Wikimedia sites get a new look on tablets


Tablet users, rejoice! The Wikimedia Mobile Web team has been working to optimize the mobile view of all our projects, so that reading, browsing, and editing content are all easier on mobile touch screens of any size. Now our changes are finally live on tablets, too!

Why a new tablet view?

Wikipedia and its sister sites were designed long before the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets. For the past two years, we’ve worked to improve the reading and editing experience for smartphone users, and now we’ve turned our attention to tablets. If you’ve used Wikipedia on your phone, you may recognize similarities in the new tablet view. But we’ve also departed from the smartphone experience in some ways, in order to create a tablet-specific experience.

Just the features you need, designed the way you need them

  • Typography and layout. We’ve increased the font size and narrowed the width of the content area to improve readability. These changes are responsive, too, so it looks great whether you’re on a tablet, a phablet – or even the mobile site on your desktop computer.
  • Table of contents and sections. Get to the section you need quicker, but don’t be afraid to lose yourself in the content once you’re there. We’ve taken advantage of the larger screen space that tablets provide and kept article sections open to encourage long-form reading.
  • Last modified byline. Wikipedia is never finished. Getting more readers to see that our content is constantly growing and evolving is a big priority for us. Now you can see at a glance which articles have been edited recently, and which could use some love from contributors like you…
  • Editing. See a typo? Fix it! Simple formatting options and mobile-friendly linking to pages or references are coming soon for all tablet users, and starting this Thursday you can get a preview of this functionality now by opting into our experimental beta site (look for Settings in the site menu and tap to turn on Beta).
  • Other features. The contribution features you know and love, optimized for tablets: uploads, watchlist, page history, notifications, and more.

Your tablet, your choice

If you don’t want to leave the old desktop experience, fear not. You can switch between the desktop view and mobile view from any page by scrolling to the bottom and tapping the “Desktop” or “Mobile” links.

How can I give feedback?

We’re excited to hear from you about these changes! Leave us a comment here and let us know what you think.

Maryana Pinchuk, Product Manager, Mobile

Categories: Mobile

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197 Comments on Wikimedia sites get a new look on tablets

alexh110 1 year

Connor I’m sorry but it’s not easy to navigate! The search box has been removed: so how are you supposed to search for anything?!

alexh110 1 year

These changes are ludicrous!
Why the heck have you removed the search box from the page?
This means the only way to search for a new topic is to press the back button on my browser (sometimes multiple times if I’ve clicked through several links between Wikipedia pages).

On my phone it’s even worse, as I was unable to find a search box anywhere!
Had to resort to googling Wikipedia along with the topic I was searching for.
It’s ridiculous, counterintuitive and far more laborious than it was before.
I wish you would scrap these changes and put things back to normal!

Connor 1 year

Great update! I love the simplicity!! Much preferred over the desktop and old mobile versions of the website. Big fan of what you’ve done!

Connor 1 year

Love the new tablet design! Neat, simple, and incredibly easy to navigate and enjoy. I don’t understand why a lot of people want the Desktop version back- this layout is incredible! Job well done!

Zhaofeng Li 2 years

Please, change it back. The desktop version is much more intuitive on tablets than the mobile one. Moreover, mobile versions of WMF wikis are *not* accessible in China (while the desktop version is perfectly usable with HTTPS), which means /you/ are blocking millions of users from accessing free knowledge. If you insist on the new layout, please remove the HTTPS requirement on mobile version in China.

Eunice Akoth Amisi 2 years

Dear sir/madam

am a student and would like to get notes as am doing masters on education. am doing research. I need answers on the following questions.

1. What is the impact of the promotion of collaborative activities in groups facilitated by ICTs on students with little interest or background in computers, and what practices can better promote their inclusion?

2. Are there differential impacts of ICT use in education on identifiable sub-groups of boys and girls?

could you assist on how to find answers or where to get notes for references?

Thanks for replying.

yours faithfully,


Elaine Knight 2 years

It’s all very well saying you can change to the desktop version but it defaults back all the time to the new version so you have to scroll down and change every time to access the system. T is a real pain, and would like it back the way it was

owen 2 years


Larry Rublee 2 years

The tablet change is cosmetic rather than functional and is frustrating to use. Please provide the “desktop” change option at the top rather than at the bottom of the page.

Jon 2 years

As almost everyone is saying, this new version is horrendous. Worst of all, if you choose the desktop version it automatically reverts to tablet style EVERY SINGLE TIME a page refreshes or you start browsing. I’ve had to scroll to the bottom to reset it at least 15 times today. Next time please have at least one adult involved when planning a change you are going to force on users. This makes me so angry.

Rocky 2 years

Can still click on “desk top” button to return to original format. Thank Bob ! I HATE when these “improvements” are mandatory for my iPad every time I try the APP. For instance I opened Wicki on my iPad and I immediately didn’t get as good a search result as I think I would have on the original. It was less obvious what I was seeing in the list and when I attempted to use a pinch command to make it a little larger, old eyes, I could not make it larger and had to resort to the multiple finger double tap that hakes it huge.
I gave up and went to my desk top. That was where I read I could go back to the desk top view when using the iPad.

When I read news papers on the iPad I use the old original desk top view and expand it etc. Apps, for the most part , I find to be less than adequate. I may be wrong in the long run for this Wiki change but that was my first blush.

Alexandre 2 years

I didn’t like this new design. At least you could put the “Desktop” button on top.

Ravi 2 years

Thanks for the lovely new design.It is slick and contemporary. Most of these new design considerations shoud be integrated in to the desktop view design too. For example, I love the one click “Thanks” button.

Just two suggestions:

1. Please let users edit even without signing in because that is a fundamental principle of Wiki.

2. Let users also choose images from Commons to upload. Right now, you can add image only if you have it in your device.

Latifa 2 years

The old look was absolutely superb. This new look is horrible and saddening. Doesn’t encourage browsing with the tab anymore
At a scroll you could see everything about the page. And who said we need large fonts anyway when we can easily tab to expand and increase desired font size. Please please please change back to the old one or at least make options so users may select proffered page look. Thanks. Latifa from Ghana

Latifa 2 years

The old look was absolutely superb. This new look is horrible and saddening. Doesn’t encourage browsing with the tab anymore
At a scroll you could see everything about the page. And who said we need large fonts anyway when we can easily tab to expand and increase desired font size. Please please please change back to the old one or at least make options so users may select proffered page look

Anon 2 years

I for one hate this change. My tablet is perfectly capable of displaying the full desktop version. It’s not a phone, so there’s zero need for a degraded mobile version. If the new design is so great, make it the default desktop version. Either way, I want the same experience, not a “tailored” one, aka, altered, watered down, call it what you like.

Yes, I know there is a “desktop” link at the bottom of the pain, but hopefully you can understand what a huge pain it is to have to scroll down to the bottom of every page then scroll back to the relevant bit of content?

The problem is that it does not save the preference for the desktop version. Next time you land on Wikipedia (either from a link or a Google search, since like most people I don’t search Wikipedia from Wikipedia itself) the page gets redirected back to the crappy tablet version.

Please, use a cookie or something and stop redirecting users to the mobile site if they have previously clicked on the “desktop” link!!!


Kwiita 2 years

The search function doesn’t work…

Heath 2 years

This seems like a step backwards, not a fan of the new look. I don’t mind it on a phone size screen but on a tablet I prefer to see more of the page. Tablets a design with a very capable feature to make smaller text readable, it’s pinch to zoom and works great. Please don’t ever stop the option to change back to desktop. It would be great it you could move it to the top of the page so I don’t have to scroll all the way down.

Jonathon 2 years

Absolutely ridiculous. I have a iPad mini and I could see the desktop view absolutely fine. Why would you create a layout which no one asked for? This is typical of Wikimedia to completely ignore their readers wishes. Maybe you should focus on the important things like updating the desktop interface rather than appealing to a non existent userbase.

Joe 2 years

No more anniversary pieces? Oh for goodness sake! Why can people never leave well enough alone? It seems on the contributions here that objectors constitute an overwhelming majority. Please act on it.

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