We’re pleased to announce that Jan Drewniak, a Discovery Department User Experience Engineer, will be shifting to working on improving the user interface and experience of search on desktop. He has been working primarily on the wikipedia.org portal site.

What does this mean for the future of wikipedia.org?

Let’s first review what we’ve done so far, just in this quarter (July - August 2016): Jan worked on internationalization and localization of the portal so that it could be translated easily (including the sister project descriptive texts via translatewiki), pushing minor bug fixes and enhancements as well as updating the articles by language statistics. In addition, Jan also helped design and code the new portal page layout (based on several prior successful A/B tests and community input) to production.

Jan will continue to maintain the portal by fixing bugs, adding minor enhancements and performing regular statistics updates; which is expected to take (on average) a couple of hours a week. Otherwise, we are not planning to do any significant new work on the portal for the next couple of quarters. As per the annual plan, the Discovery Portal Team committed to continue to improve the wikipedia.org page. We plan to resume that work in late Q3 and Q4 (March - July 2017).

What interface improvements will be made to search on desktop?

There’s been a lot of advances in search interfaces in Wikimedia in the last few years. For example, the mobile apps, mobile web, wikipedia.org, VisualEditor, and Flow now use imagery and short descriptions to enhance findability. With Jan’s help, we expect to launch similar improvements on desktop as a beta feature, to gather feedback and collect data. Jan will also be working on tidying up the interface of our recent launch of search language detection to make it more clear to searchers what’s happening.

Thank you! If you have any questions, please let us know.

Katie Horn, Director, Discovery

Dan Garry, Lead Product Manager, Discovery