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Wikipedia Makes Browsing Easier With Preview Tabs

by Nicolas See Tho

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If you have recently been browsing through Wikipedia, you will find there has been a slight upgrade on your reading experience. These new updates are called page previews, and they are one of the biggest updates to the website in recent years.

Page previews are basically small snippets of information that pop out when you hover over a hyperlinked text allowing you to get on with your reading without being distracted by going through multiple links just to gather more information on the article.

As for a majority of readers, Wikipedia is like jumping through the rabbit hole which takes us to a wide and diverse range of topics which can get out of hand pretty quickly, thus with these page previews, the urge to go rabbit hole jumping is prevented.

The advantage of the page previews system is that while it gives you a small anecdote of information, it lets you glance just enough before you decide to go through with it or not.  If you don’t want to see the information after glancing through it, just move the mouse away and the window will disappear.

Wikimedia says that it’s conducted extensive A/B testing to develop the feature, and found that most users didn’t disable the feature, that “each reader is interacting with the content of more pages while navigating the site,” and that the site’s overall page views have gone down as a result. That appears to mean that users are finding the information on those popups useful, allowing them to engage with more information, all while remaining on fewer pages.

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