Mass Effect Wiki


A glimpse of the future (of the wiki)

Dammej September 23, 2010 User blog:Dammej

Not sure how many of y'all are aware, but Wikia is currently beta-testing a brand new skin that will completely replace Monaco (the skin that nearly all Wikia wikis currently use, including us). There's a blog post from the Wikia staff that talks all about it here. Also found there are 5 of the wikis that are currently beta-testing the theme. The one that is perhaps the most relevant to us is the Red Dead Wiki, being a wiki about a video game. To see the new style, just change your skin preference on that wiki, by following the instructions as listed in the blog post:

“If you have an existing Wikia account you'll need to login and go to Preferences -> Skin and check "The new look" in order to see the beta wikis with the new design. This will not affect how you view other non-beta wikis.”

Why am I posting this? Because I think it's important to highlight the (huge) differences between Monaco and this new skin:

  • No more sidebar for navigation. All the relevant categories are listed at the top of the page, under the now-giant Wikia banner.
  • Fixed-width pages. I would call this a good change because fixed-width means we don't have to worry about articles looking different depending on browser size. The downside is that the right-side nav bar is freaking enormous. 300 pixels of the roughly 1000 pixel width page is a side bar that showcases other pages and images on the wiki. That makes pages like this appear incredibly crowded. Perhaps this is because not all pages have been updated to use the new style yet. Still, having that much space being eaten up seems a bit strange. Point being: Some pages here will have to be reorganized in order to look good.
  • Big images in the background of the wiki. As most of my computer usage is done on a 1024x768 monitor, (I know...) I won't really see this. As pages are fixed-width, the sides of each wiki will be taken up either by a flat color or by large images relevant to the topic (the latter is seen on the Red Dead wiki.)

Probably more stuff that I'm overlooking, but that's the really big stuff I can think of/noticed immediately. What do you all think of this change? Will this be good for us? And assuming that this is going to happen (There have been tons of complaints so far, but Wikia is displaying no signs of stopping), who wants to be involved in the gargantuan effort that will be required in order to make the wiki look good with the new skin?

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