Widgets Area Chooser – 3.8 Proposal

Placing widgets with drag-and-drop can be tedious and annoying — especially if you have lots of sidebars on which to drop widgets. The Widgets team has been working on a few solutions (for this problem, and more), including redesigning the wp-admin widgets interface and adding the ability to manage widgets from within the customizer. These projects are still ongoing, and not ready for 3.8. However, along the way we’ve found a few incremental changes which improve the overall experience of working with widgets. Some of these improvements have made their way into MP6. Others involve more functional changes which don’t belong in MP6. This plugin is one of those improvements.

The Widgets Area Chooser is available at: http://wordpress.org/plugins/widget-area-chooser/

The Problem
Dragging widgets from the available widgets in the top-left, to a sidebar “below the fold” is hard. Almost impossible. Dragging widgets on a touch screen device is also difficult.

The Solution
Clicking (or tapping) on an available widget brings up a list of available sidebars that you can place the widget in to — its pretty simple, and works great on touch devices.

There’s also the accessibility problems that drag-and-drop introduces, which necessitates the need for the separate (and often neglected) Accessibility Mode. This plugin provides a much easier way for those with screen readers to add new widgets without having to drag-and-drop. In fact, this could be the first step towards removing the need for an Accessibility Mode for widgets.

Here’s what the chooser looks like:

Here’s a quick video of the plugin in action:

Please let us know what you think!