THX38 project and weekly meetings

Hello all. Team THX38 will be working on the Theme Experience project, spanning the theme admin screens as well as improving the .org directory. Check our initial overview for information on our goals and the pain points we want to address. We also have some visual concepts there to start the conversation.

Weekly office hours

We’ll be meeting in #wordpress-core-plugins on Monday, August 19 18:00 UTC. If this works out we’ll keep this time going forward.

Current Team

@matveb (lead), @samuelsidler, @melchoyce, @shaunandrews, @jacobdubail. The following people have also expressed interest in helping when time permits: @helen, @bpetty, @sabreuse

If you’re interested in contributing to the project, leave a comment here and let us know!

Next steps

For next week, Shaun will be working on running some tests around themes.php, and we’ll also be setting up a plugin soon so we can start playing with these ideas. See you around!

#3-8, #core-plugins, #thx38

A summary of the Community Summit discussion on…

A summary of the Community Summit discussion on the UI group has been published. Thanks to @sabreuse for her wonderful note-taking! Feel free to discuss the notes, and do hold us accountable for our action item. Weekly summaries will also begin very soon.

Summary: Core UI team discussion

Ticket scrub notes for 8 21 Patches needed…

Ticket scrub notes for 8/21

Patches needed

Status update

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 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:
  • @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, with a rough potential document started by @melchoyce at 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 🙂


Meeting summary for 7/31


  • Media wireframes: look at them if you haven’t yet, and leave feedback. Development breakdowns and work will happen in #wordpress-dev when we get there, for the development-minded. WCSF dev day will also be a forum for more discussion for those who are there, and we will be vigilant about sharing those conversations publicly. Tickets to keep an eye on: #21390 and #21391
  • Accessibility is still a big need in terms of expertise and hands on deck, and there are plenty of tasks with UI implications. Discuss on the post if you’re interested or have knowledge when it comes to making things accessible on the web (screenreaders and non-mouse users, for instance) or hit up @sabreuse, who is helping shepherd efforts. Also keep an eye on Make Accessibility.
  • Welcome screen v2 is also still in wireframe and copy feedback stage. We need to drop the Spotlight/Alfred/Quicksilver search thing in terms of core development this cycle (sorry, we know how cool it is) and focus on iterating on the panel that is there. We also need go back to focusing on new user experience (NUX) and initial walkthroughs/links for now. The ideas have been great, and are not being thrown away by any means – we just need to focus so that we can actually get something done in time. Who knows, if we move fast, and get user testing rolling, we might be able to look at more iterations (and toss in a hook to make a plugin for the Spotlight thing possible) 🙂

And finally, a reminder that open office hours are every weekday at 19:00 UTC (3PM EDT). #wordpress-ui is always open for discussions, but if you’re a little more nervous about just poking your head in or want to schedule something with a group, it’s a great time to do just that!


Welcome screen design v2

I’d like to get the ball rolling on the new welcome screen redesign for 3.5. I started playing around with a few ideas and I’d love to hear your thoughts:

My hope for this screen is that it will serve as a proper “home” that users can come back to again and again to find anything they need in the admin. As I mentioned here, this was a big stumbling block for each of the users we tested.

A couple of notes:

  • All of the copy and links are super generic, and need work.
  • You’ll notice the addition of tabs to the dashboard. My thought was that new users would be taken to this “Welcome” tab just after install. If they clicked the “dashboard” tab, we’d save that to the DB via AJAX, and on refresh, you’d still be on the dashboard tab.
  • On the right you’ll see the “viewing” drop down. My hope is to make the entire welcome tab extensible, so that you could add your own custom screen (set of links, and quick links) as an option. This dropdown would only show if you’ve added your own welcome screen option.
  • You of course should be able to easily hide the “welcome” tab (if you wish) through a hook. As well as having hooks anywhere else they make sense.
  • The “What are you trying to do” text box should suggest links as you type – similar to the idea here. I will note that while there are 1000 things that we could add to this auto-suggest dropdown, I’d prefer to just focus on adding links to functionality within the admin for the 3.5 release (and really making that experience solid).
  • The “Quick links” bar would be links to the most used sections of the admin (for new users). I was hoping we could find a nice library of open source vector icons to use there.

Here’s the balsamiq source file if you’ve got some ideas based on this wireframe:

This is all still very rough, and I expect that we’ll go through a couple rounds of iteration before we get it right. Thoughts?