Online Encyclopedia to Undergo First Website Redesign in a Decade

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. cumbersome / ˈkʌm bər səm / (adj) – complicated and inefficient

    Older computers are usually cumbersome to use.

  2. collapsible / kəˈlæp sə bəl / (adj) – designed to be folded or hidden away

    My collapsible umbrella fits in my small bag when it’s folded.

  3. functionality / ˌfʌŋk ʃənˈæl ɪ tɪ / (n) – the particular use or purpose of something

    The software’s latest release included new data management functionalities.

  4. intuitive / ɪnˈtu ɪ tɪv / (adj) – easy to understand and learn

    The game is very intuitive; even children can play it!

  5. stray / streɪ / (v) – to go in a different direction from what was originally intended

    We strayed off course because the road was flooded.


Read the text below.

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia has begun redesigning its website for the first time in 10 years.

Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has become one of the best-known sources of information online. Its articles, which are available in almost 300 languages, are written and edited by volunteers around the world. Although the mobile app underwent some changes in 2015 and 2019, the desktop version has remained the same since 2010.

In a blog post, Wikimedia Foundation project manager Olga Vasileva wrote that the website is getting a redesign to address its cumbersome desktop interface, which users find difficult to use. Plans to revamp the website began last year and new features will roll out one by one. Wikimedia hopes to finish the project in 2021.

The first change will be a collapsible sidebar. This will make it easier for users to read content because they will no longer be distracted by the menu on the left side of the page. Other improvements include a new logo, a redesigned table of contents to improve page navigation, and better search functionality.

Vasileva said she is aware that the process of changing Wikipedia’s website will be long and complicated. She said that users may experience bugs while the improvements are ongoing, but she encouraged them to check the changes and send feedback. Additionally, Vasileva promised that the website’s final design will be more intuitive, but it will not stray too far from the Wikipedia branding that is familiar to all users.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think redesigning Wikipedia’s website will have a big impact on its users? Why or why not?
• Do you think it’s a good idea to still let anyone edit Wikipedia articles? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think most websites look better or worse after being redesigned? Why or why not?
• How often should companies change/redesign their websites (e.g. every 5 years, every 10 years)? Explain.