DASH – 3.8 proposal

Prerequisite: Must have latest version of MP6 installed and activated.
Plugin link: https://github.com/growthdesigner/wp-dash

Visual comparison

The existing dashboard (the page you see by default when you log into WordPress) looks like this:

It hasn’t been touched in years, leaving it feeling a tad bloated, and dated. Here’s what the dashboard looks like with our plugin enabled:

What’s changed?

We tackled 5 major areas, and made them each separate includes within our plugin (separate php, js, and css files).

  • We combined “WordPress Blog”, “Other WordPress News”, and “Plugins” to form the new simplified “WordPress News” plugin.
  • We merged “Recent Comments” into the new “Activity” widget, which now also shows you any scheduled posts and your most recently published posts.
  • We converted “QuickPress” into “Quick Drafts” putting the emphasis more on drafting ideas than publishing, and we merged in “Recent Drafts”.
  • We removed the “Number of columns” screen option. Instead the dashboard is now responsive, and shows the appropriate number of columns based on your screen resolution.
  • The Right Now widget was visually reduced.

Here are a few extras:

  • We removed incoming links (which doesn’t seem to really work anymore).
  • We replaced the “Dashboard” H2 title with a fun group of friendly welcome text and idioms.
  • We added a bunch more hooks for greater extensibility from any of the dashboard widgets.
  • There’s a fun little smiley if you delete all posts and comments

What problem is your feature plugin trying to solve?

While functional, WordPress’ dashboard page hasn’t kept up with the rest of WordPress. We mean to improve the experience of the first page of WordPress. Streamline it, clean it up looking at all the widgets, and make it responsive.

We’d also love to see future development in the new activity widget, where plugin developers can add more “activity stream” related content.

What other potential solutions did you explore?

If you work backwards through http://make.wordpress.org/ui/tag/dash/ you’ll get a pretty good idea. We met weekly in IRC, and brainstormed/iterated daily via our Skype channel.

Have you done user testing?

Nope, but if this get’s the “all clear”, we’re more than happy to do that.