Wikipedia Is Shaking up Its Iconic Look for the First Time in 10 Years

A screenshot of Wikipedia covered in pencil marks and the words "UNDER CONSTRUCTION."
Wikimedia Foundation

Part of Wikipedia’s success is its simple, readable, and consistent interface. But after 10 years of a completely unchanged design, the Wikimedia Foundation believes it’s time for a facelift. In order to streamline the site and reduce confusion for younger users, Wikipedia (and other Wikimedia Wikis) will undergo incremental design updates throughout the rest of the year.

The first change to Wikipedia is a collapsible sidebar, so users can minimize the somewhat-distracting menu on the left side of all Wikipedia pages. Very few Wikipedia readers actually use the sidebar, and people who contribute to the website may find editing easier without a bunch of blue text looming on the side of their screen.

Wikipedia is also introducing a maximum line width that prevents content from stretching out on larger monitors. Limiting the maximum width of content keeps the site looking clean and usable, and makes it much easier for readers to keep track of where they are in an article. The maximum width of written content is now 960 pixels, while content for editors and contributors, such as revision logs, have a new maximum width of 1440 pixels.

The Wikimedia Foundation plans to roll out new and updated design features, such as a reconfigured logo and search improvements, before the end of 2020. These updated design elements will find their way to other Wikimedia Wikis in 2021.

Source: Wikimedia Foundation

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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