Preparing the About Page

Every WordPress release has an About page. It is shown to users after they finish updating to the new version and includes what the new features are and who contributed to making them.

This is a great marketing opportunity as lots of people get to see this page. It would be fun to have each major About page customized by one of the designers in the WordPress community (otherwise, we fall back on an existing design).

This trend started with WordPress 4.7, you can view the previous designs on Figma: https://www.figma.com/file/LrjiQZDts99EakxvZ6YcuMIr/About-Page

If you want to create a page like this, here are the steps to follow:

Steps Steps

  • Know your deadline: Work on the About page starts once the release reaches BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 1 and should be complete by RC1.
  • Create a ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker. for the About page kick-off, like this: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/46901
  • Clearly state what steps are:
    • Coordinate between release leads and either marketing or a copywriter to draft initial page copy
      • Draft in a google doc so multiple people can write and suggest edits
      • Check-in with release leads about headline features
      • Check-in with any feature leads if you’re unclear about details
      • Go through Beta posts on /news/ to populate features and find copy inspiration
      • Go through dev notesdev note Each important change in WordPress Core is documented in a developers note, (usually called dev note). Good dev notes generally include: a description of the change; the decision that led to this change a description of how developers are supposed to work with that change. Dev notes are published on Make/Core blog during the beta phase of WordPress release cycle. Publishing dev notes is particularly important when plugin/theme authors and WordPress developers need to be aware of those changes.In general, all dev notes are compiled into a Field Guide at the beginning of the release candidate phase. on make/coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. to populate developer happiness section
      • Make sure to go through the features of GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ and create a section to call it out with “new editor feature this release.”
    • Create images — could be illustrations, icons, or screenshots
    • Finalize copy (after release leadRelease Lead The community member ultimately responsible for the Release. last review)
    • Finalize design
    • Get the page made up
    • Test the page in various browsers, checking for image quality
  • Release Post (for those leading a release)
    • Draft new post on wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org//news
    • Copy content over from the About page
    • Add images, changing size, alignment, or positioning to fit the blogblog (versus network, site) layout
    • Pass off to release lead to include credits shortcodeShortcode A shortcode is a placeholder used within a WordPress post, page, or widget to insert a form or function generated by a plugin in a specific location on your site. and release name
    • Get the musician’s name from the release squad lead.
    • Post slug should be wp.org/news/yyyy/mm/musician.
    • Keep the post with an “album cover” feel.

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Copy Copy

  • Audience: WordPress users and practitioners who are not active in contributing. Assume non-technical.
  • Purpose: To highlight the immediately interesting things and inspire people to experiment and/or learn more. Assume no need to sell WordPress to them.
  • Property: WordPress software
  • Assets: Assume that the copy flow will follow the design flow.
  • Voice: Aim for the positive side of neutral, though you can go all the way to cheerfully American Southern. Not a sales-y voice, since these are people already using WordPress.

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Design  Design 

The About Page has a set framework and it is not meant to be redesigned from scratch each release.

The layout should be considered a stack of containers, which can be 1-4 columns. The content in the columns can be anything — text, video, images, embeds, etc. These containers can have no background color, a “subtle” background color, or “accent” background color (these change with each About page using colors from the headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. feature). Columns can also have one of these background colors. Containers are stacked on top of each other to create the page.

Wondering why the About Page is not done in the blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor? The biggest blockerblocker A bug which is so severe that it blocks a release. is translations. Every string on the page is wrapped in a translationtranslation The process (or result) of changing text, words, and display formatting to support another language. Also see localization, internationalization. function, with additional translation notes as needed. We’d need to find a way to do that with Gutenberg as well. 

Some items to watch for:

  • The header has the most freedom. It can have a design element background or text effect. Check that it is accessible.
  • Images, illustrations, and videos are allowed in the content.
  • There can be 1, 2, 3, or 4 columns and have a colored background.
  • For tech requirements, look here: https://gist.github.com/ryelle/91ef6cd84a197b6af880dc055be21cc9
  • Talk to @ryelle about it. She is in charge of coding and committing the About Page.

Examples of how the boxes can look like:

Images and Videos Images and Videos

There are requirements for images and videos.

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Images Images

For better understanding see the image below, some things to consider:

  • Images can be edge-to-edge or have a 32px padding on all four sides.
  • We don’t recommend putting images or videos in 3 & 4-column containers.
  • Images and videos resize a bit on mobile.

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Videos Videos

For accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), if the video has voice audio, a text equivalent needs to be provided. If the video shows a flow or action being performed, then the process needs to be described in the text. The key thing is remembering the target audience for the description and that they need to get the same level of information from the description as a sighted audience gets from watching.

What matters is that it’s clear that the video’s description is associated with the video. figure/figcaption would probably suffice there. The figcaption should be connected to the figure using aria-labelledby; this is required to support IE11.

Tech reqs

  • Videos must be 480 px wide  (in general, most users will see this video at 436px wide, large phone sizes might see it up to 488px)
  • The space for a full-width video is 936px wide, and for a wider 2 column layout is 602px.
  • Record using Kap (this is different than the recommendation in the post but @joen recommended this instead of Screeny)
  • Convert .mov files to .mp4 using FFMPEG. Kap does appear to have the ability to export as MP4 and WebM though. Using that is preferable to converting if it works well.
  • How to: Good UI demo videos

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