We’ve seen our share of concepts for imbuing Wikipedia with a more modern and responsive design. But it’s not likely that Jimmy Wales and Co. will adopt any of them–or any radical redesign, for that matter. The reason why is relatively straightforward. Wikipedia wants its site to work just as well on 10-year-old computers with low-resolution monitors and slow dial-up connections as it does on more modern devices. So Wikipedia plays things conservatively. But there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a better-looking Wikipedia.
Wikiwand is a tool that showcases Wikipedia articles with better typography, navigation, and layout on both widescreen and mobile devices. Using Wikiwand is easy. Instead of going to Wikipedia’s website, just search for your articles through Wikiwand.com, which will then dynamically translate your articles into a more responsive layout with big, beautiful header images, easier-to-read typography, a universal navigation panel, and more. If you’re a Google Chrome user, you can even install an extension that will automatically translate Wikipedia links into the Wikiwand format. Because the extension intelligent pre-fetches assets, the Chrome extension actually allows you to load Wikipedia pages faster than on Wikipedia proper.
Wikiwand’s not going to be for everyone–the abundance of italics in the Wikiwand design makes our editor Suzanne LaBarre seethe in a festering rage–but if you’ve been looking forward to Wikipedia joining the rest of the Internet here in good ol’ 2014, it’s certainly worth a look. I might never go back to stock Wikipedia again.