This blog post is also available in Northern Sámi, Norwegian Bokmål, French, Russian and Finnish on Wikimedia Norge’s blog.
Wikipedia exists in more than 300 different languages, and every language edition has its own main page. The main pages can vary a lot between the different editions. However, there are a few things that recur for all large language editions: the design is mostly based around framed boxes, and has usually been unchanged for many, many years. For example, the English Wikipedia’s main page has had the same design since 2006, and the Norwegian Bokmål Wikipedia’s main page has been more or less the same since 2004.
We wanted a more modern main page that was more user-friendly and also stood out from the other language editions, and at the same time had a Sámi theme, so we contacted Árvu. “Árvu” is Northern Sámi for “value”, and they have designed websites and other material for many companies and organizations in Northern Norway, and on their website they write that they wish to increase the value for Northern Norwegian and Sámi companies.
Designer Stine Marje Vars, who is the one who designed the website at Árvu, writes:
We didn’t hesitate to accept the project of redesigning the Northern Sámi Wikipedia’s main page. It has been an exciting experience to make our mark on one of the official Wikipedia main pages, and as designers we appreciate that Wikimedia Norge wants to emphasize design.
The idea behind the design was firstly to give the main page a unified expression with a consistent use of fonts and colors, and to systematize the content in order to make it easy for users to grasp. We wanted to give the main page a Sámi theme, so we got inspiration from patterns used in Sámi handiwork (duodji), and used these as graphical elements on the main page. The green comes from our beautiful nature. In my opinion, the Northern Sámi Wikipedia main page is one of the more unique main pages at the moment.
We agree with Stine, and are very satisfied with the result, and we hope that an improved design can lead to more contributors and more activity down the line. Go ahead, take a look!