*tl;dr: We'll be stripping all content contained inside brackets from the
first sentence of articles in the Wikipedia app.*
The Mobile Apps Team is focussed on making the app a beautiful and engaging
reader experience, and trying to support use cases like wanting to look
something up quickly to find what it is. Unfortunately, there are several
aspects of Wikipedia at present that are actively detrimental to that goal.
One example of this are the lead sentences.
As mentioned in the other thread on this matter
lead sentences are poorly formatted and contain information that is
detrimental to quickly looking up a topic. The team did a quick audit
the information available inside brackets in the first sentences, and
typically it is pronunciation information which is probably better placed
in the infobox rather than breaking up the first sentence. The other
problem is that this information was typically inserted and previewed on a
platform where space is not at a premium, and that calculation is different
on mobile devices.
In order to better serve the quick lookup use case, the team has reached
the decision to strip anything inside brackets in the first sentence of
articles in the Wikipedia app.
Stripping content is not a decision to be made lightly. People took the
time to write it, and that should be respected. We realise this is
controversial. That said, it's the opinion of the team that the problem is
pretty clear: this content is not optimised for users quickly looking
things up on mobile devices at all, and will take a long time to solve
through alternative means. A quicker solution is required.
The screenshots below are mockups of the before and after of the change.
These are not final, I just put them together quickly to illustrate what
I'm talking about.
- Before: http://i.imgur.com/VwKerbv.jpg
- After: http://i.imgur.com/2A5PLmy.jpg
If you have any questions, let me know.
Associate Product Manager, Mobile Apps
Hello mobile Wikipedians,
The Wikimedia Foundations' iOS team has released a first beta of our next
major release (v6.2) to TestFlight. This release is focused on a major
upgrade to the wikitext editing experience. Key features include:
- wikitext syntax highlighting with accessible colors based on theme
(edit in night mode!) [currently based on the English configuration, but
supporting all CodeMirror configurations in upcoming builds. the final
version will also include the option to toggle highlighting and themes off]
- improved readability with improved fonts, spacing, wrapping and line
- a mobile-first toolbar for inserting formatting, basic links and
template syntax among other basic editor needs
- long press menu on selected text to apply basic editing tools (make
highlighted text bold, for example)
- after publishing an edit, get returned to the changed section in the
article, rather than the beginning
This build is a bit rougher than we'd usually consider a beta, but there's
so much great functionality in there we wanted you to try it sooner than
later. You'll notice some tool bar buttons disabled for now (including a
planned "find in page" feature), and you will run into some bugs. Please
let us know about those bugs, but mostly we want to hear about the overall
experience and what needs we missed or what might need improvement. For
long time editors who are also app users we're particularly interested in
hearing from you.
We'll be running more formal user testing in January, but we're excited to
put this initial version in your hands to play with over the holidays.
*To sign up for the beta please tap here: *
Happy holiday editing,
PM, Wikipedia for iOS