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Consider a floating TOC sidebar in (some) Wikipedia skin
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In order to make more accessible the discovery of article and other page contents (like, wikiprojects), I propose an "always-on column" option for the Table Of Contents. The option would allow to display the TOC embed in a column inside the content space (on the left or the right side). The look and behavior of this column would be a bit like what you can see on the Wikipedia apps for iPad and Android or Wikiwand, except for the numbering. The column may be hiddable/colapsable.

The skin (Vector, Monobook, Timeless...) outside the main content space wouldn't have be affected by this option but still could integrate it more tightly if developers want to.

Example Screenshots

Here are some screenshots I took from the Wikipedia app on iPad (you can find them with titles and descriptions in this category on Commons) and the same articles on Wikiwand:

Wikipedia app on iPad

IMG_0008.PNG (2×1 px, 704 KB)
IMG_0009.PNG (1×2 px, 941 KB)
IMG_0004.PNG (1×2 px, 1 MB)
IMG_0005.PNG (1×2 px, 1 MB)
IMG_0003.PNG (2×1 px, 1 MB)
IMG_0010.PNG (1×2 px, 1 MB)
IMG_0007.PNG (2×1 px, 1 MB)
IMG_0001.PNG (2×1 px, 1 MB)
IMG_0006.PNG (1×2 px, 1 MB)


2016-10-08_14h32_44.png (953×1 px, 815 KB)
2016-10-08_14h34_59.png (953×1 px, 644 KB)

Event Timeline

Aklapper triaged this task as Lowest priority.Oct 9 2016, 2:11 PM
Aklapper edited projects, added MediaWiki-General; removed UI-Standardization, Discovery.

@Feldo: Could you please link to prior broader discussion of this proposal?

(Removing projects as this proposal is out of scope for UI-Standardization and unrelated to work of the Discovery team.)

I think that idea is related to Discovery: it's a way to have an easier access to contents.

So far, Discovery has focused on finding and navigating pages, rather than finding content within a page you're already on. I am not in a position to say whether this should be in Discovery's scope or not, but it hasn't been.

It seems relevant to Reading (rather than Discovery), but I think design is a good starting point.

Pasted from T173812:

I think every the version of Wikipedia apps (at least on Android and iOS) got some sort of floating TOC column, so it's probably a much needed feature and standard.

Since it may be usefull to see if it should be a UI-standard, I'm adding the releated project so they can keep tabs on this task.

Feldo renamed this task from Always on TOC column option on MediaWiki to Always on floating TOC column option on MediaWiki.Aug 22 2017, 12:14 PM
Feldo updated the task description. (Show Details)
Feldo updated the task description. (Show Details)
Feldo renamed this task from Always on floating TOC column option on MediaWiki to Add always-on floating TOC column option on MediaWiki.Oct 10 2019, 6:45 PM

In MediaWiki, aspects such as the table of contents are considered the skin's responsibility. I understand that those who like this feature to be in the sidebar want it to be there as option in all possible skins, but that is not realistic and is contrary to this separation of concerns. And while it might smooth innovation in the short-term (if we consider this an improvement) it also impedes innovation in other directions.

This should be reframed as a feature request for 1 specific skin, e.g. Minerva or Vector. Or, if interested more in the general availability for Wikipedia, I'd recommend untagging the skins and letting Reading-Web decide if and how they might bring this experience to life.

Krinkle renamed this task from Add always-on floating TOC column option on MediaWiki to Consider a floating TOC sidebar in (some) Wikipedia skin.Oct 10 2019, 7:05 PM
Krinkle removed a project: MediaWiki-General.
Krinkle removed a subscriber: Krinkle.