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  • jerrysarcastic 6:39 pm on April 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help   

    Admin Help – User Personas 

    Note: This is taken from a past Happiness Engineer meetup project focused on WordPress.com users, so there may need to be some editing here to better fit our understanding of WordPress.org users

    Persona 1

    Marci, 55
    Married with children, one grandchild. Empty-nester. All her help for set-up comes from the web.
    Husband, George, is the local pastor, and she has started a blog for his church, wanting to proactively be modern and support him. She is unwittingly about 5 years behind technological trends.
    Enthusiastic, a bit flighty.
    Located in the American Midwest – Ohio
    AOL user


    • Upload videos or shortcode from the YouTube
    • Find the right theme
    • Add users/subscribers
    • Add posts
    • Create a custom menu

    Tech-savviness rating: 1/10 (1 is least tech-savvy, 10 is most)

    I’ve read the page for custom menus three times and been following it, and I can’t see my pages

    Persona 2

    Angelo, 40
    Small business owner
    He’s pretty successful locally
    Someone told him about .Org, and he struggled with it, but learned about plugins and themes.
    He doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on this – it has to just work. He will be stingy with his money depending on how much perceived value something has.
    He has a teenaged son.
    Married to his high school sweetheart
    Hotmail user.


    • Theme
    • Upload a logo
    • Much more a static site, but will eventually branch into some light blogging.
    • Wants to have increasing traffic over time to increase business

    Tech-savviness rating: 4/10 (1 is least tech-savvy, 10 is most)

    “I’ve spent 5 hours of my time on this. I don’t have time, I need this done.”

    Persona 3

    Jessica, 20s
    Personal blogger
    A few years out of college.
    Relatively savvy – grew up with technology. Has an iPhone.
    Knows a little HTML, but not that into it.
    Has been blogging on Tumblr for a few years, but now wants to be able to have more themes and a bit more control behind the scenes.
    Stays on top of trends.
    Gmail user.


    • Themes
    • Flexibility to change domains when hobby changes
    • Wants to curate followers/increase followers
    • Publicize on social media

    Tech-savviness rating: 7/10 (1 is least tech-savvy, 10 is most)

    “How do I pick the image that gets posted to Facebook”

    Persona 4

    David, 35

    Does web design work professionally, but not on WordPress
    Lost a bet on a basketball game, and now has to set up a site for a friend.
    Very savvy, knows a lot about computers.
    Thought that setting up the site on WordPress would be a 10 minute job, and now it’s been a few hours and he’s frustrated.
    Comes in with very specific expectations that may not actually be accurate on how things should work.
    Hosts his own email address through Gmail on his host.


    • Themes
    • Set up site structure (pages, maybe a blog)
    • Set up a home page
    • Where does the HTML go?

    Tech-savviness rating: 9/10 (1 is least tech-savvy, 10 is most)

    “I work with websites a lot, and I’m setting up a site for my friend and I can’t figure out this WordPress thing. How is this easy exactly?!?”

  • trishasalas 4:37 pm on April 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help, , User Testing Videos   

    Existing User Testing Videos that Need Write-Ups 

    A write up should include:

    • A Summary of notable items/issues in the video (Bulleted list)
    • Points of Confusion with notes. (Bulleted list or screenshots, etc.  Whatever works to make the point.)
    • Observations (Not necessary but helpful)
    • Your Suggestions based on the specific video test results (Not necessary but helpful)
    # Link Summary Available (yes/no) Link to Summary
    1 Set 1 User 1  no  na
    2 Set 1 User 2  no  na
    3 Set 1 User 3  no  na
    4 No Change to Help Tab Location - User 1  no  na
    5 No Change to Help Tab Location - User 2  no  na
    6 No Change to Help Tab Location - User 3  no  na
    7 Help moved to Admin Bar – User 1  no  na
    8 Help moved to Admin Bar – User 2  no  na
    9 Help moved to Admin Bar – User 3  no  na
    10 Help Tab a Different Color – User 1  no  na
    11 Help Tab a Different Color – User 2  no  na
    12 Help Tab a Different Color – User 3  no  na

    Please comment with the number of the video you’d like to do a write up on.

  • trishasalas 3:56 am on April 11, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Admin Help   

    Admin Help Update for Week of 4/7/2014 

    We’ve had a quiet few weeks as I was busy building a resume, interviewing and rounding up code.  But yay for new jobs and time to move forward!

    Thanks to @clorith and @jazzs3quence for picking up the slack! I’ve talked to @designsimply and we are going to start user testing asap.  In the meantime we can continue to watch the older usertesting.com videos and I would love to see some write ups like @jazzs3quence recommended. :)

    Thanks for the patience everyone, back to weekly updates from here.

  • trishasalas 7:52 am on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help   

    Admin Help User Task List 

    WordPress User ‘Tasks’

    We are gathering a list of things (tasks) any user might do in the course of setting up a WordPress site.

    We need your help to add to this list!!

    Please feel free to add your ideas in the comments.

    • Upload and configure WordPress
    • Remove the default post and comment
    • Drop by the theme editor and find the right theme
    • Writing my first post
    • Make the site “yours”
    • Create some content
    • Create a new front page
    • Remove the default admin account or restrict its permissions
    • Add new user(s)/admin(s)
    • Setup Akismet
    • Search for and install a plugin
    • Setup pretty permalinks
    • Change the default tagline from “Just another WordPress blog”

    You can read more about the purpose for this list here.

    • Daryl L. L. Houston (dllh) 12:08 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Some possible ideas at http://learn.wordpress.com/ (it’s wpcom material but much of it would transfer to .org).

    • Chris Reynolds 3:13 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Activate multisite! (muahahahahaha)

    • ShayHurley 5:05 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      • Remove the default admin account or restrict its permissions
      • Add new user(s)/admin(s)
      • Setup Akismet
    • Chris Reynolds 5:32 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      • Search for and install a plugin
      • Setup pretty permalinks
      • Change the default tagline from “Just another WordPress blog”
    • trishasalas 7:16 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      ….are you trying to scare people off, @jazzs3quence? ;)

      (activate, multisite…that’s funny)

      • Chris Reynolds 7:20 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think it’s worth thinking about. Activating and setting up multisite is under-documented and tricky. Mastering that, or having some system in place that walks you through the process without having to look it up on the Codex would be *amazing*.

    • trishasalas 7:23 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Actually, I completely agree but it brings up the point again about funneling. Some will need to do this and some will never even think of it. I think we need to think about the testing in terms of groups. Maybe the User Capabilities would be a good place to start.

      I was going to comment something similar on @shayHurley‘s comment as much of what he suggested would not be applicable to the average user. (but that brings up another question, who is our average user?)

      • Kim Parsell 10:45 am on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Rather than have them remove the default admin account, it would be better to have them create a new user account and assign a role to it. This account could be for a friend who will also be writing on the blog, but probably shouldn’t be an admin. What role should be assigned to them (i.e., level of trust)?

    • joshlevinson 2:23 pm on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’d like to open a bit of discussion on the importance of

      • Remove the default admin account or restrict its permissions
      • Add new user(s)/admin(s) (as a necessary result of doing the above step)

      In my opinion this is not only unnecessary, it degrades the perceived quality of WordPress. Recommending users to delete the first user and recreate it as part of setting up a WordPress site would make one wonder, “Why didn’t setup do something like this for me?”
      It would make one feel less confident in the default security of WordPress.

      To my knowledge, the only security concern with having a user ID of 1 (which I assume is the concern that the recommended steps are intended to assuage) is one that is experienced if an attacker has already gained some way of modifying or reading directly from a site’s database. This would signify a problem further up the chain. Perhaps a more useful fix would be to prevent users from setting up a WordPress site with the “low-hanging fruit” usernames (admin, Admin, administrator, etc.).

      I vote to have those item removed from the task list – consider that users don’t always look for help when they need help doing something, they often look at a task list simply because it exists.

      • Josh Levinson 2:44 pm on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I read a little more into this topic, and found out about WordPress’s “user enumeration vulnerability”. This basically makes the steps to remove the default account (and blocking easy-to-guess usernames) even less useful, as enumeration could be used to determine usernames no matter what the IDs are. This only reinforces the importance of enforcing strong passwords.

      • Trifon 12:12 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Ever since the admin account can be named in the install process, deleting the default account really has become a useless step.
        Choosing a strong passwords and a different name for the default account really should be enough.

    • Bradley Allen 5:32 pm on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Adjust widgets

    • Trifon 9:56 pm on March 25, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      • Adjust timezone
      • Adjust date/time format
  • trishasalas 7:50 am on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help   

    Admin Help Updates from 3/17/2014 Meeting 

    Thanks so much to everyone who attended this week.  If you were unable to make it to the meeting feel free to read the logs.  This weeks meeting was quite a bit more low-key.  We had fewer in attendance possibly due to the holiday and/or the time change.

    The first few minutes we discussed meeting times and have decided to keep the meeting at 18:30 UTC until Europe changes time April 1.  We will meet at 17:30 UTC beginning with our April 7th meeting.

    I would like to reiterate that this is almost a completely new direction from where this group started.  Our original goal was to make the existing Admin Help content more visible to users.  The goal now is to create a user experience that is more intuitive by discovering what problems users are currently having and addressing those with appropriate solutions.

    Sheri Bigelow (@designsimply) has agreed to help with user testing ♥.  We are going to start with a few simple tests and see what that reveals.  We can use the information from that testing to move forward with additional tests.

    @kpdesign created a Project Page for us, we’ll use that to link to external resources as well as any additional project pages that we need.  You can find that page here http://make.wordpress.org/docs/handbook/projects/admin-help/

    What we need: People who love UX/UI and want to see new users succeed with WordPress.  Practical needs are people to help identify tasks, create storyboards, personas, user testing evaluation and any other tasks that might be relevant at this early stage.

    We also need tasks added to our ‘User Task List’.  You can find the list here and read more about it here.

    We will send out a call for developers when we know what kind of developing we need ;)

    Join us on Mondays at 18:30 UTC in the WordPress-sfd IRC channel.

  • Marius Jensen (Clorith) 6:47 am on March 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help   

    WordPress task identification 

    As @trishasalas mentioned, we want to identify what areas of WordPress people struggle with, and we’d like to do some user tests on this (both for new users, as well as seasoned veterans, we all have things that bug us at some point or another), and then focus on how we can improve these and help get more people to adopt it and use it on a regular basis.

    Our previous user tests have some value to them still, but as mentioned some areas of them have changed quite a bit, and we are also skipping a major part of the getting started experience; the setup, and all the pitfalls it may include.

    It was also discussed to make the user tests intentionally “vague” (although this hasn’t been fully decided yet), to avoid being too leading as we want to see how users interact, not how they follow commands.

    To this end, we’d like input from various sources on what tasks you perform in WordPress when getting started to help us shape tests to get a broader view of it all.

    Some examples to get the ball rolling;

    • Upload and configure WordPress
    • Remove the default post and comment
    • Drop by the theme editor and find the right theme
    • Writing my first post

    From the list above many people will probably butt heads at the configuration because the wp root directory isn’t writable and they can’t get wp-config automatically configured, they couldn’t find the remove option for the default post, the theme they liked didn’t work well with their WP version (or they couldn’t install it because of permissions again?), and so forth.

    We’d then take that list, and break it down into a “vague” list (if that’s the approach we go with) of something like this;

    • Here’s some FTP details, go add WordPress
    • Make the site “yours”
    • Create some content

    The first task might be the most stressful I suspect, but it’s also an extremely important aspect of WordPress, it’s the initial step you take after all (we are also aware that many hosts have single click setups, but that’s a custom setup by the provider, and not part of core).

    • K.Adam White 5:11 am on March 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Here’s a pain point to add to the list, one that I’ve seen over and over again: Move the blog off the front page (make “blog” a tab, and have a static front page). Might be a good one to include in a branch off of the “make the site yours” task.

    • drewbutler 2:39 am on March 26, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Could there be a task on adding users and assigning a type to the user and what each type means? Probably another one for the “make the site yours” task.

  • trishasalas 3:19 am on March 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help   

    Admin Help Updates from 3/10/2014 Meeting 

    There are some big changes and a new direction for the team, new co-leads are myself and @Clorith.  @jazzs3quence will still be involved in a supportive role.

    The first part of the meeting was used to discuss the Feature Plugin Meeting and the helpful comments @jazzs3quence received regarding the current implementation of the plugin. The key takeaways are:

    • This really comes down to storyboarding, not building. Which is great, but it doesn’t really lend itself to a plugin model, at least until later in the process.
    • (but) Before even storyboarding I’d start with a list of goals, a list of problems. I’d run user tests on starting with WP and starting with features they’ve never seen and see where they trip up.

    We agreed as a group that we need to not think about solutions at this stage but rather, to figure out what the problem(s) are. It was also mentioned that a singular solution will not be enough, we need to identify personas and do user testing as well as story boards.  (Not necessarily in that order.)

    @Clorith Mentioned that the idea of guided tour had been mentioned before and @Sams reminded us that @Nacin recommended we look at the user testing again.

    Our previous user tests can be found here:



    @Sams suggested that “it’s better to have user tests of different user types and, if you’d like, build personas off of those” so that will be the initial direction we take along with storyboards.

    We would like to expand on the user testing by identifying any and all tasks with WordPress so that we can identify as many ‘pain points’ as possible.  There have also been some significant changes in the theme screen and the widgets since our last tests so we would like to essentially start fresh with user testing.

    The initial plan is to start a P2 post to gather task ideas for  user testing.  We would like to get input from as many of you as possible so that we generate a thorough list of all of the tasks within WordPress (multisite included!)

    As always, we welcome more input and participation.  The meeting is on Mondays — 18:30 UTC

  • Chris Reynolds 8:47 pm on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help,   

    AH-O₂ Update — 3 March, 2014 

    Help Overview refactoring
    @brainfork has been ill and was unable to work on this this week. @jazzs3quence created tickets for some of the issues that were reported in https://github.com/jazzsequence/WordPress-Admin-Help/issues/50 many of which were things that @brainfork was planning to work on. See:





    @clorith is going to work on refactoring the tooltip structure a bit to make it more flexible for devs and give us more options for tooltip styles.
    @trishasalas will be working on some new styles for the tooltips
    Between the two of them, we’re hoping to nail:




    Admin Help Inventory spreadsheet
    @ubernaut has added tooltip locations to the Pages admin pages in the spreadsheet we’re using to keep track of such things. He will work on adding the actual TinyMCE formatting buttons this week.

    Target Date
    We’ve set a tentative target date for April 1. This will give us time to test the plugin and fix any issues before the discussion begins about WordPress 4.0 feature plugins.

    Help wanted!
    To meet this target, we need help:

    • adding tooltips — though this process may be changing, the changes should make things easier and we can help with the transition — mostly we need new tooltips to be added (or at least written) for all the elements (that have not been added already) in the spreadsheet (or for anything else that’s missing that isn’t included)
    • testers — we’d love to have more testers look at this and let us know if/when they find any issues

    If either of these things sound like ways in which you could contribute, you can let us know in the Google Group, in the comments of this post, or in our Monday meeting.

    Our next meeting is next Monday 18:30UTC.

  • Chris Reynolds 6:29 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help,   

    AH-O₂ Update — 24 February, 2014 

    Help Overview refactoring
    @brainfork was going to work on this but didn’t have the time. He was able to review the code though, but no progress has been made. @trishasalas has stepped up to help out with this. They will be taking a look at the issues reported in this ticket (moving help footer over) as well as this ticket (text next to dashicons are not aligned vertically) and creating new tickets for any other issues that come up.

    Tooltip hover delay
    @clorith reported that the tooltips were sometimes taking the focus away from the actual item. he then submitted a pull request which has been merged that increases the hover delay. This will be included in the next version in the WordPress.org repository.

    Tooltip arrow positioning
    …is still an issue for some tooltips which is mostly to do with not having good selectors to work with (not everything in the WordPress admin has IDs or classes associated with them). @trishasalas is going to look at this, but since this could be done completely differently in core by just adding more specific ids to the things that need tooltips, I’ve given it a lower priority. @trishasalas may try to do at least one admin page, though, as a proof-of-concept.

    Because I can’t consider this plugin “done” (and therefore 1.0) until tooltips are on every page, and because we’re going to run out of digits if we keep going at the 0.x rate for every weekly update, and because looking at a plugin in the repo that has a 0.x version looks less like a completed entity than a 1.x release, we’ve agreed to tweak how the versioning is handled a bit to make better use of minor point release versions. Updates with minor fixes or new tooltips will be considered a 0.0.x release, more significant changes will be a 0.x release. There was some discussion about this that can be read in the logs, but the main reasoning is that it seems misleading to call something a 1.0 if it’s still incomplete (in this case, missing tooltips) and we’d be at a 1.0 in 4 weeks at our current rate.

    Admin Help Inventory spreadsheet
    @ubernaut will work on tackling the Pages…pages next in the spreadsheet having just finished filling out the Network Admin screens.

    @nikv has started work on adding tooltips to the comments page but that has not been merged into the plugin yet.

    Tooltips on Mobile
    We’ve decided to go with the tap-and-hold interaction for tooltips on mobile devices. This takes a lower priority to getting the tooltips in and no work has been done on it yet, but if someone would like to tackle it, let us know by commenting in the open ticket here: https://github.com/jazzsequence/WordPress-Admin-Help/issues/32

    The logging bot was having a fit, so here’s my copy of the logs from the meeting (the first 15 minutes are cut off, unfortunately): http://s3q.us/log/ah-o2-log-2014-02-24.html

  • Chris Reynolds 10:18 pm on February 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Admin Help,   

    AH-O₂ Update — 17 February, 2014 

    We’ll be releasing 0.7 this week. New in this update are initial tooltips for the sidebar menu items & tooltips on the Users pages.

    @brainfork Will be working on reworking the help overviews. This partially came out of this ticket, where it was determined that a restructure of how the overviews are marked up may be necessary.

    @ubernaut will continue to work on the spreadsheet with a focus on identifying areas for new tooltips. This makes it easier when adding the tooltips in the plugin to know where best to place them. The next area for focus for the spreadsheet will be the Network Admin screens. I recently opened the document up to anyone with a link to make it easier for people to jump in, flesh out areas that are bare, or claim admin pages to add tooltips to without requiring an owner to invite them to be able to edit the spreadsheet.

    @nikv has volunteered to help out with adding tooltips also.

    I’ve updated the tooltip documentation somewhat to add some additional details/guidance for adding new tooltips. Feedback (or edits) are welcome.


    One thing that wasn’t discussed this week (although there’s a ticket) is the fact that the arrow location for some tooltips is pointing to the wrong place. My suspicion is that this is largely a CSS issue (or an issue that can be solved with CSS) and anyone who wants to jump in and take a stab at that is welcome. There are a variety of places where this is the case and may need to be styled individually. The main issue is a lack of specific IDs/classes to hook the tooltips onto, which could be conceivably solved in core by adding specific classes/ids to those elements.

    Our next meeting will be next Monday 18:30UTC

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