Wikipedia adds page previews feature to make web browsing easier than before
Technology

Wikipedia adds page previews feature to make web browsing easier than before

Wikipedia adds a new feature called — page previews — to enhance the reading experience. In simple words, the new page previews feature will let readers get a quick grasp of what’s behind a link with the help of a popup box without actually clicking on the link. The primary idea behind introducing the new page previews feature is to solve the age-old problem of going back and forth articles to have a detailed and clear idea of a certain term or concept in order to understand the main subject.

Most of us are already familiar with Wikipedia and how the site looks. The core reading experience on Wikipedia hasn’t changed much in the last four years. The new page previews feature also doesn’t change the overall reading experience though, but it is definitely one of the largest changes to desktop Wikipedia made in recent years.

On visiting a Wikipedia page we do come across several interlinked words or concepts which are to provide the readers with a better understanding of the subject. Until now, to understand these concepts or terms, we had to click on the particular word to visit its dedicated Wikipedia page. This created a lot of problems for the readers as the entire process of going back and forth Wikipedia pages consumed a lot of time, which in turn resulted in creating distractions in the reading experience.

With the new page previews feature Wikipedia is aiming to deliver a distraction-free reading experience. “Page previews solve the core problem of readers needing to go back and forth between articles or open multiple tabs to gain an understanding of a word or concept within the context of the subject they are reading,” says Olga Vasileva of Wikimedia Foundation. The page previews feature is now available on the English Wikipedia.

Explaining the page previews feature Vasileva says, “this seemingly cosmetic change may seem far from revolutionary, but has been built through careful and vigorous A/B testing; scaling APIs to Wikipedia levels of traffic and a change to how we build our code.” “Our testing shows that the feature makes it easier and more efficient for Wikipedia readers to interact with our content and get more context about a topic on Wikipedia,” he adds.

The new page previews feature shows an image and a couple of sentences that briefly describe the article when you hover the mouse over a certain link. This provides a bit more context for you to decide whether or not you need to click on the link. On clicking the pop up you’ll be taken to the article in question. While if in case you move the mouse away, the popup vanishes.

“The goal of page previews was to decrease the cost of exploration for each blue link you come across, allowing readers to satisfy their curiosity or clarify a confusing or unknown topic without the burden of opening a new page and navigating back to the original,” notes Vasileva.

 

 

 

 

 

 

News credit: Indiatoday

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