Wikipedia.org Portal Project
This page is obsolete. It is being retained for archival purposes. It may document extensions or features that are obsolete and/or no longer supported. Do not rely on the information here being up-to-date.
Improve the user experience for the Wikipedia.org Portal for new and returning visitors
Our early efforts in this project are to measure how visitors use the portal page, learning about user expectations, and determining how we can serve up better and more relevant content. Once the Discovery Portal team has gathered data from test and have analyzed it in-depth for success, we'll promote updates to the portal page in production.
The Wikimedia Discovery Portal Team wants to improve the experience of visitors to the wikipedia.org portal page and help them get to the information they are looking for as fast as possible. The portal page gets around 14 million daily page views daily, which is (very roughly) 3% of our total pageviews.
To better serve this large audience, we want to make sure that this page is easy to understand and use. We want to increase the usability of the search text box, so more people will run a search query and get to their preferred article faster. We want to decrease the number of people who leave the page without taking any action. We also want to better understand what people expect from this page so we can address their needs. In the future, we want to serve language, location and time specific content on this page too.
- Decrease bounce rate on the wikipedia.org portal page
- Increase amount of searches and clickthroughs on the search results
- Increase clickthrough to the top 10 language wikis
- Enhance and promote discovery of languages that are not in the top 10
- Increase clickthrough to sister (other) Wikimedia projects
Current Quarter Goals
- See Wikimedia Engineering's current quarter goals for the team (for 2016-17 Q1):
Current quarter goals:
- make the wikipedia.org portal a site for exploring new and open content on Wikimedia sites.
Upcoming quarter goals (2016-17 Q2):
- for the next few months, the Portal team will take a hiatus to focus on other projects within the Discovery department. We will continue to update the wikipedia.org page with article stats and translations along with small bug fixes and minor enhancements. If there is something that needs to be addressed, please add it to our backlog on our sprint board. We're planning on resuming work on the portal in late Q3 and Q4 (March - July 2017).
Upcoming A/B Testing
We have several upcoming A/B tests planned for the near future. They are documented at Wikipedia.org Portal A/B testing.
Note: The text and mocks that were previously displayed on this page have been moved and updated in the page linked above. This is to avoid any confusion of having mocks in several places and not knowing which is more correct or up-to-date.
A/B Testing: January - March 2016
Another test was run to detect and re-arrange the language links around the globe, based on detection of the user's browser's preferred language setting while adding a localized "The Free Encyclopedia" phrase under the Wikipedia wordmark (Phabricator ticket). This test started on March 22, 2016 and will run until approximately April 5, 2016 when we will start analyzing the results.
Analysis work: 2016
For more information about how our data analysis team is working on this project please refer to: Research: Portal experiments.
- Meeting: Rethinking portal planning 2016-02-03
- Analysis: Referrers of the10% of traffic to Wikipedia Portal that is referred by something other than a search engine
- Analysis: Quick, one page report comparing page views and traffic to wikimedia.org vs wikipedia.org
- Analysis: Assessment of Portal update and its impact on search rate post-deployment
- Analysis: Clickthrough rates, section usage, and language preferences of Portal visitors
- Analysis: Descriptive text added to sister project links
- Presentation of Analysis: Wikipedia.org Portal Survey - 'How did you arrive at Wikipedia.org?' May 2016
- Analysis: Wikipedia Portal AB Test of Collapsing links to Wikipedia in other languages
- Analysis: Retrospective of the Portal work done to date (Dec 2015 - Aug 2016)
- Analysis: Rise of Wikipedia.org Portal Pageviews in June and July 2016 (phab ticket)
- Analysis: Determine if new portal page layout caused a decrease in Ukrainian wiki pageviews (can be viewed as html or pdf report)
Portal Updates: January - March 2016
- Missing scroll bar in Chrome bug fix
- Set up an archive of previous A/B tests
- Update links on Portal to be the same blue color
- Replace portal images with sprites for ease of fast loading
- Create a script to sync and purge varnish cache during deployments
- Update Portal stats for articles
- Search icon screen flash bug fix
- Update Portal stats for articles
- Prominent search box with type-ahead and meta data in results
- Disable the 'find a language' search box and arrow button
- Display a magnifying glass without the word 'search'
- Language selector to use native selector on mobile
Portal Updates: April - September 2016
- Tabbing through new Portal input has no visual feedback on language switcher
- new searchbox: round becomes square (corners) on wikipedia.org
- Build A/B test for language detection on the Portal to reorder and resort the primary links on the page to suit the user better
- Wikipedia portal shouldn't use fake language codes
- Remove references to external images that are actually 404s
- Redirects produce non-obvious search results
- Typeahead suggestions sometimes freeze on results for incomplete search query
- Update A/B test archive page
- Wikipedia.org A/B Test (Egg): add descriptive text to sister project links
- Portal Production release: bug fixes and small updates
- Search suggestions sometimes show 2 descriptions
- Portal search suggestions mouse/keyboard highlight behaviour is jumpy
- Clean up old search-box & A/B test code
- Create method of versioning the Wikipedia.org portal page
- Portal Production release: bug fixes and small updates
- Portal Event Logging: determine which data to update
- Refactor code for (Egg): adding descriptive text to sister project links
- Release to production (Egg): adding descriptive text to sister project links
- Create Survey to find out why some visitors don't interact with the Wikipedia.org Portal
- Update Wikipedia.org Portal and sister Wiki's statistics
- Add license information for page code
- Wikimedia/portals repo should have a LICENSE file
- Wikimedia/portals repo should have a README file
- Wikimedia/portals repo should have a CONTRIBUTING file
- A/B Test (Caterpiller): Implement the languages by article count test
- Wikipedia.org Portal: check ordering of languages
- Wikipedia.org Portal Survey: revisit for more participants
- Wikipedia.org A/B Test (Caterpiller): languages by article count
- Wikipedia.org (Elephant): translate sister wiki projects descriptive text
- Article counts under 1000 showing as 0
- Search input has dark background
- Switch Portal EL & survey sampling algorithm to use seeded RNG
- Refined the sister project descriptive text wording
- Released the new portal page layout into production
- Updated phrase 'read Wikipedia in your language'
- Added metadata description in Wikipedia.org html
cd /srv/mediawiki-staging && git pull && git submodule update portals
The portals are then deployed by executing the
sync-portals script at the root of the submodule.
./sync-portals 'SWAT: [[gerrit:372118|Bumping portals to master (T128546)]]'
Ideas for the future of the Portal
- Read about our April 20, 2016 brainstorming session here.
- Add mobile app badge icons (community feedback conducted: June 13 through August 12, 2016)
- Update portal page design to use a dropdown for all languages beyond the default top ten (community feedback conducted: July 4 through August 12, 2016)
Automation of Portal Updates
Now that we've modernized the Wikipedia.org portal page, we will wrap up the work by automating the statistics and translation updates for the portal. These updates are expected to take place on a weekly basis and will still require a human to approve the updates before it is released into production. There are quite a lot of tasks that need to be completed before this effort is done and the best way to view the progress is by visiting the epic ticket in Phabricator that captures the scope of the work we're doing. This work began in October (Q2 2017/18) and will be finished in December 2017.
- See the automation documentation in Github
- Wikipedia.org Portal migration to gerrit
- General testing guidelines that we follow
- List of the portals and information on how to update each
- Research:Wikipedia.org portal survey on Meta
- Archive of A/B tests completed Dec 2015 - Jan 2016
- Archive of A/B tests completed Mar - May 2016
- Survey conducted on wikipedia.org to find out how visitors get to the portal - May 2016
- Second running of a survey conducted on wikipedia.org to find out how visitors get to the portal - June 2016
- Research findings and conclusions from the two surveys run in May and June 2016
- Dashboard showing performance metrics for the Wikipedia.org portal