Extension:Media Viewer/About

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See also: Help:Multimedia/Media Viewer
Media Viewer's new 'minimal design'.

Media Viewer aims to improve the viewing experience for readers and casual editors.

This new multimedia browser displays images in larger size on Wikipedia and Wikimedia sites, where it was gradually released as the default viewing experience, as described in this release plan.

Media Viewer has been tested extensively, through recent usability studies -- and user feedback was collected through this widely promoted community consultation on many large wikis around the world, as well as in wide online surveys.

Based on this research and feedback, the multimedia team has identified a set of new improvements, which can be previewed in this prototype.

Here are the improvements we plan to make in September and October 2014, to make Media Viewer easier to use by readers and casual editors, our primary target users for this tool.

To that end, we created a new 'minimal design' including these features:

To learn more about other planned development for Media Viewer, visit this Improvements page, where our team will post regular updates on our next development cycle.

To test the current version of Media Viewer, you can learn more in this help page. After you've tried the tool, we invite you to let us know what you think and join the discussion.

Why Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]

The purpose of this tool is to:

  • Provide a richer multimedia experience, to match user expectations
  • Display images in larger size, on the same page as the thumbnail you click on
  • Reduce confusion when users click on thumbnails (bypass duplicate file info[1] page on Wikipedias)

It aims to serve all users of Wikipedia, Commons and other MediaWiki sites, with a focus on readers and casual editors.

Current features include:

  • Show images in larger size when you click on them
  • Modal panel opens up as overlay (on same page where you clicked)
  • Large image appears without clutter, for a more immersive experience
  • Information about the image can be accessed easily
  • Images in a collection can be browsed easily
  • Images can be shown in full-screen mode

New Improvements[edit | edit source]

The Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team is testing and developing a range of new improvements, based on usability research and community feedback.

Here are screenshots showing what these improvements look like, from the updated Media Viewer prototype.

"Chamonix flowers photo" by Fabrice Florin (via Flickr). Licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

How does Media Viewer work?[edit | edit source]

Media viewer mockup: Lightbox view
Lightbox view - Metadata panel
Metadata panel with license
Improved "Share or embed this file" tool

Media Viewer offers a variety of features in either 'Lightbox' or 'Full screen' views. To learn more, read this help file.

Lightbox View[edit | edit source]

The 'Lightbox view' for this tool includes:


The image is shown in large size against a black background, as an overlay that fills up the entire browser page where you clicked on the thumbnail. This makes the image stand out more and removes some of the visual clutter typically found on a text-heavy page.

Viewing Tools

These browsing tools are the key features in this version 0.2:

  • Next and Previous arrows (to browse through related images)
  • Full screen button (expands into full-screen view)
  • Close 'X' button (goes back to article view)
"Share or embed this file"

We also offer special tools for using images for a variety of purposes:

Primary Information

Here is the information that is shown immediately below the image, in a small meta-data strip (see mockup):

  • File name (Zonotrichia atricapilla)
  • Author (e.g. Alejandro Erickson)
  • Source (e.g. Bird Institute)
  • License Info (e.g. CC-BY-SA-2.0) (or link to license info)
  • Chevron icon for opening the metadata panel to reveal more info (see below)
Secondary Information

Here is the information that is shown below the fold, once you open the metadata panel (by clicking on the chevron or scrolling):

Full Screen View[edit | edit source]

The 'full-screen view' for this tool will show a large image across the entire screen, with minimal information and buttons available on hover.

This is the view that lets you focus exclusively on the image, with no other distractions. When you click on the full screen icon, you see the largest version of the image that fits within the user's entire screen (not just the browser window). In this mode, you only see the controls, the file name and the author/source/license if you hover over the image.

When was it released?[edit | edit source]

Media Viewer was established as the default view on some Wikimedia wikis starting 10 April 2014, and on most wikis by 19 June 2014. The release plan provides specific dates for specific wikis.

To prepare for this release, we invite you to test the latest version on this demo page on MediaWiki.org or on your home wiki. On some wikis, you may need to enable Media Viewer in you preferences or on any image description page.

How can I help?[edit | edit source]

Can you help test Media Viewer in coming days? You can try the latest version on this demo page on MediaWiki.org, or test earlier versions on your home wiki.

If Media Viewer has not yet been enabled by default on your wiki, you can test it as a Beta Feature: click on the small 'Beta' link next to 'Preferences' in your personal menu. Then check the box next to 'Media Viewer' in the Beta Features section of your user preferences — and click 'Save' (see screenshot). You can turn off any this option anytime, by reversing these steps. Learn more in this help page.

After you've tried Media Viewer, please let us know what you think on this discussion page. If you find any technical bugs, please report them here on Bugzilla.

Tens of thousands of beta testers have now tried Media Viewer around the world. Here is an overview of the feedback they have kindly given us to help improve this tool. Many of their suggestions have been implemented (or are about to), as part of our current release plan.

Note: in this current release, the Media Viewer will only support the most widely used image file formats (e.g.: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SVG). In future releases, we plan to add support for more file formats, such as PDF, audio and video files.

More Info[edit | edit source]

For more information about this tool, visit the project overview page on MediaWiki.org.

This feature was designed in collaboration with community members like you, through a series of discussions held over video conferences, IRC, and in person at Wikimania.

Media Viewer was brought to you by many Wikimedia Foundation team members, including: Fabrice Florin, Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, Gergő Tisza, Aaron Arcos, Pau Giner, Jared Zimmerman, May Galloway, Brian Wolff, Keegan Peterzell, Bryan Davis, Rob Lanphier, Howie Fung, Tomasz Finc, and Erik Moeller, to name but a few.

To learn more about other multimedia projects we're working on, visit this Multimedia project hub.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. File:Multimedia Update - Metrics Meeting (11-07-2013).pdf