Review: Wikiwand is trying to reinvent Wikipedia, at least the way it looks!

Wikipedia is one of the most amazing things to have happened to the World. It’s the primary repository of all of publicly available human knowledge and it’s reach is wide and the audience is very broad, from preteens using it for their project work (The good old CTRL C + CTRL V) to oldies brushing up on some everyday knowledge.

I mean, Wikipedia is always, more or less, on top of Google’s search results page for nearly all topics and it’s one of the most visited websites in the World, with it’s Alexa rank being 6 worldwide.

So, with such big reputation, such wide reach, one thing which we all have complained about Wikipedia is it’s boring design (Not that I accept that it’s design is boring). Majority of the people that I’ve interacted with tell me that though Wikipedia’s interface is simple, it’s just not modern. It doesn’t go well with the new web design culture (Which changes every year, of course!)

So, fulfill our desire for a better looking Wikipedia, a team of Web developers joined together and created something called Wikiwand

Wikiwand is not a replacement for Wikipedia or any one of those fake websites that promise you to change the look of certain websites after you perform a certain task (Remember WhatsApp blue icon/ Facebook Red, anyone ?). Wikiwand basically is a skin for Wikipedia, a beautiful eye pleasing skin.

According to them:

In the past decade, web and mobile applications have made huge leaps forward in terms of user experience and functionality – we want to bring those same benefits to your Wikipedia experience.
That’s why we’ve created Wikiwand, giving good old Wikipedia a great new look.

I came to know about this awesome site after I googled “New Wikipedia design” to look for any news articles related to the supposed Wikipedia redesign. I’ve been waiting for a Wikipedia redesign for many years now and I even messaged Jimmy Wales a couple of times on Quora (How ridiculous is that?), in vain!

Just hit up and check it out for yourself!

  • Interface

The interface is just fabulous and looks like it’s been more optimized for touch screen devices. You’ve got this big broad image that lightens up your screen whenever you open an article.

Wikiwand article interface
Wikiwand article interface

It had a top bar that runs along the top (Duh!) of the site. It contains “Invite your friends button”, “report problem” along with a share button through which you can quickly share the article with your friends on facebook/twitter or email it to someone. It also has Pinterest integration so a Pinterest icon is always present over all the images so that you can quickly pin ’em!

Also, you can change the language of the article with the click of a button. It also contains a gear Icon which includes a lot of customization options which is covered in the next section.

The image viewer is also neat and you can scroll through all the images contained in the article in one go!

Wikiwand Image Viewer
Wikiwand Article Image Viewer
  • Customization

Wikiwand has got powerful customization options, which includes the ability to change the font of the text (Only between Sans and Serif for now), the option to make the background white or black, the option to adjust the text size of the article, to increase/decrease the width of the article and finally an option to justify text!

Customization Options of Wikiwand
Customization Options of Wikiwand
Wikiwand black background Interface
Wikiwand black background Interface

And, in case you want to go back to Wikipedia, you don’t have to manually type in the URL in the address, you can quickly toggle between Wikipedia and Wikiwand using a small toggle button near the bottom right corner of the screen!

Wikiwand Toggle!
Wikiwand Toggle!

And, the company already has released extensions for Chrome, Safari and Firefox. And this March, Wikiwand released an iPhone app making it easier for mobile users to access the Wikipedia interface.

It’s also working on an Android App.

So, yes, overall, reading Wikipedia articles on Wikiwand is a very delighting experience. Not only you get to experience the latest UX innovations, you also get a ton of neat and highly useful features packed deeply into the top bar.

I highly recommend that you try out this interface, especially if you’re a hardcore Wikipedia fan like me!

For the

Check out some screenshots that I captured:



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