Currently language variants are chosen using a tab next to "Read" and "Talk" (see http://zh.wikipedia.org/ as an example). It makes sense to integrate this feature with the rest of language settings and tools.
Here are some possible approaches:
- Add variant selection to ULS settings. The Language settings can be extended to include variant selection for the current languages. This would work in a similar way to the fonts panel where you can adjust fonts for the language used (if UI and content languages are different, then you can adjust fonts for both).
- Add variant selection to the list of languages. By adding variants at the top of the language list, there will be a single area for content language selection. Currently, content language selection is not supported by the ULS, and interlanguage links become quite long for some articles. If the ULS was used to facilitate content language selection (as illustrated at http://pauginer.github.io/prototype-uls/#lisa ) the initial list of links is keep short enough to be easily explored.
Since the current variant selection is in a very prominent position compared to the language list area, a link can be (temporally) left in the current position. But instead of opening the drop-down menu, it will direct users to the new place chosen for variant selection (e.g., opens the ULS with the "variants" view).
The attached mockup shows both approaches applied at the same time, but applying just one may be enough.