Design meeting notes for June 27, 2018

Transcript of the whole meeting can be found in our Slack-channel.

Sketchpress and WP Admin Design System

Special topic: we spent a good portion of the meeting discussing how to bring together a few amazing Sketch resources that have been developed. The hope if that having one source of truth will make it easier to accelerate design for anyone working in the WordPress community. See Slack for the whole discussion but some highlight are noted here.

The resources and creators are:

  • @Sarah James from 10Up
  • @garusky from Milan
  • @Joen has an extensive Sketch file and library from his work on Gutenberg

Where will this live?

  • The SketchPress repo I created already has traffic and followers, so keeping it all in there might be good
  • A contributions file in the repo would be key to capturing all the efforts that would be merged into the single location
  • A solution is still being discussed…

How can we all contribute to this and help?

  • Let’s all be thinking about this

Triage Inbox

Nothing this week

Calls for design: follow-ups

@cathibosco requests to discuss the ‘Make a blog post‘ page design

  • Everyone agrees that subpages are a good design direction

Infographic of Training Team workflow

  • @estelaris shared that the simplified version is up in Trello and Training team will review and discuss which one they prefer

And that was all the time we had today.


Design meeting agenda for September 19, 2018

The weekly design meeting is Wednesdays at 17.00 UTC. If you have anything else to add, please comment below or mention it on our Slack channel.

Triage Inbox

See Inbox column on Trello board

Calls for design: follow-ups

See Calls for Design column on Trello board. Anything to be archived? Follow up on in-progress cards, etc. 

If time allows, follow-up on older cards

Filter Trello board for ‘needs discussion’ label. If none, triage any Trello cards that are not yet owned.



Design meeting agenda for September 5, 2018

The weekly design meeting is Wednesdays at 17.00 UTC (see it in your time). We’ll be discussing the topics below. If you have anything else to add, please comment below or mention it on our Slack channel.

Introduction round

A brief introduction round: who is who? So new and old contributors get to know each other and each other’s background

Contributing at WordCamps

What has been the experience of leading and attending the design table at contributor days at local WordCamps recently?

Triage Inbox

See Inbox column on Trello board

  • no new cards this week

Calls for design: follow-ups

See Calls for Design column on Trello board. Anything to be archived? Follow up on in-progress cards, etc. If time allows, see #needs-design tickets from Trac.

If time allows, follow-up on older cards

Filter Trello board for ‘needs discussion’ label. If none, triage any Trello cards that are not yet owned.


Design Meeting Notes for August 22, 2018

Today’s meeting agenda was a bit light, so we opened did open hours to allow for folks to chat about anything specific items. You can also read the Slack chat log.

Open Floor:

Designing “Create a blog” pages on

@cathibosco asked for feedback on the latest page designs for “Create a Blog”, great job Cathi! We discussed the pages that have been created so far and had some ideas for improving readability and breaking up the long (but important) copy on the pages. If you’re interested in giving feedback feel free to jump in!

Trello cards

We discussed several of the Trello cards briefly, but didn’t have a major update.

Contributor Day

@EstelaRueda asked for some ideas as she is planning for Contributor Day at WC Nijmegen next week. We discussed some great analog ways to get folks prototyping and sketching as they contribute to current design needs in WordPress. You can checkout the Slack chat to jump to that section. Specifically speaking for this event it was recommended to focus on improving the handbook for design.

And that’s it for today. If you want to get involved feel free to jump into Slack and weigh in. We’d love to have you!


Design Meeting agenda for July 25, 2018

Design meeting agenda for Wednesday July 25 at 17.00. We’re trying a more basic and open agenda, so if there’s anything you want to discuss, please add it to the comments below, or mention it on our Slack channel.

Triage Inbox

See Inbox column on Trello board. New requests for design made via the Make blog, Slack, etc. will be transferred to Inbox each week, along with any new cards that need to be acknowledged.

  • nothing new this week

Topic of the Week

  • Outreach

Open Floor

  • what needs discussion?


Design triage learning session on August 6th

During the weekly meeting a week ago, there was interest in having a video learning session using Zoom for design triage. This would be how to contribute using both Trac and also GitHub for Gutenberg. It is aimed at being for designers who want to learn more about what triage is and how to use Trac and GitHub, but anyone is welcome.

Some points suggested to cover are:

  • What the life is of a ticket or an issue.
  • What labelling means: specifically what ones designers need to know.
  • How trac works for tickets.
  • How GitHub works for Gutenberg issues.
  • How design triage sessions work.

The session with be on August 6th at 16:30 – 17:30 UTC. This will run instead of the usual triage session and be an hour long. Zoom will be used for the session over Slack, the idea being to ‘see’ and screen share.

A link will be given as a comment here and in #design before the start of the meeting. You will need to have the Zoom software installed to join.

In order to make this a session that everyone attending gains the most from I would love to know what you would like to see covered in this session. The session itself will have a format but questions along the way are most welcome.

Exploring the WordPress admin sidebar

At WordCamp Europe Contributor day we had some time (thanks to #no-wifi) to think through some unique problems facing WordPress.

One issue we discussed,, and which we want to share here to get others weighing in (don’t want this to be a situation where the folks at WordCamp come up with an idea and it ends there), is the sidebar in the WordPress admin. This discussion was initially shared in the Slack design channel, you can read the  full conversation there.

Our initial assumption (and to be clear, this is an assumption at this point), is that the sidebar could be improved.

Some of the thoughts that came up so far:  

  • What are ways we could improve the experience there? The labels in the sidebar are confusing to new users, are there ways we could improve this?
  • What’s working and what’s not working? For one, we don’t want to change anything merely for the sake of changing it, but looking into things and trying to find ways to improve is perfectly valid.
  • What should the experience look like when you have extra plugins installed? Some websites have 50+ plugins, with dozens of extra icons populating the sidebar, can this be improved somehow?
  • Are there ways to improve on the current spacing? Right now the sidebar is grouped into distinct areas (kind of) with a bigger space separating each group from each other.  

At Contributor day we came up with some initial suggestions for simplifying grouping in the sidebar. One question that was raised: what if there was a way to edit the sidebar experience as a user or admin of your WordPress website. Joy Reynolds shared an existing plugins that do just that.

If we pursue this further we need to identify the best way to do proper research to validate or invalidate any assumptions for what could be changed. In addition we could do analysis on other good sidebar interfaces, as well as introducing new folks to the current sidebar.

One of the challenges we’d face with this (which is perhaps just an opportunity) is that we don’t have great data on how the sidebar is being used currently. However, a lot can be done with just 5 users testing something out, so long as the tasks you’re giving them are very clear. Based on research from the Nielsen Norman Group, you only need 5 participants in a user test to uncover 85% of your usability problems.

At this point I’d love to hear any thoughts on next steps and if there’s further exploration that could be done here.



The design table at WordCamp Europe Contributor Day 2018

On Thursday, June 14th, WordCamp Europe 2018 kicked off with contributor day in Belexpo Centar in Belgrade, Serbia. It was the first time @joshuawold and myself co-lead the design table on this scale. With over 30 people signing up for contributing to WordPress design, we were pretty excited to start the day!

Preparing for contributor day as table leads

So how do you prepare for contributor day as table leads? As Monique had some experience from leading a design table at smaller WordCamps and Joshua had none, we were looking to find a way to prepare and make contributor day for design succeed. We had a few pre-contributor day chats with @karmatosed, an experienced design table lead. She really helped us to get started, thanks again for this. Besides Tammie, Milana who was involved in organising WordCamp Europe reached out to us and provided us with answers to questions we had. Besides this, we reached out to other table leads to see if they would benefit from having a designer at their table during contributor day to work on specific questions.

But what exactly does the WordPress design team do?

Two questions often asked are:

  • But what exactly does the WordPress design team do?
  • How can I deliver something tangible regarding WordPress design?

As a new contributor (I’ve only been active for less than a year), these were questions I had as well. Working on WordPress design isn’t often as tangible as resolving tickets and fixing bugs. It’s often more about discussing stuff and giving feedback on issues from a designers eye perspective. Sometimes, issues are years and years old and may never be implemented at all. This can be discouraging and frustrating, so one thing we worked on was setting expectations.

With design not being one of the first choices of people attending contributor day, we were still pleased with the 20+ people who took the effort to join the design table.

So a big thank you to Volker, Michiel, Marius, Tim, Estela, Davide, Ivan, Jayman, Tsotne, Roberto, Vincenzo, Rich, Daijel, Giuseppe, Jasper, Vasilis, Ana and all the others whose names we didn’t get. We loved working with you and hope to see you around online or at other contributor days.

People working at contributor day wordcamp europe 2018

Contributors to the design table at WordCamp Europe Contributor Day discussing some ideas

New contributors and experienced contributors

To have a quick start for attendees who contributed before, we decided to split the group in two: while Joshua onboarded new people, Monique discussed some existing tickets with contributors with more experience. To save some time and make people more familiar with Slack, we asked the contributors to introduce themselves in our Slack channel. Unfortunately, the wifi broke, which sort of sabotaged our ideas. However, Joshua started a sketching excersise to get the new group going. In the meantime, Monique remembered a ticket that was discussed with the accessibility team online. Together with the accessibility experts present in Belgrade, Tim, Jayman, Vasilis, and new contributors Rich and Jasper worked on some suggestions for a new way to display update notifications in a more accessible way. Together with Davide and David Needham from the training team, Estela gained some new insights on the infographic she had already been working on online.

So instead, we went for a different approach: we broke the group into two smaller groups and asked them the following questions:

What’s your biggest WordPress frustration? 

This resulted in some overlap, from where we got smaller groups of people started discussions and working on some ideas to improve parts of the WordPress user experience and user interface:

Why do you love WordPress?

  • Easy to use, anyone can work on WordPress in less than a day, very easy to do whatever we want because it’s open source
  • Despite the inconsistency, lots of things the users can do in the admin
  • SEO optimization is easy
  • Translating
  • Easy to work with customers/writers

What do you need to contribute?

  • Looking for a library for Gutenberg designs to build stuff around it.
  • We would want the editor to look the same on the front as it does on the backend.
  • We’d like a sketch file with all the possible design elements possible in Sketch for Gutenberg (it’s here, please take a look at SketchPress)

After lunch, wifi still wasn’t back online, which was a bit of a problem, since we wanted to introduce people to giving feedback on WordPress tickets from a design perspective, as this is a big part of the work we do. However, we still got the group to work on 4 tickets and moved the following forward: #35554, #40218, #29875, #42649.

Lessons learned from leading contributor day design table

We gained some valuable insights during our first time as design table leads we’d like to share here.

  • The interest we had from those who joined our tables was really encouraging
  • The ways we were able to support new folks (onboarding) as well as folks who have been here before (working on tickets that don’t get enough TLC online because of time issues)
  • The ideas we had for improving WordPress
  • How well things worked even without Wifi, lessons learned for next time (print out some trac tickets to bring with us)
  • The mini sketch workshop we were able to do – this really helped to get the right mindset and would be valuable to start with on other contributor days (bring sharpies & paper!)
  • The enthusiasm in the room (and for Joshua this was my first time at a major WordCamp, so he loved being able to get involved)
  • The continued challenge with how to get involved in Design when you don’t know what to do.
  • “Design” wasn’t on the list of top things or secondary things anyone wanted to help in. We think it’s ambiguous what we do, how can we make that more clear?
  • For non-native English speakers, contributing can be a problem since people are insecure and the language barrier can lead to misunderstanding. We should keep this in mind.

Again, thanks to everyone who attended. If you have anything you’d like to add to this post, please feel free to add a comment.



#contributor-day, #wceu

Design meeting agenda for June 20, 2018

The weekly design meeting is Wednesdays at 17.00 UTC (see it in your time). We’ll be discussing the topics below. If you have anything else to add, please comment below or mention it on our Slack channel.

Triage Inbox

See Inbox column on Trello boardNew requests for design made via the Make blog, Slack, etc. should be transferred to Inbox each week, along with any new cards that need to be acknowledged.

Calls for design: follow-ups

See Calls for Design column on Trello board. Anything to be archived? Follow up on in-progress cards, etc. Also see #needs-design tickets from Trac.

  • several in progress — any need discussion or help?

Items labeled ready to review in the meeting

Filter Trello board for ‘meeting’ label which means that some work has gone into the card, and we have enough detail to make a decision on it.

  • Nothing this week


Design team related

  • Thumbs up to all those who spoke or contributed at WordCamp Europe last week!
  • Anyone have insights to share?
  • Looks like Contribute Day produced some ideas around an WP-Admin onboarding page for beginners

If time allows, follow-up on older cards

Filter Trello board for ‘needs discussion’ label. If none, triage any Trello cards that are not yet owned.



Design meeting notes for May 30, 2018

The full transcript of this meeting is can be found on Slack.

Since last week, we slightly changed our meeting structure, starting with incoming calls for design. This way the actual design requests get more focus. When there’s time left, we discuss other topics or projects we’re already working on.

  • The core-php team requests design feedback on #43986.
    We discussed the screenshots and found there’s a lot of information in a small window. Summarized, we have a few suggestions that we will add as feedback to the ticket, together with a screenshot by @melchoyce, who originally designed the plugin cards.
  • The training team asks for an infographic for Github
    There’s a complicated workflow that the training team would like to clarify with an infographic. This ticket was adopted by @khleomix and new contributor@estelaris, props for that! Together with @juliekuehl, they will work on this.
  • The training team asks for design help for the site
    This website has not been used since 2013 and needs some TLC.  The training team reached out to the design team to redo the website. As this is a fairly large project, there’s no set expectation for finishing this soon. It will either be a project of months. We discussed breaking this project into smaller chuncks, starting with research. Props for new contributor Andi who picked up this call to do initial research in the week coming.

Final question comes from @joyously who asks if we ever triage UI/UX feedback for meta tickets

@karmatosed says we haven’t done for a while, since the list of core tickets got out of control. She suggests bringing this in once a month and asks if anyone is interested in leading this, but no decision on this follows. The list has been added to the feedback section of the design handbook, so if you want to work on one of the tickets async, feel free to take a look.

Thanks everyone for attending and making this an interactive and constructive meeting again.