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The Wikimedia Foundation’s Web team is working on researching and building out improvements to the desktop experience to make Wikimedia wikis more welcoming and to increase the utility amongst readers while maintaining utility for existing editors.

As part of this effort, the Web team deployed a new location of the search bar, moving the search bar to a more prominent location on the top of the page. The team ran an A/B test of the new location from 20 October 2020 through 4 November 2020 to assess the efficacy of this feature. The test included all logged-in users on the early adopter wikis (Basque Wikipedia, French Wikipedia, French Wiktionary, Hebrew Wikipedia, Persian Wikipedia, and Portuguese Wikiversity). In the test, 50% of logged-in users saw the search bar in the new location, while the other 50% continued to see the search bar in the previous location.

The new location (as shown in Figure 1) was also deployed as default for anonymous users on our early adopter wikis, and by preference for all other users.