Discussion: About the About page

For each new major WordPress release, a unique “About” page is created that showcases features from that release cycle. It’s a chance to provide an overall summary of what’s new. As a fairly self-contained project (in scope as well as time), the About page could offer an opportunity for design contributors to support the release of a new iteration of WordPress.

However, there are currently some challenges in the process of designing this page:

  • The code of the About page is complicated and limiting. This means that the designer working on it often has to partner with a front-end developer aware of the various constraints, and not many front-end developers with that knowledge are available.
  • Each new release’s design is often done by one designer, without a unifying guide. This can result in either stagnation of style, or huge stylistic changes between releases.
  • There is also very little documentation on how to get involved and work on the About page.
  • The design and development happens in Trac, so you either need to find the ticket there or spot it in a core chat, to know the process is underway… and then you need to be comfortable working with Trac.
  • It’s hard to contribute, both for the reasons above and because often, the page is created in the last week of the release cycle.

This all sounds a bit bleak, so let’s talk about how we could fix it! 

Let’s start by having a discussion about what we, as a design team, can do to make this process streamlined, clearer, and easy to get involved with.

I have a few discussion points to get us thinking:

  • What if the CSS system was rebuilt from the ground up, using components, so it’s easier to develop each release?
  • What if we used a unified style or theme for design moving forward? Maybe it could draw on the WordPress jazz heritage?
  • What if that style was translated into a style guide anyone could use in the future?
  • What if, at the beginning of every new release cycle, a call for an About page designer was put out?
  • Your awesome idea here!

Let’s continue the discussion in the comments. In a week, I’ll summarize the discussion and post the next steps.