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Improving the Wikipedia portal: one search at a timeEdit
The Wikipedia portal introduces people to the work of our volunteers and various projects within the Wikimedia movement. It is an entrance to the 280 language Wikipedias and sister projects and the portal accounts for 1.5–2% of our total page views. One of the goals of the Discovery team is to update and modernize the portal experience. After positive results from a recent round of A/B testing, we will soon be making big improvements to the portal site for our visitors.
A/B testing the portalEdit
The team recently completed a round of A/B testing and discovered some subtle, but effective improvements.
Between January 13th – 20th, 2016, a small percentage of visitors to Wikipedia.org received a variation of the portal page. This variation included a larger, more prominent search box with a new language selection dropdown. Another small percentage of visitors received a slightly different variation - they saw the same variations but had an enhanced experience of type-ahead search results populated with images and metadata (as available). Our testing goal was to measure the clickthrough rate on the two variant pages as compared to the design of the existing portal page.
With the first test group, we did not find any tangible improvement, as the clickthrough rate was between −0.9% and 2.8%. However, with the second group, we found that 1.7% to 5.5% more sessions ended in a clickthrough as compared to the control group. That's roughly an increase of 300,000 to 1.3 million additional page views a day from the portal into our projects!