I tend to agree that reading articles in all their gory detail is a primary
usage of Wikipedia.
Here are the links to two significant research reports about mobile
conducted by the Foundation in the past two years:
Note in the Mobile Readers Survey the following:
*Attitudes & Preference for Wikipedia User Experience*
1. Mobile readers want improvements to their navigation experience when
reading Wikipedia on their mobile phones. In particular, they want to more
easily find and review information on a desired topic. Forty-two percent
(Top 2 box) wanted to have an easy-to-find search box on each page.
Thirty-five percent wanted the ability to more easily expand or collapse
sections, while 31% wanted a glossary/list of sections listed at the top of
2. Expanding and collapsing information is not only one of the most
desired improvements; it is also one of the most desired formats for
reading the articles themselves (41%).
3. Scrolling up and down for additional information was also a preferred
reading method, with 45% identifying it as their top choice.
*UI Improvements and New Features*
1. In terms of new features most likely to be used, the majority (51%
Top 2 box) are looking forward to a feature that allows them to save
articles to read or edit offline. Accordingly, the most likely to be used
new mechanisms include the ability to download (44%), print (33%) and share
(24%) articles. Moreover, 41% (Top 2 box) want to be able to rate articles.
Referencing articles by the strength of their rating also works well to
improve search functionality.
2. Mobile readers want to see a main page of the mobile Wikipedia
website that highlights the search bar (62%), as well as news of the day
(48%) and featured articles (37%). Improving search via a clear search bar
solution will both improve navigation and curb discouraging attitudes about
There are also some findings about search accuracy but I believe the
underlying issues have been addressed since this survey was done.
Finally, we have had some bugs with search in the apps recently and the
fact that people complain about that is some indication of how commonly
people use our search.
I have captured some of the prior discussion around search on this page:
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM, Platonides <platonides(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 18/09/12 03:55, Brandon Harris wrote:
No surprises here, but nice research.
I kind of agree with that, but I don't like the idea of a navigation bar
sticky at the top if you can't hide it. Sure, it makes navigation
easier, but if what you're caring about is the page content, it gets
annoying by taking up useful content space.
See for instance the given example of http://www.rodolphecelestin.com/
There we have a long page with a ribbon at the top. It'd be ok if it
could "hide" at the right. But that way it looks "intruding". If
reading the page, I want to have as much content as possible in one
screen. Currently two designs could fit per screen if the ribbon wasn't
there (I see how it ends behind the bar), or if I manually do a fine
tuning with the scroll bar to only miss a little bit, but that's
annoying to the users. Of course better.png and skills.png do not fit
together, probably not even without the navbar without manual tuning,
but seeing that the developer added me an unneeded piece of duct tape
gives me bad feelings.
OTOH I find that the sticky bar of http://ryanscherf.net/
is lovely (the
only flaw is that not all of those icons are descriptive enough).
Jon Robson wrote:
Can someone send me the research that says that
users use Wikipedia's
search tool? (...)
Note that the research was done on navigation alone, without including
text reading . I usually build the urls in the address bar by hand,
by the way. :)
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Phil Inje Chang
Product Manager, Mobile
415-882-7982 x 6810