As many of you already know, the Wikimedia Foundation's User Experience
team has been running a beta program focused on improving the user
interface for over six months now. More details may be found here
[a], but our main goal has been to reduce the barriers to participation
in Wikipedia by making it easier for new contributors to edit.
Since the start of the program, over 635,000 users across all Wikimedia
projects have participated in this beta program - testing and providing
feedback on the new interface. Roughly 80% of the test users who tried
the beta are still using it (view details
[b]). On the English Wikipedia, almost 270,000 users have tried the
test interface and about 84% of those users continue to use it. On
April 5, the beta features became the default experience for users of
Wikimedia Commons, a wiki similar to Wikipedia that hosts the millions
of free image and media files within our projects. The summary of
feedback from Commons users may be found here
[c]. The WMF
blog [d] and the tech
blog [e] also provide more information on this project.
This new user interface will become the default for users of the
English Wikipedia during the second week of May. We are currently
scheduled to make the switch at 5:00am UTC on May 13. Once we make the
switch, all users will begin to see the new features . These
features include an enhanced toolbar, a new skin (which we named
'Vector'), and a number of other features we're very excited about
(FAQs may be found here
[f]). If you prefer not to make the change, there will be 'Take me
back' link to restore the original features. Those who would like to
experience the new interface sooner may do so via the 'Try Beta' link
at the top of the page.
We understand that the English Wikipedia relies heavily on custom user
gadgets is included in the FAQs
page. If you encounter issues using the new skin, please share your feedback
We're looking forward to rolling out the new features next week. In the
meantime, if you have any questions/comments, please share them here
[h] -- we're trying to consolidate feedback as much as we can.
Wikimedia Usability Experience Team
 Users that have opted out of the beta will still get the new
features. We apologize in advance for this inconvenience, but these
users may restore their features via the "Take Me Back" link.