The Moderator Tools team at the Wikimedia Foundation has redesigned Special:Preferences on mobile web. We would love to hear what you like and don't like about our work!
Please share your thoughts about the Preferences mobile redesign on the talk page.
As of June 2022, users of the MinervaNeue (mobile web) skin cannot access Special:Preferences from the user interface. The only way to reach this page is to directly navigate to it via the search bar or switch to desktop view. Since Preferences contains critical user account features such as changing passwords, updating email addresses, configuring notifications, and accessing anti-harassment features, we are planning to work on bringing this page to mobile.
To do this we need to make some changes to how Preferences is displayed at mobile screen sizes. For the desktop view a tab system is used, which becomes scrollable on narrow mobile devices, which is unclear to users. The responsive resizing of fields and explanatory text leaves many settings squashed or with large amounts of text near them. Additionally, many preferences have no effect for mobile-only users. The mobile skin also has a separate mobile settings option, which is additionally available to logged-out users. We need to decide if and how we can present these settings alongside user preferences in a way which is understandable.
Implementation steps and progress
We are currently working on implementing the new page design for mobile users. We decided on Option A from the main menu designs listed below, and decided to move ahead with the other proposed elements.
You can track progress of the technical steps for implementing the first round of design changes at T311708.
We plan to deploy these changes for users with Advanced Mobile Contributions enabled first for testing and feedback, before a wider rollout for all users. We're aiming for each change to be compatible with all the existing functionality of Special:Preferences (i.e. we shouldn't ever have a non-functional page).
This change has now rolled out to all users.
You can find the early design options we explored at /Design.
This change has now rolled out for all users on all Wikimedia projects! You can access preferences by navigating to the sidebar in MinervaNeue (mobile web), clicking Settings, and then Open Preferences. Please let us know what you think on the talk page.
The major changes to Special:Preferences on mobile web have now rolled out to all Wikimedia projects. Changes include:
- Addition of a vertical 'main menu' for navigating between sections, instead of horizontal tabs.
- Sections open as fullscreen modals.
- Assorted vertical spacing improvements including horizontal lines to delineate different preferences.
- Checkboxes are now presented as sliding toggles, for consistency with other mobile web settings pages.
- A link to Preferences is now present in the Settings menu in the mobile web sidebar (AMC-only at the time of writing. This will change to all users in January)
We have opted against further refinement of the page that we designed for the moment, due to time constraints. We think the changes we've made so far mark a substantial improvement to Preferences and we want to move on to new projects which will be more impactful than further minor changes. In the meantime we still want to hear your feedback on the changes we've made, and whether you've experienced any bugs or other issues.
Apologies for the long period of time with no updates! We've been working through some technical challenges on exactly how to make our desired changes, and our team's engineers have been exploring and learning the various approaches. Since the last update we've added a link to Preferences in the MobileOptions menu (Settings in the mobile web sidebar) for Advanced Mobile Contributions users only (T311720). Per the notes above, we're limiting our changes to AMC users until we're happier with how they look. We've also implemented the new main menu design we showed above (Option A - T311717). Selecting an entry will show you the settings in that section, though the design is a work-in-progress.
Next up, we're working on making the submenus behave as full-screen modals instead of their current in-between state (T317106), and making design changes to the lists of preferences, such as changing checkboxes to toggles (T317117). Once these changes have been made, we plan to remove the AMC limitation on linking to Preferences.
Please let us know what you think about the main menu and Settings link!
The team has been reviewing user feedback and have decided to move ahead with Option A for the main menu, and start with this design element as the first change. Further information on the deployment of these changes can be found in the #Implementation steps and progress section above.
We have posted a new design exploration for bringing Special:Preferences into Special:MobileOptions. While we explore how to merge the two special pages, we opt for this temporary approach that doesn't break or change the users pattern of accessing their settings through the main menu option.
We have posted design explorations for the various elements of this project which we are aiming to tackle in the #Design section above, along with the open questions we still have. Input is welcomed on the talk page.
Alongside this, our engineers are investigating the technical feasibility of this project and constraining our design options.
We have started by making an inventory of all user preferences and determining which have an effect in the mobile skin and which don't. From this we discovered that while the 'User profile' and 'Notifications' tabs are 100% effective for mobile-only users, most other tabs are a mix of settings which do and don't have any effect.
We are considering starting this work by making the 'User profile' and 'Notifications' tabs available on mobile, so that we have an expandable design, but don't need to concern ourselves with making technical and design decisions about splitting the tabs which have a mix of applicable and non-applicable options. At the same time, we don't want to hide these settings entirely, as some users may want to adjust desktop preferences from mobile.
In addition, we are beginning design explorations for a mobile-first user interface.