Dashboard plugin

Overview

The dashboard screen (the page with QuickPress, and Right Now stats) hasn’t been touched in ages. It’s all a bit cluttered, and based on my limited research it does a poor job of brining value to the majority of users. I’d like to explore some fresh ideas for ways to make the dashboard not only informational, but actionable for users.

Some data

I posted a survey to make/core last week asking a couple of questions specifically around the dashboard page design. In total we had 438 responses. A huge thank you to everyone who participated! Here are the results:

1. What portions of the dashboard do you like, and use every day? View 366 answers

4. What sort of modifications do you typically make to the dashboard (for yourself or for clients), and why? View 373 answers

5. If you could wave a magic wand, what types of things would you show on the dashboard? View 340 answers

It’s worth mentioning that this data is fairly biased, as the responses came mostly from the development community. With that said, there is still a great deal of insight here.

Insights

I’ll list a few things I learned from this data. I’d love to hear your reaction in the comments below. Let me know whether you agree/disagree with these conclusions:

A) As it stands, the majority of users find the existing default dashboard fairly cluttered and useless. We should look at which widgets might be better to start off disabled on a fresh WordPress install.

B) If possible, we should look to expand on the “Right Now” widget to provide even more information about your blog. One easy win would be to show all custom post types and taxonomies totals by default.

C) It might pay off to look into adding a “quick links” section with links to the areas of the admin that you visit most often. Making these links easily customizable on a per user basis would be a nice win.

D) It might be convenient to add an array option to wp-config which allows you to quickly disable dashboard widgets without having to mess with any additional code.

E) WordPress is used in a lot of different ways (mostly as a CMS, as a blog, or as both of those combined). It would be cool to figure out a way to determine how a user intends to use WordPress right when they first start, and then to do some stuff behind the scenes to simplify their intended experience based on which option they selected.

Next steps

In the comments please indicate:

1) If you have interest in working on this plugin
2) Your reactions to the insights mentioned above (A-E)
3) Any additional thoughts you have regarding the dashboard re-design

Once we figure out who is interested, we can set up a regular meeting time.