If you’ve ever read through a Wikipedia page, then you must know that it’s pretty similar to entering a rabbit hole, which can take you to some unexpected places. Although it gives us informative adventure, sometimes it could be a distraction from what you’re actually reading. To save you from that distraction, Wikipedia has finally added a very useful feature called page previews.
Page previews is a feature that helps readers with a popup window containing a bit of additional context for the article behind the link, saving them from going back and forth between articles. From now on, whenever you’re reading an article, if you find any unfamiliar terms, you just need to hover the cursor over the blue link. Then a popup window will appear where you can read the first few sentences and see the image (if there’s any), and click through if you want to read more. If not, you can move the mouse away.
According to the Wikimedia Foundation, the reason behind making this change was “to decrease the cost of exploration for each blue link you come across, allowing readers to satisfy their curiosity or clarify a confusing or unknown topic without the burden of opening a new page and navigating back to the original.”
Extensive A/B testing was conducted to develop the feature, and Wikimedia found that most users actually used that feature, instead of disabling it. It means the readers found the information on those popups quite useful as they could engage with more information while remaining on the same page.