One of the top most-visited sites, Wikipedia, just got its first makeover on a desktop after almost a decade. The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the resource-based website, announced that the new interface was aimed to make the site more easy and accessible with additional features.
The new additions have included an improved search, a more prominently located tool for switching between languages, an updated header offering access to commonly used links, an updated table of contents section for Wikipedia articles, and other design changes and improvements for a better reading experience.
The new design has already been launched on hundreds of language versions of the site but is just now rolling out for Wikipedia English, reported Tech Crunch.
Though subtle, the changes were deemed necessary by the foundation to keep up with the next generation of internet users, especially those unfamiliar with the internet.
The improved search box will use both images and descriptions in its autocomplete suggestions that appear as users type. The Wikimedia Foundation has said that the improved search box has led to a 30% increase in user searches when tested. While the updated sticky header will display commonly used links like Search, the Page name and Sections that move with users when they scroll through.
Language-switching tools have also become more prominent at the top right position, so users can switch to any of the 300 languages available on Wikipedia. Due to the large viewership size of the website, major changes would have been disruptive and an annoyance to adapt to the change.
The announcement by the foundation emphasized that no existing functionality was removed as a part of these changes, which were only directed at improving usability and modernizing the site.
The interface update had been in the works for three years and has slowly rolled out across all Wikipedia platforms. The update is now live on 94% of the 318 active language versions of Wikipedia for all desktop users.