Abracadabra! WikiWand extension gives Wikipedia a facelift

  • TECH
  • Monday, 25 Aug 2014

WIKI WONDER: The Wikipedia article on Beyonc

Brimming with information and constantly updated by its thousands of contributors, Wikipedia is nonetheless lacking in the graphic design department, with its basic interface.

A browser extension currently available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari attempts to remedy this, giving the online encyclopedia a more contemporary appearance without changing its content.

WikiWand offers a more modern interface, cleaner typography, pop-up previews when the cursor is placed on a hyperlink, and more emphasis on images, all with the aim of making navigation through the crowdsourced encyclopedia more enjoyable.

Even the tables in articles have been updated for better readability.Aside from improvements to layout and appearance, the extension promises faster loading time (just under 2 seconds on average according to WikiWand) compared to the official Wikipedia website (close to 5 seconds).

The extension can be installed in just a few clicks and removed at any time. In the future, a mobile version of WikiWand could also be introduced.

Wikipedia, whose design has come under fire in the past for being aesthetically outdated, made some subtle tweaks to its typography this past spring, while earlier this year Swedish graphic design studio 1910 reimagined the layout of the internet's most popular open information source with its project A Readable Wikipedia.

To try out the WikiWand extension, visit the website at wikiwand.com.

—AFP/Relaxnews 2014
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