*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
Version 2.10 of the Commons Android app has just been released to
production on the Google Play Store (also downloadable on F-Droid).
The update contains:
- Users can search for (and upload pictures for) places that need pictures
in any location, not just their current location
- Current ongoing campaigns, if any, are displayed on the main screen
- "Retry" button to easily re-upload failed uploads
- Optimized Nearby map loading time
- Fixed various bugs and crashes, including errors with "image taken" date
We're excited to announce that we've also had our recent Project Grant
proposal approved. :) This means there will be lots of improvements
coming up in 2019, with focus on improving stability and the upload
experience for users.
Our first priority will be rewriting the legacy backend code to adhere to
modern standards and reduce complexity (especially the network layer, which
currently uses a deprecated API). This is aimed at resolving a few major
lingering bugs (especially upload failures for a few users), as well as
creating a solid technical foundation to base future improvements on.
Several new features are slated for release after that, including filters
and bookmarks for the "Nearby places that needs pictures" feature, a pause
and resume function for uploads, and a "limited connection" mode.
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us thus far, especially in
the last rocky year! :) At the conclusion of this grant, we hope to deliver
a much better app to you.
Josephine / @misaochan (project maintainer)
in my part of the Design team at Wikimedia Foundation, I'd like to
share an upcoming change in typography, that might be of interest for
Improving reading experience on mobile  –
As many of our projects are putting textual content first, we are
consistently aiming at best possible reading experience for our users,
regardless of the device, software, or language of our readers.
Typography, and specifically font choices, build the base for
Therefore we have been proposing to rely on so-called system fonts as
our default mobile font choice in the mobile skin MinervaNeue. Both
major platforms, iOS and Android, but also operating systems like
macOS and Windows come out-of-box with better suited system fonts than
the general fallback `sans-serif`. Those specific fonts
- deliver a better native experience for readers,
- improve cross-platform and
- improve cross-language readability.
Please see the project page on mediawiki.org  for further technical
details of the changes and an overview of our wide-range testing. Our
current plan is to rollout the change to Beta-Cluster next week.
We welcome your feedback!
 – https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Design/Projects/Improve_mobile_reading_exper…
Senior UX Engineer, UI Standardization Lead (he/him)
volker.e(a)wikimedia.org | @Volker_E