This week’s editor meeting agenda for March 29th

This week’s chat is happening Wednesday March 29 19:00 UTC. Edit: Due to an unfortunate typo by yours truly, this weeks meeting was kept very short. More details here.

The agenda is:

  • Work is proceeding fast on the editor plugin. Anyone have something to share or discuss?
  • Anyone have test results to share?
  • With DST here, is there a better time for the weekly meeting?
  • Anything else?

As a reminder, day to day work happens in the GitHub repository. Feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss anything people want.

See you in the #core-editor channel in Slack! ✨

Initial Gutenberg prototype editor testing

There is a UI prototype now for testing, this is a call for people to start that. If you want to test you can find Gutenberg here.

How to test?
You can test in any way you want. You can test yourself and also test others. You can take images, audio or video. If you do create a video don’t forget to pull out those bugs, action points and do a summary. Cutting smaller videos out is also really useful.

Questions you can ask:

  • (on first look) Can you explain in words what each section does?
  • Can you write a paragraph of text? How does it feel? What are your thoughts?
  • Can you add an image? How does it feel? What are your thoughts?

Reporting:

  • If you find a bug please report it in this repo.
  • You can also leave results from your user testing either as a comment here, or you can link to a blog post.

As specific things need testing, further posts like this can be made.

Thanks to @folletto and @joen for helping with this post.

Edit: as mentioned by @grappleulrich, this is very much in the early stages as a prototype. If you find an issue though please report it on the repo and also focus on how the flows work at this point.

What makes a great editor?

The editor will be a big focus in 2017, so let’s chat about what makes a great editor. Perhaps it’s good to look at what’s there, and compare that with the goals we mean to achieve:

The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Here’s what the editor looks like today, with everything enabled:

editor screenshot

Obviously not all of that is ever shown to users, but a lot of it is. Even then, it’s not immediately obvious just how many things you can actually embed right out of the box in WordPress, which is what mystery meat embed discovery refers to.

And so when looking at how to improve the editor to both improve but also surface the wealth of features already there, we’ll need to add new UI. To balance that out in an already busy configuration, we need to find a way to also reduce and revisit existing UI, so we don’t end up with something overwhelmingly complex. That could mean combining where we can, minimizing where we can, deprioritizing in places, and freeing up space as much space as we can.

There are many ways to get there. Since WordPress accomodates a lot of workflows, it’ll be a fun challenge to improve things for as many as we can, so we’ll need to discuss and research.

To kick things off, let’s discuss editor improvements! What’s on your wishlist for an improved editor?

Feel free to share here, and please also join us in #core-editor. We’re holding weekly meetings in Slack, Wednesdays at 19:00 CET. The next one is today, Wednesday January 11th 19:00 CET. Join in the fun!

Customizer survey results

A little while ago a Customizer survey was run. A series of questions were asked and now the results are in.

The survey had 50 responses in the end, all take anonymously through the form in the post.

How often do you use the Customizer on your existing sites?

Summary of this:

53% never or rarely use the Customizer
39.3% use it frequently (ranging from monthly, weekly to daily)
7.8% tend to only use it on the first time they set up a site

Quotes:

“The single column interface makes the options panels extremely long forcing you to scroll for pages when there are more than just a couple of options. When creating the initial concept for the Customizer the Core devs & designers obviously didn’t take into account real world themes.”

“I rarely use it myself but my clients do a lot.”

“Every time I have to change part of the design. My theme uses customizer very heavily.”

“Only if I’m using a commercial or pre-built theme”

What do you use the Customizer for?

Summary chart:

Others 3 or less votes:

Breakdown where people picked more than one (number of people denoted to right, colors have no meaning apart from showing individual responses):

Quotes from this section:

“as little as I possibly can. If the client is used to it from previous sites, I will put theme style options in there. But I prefer to use ACF Options for that so I can put it someplace (and name it something) the client will remember.”

“Pretty much all design implementation…”

“Setting up site styles like colors, fonts, logos, etc. (Worth noting that I do a lot of this in the customizer because it’s the only place those settings are offered!) “

“Setting up theme styling, redesigning, setting up sites, etc. Very useful for quick changes like a new header image to change up the look. Wish you could edit everything there instead of going elsewhere to edit content too.”

“I’ve tried it on several occasions. On a recent build tried it for constructing the menus, I had issues with the custom links not saving for whatever reason.”

“Nothing. Why? I’m not sure where the modifications are stored and how compatible it is with my theme so I am hesitant to use it for fear of creating a conflict.”

“I still find it easier to edit menus in the admin interface instead of in the customizer”

“I try to disable it”

“I’ve used it once on a client website. A jquery issue was preventing widgets from opening. The only way to make edits was via the customized.”

“Never use it. Find it annoying and unnecessary.”

Have you downloaded and plugins that add new functionality to the Customizer? What for?

Other 1 vote:

Quotes:

“Maybe, not sure how they’d interact with the customizer”

“I have not installed one myself, but I have used themes that uses kirki. I guess the author found it easier to use kirki than to add their options manually using the standard customizer api.”

“Yes. The Events Calendar adds their new color settings there. That’s nice. I tried the Styles plugin a long time ago and found it absolutely overwhelming. That’s a great example of what I’d like the Customizer to *not* end up like.”

Do you use themes that add new functionality to the Customizer? What kinds of features do they add?

Other 2 or less votes:

Quotes:

“I don’t know, I never check. I prefer Theme Options.”

“Yes, Twenty Fifteen and Twenty Seventeen.”

“I only use themes I code myself. All of them disable the customizer.”

“Yes. Common options include showing excerpts or full content, changing accent colors (more colors than header text color and background color), changing fonts. But also changing layouts like full width, boxed layouts and sidebar position. I tend to avoid themes that adds a lot of content areas in the customizer like “service” sections etc, because they are more difficult to set up and make changes to.”

“Almost all of the themes I use add stuff to the customizer, sometimes colors or layouts and always widgets, menus, logos, etc.”

“I have looked into writing some customizer code myself, but didn’t really want to spend the time learning new stuff at the moment.”

“I tend toward the Twenty X themes and Automattic themes. I really liked the new addition of the Content Options where supported by themes (like Shoreditch).”

“TwentySeventeen adds some home page content layout. It’s worth noting I installed TwentySeventeen for three different friends (not “WordPress” insiders) and not one of them could figure out how to setup the home page on their own. I only figured it out be finding a tutorial on WPMU.”

“We have a set of core options we set through customizer through our starter / parent theme, such as which type of menu to us, whether to use content of excerpt for content pages, etc. Then our child themes add extra options, such as 404 page content. Also, setting default featured images, and client data (address, phone number, etc) so it can be managed in one central location.”

Is there anything in the Customizer you can’t live without?

Other 2 of less votes:

Quotes:

“Instant refresh I like the quick feedback you receive when setting up a sites options.”

“I wish there was another way to add pictures for headers.”

“i love the customizer. it’s very easy to use. also i prefer to make these kind of adjustments through the wp backend instead of using specific theme functionalities.”

“I need colors with alpha.”

“It’s a visual feedback for theme settings”

“No, it’s purely a bonus.. Albeit a bit one. Options could be elsewhere, but this is a good place.”

“Not for the moment. It is just not powerful enough yet.”

“Most of what’s there (except for themes that add excessive options), wish it did more.”

“Besides the site image? No not really. Although I do like the live preview of edits.”

“Honestly: no. It’s nice to see live previews sometimes, but I would do just fine with the same settings in the admin.”

“I could live without the customizer forcing the tablet breakpoint in preview.”

“No, scrap the ******* thing and start fresh; preferably with floating contextual boxes instead of a sidebar that’s extremely limited”

Is there anything in the Customizer you never use?

Other 1 or less votes:

Quotes:

“Currently, I’m not a big fan of the Additional CSS I think it should at least include syntax colour highlighting. The widget functionality should be improved to support moving widget locations without losing default.”

“I rarely use the menu section, I prefer to set them up in the admin interface. I also never use a background image for the site.”

“Not really, unless themes do silly things like having tons of very specific options for different colors or fonts.”

“I’ve never actually used the device size previews for their stated purpose. I’ve only played around with them. I never collapse the customizer except on my phone.”

Is there anything else about the Customizer you’d like to share?

Quotes:

“Cant believe you gave one whole year to develop this.”

“Please make sure nothing is ever only editable via it. Some people hate it and prefer classic dedicated interfaces.”

“Please make sure nothing is ever only editable via it. Some people hate it and prefer classic dedicated interfaces.”

“I don’t like it and wish that I didn’t have to use it. Most often if there is a setting I had to use the customizer for, I will either forget that something was set in the customizer and end up hunting around for it for a long time before remembering that’s where it was. More often than not the “preview” functionality doesn’t work and you have to save the settings anyway. Also there doesn’t seem to be any consistent logic as to what features should be in the customizer, and theme authors just put whatever they feel like putting in there.”

“When are you guys going to make it actually usable for normal users? I have to disable it for all new sites I submit to clients.”

“Please stop pushing it”

“What would be great, it is to incorporate more settings in the Customizer in order to avoid the back and forth to set up the site (date format, title, tagline, posts per page, …).”

“Keep up the good work.”

“It’s an amazing tool, offer to me possibility to create themes easily customisables by my clients, without adding a (one more !) Option page in the back office. Thanks for your work.”

“It would be great if there was one way of doing things, whether that’s Customizer or classic admin. Easier for end users, easier for developers”

“At the moment it feels like a work-in-process and detracts from the overall WP experience. It also contains the sort of options that change infrequently, which means it’s easy to forget to use the customiser in the few cases it might be useful.”

“Absolutely! Most of my clients complain about the footer and why is it so difficult to modify something so basic as this sentence: “Proudly powered by WordPress”… It is really nonsense having so many options in customizer and still having to create a child theme only to be able to edit the standard footer sentence… That doesn’t make any sense, really!”

“I am looking forward to inline editing in a decoupled customizer experience. Making is similar to a site/page builder. I look forward to universal/global adjustments such as link state colors. Background colors. A customizer post widget/block.”

What are you using the Customizer for?

As work continues on improving the Customizer, and the overall Customization flow in WordPress, it would be great to hear how a diverse variety of people within the community use it in their day-to-day workflows.

It would be really useful, if you could answer the following questions:

  • How often do you use the Customizer on your existing sites?
  • What do you use the Customizer for?
  • Have you downloaded and plugins that add new functionality to the Customizer? What for?
  • Do you use themes that add new functionality to the Customizer? What kinds of features do they add?
  • Is there anything in the Customizer you can’t live without?
    Is there anything in the Customizer you never use?
    Is there anything else about the Customizer you’d like to share?

If you’d prefer to answer this anonymously, please use this survey link. It would be great to get this link shared around, so please do.

Thanks for your input!

(Thanks to @melchoyce for working on the questions and draft)

Initial Editor Blocks prototype editor testing

@iseulde linked another prototype for people to discover in #editor on Slack. It’s a work in progress so very much at this stage discovery and feedback is useful.

How to test?
You can test in any way you want. You can test yourself and also test others. You can take images, audio or video. If you do create a video don’t forget to pull out those bugs, action points and do a summary. Cutting smaller videos out is also really useful.

Questions you can ask:

  • (on first look) Can you explain in words what each section does?
  • Can you re-order? How does it feel? What are your thoughts?

If you find a bug please report it in this repo.
You can also leave results from your testing either as a comment here, or you can link to a blog post.

Community Summit 2017

The Community Summit is coming up on 13-14th June in Paris, linked to WordCamp Europe. It’s a small, discussion-based event where face-to-face conversations take place about subjects and issues, sometimes difficult to discuss online. This is not a Contribution day. Those involved also have a duty to feedback to the rest of the team, you won’t miss out if not there.

The Design Team at the summit

We will be sending a team to the summit like other teams around WordPress. This will be a small group of people, no more than 10. Nominations will be finally decided by the team reps: Mel Choyce, Michael Arestad, Joen Asmussen and myself. The selection will include a range of factors including: diversity of opinions, diversity of people, inclusion, activity of that person within the team, speciality in a topic we’re discussing and also the benefit of their voice to an area being discussed.

Someone from team helping the summit

The team organising have asked for people from each team to step up to help them. Unless anyone has objections, after chatting with other reps that will be myself. The idea is by having members from each team we can ensure our team has a voice and increase the diversity of those organising the summit.

A suggested list of topics

A while ago, we asked for topics and as a result of that and some sorting, we now have a list of suggested topics. We will be using these to nominate people to come to the summit. So what are they? They loosely split into sections like this:

Onboarding

  • Contribution days: how can we have a format that works for even when a designers isn’t there (this relates to onboarding)
  • How do we make onboarding easier for designers? Pattern libraries, interactive Codepens?

Retention

  • Retention of designers: why do we have such a low rate and what can we do about it?

Outreach

  • Diversity: how do we reflect the diversity of our users in those designing.
  • How do we make space for all designers? Design is a wide subject with many roles. How can we make space for UX, UI and beyond?
  • How do we recruit beyond our community? To thrive we need to connect more and reach outside.
  • Outreach inside WordPress: how can we find and also send designers easily to all areas of WordPress. If we are the design team for all of the community, we need to address this and outreach.
  • Design Philosophy – what is it? Are we expressing it publicly in ways that attract other designers?

Process

  • Pattern library: the need for this is getting more, how can we make it happen
  • How do we establish a proper design process across the entire project of WordPress?
  • How do we establish a culture of productive design critiques?
  • How do we make research part of our process?

Role

  • How can we, as a team, best support the design needs of core, and the design needs of the community?
  • What does it look like for WordPress to be design-led, and how can we as a team lead that effort?
  • How is the Design Team, or WordPress is general, impacting design in the world? What are we planning to do proactively?

What next?

It is good to give feedback on the topics. Anything missing we should be discussing? We can chat about this in this week’s meeting which will be at a different date this week:

Friday 17:00 UTC in #design.

We have to respond to the summit post by Friday, March 3rd – so we will be making a decision as team reps from the comments here and discussion in this week’s chat.

Core Editor Meeting Notes 2017-02-15

WordPress community has been actively participating to help make the new editor for WordPress. There’s lots of activity both in Slack and at GitHub. It’s an incredible time to contribute.

Here’s the meeting summary for this week’s editor team meeting (agenda here) in #core-editor Slack channel.

MEETING NOTES:

Let’s keep working on the UI prototype — Gutenberg UI prototype. Some ideas for improvements discussed in the meeting are mentioned below:

Toolbars

  • Five of them: I (@mrahmadawais) suggested that we should try to consolidate the multiple toolbars, so there aren’t five.
  • Text vs. Block: Mel (@melchoyce) also felt that Gutenberg UI prototype does feel heavier, she also suggested that the text shouldn’t feel like a block.
  • Blocks Or Not: I tend to agree with her considering it’s hard to think about aligning text across multiple blocks — maybe it’s the block feeling. That said, Weston (@westonruter) said that the different toolbars can be contextual to the block being edited.
  • Selection: @aduth pointed out that selecting all isn’t doable at the moment.
  • Accessibility: @iseulde suggested the docked contextual toolbars make more sense from the accessibility point of view.

Colors

  • Survey: @androb ran a survey — People found the Editor with light colored toolbars to be easy to use.
  • Accessibility:@afercia pointed out that about accessibility standards — contrast ratio should be at least 4.5:1.

Ease of Use

  • Copy/Paste: @dave_navarro noted that Gutenberg UI prototype isn’t an intuitive UI when taking data from multiple sources (newswire, press releases, etc..) especially with a lot of cutting, copying, pasting involved.
  • Safety Net: A few folks suggested that simple fall back editor should be there as a safety net.
  • Rich Content: @joen pointed out that one goal of the project is to make it easy to write posts and help people write truly rich posts with ease; which doesn’t mandate inline toolbars or heavy block outlines on hover.
  • UX Question: Do we need every paragraph and every image to be its own block?
  • The power of Blocks: @sirbrillig suggest that the power of blocks actually comes up in dealing with complicated block type things which previously had to be shortcodes.
  • Text Block: Consider having a growing “text” block, instead of multiple small paragraph blocks.
  • Word Count: Looks like many folks would love the “word count” to still be visible somewhere on the screen. — suggested by @androb

Eliminate the Preview

  • No Preview: @dave_navarro said that the step of hitting preview and switching to another tab to see what it looks like is what he would like to eliminate.
  • Ella’s approach for outlines: Let’s that is, have none, or very faint ones that fade out super fast.

Editor Mode + Layout Mode

  • Two Modes: I (@mrahmadawais) think, perhaps there can be two modes of the new Editor A) For Writing B) For layout.
  • Use Case Specific: @sirbrillig agreed that in the case of long-form writing an editor mode would probably be more appropriate than a full-page preview of the layout. But it depends on the use-case.
  • Full-bleed Images: How would you do a “full-blood image with peephole scrolling” with a theme layout? — Joen (@joen)
  • Multi-Modes: That option might be worth exploring only after we’ve exhausted the current “block-first UI” approach — @joen

Apart from all this, flexbox is being considered for the front end design, but there’s a good deal of discussion about IE compatibility and stuff.

Joen (@joen) pointed out that some great work has been done by @chopinbach, @johnpixle, and @annaharrison 👏

Let’s test Andrews great new prototype!  — show it to your neighbor, use it yourself, take it through its paces. Take notes, and let’s reconvene!

P.S. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.

This week’s editor meeting agenda for February 22

This week’s chat is happening today, Wednesday February 22 19:00 UTC.

The agenda is:

  • The UI prototype received a number of updates based on feedback from the week before, let’s discuss.
  • Mockups were updated, and collected on Github, thoughts?
  • Some more thoughts on <IE11+ support and how to proceed.
  • Anything else?

Feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss anything people want.

See you in the #core-editor channel in Slack! 🚀

This week’s editor meeting agenda for February 15

This week’s chat is happening today, Wednesday February 15 19:00 UTC.

This weeks agenda is:

Feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss anything people want.

See you in the #core-editor channel in Slack! 🚀