Wikipedia seems willing to keep up with the times in terms of its page design. They thought that hanging the interface with a more straightforward design is necessary. And recently, they have decided to do just that.
It was admitted in a blog post that they have been successful in keeping the access to information simple and advertisement-free. However, they lagged behind in direct navigation of the site, which quite possibly overwhelmed both readers and editors.
"We want to create an experience that feels similar to our long-time users, yet straightforward and intuitive for new folks," the blog explains the intention.
The purpose is to better-focus
The first revealed change will adopt a collapsible sidebar meaning that you won't get distracted by that classic one on the left and will easily focus on the content. At least that's what Wikipedia hopes.
They also welcome the users' feedback if they would like to give the new design a try.
"There will be bugs, adjustments, and iterations," the blog reads.
The content width will be limited by a max-width feature, again with a similar purpose, to make the users focus on the reading, especially in article and discussion pages.
Surely, they didn't dive into this project blindfolded. At first, they provided Basque, French, Hebrew, Persian, Polish and English Wikipedia with a prototype of the improvements, and most of the users seemed to like it.
It's not like a whole new look Wikipedia will be displaying. Instead, they plan to keep the core of their identity and design in a similar way.
The process will be slow, though. Late 2021 seems to be the deadline for new improvements, which will also correspond to Wikipedia's 20th birthday.
Let's wait and see if the users from over 300 languages will think the same way when the whole project is ready to serve.