Weekly dev chat summary for Dec 26, 2012

Since most of the team is away celebrating the holidays today this week’s meeting was a little different. Basically Noel Tock and I discussed a responsive admin instead of going through the usual. A summary of this chat is here, you can also read the chat log.

We discussed the need for a responsive admin and the different ways we can go about it. In the end we were pretty much in agreement over how we think it should be done, but acknowledged that it’ll most likely be up to the UI team to figure out a plan and decide how we should go about the project. What we suggest though is the following:

  1. Define screen resolutions we want to focus on (and understanding that the UI should be fluid beyond the pre-defined grid)
  2. Wire up general concepts around key elements and their break points (ex admin bar, navigation) and get a discussion going
  3. Start working on any low-hanging fruit that comes out of these discussions – an easy win is a big win since the release cycles are long
  4. Wireframe and discuss individual pages from the top down, starting with the pages that would have the most impact for mobile users (ex Comments list, Posts/Post Editor, Settings pages). Start individual tickets and have teams for each page.

For instance it would be a huge win to create a working navigation for screens at 480px or less, regardless of the responsiveness of page responsiveness in the admin. [Editor's note: IMO this should definitely be a priority for 3.6 if we had to pick just one thing to make the mobile experience better. Maybe coupled with a collapsable admin bar.]

We also discussed the need to clean up the markup of the admin. In our mind this project can not be about creating more CSS and more JS to “deal with” small screens, but rather a chance to rethink key elements of the admin and make sure they’re implemented in the best way possible from the ground up – for all screen sizes. This is something that’s been brought up in many other discussions about the responsive admin in the past as well.

Noel is interested in helping out on the technical side once there’s work to be done.

Next dev chat

The next dev chat will be a regular one and we’ll have it on Jan 2, 2013 at 16:00 UTC as usual. Mark your calendar and join us in #wordpress-mobile on Freenode.