Project: Reviewing WordPress Components

What are WordPress Components?

Put simply, WordPress Components are the set of UI elements that make up the Block Editor and other projects. You can find them in the Gutenberg GitHub repo or in the Block Editor Handbook.

As I’ve mentioned in our team chats over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on reviewing WordPress Components. To help make sure as many people can be involved as possible, I’m summarizing the work so far in this post.

Background

Along with a new editing experience, the Gutenberg project has created a growing library of UI components like buttons, menus, and text fields. Although these components were introduced with the Block Editor, they’re generic enough to be useful in various contexts outside of it. I hope that we see them being used more throughout WordPress.

Opportunity

There’s an opportunity to make sure these components are flexible enough for all WordPress experiences, not just the Block Editor. In a related issue on GitHub, @matveb mentions that the components are now at a point where they can be re-examined in a long-term, holistic way. I think the Design team can help with that.

There’s one focus in particular where we can have an immediate impact — a component review.

Component review

A component review is what I’ve been focusing on the past few weeks. It’s a check of each component to evaluate naming, properties, and documentation. I’ve also noted gaps that could prevent the components from being useful. While this review isn’t necessarily visual design, it does help provide design guidelines for future work.

Specifically, this is what I’ve been checking and documenting:

  • Naming, composition, structure, and visual properties (e.g. “size” and “appearance” options for Button).
  • Expanded guidelines for design, development, and accessibility.

For more information on the basics of one of these reviews, and for some examples, check out the links under “How to get involved”.

How to get involved

Ready to get started? There are a couple of different paths to choose from:

  1. Design and Semantics: the most immediate need is feedback on the issues in the “Needs feedback” column of the GitHub project.
  2. Documentation: be on the lookout for issues labeled with “[Type] Documentation” in the coming days.

Right now the review aims to just get the basics right, but the Gutenberg project and its components are an opportunity to inform the future design of WordPress. Some discussions that started in the Gutenberg project have been a catalyst for change in the rest of WordPress. For example, icons that were designed for the Editor sparked a discussion to revamp Dashicons, the icons used in WP Admin. If you want to have an impact in this way, the component review is a great place to start!

I hope this excites you as much as it excites me! Please leave a comment on this post or join the #design Slack channel if you have any questions.

#wordpress-components