Multiple responses:

On Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 10:07 AM Juergen Fenn <> wrote:

> Am 12.12.19 um 02:25 Uhr schrieb Strainu:
> > There is also a
> > question of opportunity: with less and less desktop users, it just
> > makes more sense to invest in the mobile experience
> Most authors still use desktop computers for writing articles or doing
> maintenance work. Mobile is for readers.

That is true in most wikis, but not all, and it's a slowly growing
percentage. Some contributors only have a phone as their single (or
sometimes even just *shared*) access to the internet. Much of the world
cannot afford a laptop/desktop computer. There are edit-percentage
statistics in this spreadsheet in columns P and K:
Secondly, we always need/hope to find new editors in all the projects, and
if the readers are getting to our projects via mobile, then that could be
the best place to get them started on the path to being an editor
(occasional or regular). Getting readers to take that first step of an
initial edit, can be the hardest part.
Lastly, there's a useful essay by this Ewiki admin about mobile editing.

On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:21 PM Amir E. Aharoni <> wrote:

> The tragic thing here is that reading is increasingly done on mobile
> devices, and in some countries it's already the majority of pageviews. But
> editing is mostly done on the desktop, which looks completely differently.
> So editors don't even see a preview of how what they write will look for
> *most* readers.

There is an old gadget on Enwiki (and re-used at a dozen other wikis, per
[[m:Gadgets]]) which shows a mockup of how the article might appear on a
small screen. I suspect it needs improvements in a few aspects (design,
performance), but it works quite well.
Anyone can see how it looks (ideally from a laptop-or-bigger window!) with
this URL:
Or here's a screenshot:

On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 5:26 PM Strainu <> wrote:

> The main problem I see with that is that is changing all the on-wiki
> templates and scripts that work with the current skin. There is also a
> question of opportunity: with less and less desktop users, it just
> makes more sense to invest in the mobile experience (and the beta mode
> there is super cool, but still breaks some templates).

Templates that still have problems on mobile at some wikis, can usually be
fixed with the assistance of this page (especially section #12)
-- I'll be sending a reminder to a few VillagePumps about this in the next
few weeks.

Gadgets/scripts sometimes work as expected across different skins, and
sometimes not. That's a very different and distinct problem from templates.

On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 8:58 PM Aron Manning <> wrote:

> That's nice. Try these redesigns with an adblocker for a comparison:

I've just added a new batch of links that I learned about yesterday, to
that page. ;)

On Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 1:38 PM Todd Allen <> wrote:

> Erm, I remember what websites looked like in 1996. I even made some then.
> It looks nothing like that.
> On the other hand, on the site you linked to? The first thing I see is an
> absolutely huge photo of a robot looking at me. I have to scroll down past
> that to get to the actual meat, the text content. *That* looks like 1996.
> I'll take the way we have it over that, thanks very much.

I initially learned HTML from this site/book c.1998,
and ever since I've appreciated clean simple structured content. I
completely understand what you mean here, Todd. Although I'd balance it out
with: not-all-wikis-are-Wikipedia, and hence some of the Wikivoyages have
their distinct intro-landscape-image design, e.g.

I think we all generally endorse incremental improvements, instead of
drastic overhauls. Overhauls can make many users (of any site) confused or
frustrated, and our users (readers and editors) are the whole point of this
endeavour. The problem is there simply haven't been many improvements to
the basic site-design elements over the last decade, despite the numerous
great ideas that editors and gadget-authors and others amongst us (and
beyond us) have had.

The biggest complexities of any changes here, are the vastly different
needs of all the different demographics/types of users (e.g. keeping things
similar enough so that readers don't get confused when they start to edit;
e.g. not disrupting the current editors whether they use phones or
desktops; e.g. adding new accessibility & usability improvements/options;
etc), balanced with the technical requirements of efficiency given our
current software "stacks".

Hence the "Goals" and "Constraints" sections (for the TL;DR) in
We're planning on adding/tweaking/changing elements in the UI slowly and
carefully, so that editors can keep on efficiently editing, and readers
(and editors implicitly!) can slowly get a clearer/better reading
experience, over the years ahead.

There are /many/ ideas for subtle or significant improvements listed in the
project pages (don't get distracted by just the first image in the
slideshow!), and probably more good ideas we're still missing.
Anyone's feedback (hopefully nuanced and friendly) and further
ideas/links/suggestions/etc would be appreciated at that project page.

Quiddity / Nick
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