1910 designs a more readable Wikipedia

Unhappy with Wikipedia's design, Jonas Salvador and Stellan Johansson have come up with a responsive new look that's all about the readability.

Jonas Salvador and Stellan Johansson from 1910 Design & Communication, a Swedish graphic design and art direction studio, love Wikipedia but they think that its design leaves a lot to be desired.

Specifically they think that while the rest of the internet has made great typographical leaps and bounds over the past few years, Wikipedia's reading experience is still stuck in the 1990s. "The text is too small, the lines are too long and the leading is too tight," they reckon. "Pictures are tiny and the general layout includes a lot of visual noise that distracts you from the actual reading."

1910's Wikipedia design features an eight column grid for its desktop version, with four and two column versions for tablets and phones

So they've taken it upon themselves to give it a bit of a typographical refresh. Their proposed redesign makes a number of changes aimed at improving readability, including pushing the content to the centre, using a more readable text size and increasing the leading.

Naturally they decided that a responsive design was the only way to go, so they designed an eight column grid (with the body spanning the first four columns), which would scale down to four columns on tablets and two on phones, with sidebar content being shifted to below its corresponding paragraphs.

With plenty of white space and content pushed towards the centre, this design's nice and easy on the eye

The end result is a great-looking piece of work; easy to read with plenty of white space, as opposed to the current, rather cramped, Wikipedia design. "This is the Wikipedia we ourselves would like to use," say Salvador and Johansson, "and we greatly look forward to see how Wikipedia will develop in the following years, in regards to making the site more pleasant to read."

The responsive design aims to make Wikipedia look just as pleasing on tablets and phones

Words: Jim McCauley

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