We did some brainstorming at Dev Day today…

We did some brainstorming at Dev Day today around improving the Help and Screen Options tabs in the admin. Keep in mind nothing here is a final decision, just some exploration of what we thought would be easy wins to make these tabs more useful.

Here are the problems with them right now:

  • Most users are blind to these tabs.
  • The labels and positioning give little indication as to what these tabs actually do.
  • For a lot of users, Help is not that helpful.
  • They’re position in the admin creates yet another point of navigation for users to be aware of (and per #1, most of them aren’t).
  • The very wide container for text makes a lot of the help text difficult to read.

Here are some of the possibilities we brainstormed (see notes below image):


  • Adding icons to these tabs would (hopefully) both make these tabs more visible and give a better indication as to what these tabs too.
  • Moving these to the right side of the toolbar would give even more context to what these do, as they would be grouped with other user-specific settings.
  • (6) The toolbar dropdown would allow for a slimmer content area for better readability.
  • (7) The slimmer content area would let us make screen options read like a list for better scannability.
  • (4/5) Putting the gear on the upper right would standardise with several other web apps (Twitter, etc).

We discussed possible changes to the labels:

  • Screen Options -> Screen Preferences
  • Help -> Screen Help
  • (3) Removing the Screen Options label altogether and only showing the icon (since the gear icon is so universally recognised). Possible expanding this to Help.

I did a hi-fi mockup of what the new Help dropdown might look like:

#help, #screen-options