[Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Sat Jul 14 17:36:06 UTC 2012

On 7/14/12 7:05 PM, Audrey Abeyta wrote:
> Appearance does affect perceptions of credibility, which should be of
> interest to Wikipedia. Recently, I was talking to someone who doubted
> Wikipedia's validity. When I asked her if it was because the content can be
> edited by anyone, she replied, "No, it's the way the site looks."

I've run into this also, but I suspect part of it is self-referential: 
Wikipedia looks like a default install of MediaWiki, and therefore looks 
like many half-assed/uncustomized MediaWiki installs out there. But 
that's because we are (close to) a default install of MediaWiki! Or 
rather, the reverse: the default MediaWiki skin was borrowed from the 
one designed for Wikimedia sites.

I wonder if we'd gain a modest boost in perceptions of our design if we 
just made sure the skin used on Wikimedia sites, and the default skin 
shipped with MediaWiki, were fairly dissimilar in style.


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