This time around, I began reading more about Aphex Twin, and ultimately ended up at Ivvavik National Park. Not so sure what I read in-between or how I got there — but in case you’re interested, Engigstciak, is a rock formation at the Ivvavik National Park. It’s really striking. I believe it’s particularly beautiful. So much so in fact, I was inspired to write a bit about it:
The Yukon is a pretty vast, and unorganized expanse (something my Texan heritage has informed me I might enjoy). Within the wide and unforgiving tundra are archaeological heritage sites. It turns out, Engigstciak happens to be one:
[Pottery found at the site] likely relates to the Norton Culture (Norton Check-Stamped Ware) which is found predominantly in the coastal reaches of northern Alaska. Although dating from the last few centuries B.C., this vessel is part of a ceramic making tradition which began in Alaska more than 3500 years ago and was inspired if not imported from Siberia.
The Internet Archive is doing the lord’s work (if you will). Wikipedia, a champion of the web, is expectedly cut from the same cloth. Both non-profits, run a tight ship catalyzed by their bootstraps, bleeding-edge technology and undoubtedly some of the brightest contributors, engineers and computer scientists of our lifetime. They owe us nothing, and we owe them everything. They work tirelessly to realize the true goal of the web — a boundless continuum of mankind’s knowledge like the edge of forever.
For more than 5 years, the Internet Archive has been archiving nearly every URL referenced in close to 300 wikipedia sites as soon as those links are added or changed at the rate of about 20 million URLs/week.
And for the past 3 years, we have been running a software robot called IABot on 22 Wikipedia language editions looking for broken links (URLs that return a ‘404’, or ‘Page Not Found’). When broken links are discovered, IABot searches for archives in the Wayback Machine and other web archives to replace them with. Restoring links ensures Wikipedia remains accurate and verifiable and thus meets one of Wikipedia’s three core content policies: ‘Verifiability’.
To date we have successfully used IABot to edit and “fix” the URLs of nearly 6 million external references that would have otherwise returned a 404. In addition, members of the Wikipedia community have fixed more than 3 million links individually. Now more than 9 million URLs, on 22 Wikipedia sites, point to archived resources from the Wayback Machine and other web archive providers.
This is a massive achievement by any measure, even prior to Internet Archive’s efforts with IABot. The Wikipedia community alone repaired more than 3 million 404s. That’s astounding. One can only hope to see the number of 404s referenced in Wikipedia to diminish even further as the years continue to unfurl before us.
It's definitely not a new idea, but it's an effective use of card UIs nonetheless. It's an even better example of design solving a problem. To be brief, Wikipedia was having a problem with users rabbit-holing maybe a little too much or in other words, a lot of random pageviews ≠ learning:
This is one of the most iconic and popular user patterns we see on Wikipedia. People start on one article, and then head somewhere else, and then somewhere else, learning about lots of different topics along the way.
We design for these readers, optimizing not for page views or engagement — but for learning. And it turns out that context is a key part of learning.
Nirzar goes on saying that it's possible this preview card UI language could be extended to the wikipedia editor tools and other content types (think audio playback, pronunciations, or quotations). Neat!
I’m of the opinion that all cards in a Card UI are destined to become baby webpages. Just like modals. Baby hero units with baby titles and baby body text and baby dropdown menu of actions and baby call to action bars, etc.
The desire to reduce clicks increases complexity and raises the cognitive load. Depends on your situation, but I honestly think the workaround here is to go back to having a strong detail view pages. Scope cards in your UI to truly being previews or –to borrow a term from the watchOS Human Interface Guidelines– a “glance”.
Dave's note about cognitive load is important for Wikipedia. A page preview card potentially disrupts a users desire to bounce. Allowing Wiki-users to consume as much contextually relevant content possible before bouncing. Looks like a win for Wikipedia, and a win for staying on topic the next time you're researching anything on Wikipedia.
I guess cards are destined to become little baby webpages! 👶
Note: if you don't see page previews while on Wikipedia, you may need to login first and enable it under Preferences > Appearance.