Hi everyone! Many of you know the Refreshed skin here at Brickimedia, as it's currently the default skin for all users and readers. Over the course of the past 9 months, several Brickimedians have been hard at work redesigning the Refreshed skin based on various problems and difficulties the current version has. This redesign takes into concern many complaints received about the original design of Refreshed as well as some basic usability improvements to make the skin much more functional across any device. Here is a look at the upcoming Refreshed version 3.0:
New features and changes
This new version comes with many changes, improvements, and new features. To outline some of them:
Header categories provide customizable and unlimited navigation additions to the skin. There is no limit to how many categories can be added nor to how many entries below the category. This will allow for customizable navigation on each wiki to make browsing much simpler and providing the opportunity to highlight popular pages. Header categories can be set at MediaWiki:refreshed-navigation by any wiki administrators.
There is now only one sidebar to have to keep track of. The page actions that were once found in the sidebar can now be found under the title of the page and fixate as you scroll to easily access editing tools when reading an article.
Many design and functionality changes have been made to the mobile skin for Refreshed 3.0. Here are a few highlights:
- CSS is now simpler to customize. Further simplification is planned for upcoming releases.
- Page loads are now faster with a less-cluttered skin.
- Refreshed now has better support for various MediaWiki extensions.
- Refreshed 3.0 will support page status indicators, a MediaWiki feature being introduced in MediaWiki 1.25.
- Tablets now have a faster search capability through the header.
- Special:Search is fixed for all layouts (desktop, tablet and mobile) and has an improved mobile layout for small screens.
- Article Table Of Contents (TOC) is now located within the content of the article rather than the article. This fixes some usability issues with the current TOC and allows for use of the TOC on mobile.
- Refreshed has received a minor typography refresh to improve font readability on articles.
- Echo Notifications are now built into the skin. This allows for better notification functionality as well as notifications enabled on mobile devices.
- MultimediaViewer functionality and display is improved in Refreshed 3.0.
- Most text overflow issues on small resolutions are fixed.
There are always new features being tested and added. Some you may see in the near future include:
- VisualEditor support.
- Better anonymous user tools. Instead of showing the IP address in the header with a dropdown, the header will provide Log in and sign up links.
And of course, I can't take all the credit for this. So much work was put in by a group of various talented designers and developers. I'd especially like to thank:
- UltrasonicNXT for designing the original Refreshed skin and contributing on its redesign for version 3.0.
- MtMNC for doing an exceptional job assisting in design and writing many new features and improvements for the skin. Much of the work on Refreshed's mobile layout was done by him.
- Jack Phoenix from ShoutWiki, for contributing many PHP changes to the skin and for writing the original code that Refreshed's Header Categories were adapted from.
- Seaside98 from the LEGO Message Boards Wiki, for providing advice throughout the design stages of the new version and for contributing with useful CSS tweaks.
- The MediaWiki design team for help and feedback on skin design and functionality.
- And everyone else who provided insight, advice, suggestions, criticisms and coding assistance on the new version!
Refreshed version 3.0 will be rolling out to Brickimedia wikis in the coming days. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks!