User:SGrabarczuk (WMF)/sandbox

File:Desktop Improvements features on one slide.svgCollapsible sidebarLanguage switchingUser menuLimited content widthSticky headerTurn offSearch
File:Desktop Improvements features on one slide.svg

The current default skin is 12 years old. Let's refresh it!

Since 2010, technology has evolved. People interact with desktop differently than they used to.

There have been many changes to the interface. Most of these were not coordinated. We are making the interface coherent.

The communities have built modifications. We make the best of these part of our interface.

We are making Wikimedia wikis more welcoming and easier for readers. We are maintaining the utility for editors.

We would like to see our improvements the default on all wikis in 2022.

We collaborate with communities.

The Web team, Wikimedia Foundation


December 2022: 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:

Limited width

  • 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 ("Enable limited width mode"). 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.

Page tools

Moving article tools.jpg
  • 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=1 to the URL (if you're using Vector 2022 already) or ?useskin=vector-2022&vectorpagetools=1 (if you're not using Vector 2022).


We have completed our review of the accessibility of the new skin with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). 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.

Sticky header

Editing button in the Vector 2022 sticky header.png

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). After testing across a number of wikis, we concluded the following:

  • 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.

Imagine a wardrobeEdit

Currently, the interface…Edit

…doesn't match the expectations. …is cluttered and not intuitive. …doesn't highlight the community side. …isn't consistent with the mobile version.
  1. The desktop interface does not match the expectations created by the modern web platforms. It feels disorienting and disconnected. Navigation and interface links are organized haphazardly.
  2. There is clutter that distracts users from focusing on what they came for. It is challenging for readers to focus on the content. It is not possible for them to intuitively switch languages, search for content, or adjust reading settings. New editors are unable to use their intuition to set up their account, open the editor, or learn how to use non-article pages for moderation purposes.
  3. A very small percentage of readers understand how Wikimedia wikis function. Many readers are not aware that the content they are reading is written by volunteers and updated frequently, or that they can potentially contribute as well.
  4. The large difference in experiences among our desktop interface, apps, and the mobile web, makes it difficult for readers to connect our products. There is a lack of unity in the concept of Wikimedia sites.

How the changes are madeEdit


We do not touch the content. We do not remove any functionality. We are inspired by the existing gadgets. We do not make major changes in single steps. We do not touch skins other than Vector.
  1. We are working on the interface only. No work will be done in terms of styling templates, the structure of page contents, map support, or cross-wiki templates.
  2. Elements of the interface might move around, but all navigational items and other functionality currently available by default will remain.
  3. We have analysed many wikis and have noticed many useful gadgets. Some of them definitely deserve to be surfaced and be a part of default experience.
  4. Though our changes are easily noticeable, we are taking an evolutionary approach and want the site to continue feeling familiar to readers and editors. Each feature is discussed, developed, and deployed separately.
  5. Skins other than Vector are out of the scope of our adjustments. We have frozen Vector to Legacy Vector, and begun deploying our features as parts of the new default Vector.

Deployment plan and timelineEdit

Test our features individually, share feedback, and join our early adopter wikis!

  1. Each feature is built and implemented separately. Features which have been created are still being adjusted and improved.
  2. Our decisions are based on community feedback, prototype feedback rounds, user testing, and extracted API data (via A/B testing and before & after).
  3. To report a bug, create a task in Phabricator and add #desktop-improvements project.
  4. In the case of significantly negative results, we will roll back our changes.
  5. We test our improvements in collaboration with early adopter wikis. We increase the set of early adopter wikis gradually.

Month and week Community relations
Discussions with the English Wikipedia community Meetings with communities
Wikimania workshop
Meetings with communities
24 Deployment on the smallest Wikipedias
14 Discussions with the Arabic, Greek, Hindi, Norwegian, and Swedish Wikipedia communities Full-width toggle
21 No technical changes; meeting with the Spanish-language communities
28 Meeting with the Polish Wikipedia community
5 Deployments on some/all of the above Wikipedias
No technical changes
5 Discussion with 5 other communities, most likely: Czech, Chinese, Finnish, Hungarian Wikipedia, and English Wiktionary

List of early adopter wikis (test wikis) 

First group of wikis (marked as ◇ on the timeline above):

Second group of wikis (marked as ◇◇ on the timeline above):

Third group of wikis (marked as ◇◇◇ on the timeline above):

Get involved & ContactEdit

  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Inform your community. Share our updates and blog posts.
  • Do you think your community might be interested in having our interface as default? Please contact us!
Priority translations 


  1. Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements
  2. Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements/Features
  3. Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements/Frequently asked questions

Other priority translations

  1. Template:Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements/Talk page intro
  2. Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements/Participate
  3. Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements/Updates
  4. Reading/Web/Desktop Improvements/Repository

Direct link to all translations