Reading/Mobile Friendly Content

Other languages:


Various legacy special pages on MediaWiki do not use responsive web design by default. Our editors are also restricted to the usage of inline styles when editing templates and many of their designs are optimised for desktop browsers. As a result, our Wikipedia content doesn't have a friendly display on mobile on desktop domain names. The problem is most visible in pages with templates, tables and navboxes.

Sites like use the MobileFrontend extension to format content for mobile devices. But this technology alone can't account for all of the complexity of wiki pages and we'd like investigate some options.

Why is this a problem?[edit]

  1. Other content outlets, such as the BBC News, have moved to responsive web design. We don't necessarily have to think mobile first, but we have to consider cross-device display. Mobile pageviews have been growing while desktop pageviews have been decreasing.
  2. The more hidden or garbled content we display, the more readers are detached from Wikipedia, and the less they are able to learn about how it works, and the less engaged they become in discussions.
  3. Our options of either an incomplete experience or a garbled/overwhelming display are not sustainable. We have a responsibility towards both our editors and our readers, to enable them to access and interact with our sites in a reasonable experience, and we have a responsibility towards Wikipedia itself.
  4. Certain pages such as the English Wikipedia's Signpost and Village Pumps are not generally readable on Mobile devices.

Possible solutions?[edit]

Focus on enhancing the most garbled display elements: templates, tables and navboxes, this requires:[edit]

  • Allow styling in templates
  • Allow mobile review/warning when template isn't mobile friendly
  • Addressing the problem of big tables with possible solutions
  • Enhancing our mobile editing experience to help bring in more content that is mobile friendly by default.
  • Support creating UIs using markup, through OOJS
  • Show preview of mobile to desktop editors