The Search Improvements project will use structured content to give users a more inviting and more efficient way to search and find content on the Wikipedias. By improving Special:Search, we want to enable users to find the information they are looking for, or that they may not have noticed, or previously come across through existing search.
We aim to identify and define incremental “special search” improvements that use structured content, to assist users in finding the content they are looking for, especially in those language wikis that have fewer articles.
Existing search functionalities mainly focus on article matches. This is a problem for Wikipedias in emerging languages, because there is a higher risk for readers to end up on the Special:Search page without finding relevant articles or content. Linguistic factors and inexperience in using Special:Search are also among the main obstacles in finding content.
Moreover, it is likely that the information that the user is seeking might be “hidden” somewhere on the projects – i.e., under sections of existing articles, or inside articles with a different name, or in sister projects and other sources in our ecosystem.
What we want to do
Work in this area may include things like:
- Stylistic UI improvements to the Special:Search page
- Creating a quick view panel for each result that:
- shows key information about the result
- displays interwiki links related to the result
1. Add article thumbnail to search results to allow for better scanning of the content, using the same thumbnails that appear in the Go bar.
2. Add namespace tags in front of the article to be able to better distinguish between various page types.
3. Rearrange the sister search section and add a header for better context and awareness of these projects.
4a. Collapse advance search so that there is more focus on the results itself.
4b. The advanced search can then be expanded if the user needs to use it.
5. Introduce a quick-view panel for each result to discover relevant content and go directly to a desired section of the article.
6a. Re-style metadata to put more focus on the content itself.
7. New location for “create missing article” message to allow more focus on the search results and at the same time provide a clearer and consistent call to action to add an article.
8. Change the color of the “did you know” suggestion from red to blue as red is more appropriate for missing articles. (Message A: “did you mean” message)
8b. (Message B: “Show results for” message)
Improving search experience through a tool/gadget
Additionally, we would like to work with an interested contractor to ideate and develop a tool or gadget that experiments with using structured data/content to improve the search experience on one or more Wikipedias. Please contact Sannita if you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity.
Project feedback is and will always be welcome. We are especially interested in your ideas, and we are looking forward to hearing from you on the talk page about what you think about the project, and especially about the following open questions:
- What do you think about the approaches outlined above?
- Do any of these changes affect the contribution flow in your opinion? If yes, how?
- Is the content in quick view helpful to you? If so, how would you use it?