Widgets Sept 23 Chat Notes

We had our weekly chat yesterday. If you weren’t there, you can always check out those cool log things.

A few highlights:

  • We adopted the Widget Customizer plugin as our customizer prototype
  • I tossed out the idea of a “mission control” view for the tabbed prototype, which would let you see all your sidebars at once. The goal with this is to make it easier to move (and maybe copy) widgets between sidebars. Check out the video of this concept in action.
  • We pondered the question “Can the tabbed prototype and the customizer prototype coexist?” Turns out every one seems to agree that both interfaces can coexist. The tabbed prototype lends itself to more advanced functionality with lots of widgets, while the customizer plugin makes it super simple to edit (and perhaps add) widgets to the areas that are currently visible in the preview.
  • I brought up the idea of a way to preview widgets from the tabbed prototype. Turns out this is difficult (and maybe impossible) to accomplish since we won’t know what page the sidebar lives on, or if it even exists. I’d love to find a way to make this possible.
  • Weston got his temporary hooks included in 25580 — yay! This opens up a lot of possibilities for the customizer plugin.
  • We discussed a few ideas for how to add widgets from the customizer. I whipped up a quick sketch showing an extension to the customizer bar.
  • We discussed cleaning up the list of available widgets. The tabbed prototype has renamed a few widgets, and removed the descriptions.
  • Weston brought up the idea of preview thumbnails for widgets. The thumbnails would show a preview of how that widget would look in the current theme. This would require that all widgets have some “dummy” content. Perhaps we could extend this to existing widgets, as well. Having a preview of each widget in the tabbed prototype may help solidify the connection to their location on the front-end. Super cool idea.
  • We discussed the menu-like prototype briefly. I’ve chatted with jtsternburg about his progress. He and his his wife recently welcomed their third child (and future blogger) into the world — congrats! As his time is limited, he’s unable to continue work on the menu-like prototype. He’ll be sharing his code soon, so we can pick it up and get it to a testable stage.

Our next steps:

  • Continued work on the customizer plugin, and lots more user testing.
  • Connect with the front-end team to see how we can collaborate with widget editing.
  • Pickup the menu-like prototype and get it to a testable stage.
  • Follow @lessbloat‘s lead and create a planning spreadsheet to help define tasks and roles.

I’ll be out of town next week. While I encourage everyone to meet in IRC, our next official meeting will be in two weeks on October 7th, 2013 @ 20:00 UTC.