Wikidata:Portal Redesign

Thepwnco, an Outreach Program for Women intern, is working on a redesign of Wikidata:Main_Page.

This page is for evaluating the existing main page, proposing changes, and collecting input on the new design.

If you have any suggestions, concerns, or requests regarding existing Wikidata documentation, please add them to Wikidata:Portal_Redesign#Feedback.

A first draft can be found at Wikidata:Portal Redesign/draft.

Notes on current Main pageEdit

  • tagline: "knowledge base" - do I knows what this means? Could it be more clear? also no mention of data - what if I arrive at this new wiki site and am not sure if this is Wikipedia or am wondering how is this site different from Wikipedia?
  • languages very prominent - first thing you notice
  • link for Statistics also prominent
  • Ok, I understand structured data - what good is Wikidata? What purpose does it serve?
  • what if I don't understand structured data - what is it? Why should I care? I understand anyone can edit it - but what does it mean to edit a data item? How would I, someone who doesn't quite understand what structured data is, begin to contribute?
  • how does the "Wikidata in action" item explain Wikidata? is there a better way to illustrate this?
  • mention that it's one of the WMF sites, part of the WMF family further up the page
  • pretty bland - no visuals or images
  • "use Wikidata on your wiki" - is this section important to have on Main page?
  • news has not been updated recently; items are also not of obvious interest to me
  • what if I'm not a technical person? do I want to stay up to date with development only? and what if I don't know what IRC is?

Notes on some other WMF sitesEdit

(unless otherwise specified, notes are on the English-language Main pages of WMF sites)


  • header gives links to subject-matter portals; what quick links would be good for Wikidata?
  • header banner also coloured (i.e. not a white background) and has a border
  • "from today's featured article" - what about a featured item (showcase item) / featured gadget / featured task force
  • "on this day" & "did you know…" - related query? Or item as with done with Discoveranjali's Wikidata social media calendar
  • at bottom, page highlights other areas of Wikipedia - help, project chat, etc
  • use of different colours for different boxes; for other site like French and German Main pages, use of only one colour for all boxes (a bit tidier)
  • use of small icons for different sections/boxes on French site too

Wikimedia Commons

  • also had quick links in header
  • image heavy
  • highlights box includes "if you are browsing for the first time.."


  • quick links; word of the day, foreign word of the day
  • a few uninterrupted paragraphs of content explaining the project
  • "look up" search bar prominent - anticipating reason users are on site
  • "behind the scenes" for contributing/about the project


  • quick links; featured books


  • selected pages - anticipates what users might be looking for/interested in (i.e. popular quotes from Mad Men or the Simpsons)
  • languages at the bottom


  • section that highlights current collaborators/partners on projects
  • organizes sitewide activity and directs contributing with a "current proofread"; highlights tasks like "maintenance task of the month"


  • visual header
  • carousel of interesting content (with images)

Design principlesEdit

as per Jakob Nielsen's homepage design guidelines:

  • designs should emphasize services/features/opportunities that are unique and of value/interest to users
  • tagline needs to immediately convey what site is all about
  • graphics are good - but they should also convey meaning about what site is/does

more guidelines from Jakob Nielsen:

  • show examples (teasers) of what site does and what content is for/capable of

as per the 10 usability heuristics:

  • limit "system-oriented" terms as much as possible
  • consistency and standards - if assume users are coming form other WMF sites, layout should be familiar and follow previously established and commonly used conventions

as per Smashing Magazine's "10 principles of effective web design"

  • establish site's reputation as high-quality service
  • communicate what Wikidata does and what Wikidata is for - this should be obvious!
  • make it easy for new users to 'play' with the site's services and features and explore what it's capable of


  • have a call-to-action - direct users to action and further/deeper engagement
  • differentiate - make homepage look different than other pages/portals on site
  • keep most important, attention-grabbing content "above the fold"
  • be dynamic - make sure content like social media feeds and news items are frequently updated and not stale (also make sure that when time-sensitive content becomes stale and is removed from the main page that it is re-findable)
  • double-check the labels used. Are they meaningful and unambiguous?


  • add a bit more context to tagline so obvious
  • work on improving message of Wikidata - include introductory content or links to introductory content on Wikidata and structured data
  • remove/update "Wikidata in action" example item or at least provide context of example
  • move link to sandbox elsewhere
  • move language links to bottom of page (as done with other WMF sites main pages)
  • make header more attention-grabbing; use visuals and colour like Wikivoyage
  • move Statistics link elsewhere; replace with more useful/popular quick links - perhaps to Introduction, Project Chat, Help, Queries (when available)
  • change development updates to just general updates; combine updates/contact and news together
  • add visuals & images - perhaps a dynamic carousel like Wikivoyage? perhaps of linked data cloud? of Wikidata's relationship relative to other WMF sites? a visualization of an item/items (like found here)?
  • remove links to randoms items within text; "humans" linking to human item is not especially useful
  • include content that anticipates common information needs or interests; similar to Wikiquote's selected pages - what are people coming to Wikidata to do?
  • add "featured space" (or spaces) a la featured articles for Wikipedia - could be featured item (aka showcase item) / featured gadget / featured task force

Redesign brainstorming & ideasEdit

  • for "on this day" - what about featured queries or items similar to Discoveranjali's Wikidata social media calendar?
  • what about having something like Mozilla's X-Ray Goggles to show "structure"? See also Google's structured data testing tool & markup helper are also good examples
  • Wikidata Query - did you know there are x number of yz in Wikidata?
  • GeneaWiki - show image of something like Q9682?
  • Wikidata tempo-spatial display- show image of event (example is Franco-Prussian War
  • Wikidata browse - show images, names, statements/values about an item like Berlin
  • visualize some statistics - pull out interesting/unusual/funny ones and add as statement
e.g. "Our most popular properties" - Wikidata:Database_reports/Popular_properties; "Our most popular items" - Wikidata:Database_reports/Popular_items
which languages link to each other - User:Pasleim/Connectivity
highlighting interesting findings like "most unique Wikipedias"


  • who will be responsible for updating dynamic content?
  • as much as possible we should try to avoid too much content that relies on users to update the Main page (exception: if there is community interest and capacity i.e. volunteers for this particular type of work)
  • make sure links removed from portal as part of redesign are findable elsewhere on the site
  • consider other language versions and how often they can be updated



I agree that the language list, it's just to much predominate. And I think "Use Wikidata on your wiki" is not appropriate for normal user (not dev user). I also agree that the main page need a visual... Anything but a visual.

The main page need to be think for all languages presents in this list, and for lot of those languages the main page will never be update manually frequently.

I things lot of thing "Redesign brainstorming & ideas" are to difficult to put on main page or can't put on a main page. I will be nice if the revamp will be done to not have a main page who change 1 time every 10 years, but If we can just grope/fumble with many version, it will certainly create a better version. --Nouill (talk) 18:59, 18 July 2014 (UTC)