We ran a successful A/B test in June 2016. That showed that more visitors were likely to click through to other links on the page if they could see them, without having to scroll. This group of 'other' links included the updated sister project links. The test also showed that the rate of non-action decreased with this page design change.
We detailed the analysis of this test here and the executive summary is as follows:
- One of Discovery’s Wikipedia Portal team’s goals is to make Wikipedia.org a more inviting experience. One thing that worried us from a user experience perspective, was the large section with links to Wikipedia in all the different languages. We worried it might be overwhelming to a new user. We propose a design change wherein that section is optional and redesigned to have a cleaner, columnar layout.
- We ran A/B test to assess the effect of this change for a week, from 6 June 2016 through 14 June 2016. The test group consisted of 3019 users who received the new design while the control group consisted of 2560 users who received the current design.
- We found that the test group had a 3.64% higher probability of interacting with the page and was 1.07 times more likely to engage with the page than the control group. Although both groups received the dynamic primary link feature, users in the test group had a 6.82% higher probability (1.09 times more likely) of visiting a Wikipedia in their preferred language.
- Our main goal with this design change was to decrease the bounce rate (increase the engagement rate). We saw a significant improvement in how people engaged with the page when given the cleaner variation, which suggests that we should proceed with this change.
We kept the page basically the same - in regards to the language listing by article count in this dropdown. Thus, our avid editors can still keep easy track of where their favorite language is in the overall article count list.
The people that will most benefit from this addition are all visitors to the Wikipedia portal page, particularly those visiting from a mobile web browser. As worldwide mobile usage is increasing daily, we want to have a page that is easier to navigate to what our users really want to do: search, choose a different language wiki or to visit a sister project.
- Visual clarity to the page
- More visibility to sister projects
- It'll be harder (by having to do one extra mouse click) to view the entire list of languages by article counts
We'd like interested community members to provide feedback on updating the Wikipedia portal page with this new design. We think it's a great refresh to a page we all use and love, but want to be sure that others feel the same.
Update on July 14, 2016: We've also just completed research of this feature by chatting with participants from a recent survey, read more here.