A Better “Page on Front” Experience: Previous Ideas

A problem that’s plagued WordPress for years is the confusion and ambiguity around setting your “front page.” The addition of making new pages in #38164 was a big jump forward, but there’s still work we can do to make this a better experience for people setting up their sites.

Here’s what it looks like now:



Let’s try to tackle this issue again in 4.9 and see if we can at least make some incremental improvements.

To start us off, let’s use this post to take a look at some of the ideas proposed in the original ticket and chat them:

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Coming soon: Weekly updates

Part of the duties of a team rep for each area of contributors is to be responsible for a weekly update on the group. At this moment, there is not an established UI team rep, but as a core development team representative, I’m happy to step in until new elections are done sometime in the near-ish future.

Part of our UI group discussion at the Community Summit was about how we can make these weekly updates both informational and effective, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining contributors. Here’s what we’re thinking:

  • A breakdown of what we did this week, such as discussions held (with links to IRC as applicable), patches uploaded/worked on, and what’s changed in core in a more prose-y manner.
  • Links to ideas from the community at large, which would likely be blog posts on other sites, including your own. Discussion would be encouraged over on those posts rather than here – the creator should be able to really take ownership and pride in their idea and be centrally involved in the discussion. The idea is to both expose some of the great ideas that are happening and open up a platform for idea generation that isn’t “from the top” or carrying the official weight that gets associated with a post on the Make P2s, which are largely status-driven rather than hypothetical.
  • Weekly IRC chat summary with anything not covered above.
  • What needs to get done this week, including any assignments that have been made and ones that need volunteers. We’re thinking this will be a great step toward exposing more ways to get involved in case you’re still figuring things out.

Thoughts? Love it, hate it?

Meeting summary for 8/14

Note: meeting on 8/7 did not really happen, as many were traveling or otherwise out of commission post-WCSF.

Meeting was largely focused on status check of various items and really bearing down on assignments and breaking down tasks into what can be realistically accomplished within a given time period (the next week) so we can regularly check in. Setting the goal is not the maximum that can be achieved – only the minimum. Things finished early or with aplomb are highly encouraged 🙂

  • Welcome screen/panel refinements are still chugging along after @lessbloat‘s paternity leave (CONGRATS). Latest iteration at https://make.wordpress.org/ui/2012/07/24/welcome-screen-design-v2/#comment-22349. Discussed possibly having different paths based on whether or not a static front page is assigned. @lessbloat, @melchoyce, and @chexee are looking at the UX/language side. @sabreuse and @georgestephanis are on the dev side. Would like UX/language nailed down before next meeting and rough patch started. Testing can start anytime there’s something testable. Dev-wise, all hook-ability issues should be addressed this go-round. Tickets: #21368, #21331
  • Color picker. @mattwiebe and Devin Price worked on this at WCSF dev day, going with integrating Automattic’s open source Iris color picker, and will continue to work together toward a patch. @mattwiebe worked with us directly on some UI/UX picking and will continue to refine. Designers welcome to take a look and give feedback as well. @koopersmith is on JS consult. We should be able to knock out the consistency issue while we’re at it. Would like to see basic implementation in at least one place (settings screen or customizer – both are needed for final product) by next week. Tickets: #21206 and #19616
  • Cookies are on offer for a solid patch on #16379. There are some finer details that need consideration, such as editing screens and title + slug. More details in the IRC log: https://irclogs.wordpress.org/chanlog.php?channel=wordpress-ui&day=2012-08-14&sort=asc#m51505
  • @tddewey put up a nice big patch for the remainder of the admin UI images needing HiDPI treatment on #21019. Leaving this to @azaozz for review and dropping in, now that gradients are in and extraneous images have been deleted.
  • I (@helenyhou) am on #21391 as my singular dev task – using the post edit screen for attachment editing, and any CPT support and edit screen enhancements that come with. It is quite full of rabbit holes. Would love a dev partner or two (or more) on this – have some leads now thanks to dev chat.
  • Media. @koopersmith is working on making those lovely wireframes a reality. @azaozz working on preview in the editor: #21585
  • Bonus item: UI/UX guidelines for plugins and themes. Discussion stemming from http://wp.smashingmagazine.com/2012/08/08/help-us-help-wordpress/, with a rough potential document started by @melchoyce at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZWPeUSFVYlMxClmHFjuAXuekXcZsLso49G3bDRquHcs/edit. Would just like to see how this might pan out in terms of a publishable document. Will be leaving my own comments over on Smashing Mag.

Reminder: devs should ideally be focused on one large item at any given moment. Working on your own pet projects and roaming around is always fine, but would prefer to stay away from overcommitment, especially for point people. This includes me 🙂


Discuss: Low hanging fruit, aiming for 3.5

What can we identify as low hanging fruit from the user tests run thus far or other experiences? What existing features can we quickly iterate on and make better?

Let’s put one piece of fruit per comment, and then discuss each (or add your +1) in replies to that comment. Be as specific as possible – perhaps mention the item, what makes it not quite right, what can be better, and what we can do about it.