Vector is a MediaWiki skin and extension that was developed in 2009 with the goal of increasing accessibility. It became the default skin for MediaWiki in 2010 (in SVN change 66383).


It is one of the first in a series of steps undertaken by the Wikipedia Usability Initiative, to create a more welcoming, understandable and usable website interface for readers and novice editors, in an effort to increase participation in editing among the public.

What has changed?Edit

Not that much. The most visible thing to many people will be the visual changes of course: different tabs and a moved searchbox. There is also a new toolbar. The "Search" results page has been changed as well. All of this is part of the first stage of the "Usability Initiative", and is called Acai. The skin will change several more times before the end of the project. Other elements - such as the toolbar - are only the start of changes to come. See for instance: [ the ideas for Babaco; which is the next step of these changes.

Did I ask for this?Edit

No, most likely not. But change is not bad; Wikipedia will have to evolve and there are bound to be some things you might not like. Therefore there is a Beta period and a Feedback form, so that you can tell what you like and what you hate. Do remember however that there is no perfect design, for all users. The monobook design is very "utilitarian" and optimized for editor usage. It can however also be cluttered, "busy", and confusing to readers. The Usability Initiative is trying to strike a balance between both groups of course, but not everyone will be satisfied. Be aware however, that editors can always use CSS and JS extensions to change the interface to their hearts' content.


My gadgets and JavaScript tools are brokenEdit

Some gadgets and scripts might be broken, yes. However the most popular tools should all be working. If you find an issue, be sure to contact the developer or maintainer of the JavaScript tool. Also you should not forget that many users use their monobook.js for their tools, but under vector you will need to use vector.js. A quick way is to put importScript(''); into your vector.js.

Press coverageEdit

Original coverageEdit

  • "Wikipedia Getting Makeover For First-Time Editors". InformationWeek. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2014-09-01.
  • "Wikipedia Hopes to Make Editing User-friendly". FOX News. AP. 3 December 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05.
  • "Wikipedia gets grant to lure new writers". The Inquirer. 4 December 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-10.
  • "Wikipedia gets grant to lure new writers". Sydney Morning Herald. AFP. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2014-09-01.

Beta and Vector coverageEdit