Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Reading/A new wiki skin developed specifically with readers in mind

A new wiki skin developed specifically with readers in mind

  • Problem:
    • Many sites, like Wikiwand, and browsers, like Readable wikipedia exists to solve a "readability" problem of wikipeia.
    • They are apparently more readable than wikipedia interface according to their users, and thus some wikipedia readers switched away from wikipedia to those sites
    • As those sites does not have an edit button to lead people back to edit the page on wikipedia, if the situation continue with more and more reader using these alternative sites instead, there could be a reduction in wikipedia's source of editor in the future
  • Who would benefit: The entire wiki community
  • Proposed solution: Develop a skin for these wikipedia readers, and then after extensive trials and ask for feedback from all wikipedian and wikimedian communities, consider how to make the skin available to users especially unregistered anonymous readers.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: I’m happy to own this. Doesn’t have to be a skin, per se; any solution that simplifies and improves our presentation and readability will do, up to and including dumping MediaWiki for everything but editing. —Anthonyhcole (talk) 03:05, 17 November 2017 (UTC)


  • Endorse. Readability of regular wiki is a pain. I had to tweak my user CSS manually to change font type, font size, text width,... A new skin is an interesting idea imho. Afernand74 (talk) 14:42, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
  • This request is similar to the work that Isarra put in to the Timeless skin, as well as the split that the Reading team worked on to get Minerva into its own skin. mw:Skin:Timeless is the Mediawiki page and they are generally working on deploying right now. --Izno (talk) 03:29, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Some wiki like French Wikipedia have already enable the Timeless skin, see this page as an example. I have considered about the skin when writing about it but I don't think it addressed some of the main concern brought up by peoples who create other tools to replace wikipedia interfaceC933103 (talk) 23:29, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
      • What problems? --Izno (talk) 03:32, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
    • MinervaNeue is a reader-centric skin, although heavily optimized for mobile devices. (random example) --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 02:17, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, MinervaNeue is specifically optimized for readers. It's unlikely that we will switch to it as the default skin any time soon though. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • The typography on Wikipedia (and Mediawiki in general) is terrible, and with such a vast selection of CSS/front-end frameworks to choose from that put an emphasis on typography, it really shouldn't be like that. See some of the "skins" here. François Robere (talk) 16:53, 9 December 2017 (UTC)