Calls for design page created

We now have a calls for design page which collects all the requests we get and shows that status. The goal behind this is to make sure we don’t ever lose a request and also have things people can go to when looking to contribute.

This is a very much v1 attempt at this, iterations welcome! We will have it added to the menu as an item soon. If you also know of something you’d like to have added, let us know! You can let us know by dropping into #design in Slack, in the weekly meetings, the weekly meeting agenda posts and even by commenting on this post here! So many ways you can let us know, so please do! We want to make sure we don’t miss any chance to help as a team.

Community summit 2017 discussion points

The summit is approaching and we need to have a series of discussion points. Over this week, lets get points and then vote in next week’s meeting.

From the blog:

1) Each project team creates a list of relevant topics/issues which are relevant for the progress of the team and the WordPress open source project as a whole, prioritizing topics or tasks which are sensitive enough to specifically require in-person discussion.

2) Each team rep will post their final discussion topic list on the Community Summit blog: Deadline: December 20th

This week’s design meeting agenda for December 8th

This week’s chat is happening Thursday December 8th 17:00 UTC

This weeks agenda is currently:

  • WCUS recap: what did we get up to?
  • Community Summit: we need to start working on topics for this.
  • Designer on-boarding: lets at least start to think about how we can make this better for people.
  • Open floor…. anything anyone has to bring up after the release or going into next point release?

If anyone has other tickets the needs attention or other matter for the meeting, feel free to leave a comment with it.

See you in the #design channel in Slack!

Design at WordCamp US 2016

At WordCamp US in Philadelphia the Design group gathered to consider consumer trends that are shaping the future of publishing. Christina Strommer, Sara Cannon, Ashley Urunkar, Michele Mizejewski, Christopher Moyé, Emily Kessleman, Arlen Byrd, Aina Moyé, Miriam Selzle, Sonja Leix, Mel Choyce, Hugo Baeta, Mark Uraine, Michael Arestad, and a few other Open Source designers all contributed their expertise and time to the process.

We started with an informal survey of our respective computing setups circa 2010, which included:

  • CD-Drives
  • Adobe software
  • Heavy laptops
  • Hot laptops
  • Keyboard/mouse dominant
  • ISDN lines and slow network
  • More Windows boxes than Macs
  • Color accuracy issues
  • Never enough memory
  • A lot of crashing and system failure
  • Firewire / large hard disks
  • Saving all the time

which I’m sure brings back a few memories for folks who were active professionally back then. When reflecting on what we use today, we use light, cooler laptops with large, high-resolution screens with plenty of memory working in tandem with smartphones (and smartwatches). Software like Sketch has become predominant in what was an Adobe-only universe; mice are less common than they were in the past. And we don’t think about CD-ROMs anymore because we have the Cloud.

We then discussed what we knew of: 1/ computing before 2010, and 2/ computing in 2016+, as impacting less-techy-y Millennials and Boomers. We placed our focus on these two groups of people because they are demographically large, and also unlike ourselves ourselves — and it gave us an opportunity to design inclusively.

Some pre-2010 attributes that we gathered:

Younger Folks
(our children, nieces, nephews)

Older Folks
(our parents, aunts, uncles)
Facebook (to escape home)
Downloading music
iPads and iPods
Download movies / YouTube still too slow
“How do I do things on the Internet?”
Trying to connect devices
Uploading photos
Internet as a way to find obscure guitar music
Playing Solitaire
Using MS Word/apps learned from work
Looking for information
E-mail as a social network
Acceptable to have a reply 5 days ago
Skyping the grandkids

Some 2016+ attributes that we gathered:

Younger Folks
(our children, nieces, nephews)

Older Folks
(our parents, aunts, uncles)
Secret communication
Anonymity and having a personality online
High basic computer literacy
Touch screen
Small screen is *my* screen
On mobile
Not on a desktop
Constant communicating
Hunt for trends. Shopping = shopping.
Easier to generate snackable content
Seeking validation online
Not having a phone is no longer acceptable
Sending animated GIFs
YouTube / Netflix
AR Pokémon
Mobile phones / my iPhone
Get news quickly
LinkedIn as work
Loving my Nest / IoT
Pinterest as so successful
Stay in touch with friends that lost track of on Facebook
Hunt for bargains. Shopping = buying.
Not owning a camera / just a phone
iPhone enabled transition from “I don’t understand it.” to “I get it.”
Mother was an iPad native so iPhone was easy
Browsers didn’t feel safe; apps feel safer
(iPad was gateway to email for older folks)
Sending animated GIFs
YouTube / Netflix
AR Pokémon

Where this all led to was an audit of how we handle: 1/ photos, 2/ video, and 3/ audio media types. We determined that handling photos needs to be prioritized as a first-class datatype, and we should de-prioritize video and audio for now. Currently photos are an attachment to a text post; but that kind of thinking lives in the older world of primarily text-based posts and when images were scarce. Today with smart phones we now have cameras everywhere, and thus we’ve entered a world of “image accompanying main texts” to “text accompanying main images.”

We also considered the mobile experience as changing what it means to be “well designed.” We’ve moved from a world that prioritizes visual assets and sophisticated navigation capabilities, to one instead that requires speed in performance with minimal visual styling. We’re excited by the opportunity afforded by the REST API to transform our existing notion of themes to behave more like this React-based one that uses the REST API.

Mike Schroder and Joe McGill from the Core Media group dropped by and we were happy to have two new friends who we can work with to think through how to advance the approach we might want to take using photos in WordPress, especially for mobile.

Key insights to takeaway:

  • Millennials started off in technology with curiosity (play); Boomers started off feeling it a necessity (email).
    Example: “For younger folks, computing was a way to goof off using games and also a way to stay away from your parents while at home by using Facebook.”
    Example: “My parents knew computers as useful for word processing, and as a way to e-mail their long lost relatives.”
  • Boomers are now the ones who are curious; Millennials are now the one who have made tech a necessity.
    Example: “If you’re 10 and don’t have a smart phone, you’re put down by your peers. The pressure to maintain an online presence is high — and goes beyond your school group.”
    Example: “My mother can’t live without their iPhone — they’re always on it to be connected, and the iPhone makes them feel smart. The previous generation of technology made them feel dumb.”
  • On the one hand, the younger generation wants “likes” as a way to appeal to their vanity; on the other hand, the older generation is looking to be connected. It’s the overlap of vanity and connectedness that is interesting.

Designers of WordPress unite!

During our weekly meeting the subject of how we need to unite all designers around the WordPress project came up. Our weekly meetings often focus more on core, that’s an important part of what we do, but it’s not all we do.

Are you a designer working on meta projects? Maybe you work on support, handbooks or for the community? Whatever you work on, now is the time to unite and make the work you do a little bit more visible. The first step is an open invite to come join us at the weekly meetings on Slack in #design Thursday 17:00 UTC.

Along with coming to the meeting, please use the comments to let us know areas that need contributions. At WCUS the design team want to give contributors options across all of the project. You can help us by showing what areas need designers and highlighting current work going on.

Let’s unite as designers across the entire WordPress project and help each other.

Dashicons call for help

In our weekly design meeting @empireoflight came into the meeting to ask for help. They need help both adding icons and also technical help from developers.

@ryelle pointed the following:

anyone interested in helping out can check out the overview, which also has a “where you can help” section

If you want to help you can also drop into their Slack channel #design-dashicons.

Design chat summary November 17

This is the design chat summary on November 17th. (Slack log).

In attendance was myself, @melchoyce, @hugobaeta, @celloexpressions, @empireoflight and @ryelle.

We discussed the following:

  • We will not be changing the meeting to reflect daylight saving hours.
  • Team reps: until today we’ve informally done this but now @hugobaeta and myself will be team reps officially. We will review and nominate the next rep(s) during the summit.
  • Structure: we talked a bit about the direction of the team. Should we be just core or should we be for the entire project? It seemed to fall that it was entire project but as part of this we need outreach.
  • Outreach: a post will be written to call on other teams to get involved so we can start getting input from all areas of design on .org. Unite all the designers!
  • WCUS: as part of outreach we need to get things to work on from all areas needing designers for the contribution day.
  • Community summit points to raise: we will have this as a point of discussion and focus during the contributor day.

It was a great and active chat! Thanks everyone for participating. See you next week on Thursday November 24th, 17:00 UTC!

Weekly chat agenda November 17

This week’s chat is happening Thursday November 17 17:00 UTC

This weeks agenda is currently:

  • Should we change meeting time for daylight saving?
  • WCUS coming up: what projects should we get the team to work on? A large portion of us are going to be there.
  • About page. @melchoyce do you need any of our help there?
  • Team reps: we currently have @hugobaeta and myself doing close to that role. Are there any objections to us both becoming reps and formalising what we do? The thinking here is this helps with points of contact and contribution days.
  • Community summit 2017 in Paris. There was a post about collating a list of things to bring up then working out who we wanted there. We should start on that list as deadline is December 20th.
  • Open floor.

If anyone has other tickets the needs attention or other matter for the meeting, feel free to leave a comment with it.

See you in the #design channel in Slack!

4.7 Beta 1 User Testing in the Customizer and with Twenty Seventeen

I ran four users through some tasks in the customizer with 4.7 beta 1 and Twenty Seventeen. The format was pretty free, but due to time considerations I gave them some level of direction at times. Arim, Kai, and Triet participated in the previous testing for customizer themes, Teresa was using WordPress for the first time.



  • Bug: add menu items not closed when clicking in preview
  • Can’t see whether an external link in a menu actually works
  • No easy path to cropping a currently selected header image, but she found a way.
  • Doesn’t understand a lot of the theme feature filter options (she lists specifics!)
  • Header video (from YouTube) didn’t work for her at first, this was actually a ticket with a patch somewhere regarding broken selective refresh I think (it showed up after a full refresh).
  • Clicks the customizer close button a lot, before realizing that that’s not how you go back.
  • “How would I put something in the second column if I use the two column layout”
  • Bug: she hit an infinite loop in the customizer preview 🙁 Not sure why.
  • Previewing video on device preview is broken in Twenty Seventeen. Also, can we hide the video when entering device preview modes to reflect that it’s not displayed? That could probably be done with CSS.
  • Thought that the logo being “bigger” (relative to the size of the screen/video) on smaller screens was weird.
  • Expected more to change with custom colors in Twenty Seventeen. But thinks it’s more aesthetically pleasing the way it works.
  • After recording, she said she likes the idea of having a video header, and also being able to use a YouTube video was really helpful. She likes that there’s an option to use an .mp4 directly, but feels like she’d have access to a YouTube video more often.
  • Thinks the placeholder is actual text in the custom css textarea.
  • I knew that she knows what CSS is, so I had her try changing something. She wasn’t successful, but felt like she could do it if she cared enough and appreciated that there was a way to do it.



  • Calling a menu “top” implies that it’s shown at the top of the screen and was confusing, since it’s at the bottom of the screen. This led to menu locations confusion.
  • Edit shortcuts: “that’s cool”. Wants them to just be there without clicking.
  • Weird that you can’t edit the titles of dummy content pages. This conflicts with the usefulness of being able to create new pages within the customizer – you have to create a new one, but then also have to figure out how to delete the old one.
  • Also tries static front page well before theme options to get to the front page section options.
  • Bug: something went wrong with save/publishing – but the content came back when she re-opened the customizer. It looks like the front page options got cleared.
  • Add new page under each option is confusing, thinks it’ll add another front page content section.
  • Menu locations are confusing, but “display location” helps a little bit.
  • Prefers edit shortcuts over finding options in the section/panel navigation.
  • Even on this very large screen, the feature filter has far too many options.
  • “They’re all like shopping themes”. She was browsing in the “portfolio” subject.
  • Didn’t see any major issues with the theme installer.
  • Has concerns about not being able to really see a demo of themes with content.



  • Conceptually, icons and shift-click make sense, but the details get confusing. For widgets with a list of categories, it’s unclear that the individual categories are coming from the widget instead of being able to be edited directly. The difference between widgets and menus led to the confusion here, I think.
  • Can’t find static front page section, even when prompted with specific terminology. Granted, this was testing on a random test site with a bunch of imported content that may have added to the confusion.
  • Doesn’t know where to click to edit different content. Preview vs. controls areas are very unclear to him.
  • Was generally confused by the fact that not everything could be edited with the icons, leading to confusion about how to edit other things on the site.
  • The front page sections in Twenty Seventeen made sense once he was directed to them. Again, the content on the test site led to some confusion.
  • Found selecting text as the way to show/hide icons, as opposed to clicking. Wasn’t able to figure it out even with some hints.
  • After he stopped the recording he suggested having outlines on the site for what areas can be edited, with edit icons there and being able to edit in the preview instead of having to switch between the site and the controls “bar”.
  • Bug: Front page section placeholders are shown before changing the sections in Twenty Seventeen.


(video is hopefully coming soon, there were some issues with her computer saving the recording)


  • I started her from a clean install to test starter content.
  • Her computer/internet was really slow, so keep that in mind. (it was her computer, not WP)
  • She also hit an infinite reload.
  • Can’t find a way to remove content from a front page section in Twenty Seventeen.
  • Looks in static front page for front page sections, eventually find it in theme options but says it was confusing. We should reconsider the placement and naming of these.
  • No issues with browsing/installing themes.

Action Items

Some initial changes we need to make that I noted during the tests:

  • We need a better link for custom CSS help.
  • For CSS, we can add validation if someone pastes in a `<font>` or some sort of markup with a `style=` attribute, and provide a more useful user feedback message that whatever they pasted isn’t actually CSS.
  • The “randomize” options for custom headers shouldn’t show up unless there’s more than one image.
  • Menu item screen options are all enabled by default. They should all be disabled by default. This is a regression, possibly dating to 4.3.
  • Dummy content doesn’t show up in available nav menu items. That fees like a bug.
  • Based on these results, it would make more sense to put the front page section controls in the static front page section than in theme options in Twenty Seventeen.

#4-7, #custom, #customize, #theme, #theme-install, #theme-switcher, #twenty-seventeen

Design chat agenda for November 3

This week’s chat is happening Thursday November 3 17:00 UTC

This weeks agenda is currently an open floor. How is beta going for everyone in design? Anything anyone wants to talk about?

If anyone has other tickets the needs attention or other matter for the meeting, feel free to leave a comment with it.

See you in the #design channel in Slack!