*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
We're pleased to release our latest update to the Wikipedia Android app
available on the Google Play store.
We may have missed a release email to this list for our previous minor
release, so here is a cumulative list of highlights since our last update:
* *Suggested edits*: The app now has a screen (accessible from the left
navigation menu) that offers suggestions for items to edit. For this
initial release, this is limited to adding and translating Wikidata
descriptions. In future updates, this will be expanded to suggest other
types of edits.
Note that this feature must be "unlocked" to be accessible: you'll need to
add or edit at least five (5) Wikidata descriptions in the usual way (using
the edit icon while reading an article), then wait a while to make sure
your edits are not reverted. The app will then notify you when the feature
* *Improved editing interface*: The article editing screen has a number of
new conveniences, including the ability to change the font size of the
wikitext window, the ability to find text within the wikitext window, and a
series of "syntax" buttons at the bottom, to simplify adding or modifying
the wikitext syntax at the cursor, as well as "undo" and "redo" buttons.
* *Sepia theme*: As usual, you can change the app's theme in Settings, or
from the bottom toolbar while reading an article.
* *"Continue reading" bar*: When browsing the Feed, or looking at your
reading lists, you will now see a "continue reading" bar at the bottom that
displays your current topmost tab, along with the total number of open tabs
you currently have.
* *Enhanced table of contents control*: The table of contents now features
a circular "thumb" scroller that you can hold down and drag to scroll
quickly through different sections of the article, while highlighting the
section that is currently in focus.
* *Improved search in reading lists*: Searching within the Reading Lists
screen will now match results from individual articles in any of your
reading lists, as well as the names of reading lists themselves.
Check it out, and happy reading (and editing)!
Senior Software Engineer (Android)
last week we've successfully brought the improved font choice to our mobile
skin MinervaNeue onto all wikis.
It helps to provide our users a better reading experience – across
languages, in and beyond latin scripts and a more modern typographic feel
to many of our text-focussed projects, taking advantage of specifically
designed and optimized fonts for every major system.
Technically we're applying an operating system font first stack for running
text (every text element besides main page titles, headings of 2nd order,
blockquotes, code snippets, basically most of every page) on mobile devices
for most popular systems.
Thanks to everybody who has helped in the process of this project, Nirzar
Pangarkar for bringing the idea to the table, Jon Robson, Jan Drewniak,
and the rest of Reading Web team for co-researching and supporting the
implementation, Alex Hollender for fine-tuning design parts as well as
documenting pre- and post-change, Brad Jorsch for important reminder of
learnings from the Typography Refresh 2014 and Chris Koerner for
accompanying the communication externally along the way.
You can read more on the details on the project page and at the Phabricator
Please let us know if you have any questions or further feedback, either by
responding to me or on the project's talk page.
 - https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T175877
Enjoy and best regards,
Senior UX Engineer, Lead User-Interface Standardization
volker.e(a)wikimedia.org | @Volker_E