If this is the first you're hearing about the Unified Community Platform project, read this to learn more about the entire scope of the project before commenting.

Hey gang!

This is our last detailed feature blog before the first release of the Unified Community Platform, which will be this Wednesday, March 11th — for new wikis only! Existing wikis will continue to be hosted on the legacy Fandom and Gamepedia platforms until we begin the migrations, contingent on the Unified Community Platform having the functionality those wikis require.

This blog focuses on the editor for Fandom, which is getting a MASSIVE upgrade from the current platform. Gamepedia is not impacted by this change for Phase 1, as the platform has MediaWiki 1.33 already.

What a difference several years can make!

When the Unified Community Platform launches, the editor experience will be improved considerably as we make the leap to the 2017 Editor from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). We have taken that new editor (with its visual and source modes) and given it a design pass to improve usability and imbue it with that Fandom feel, which we fondly call Fandomization.

Here is a design mockup of the result, featuring a favorite page of mine from Wookieepedia:

Visual Editor - Dropdowns

As you can see, the Visual Editor is a breath of fresh air compared to the legacy version. It puts powerful editing tools anyone can use at your fingertips. We’ve revamped the toolbar to showcase key editing interactions, some of which were under drop downs previously. Doing so ensures editors can easily discover and quickly access them when needed.

Did you notice it’s a modal experience? That’s right, the editor load experience is now standardized to not require a separate page load which is great for folks with data caps. It also provides more room for editing to help you focus on the task at hand and reduce the amount of scrolling. To top it off we’ve added shortcuts to additional editor tools like What Links Here and Related Changes, so hopefully, when you enter the editor you have everything you need to complete your task!

Switching between Visual and Source Editors is as simple as a dropdown click, bringing more advanced users to the wikitext formatting experience we love.

Source Editor

Don't worry, the Source Editor has monospace font and syntax highlighting. This is just a design mockup.

These mocks represent our first pass on the new editor. As users get their hands on the tools and work with them, we’ll be evaluating your feedback and usage data to make improvements.

What about the mobile editor?

The mobile editor is something we are SUPER excited for with the Unified Community Platform. As we mentioned last year, our user research indicates that mobile editing is a fantastic entry point for new editors, with 34% of Gamepedia editors self-reporting that their first edit was on a mobile device. That same research also revealed that, while it attracts new editors, the mobile editing experience is not very good. We need to do better!

We are really taking our time with the mobile editing experience, so it will NOT be available on the UCP with the first release. We will have a series of separate communications once we have more to share about the mobile editor, including mocks and other pertinent details. Mobile editor will release sometime after Fandom wikis from the legacy platform begin migrating to the UCP.

The tablet editor, however, will be available when the new wiki stage of UCP rollout starts on Wednesday! Here’s a look at that:

Visual Editor - Tablet Portrait

Update on the WikiEditor

In the first UCP update of 2020, I mentioned we planned to bring the source-focused WikiEditor to the United Community Platform in a later release. For context, WikiEditor is the 2010 Editor from the Wikimedia Foundation, a source-specific editor which is currently in use on Gamepedia. We are currently investigating whether we can build the advanced functionality of that tool into the source mode of the 2017 Editor we’re deploying on Wednesday.

The 2017 Editor has a more modern architecture, active development from WMF, and we have found that it is easily extendable beyond its core functionality. If we can solve for the same advanced functionality of the WikiEditor within our deployment of the 2017 Editor, we may decide to scrap the WikiEditor deployment entirely, as it would free up our teams to work on other projects to improve the wiki experience.

In the end…

...the best way for you to learn about the new editor is to experience it first hand. The upgrade for the editing experience is quite significant and we can’t fully explain all of the changes in a blog post, so when the UCP launches for new wikis, we encourage you to dive into a UCP wiki and play around with the new editor.

On launch day, we’ll even have a suggested wiki for you to explore on!


Will "MisterWoodhouse" Kavanagh Fandom Staff

Will is the Global Community Lead at Fandom. Previously, he was the Community Manager for Gamepedia and the Gaming Community Manager for Imzy. Outside of work, he hangs at the beach, explores breweries, plays golf, and lifts big weights for fun.
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