias.
We hope to get to all the Wikipedias by the end of February 2023.
As a result of the feedback we've received, we've made more changes to the skin itself:
- We have built a preference for logged-in users which allows for the width to be set across pageviews and wikis. The preference is available in the appearance section of the preferences page ("启用有限宽度模式"). It may also be set as a global preference.
- We have built a toggle for logged-in and logged-out users. The toggle is available on every page if the monitor is 1600 pixels or wider. Selecting the toggle increases the width of the page.
- Moving the page tools to the right side of the page. This change is about grouping the page tools, and creating separation from the wiki-wide tools. This change also addresses the concern for the location of the table of contents. It makes the sidebar (left menu) shorter and thus shifts the table of contents further up in the page.
- We hope to make the updated tools menu available by the end of December, 2022. If you want to follow the development by previewing how the feature works, add
?vectorpagetools=1to the URL (if you're using Vector 2022 already) or
?useskin=vector-2022&vectorpagetools=1(if you're not using Vector 2022).
No major concerns were found. We are tracking the suggestions for further improvements. We are also addressing potential future improvements.
The details are documented in T323634.
We have added an edit button to the sticky header to make access to editing the full page easier (without requiring scrolling to the top of the page).
- People were more likely to complete the edits they start using the sticky header in comparison to the edits initiated using other edit buttons on the page.
- The edits people started by clicking the edit button in the sticky header, and ultimately published, were reverted less often than those initiated using other edit buttons on the page.
2022年9月: Plans and conversations about the deployment across the Wikimedia wikis
- High usage on the early adopter wikis. According to the recent study by the Product Analytics team, 87% of contributors active on the early adopter wikis use Vector 2022. Here, active contributors mean users who made at least 5 edits between 1 November 2021 and 31 August 2022. Thank you!
- Visual refinements. We have completed the list of visual refinements. We planned to complete these before the deployments across more wikis. These changes included work on link colors, icons, and overall look and feel of Vector 2022. We welcome feedback and questions on any of these changes. Write to us on the project talk page.
- Decision of the English Wikipedia community through the Request for Comment. For the past two months, we have been discussing with the English Wikipedia community. English Wikipedians have identified issues blocking the deployment of Vector 2022 on their home wiki. They have also requested that the decision on the deployment be made through the Request for Comment process. Our draft is now available. We're planning to launch the RfC on Wednesday, September 21. If you edit English Wikipedia, we encourage you to take part!
- Deployment plans across other projects. We are planning deployment conversations across all of the other Wikimedia projects. We will first begin with the smallest wikis. By the smallest, we mean smaller than top 30 largest active communities. We hope to complete this during the first week of October, 2022. Then, we will begin conversations on medium to large-size wikis. Dates will depend on the consensus across individual communities.
- More community-facing activities
- We have posted a new essay on the Diff blog. It has a title Prioritizing equity within Wikipedia's new desktop. The essay is about why and how different groups of users were represented throughout the process of building Vector 2022.
- We have published the expanded Frequently asked questions page. Take a look and tell us if it's useful. Soon, we will make it possible to translate it.
- We also display banners encouraging to try out Vector 2022. The banners are only visible for logged-in users having Vector legacy (2010), the current default skin.
2022年8月: Wikimania, visual refinements, and more changes
Having the structural changes to the features done, we are finishing development of Vector 2022. In particular:
- We are working on the visual refinements. We will be changing the styles, link colors, font size, content area width, and more. This is based on the results of the feedback we received from our last round of prototype testing.
- We are releasing updates to the table of contents (ToC) based on the feedback we've received from communities. These updates will make the ToC easier to use on smaller and larger screens. There will be more customization than before. Over the next few weeks, you will see the following changes:
- The table of contents will be collapsible at all screen sizes
- Once collapsed, the ToC will be available at the top of the page, next to the article title, as well as in the sticky header
- The Editing team, whose focus is currently on improving talk pages, has added an "add topic" button to the sticky header on talk pages. This will make it easier to start a new topic on a talk page from any part of the page, without having to scroll to the very top. See their project page for more information on this change and the project overall.
We have also continued discussions on how to make Vector 2022 the default for more communities. Your feedback is helping us make the skin better. We appreciate that. Let's meet again! On Saturday August 13, we are having a session at Wikimania, and a separate meeting for questions and answers right after that.
我们一直在逐步引入这种变化。 自6月的最后几天以来，所有选择加入Vector 2022皮肤的用户和一些早期采用者wiki都可以使用它。 在7月4日这一周，所有早期采用者wiki上都将显示更改。
除此之外，我们的下一个办公时间将是7月26日而不是7月12日。 这将使我们能够准备有关使Vector 2022成为更多wiki的默认设置的沟通。 我们还在努力为未来的办公时间提供更好的语言支持。 更多信息即将推出！
它目前可供三组用户使用。 首先，所有使用Vector 2022并且不在我们的试点维基上的人。 第二和第三 - 50%的希伯来语和巴斯克语维基百科的登录用户。 下周，我们将对其余试点wiki的目录进行A/B测试。 我们想检查滚动到页面顶部的需求是否减少。
- 较窄屏幕上的ToC。 我们已将ToC当前隐藏的阈值提高到1000像素。 （有关更多上下文，请参阅T306904）。 这是为了让在更窄的屏幕上阅读更舒适。 不过，这是一个临时修复。 关于最佳解决方案的讨论将在T306660中继续。 到4月底/5月初，我们希望就我们对那里提出的选项的偏好有明确的下一步措施。
- 我们开始着手减少1000像素到1200像素之间的屏幕边距。 这将使目录更小，并为文本创造更多空间。 我们将在T307004中跟踪这一点，并且可能会在几天内准备好实施。
该团队正在开始研究页面工具（有时称为文章工具）。 我们的目标是更容易区分侧边栏中各个项目的用途。 我们目前正在收集有关我们提议的原型的反馈。 我们期待着听到您的想法！ 请访问我们的原型测试页面并填写表格。
从2022年1月5日到1月31日，我们进行了A/B 测试。 我们想评估部署粘性标头的影响。 该测试在我们的22个试点wiki上运行。 被分配到具有新皮肤版本的治疗组的登录用户看到了粘性标题。 对照组中的用户看到了旧功能。
AB检验的主要目的是检验我们的假设。 我们一直期望粘性标题会减少滚动到页面顶部的需要。 总体而言，与对照组（没有粘性标题）相比，我们看到治疗组（使用新的粘性标题）的15个试点wiki上的登录用户每次会话的滚动量平均减少了15%。 在剩下的7个试点wiki上，活动太少，我们将它们排除在外。 结果表明我们的假设是正确的。 将粘性标题添加到页面显着减少了滚动到页面顶部的需要。 阅读完整报告。
桌面改进是另外12个wiki的默认设置。 最重要的是：摩洛哥阿拉伯语、印度尼西亚语、泰语和越南语维基百科、法语维基语录、葡萄牙语和波兰语维基新闻、越南语维基教科书和MediaWiki。 除此之外，我们还启用了维基媒体基金会相关维基的更改：维基媒体基金会治理维基、协作维基和战略维基。 目前，有近30个试点wiki。 其中，有不同文字和大小的维基，写在各大洲，由社区和基金会共同运行。 我们希望很快，至少有一个维基文库将被添加到该列表中。
为了改善这些问题，我们正在更改新的语言按钮。 我们的目标是在所有场景中更容易找到。 我们希望在2022年1月发布这些改进。
在接下来的几个月中，我们的主要重点将是使目录持久化。 目前，目录仅在页面顶部可用。 当超出页面顶部时，很难获得整篇文章或页面的上下文，或者导航到各个部分。 我们希望使目录更容易在页面中导航，以及理解其上下文。
user menu可供所有选择桌面改进的用户使用。 此菜单使新编辑和读者更容易识别哪些链接与他们的个人工具有关。 这些工具是:用户页和讨论页，监视列表等。 它还允许在我们的页面顶部的视觉衔接。
我们正在监视更改如何影响这些链接的点击数。 根据结果，我们可能决定改进菜单。 此外，志愿者们还对监视列表链接的位置进行了评论。 我们正在这个上努力。 详情见Phabricator。
在过去的几个月里，团队一直专注于改善我们项目的语言切换功能。 以前，语言链接在侧栏菜单的底部，读者和新用户很难找到。 我们做了一个改变，允许语言切换功能出现在页面的顶部通过一个按钮。 我们根据用户和读者使用我们的原型设计和其他用户测试中得到的意见建立了这个功能。
绝大多数参与者表示对这一设计有积极的体验。 然而，我们也收到了一些围绕粘性标题操作的反馈。 特别是，有人要求让它在整个体验过程中持续存在，而不是只在滚动时才被触发。 我们目前正在实施这些建议的修改。
2021年初，Web团队和设计研究团队承包了三个独立的研究小组，研究两个拟议功能的使用情况:一个修正了粘性版头和一个持久的目录。 我们的目标是让经常使用的功能在整个页面中都可用，从而减少人们在页面中上下滚动寻找所需工具的时间。 我们测试了三个不同国家的新读者，临时读者和编辑-加纳，印度尼西亚和阿根廷和三种不同的语言-英语，印尼语和西班牙语。 这份报告显示了我们的研究结果。 总体而言，这两个提出的特征都得到了研究参与者的积极响应。
我们还在试点Wiki上执行仅针对登录用户的A/B测试。 A/B测试为50%的登录用户提供了新的小部件，并将其与剩余50%的旧搜索进行了比较。 测试的结果将运行我们测量该特性的成功性，并确定需要改进和迭代的领域。 该测试将进行两周，之后，我们将分析并发表结果。
我们还开始审查关于整个桌面改进项目以及个别功能的一些数据。我们发布了一份关于可折叠侧边栏使用情况的报告。 根据数据显示，已注销的用户比已登录的用户更偏好保持侧边栏的折叠状态。 这些结果给了我们信心，我们最终的默认值将是对登录用户保持侧边栏展开，而对注销用户保持侧边栏关闭。
- 2021年2月：新的搜索小工具部署到试点维基（pilot wikis）上。试点维基列表将扩大到葡萄牙语维基百科、土耳其语维基百科、韩语维基百科、塞尔维亚语维基百科和德语维基导游。
我们的第二项更改是为文章页和讨论页等页面的内容引入了最大行宽。 研究表明，限制宽度可以更好地保留内容，同时减少眼睛疲劳。 （请查阅我们的FAQ以获取所查阅文献的列表）
Starting in January 2020 we have been working with Hureo, a user research firm based in India, to perform a user study on how new and casual readers use the desktop interface of Wikipedia. The outcome of the first phase of the study is a report detailing their observations from 24 user interviews. Read more
In December, 2019 we published a prototype of the first few features of the desktop improvements project for community feedback. We received detailed, thoughtful feedback from over 200 logged-in users, across five languages. We have published a report which highlights the main points raised, both positive and negative, and our plans going forward in response to this feedback. The prototype presented a collapsible version of the sidebar, a fixed-width layout, and a more prominent location for the language switcher. The feedback was mostly positive, with the majority of users seeing the proposed changes as an improvement over the current design. However there were also some areas of concern. Many of the issues raised were due to bugs in the prototype (particularly with the language switching menu), while others exposed areas for improvement that we will iterate on and/or keep an eye on during development.
- We have began building the opting-in and opting-out structure for the project.
The setting for turning the improvements on will be within the user preferences list for logged-in users. For test wikis, the improvements will be on by default, but logged-in users will be able to turn them off anytime via their preferences or a button in the sidebar. Please see the Opting in and Release Plan page for more details and mockups.
- We have also published the current list of features considered for the project as well as the sequence we plan on building them in.
As we will be testing each individual feature prior to building, this list is subject to change based on the feedback we receive.
We have finished our first round of feedback for the prototype of the first few features of the desktop improvements project: the new header, collapsible sidebar, and improved language switching. So far, the results have been mostly positive, with the majority of users seeing the changes as a significant improvement over the current design. However, we also found a few areas for improvement that we will iterate on and consider during development. Here are a few highlights of the results so far:
- A majority of the editors who tested the prototype really liked the new location of the language switcher.
- A few editors raised concerns around internationalization and the ability to switch languages using one click.
- A majority of the editors liked the collapsibility of the sidebar, especially for readers
- There were some concerns around the amount of white space introduced with a collapsible sidebar and fixed-width layout
- We saw many requests for a dark/night mode for the site
We are currently running the second feedback round on English and Polish Wikipedias. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please let us know your thoughts on the prototype page. Once both feedback rounds are completed, we will be publishing a more in-depth report.
In December we did some usability testing to compare the current placement of the Universal Language Selector (in the sidebar) with the proposed location in the article header. We tested a prototype with 21 users in order to determine if people have an easier time switching languages given the new location of the language switcher. The results of the test confirmed our hypothesis — participants in the test group (new location) were able to switch languages more quickly than participants in the control group (old location). Based on these results we plan on continuing to explore moving the language selector to this location as a part of the desktop improvements project.
Between December 2019 and February 2020, we will be performing tests on a prototype for the first few features of the desktop improvements project. We will be gathering feedback from a variety of test wikis by encouraging editors to participate using a central notice banner. We ran the banners and received feedback from the majority of our test wikis during December 2019. In February 2020, we will continue running the banners on English and Polish Wikipedias. So far, the feedback we have received is mostly positive but we have also identified some areas of our prototype that we will iterate on based on the feedback. We will be publishing the results of the first round of feedback over the next few weeks, and of the second, sometime in February. In the meantime, we encourage you to give us feedback (if you haven't yet) on the prototype page.
We have published the results of our technical research in preparation for beginning the work on the project. In particular, we have focused on gathering more information on the following:
- The possibility of serving a different version of the site to logged-out users (for opt-in/opt-out and A/B testing purposes)
- Search and the differences between the current search widgets
- Language switching and possibilities on improving the language switcher
- T234907 - A technical RfC on what code-base to start with
- Changes to EventLogging and how they will impact our work
During Wikimania 2019, we interviewed editors with the goal of sharing the plans for our upcoming Desktop improvements project, and collecting valuable feedback on a number of preliminary design ideas. Our research consisted of user interviews, a free-form feedback exercise, and a presentation with breakout groups for more focused discussion. We have published a report and a PDF summary (in English) of the feedback we received. Overall, we received positive feedback on the focus areas selected, as well as the individual prototypes for ideas. However, we were also able to identify areas for improvements.
We will be iterating over this feedback over the next few weeks and plan on developing a prototype that we can test with a wider audience across wikis.
In the slideshow below is a sample of 19 of the ideas we tested. For more context, please read the full report and then give us feedback on the talk page!
Collapsible sidebar prototype for the Desktop improvements project
A sketch of collapsible sections within the sidebar for the Desktop improvements project
Language switcher in article header prototype for the Desktop improvements project
Sketch of emphasized language switching options for Desktop improvement project
Sketch of emphasized language switching options on a scrolled page for Desktop improvement project
Sketch of full language panel in new location for Desktop improvements project
Search prototype for the Desktop improvements project
Sketch of search results with images and descriptions for Desktop improvements project
Sketch of a minimized search in the site header for Desktop improvements project
Table of contents prototype for Desktop improvements project
Sketch of table of contents off article title for Desktop improvements project
Sketch of table of contents as a sidebar for Desktop improvements project
Consolidated user tools prototype for Desktop improvements project
Sketch of user tools with watchlist and contributions as icons outside of the menu
Article tools prototype for the Desktop improvements project
Sketch of page tools as a pin-able menu for the Desktop improvements project
Sketch of page tools as a pin-able menu (scrolled page) for the Desktop improvements project
Post-its with feedback on a mockup for the Desktop improvements project
Updated Wikipedia desktop interface sketch for Wikimania poster
As a part of our research process, we wanted to learn more about the way people currently use the site. In particular, how often they use available functionality such as links in the sidebar, language switching, and search. We have published our results. Overall, usage of sidebar links is low - only about 0.5% of all logged out users and 1.6% of all logged-in desktop users clicked on one of the pages linked in the sidebar. Language switching usage varied, generally based on the size of the wiki, with smaller wikis switching languages more often.
Wikimania provided us with the opportunity to speak with experienced members of our communities. Over the five days of the conference we were able to share the plans for the project, and collect valuable feedback on a number of design ideas. Our research consisted of user interviews, a free-form feedback exercise, and a presentation + brainstorming session (you can see the slide-deck we used at the side). We will soon be publishing the summary of the feedback, as well as interview session results.
To explore different technical possibilities for the project, the team spent a week hacking on different approaches to a single problem - how to enable the sidebar in the desktop experience to be collapsible. We are hoping to use the results from these experiments to determine the technical architecture for the improvements, as well as the skin we would like to build these improvements within. Here is a list of the experiments themselves:
- Building the desktop sidebar within the Minerva skin. An exploration in the question: "is there a world where we have the same skin for desktop and mobile?"