Facilitating a contribution day for design handbook update

As previously discussed in Slack #design, @folletto and myself worked on a contribution day format suggestion. This was tested at WordCamp Tokyo and from there a document was created to iterate based on feedback.

There is now a new handbook page, this is just a suggestion but has a guide to help you facilitate a successful contribution day for design.


Weekly design meeting notes of Wednesday November 21, 2018

The full transcript of this meeting can be found in our #design Slack channel. All linked headings in this post jump to where this topic was discussed on Slack.

First topic today is some housekeeping.

Because of WCUS and holidays, some meetings coming up will be paused

  • 5/12: Design weekly meeting
  • 10/12: Triage
  • Week of 24th and 31st: all week meetings cancelled.

Please note the Slack #design channel is always open for design reviews, an ear to listen – feel free to use the channel outside of meetings too.

Figma license for WordPress.org

Figma have donated a license for use contributing to WordPress. It’s worth noting, use of the software isn’t for personal or client work. You can read more about it on the WordPress design blog.

Sarah James is moving the SketchPress library over to Figma and Gutenberg fase 2 will be the main project the design team can work on Figma.

@boemedia notices that it’s hard to learn software when the use is restricted. So there should be some tangible WordPress projects connected to it. @Kjellr says that Figma is actually free for up to 3 personal projects, so it’s easy to set up a personal account.

If anyone has problems signing up for Figma, please ping one of the team reps in the Slack design channel. We’ll help you get things sorted.

New channel for Gutenberg user research

The WordPress Slack workspace is extended with a new channel: #research. If you’re interested in helping out, or know people around you (not only designers but also developers or other roles) who are interested in getting involved this way, please join the channel. You can read more about user testing for Gutenberg phase 2 on the design blog.

Reducing trac keywords for design

Currently, trac tickets that need design eyes have three labels:

  • ux-feedback
  • ui-feedback
  • needs-design

@karmatosed suggests going back from three to two labels, to make them align more and reduce brain pain:

  • one for ‘feedback’
  • one for ‘needs design’

These labels will be used around the three areas that have tickets: core trac, core meta and github for Gutenberg. @karmatosed will write a blog post to propose and take this to core/meta.

Open floor

@estelaris asks if design is currently focussing on the next phase for Gutenberg, or can people help out on other projects?

A few running projects are mentioned and it would be nice of designers could be involved in more things and work on projects without waiting for a meeting to see what’s happening.

A short brainstorm follows about ownership of smaller design projects, to keep track of them and don’t get forgotten. Another thing is, we definitely need more designers, but without mentioning the projects that need work, people joining the channel may drop out again if they think there’s no work to do.

If people have ideas on how to make the work (because there’s plenty of work to do!) more visible, tangible and attractive for new design contributors to work on, please feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.


Design meeting agenda for Wednesday 21 November 2018

This week’s meeting will be at 19:00 UTC in Slack #design. @boemedia will be taking notes and I will be facilitating. Here are the suggested topics:

  • Housekeeping: meeting times coming up adjusting for holidays.
  • Tools:  Figma is available for every contributor to use for WordPress work (yay!), any other tools people are using we could consider?
  • Gutenberg phase two has begun research and you can get involved.
  • Core design labels: proposal to distill down to 2 (from 3) and have ‘needs design’ and ‘needs design feedback’.
  • Trello board: inbox and checking up on work in progress.

If there is anything you would like to see added to the agenda, please leave a comment.


Two ways to get involved in Gutenberg user research

Planning is now under way for user research efforts to complement and drive the next iteration of Gutenberg. These efforts will iterate throughout the development of Phase 2, ensuring that product decisions are informed by an understanding of user needs.

Currently two different efforts are underway:

  1. Community feedback: If you’d like to share your thoughts about Gutenberg as a WordPress community member, @jarahsames has put together a brief survey to collect insights. The survey will close at 23:59 UTC Saturday, 24 November, and a synopsis of results will be shared here after the results have been analysed.
  2. User research: @jarahsames and myself are planning for further research with users outside of the WordPress community to get a better understanding of their needs as we think about how Gutenberg might expand to meet those needs. Anyone who is interested in research is welcome to join in—no previous experience required! Updates will also be posted here at regular intervals.

Interested in joining in? Have some questions? Just want to see what’s happening? Pop into the brand new #research channel in Slack and say hello!

#gutenberg, #research

Figma for WordPress

I’m excited to share that Figma, a robust design tool, is donating an organizational membership to the WordPress community! This is an incredibly exciting addition to the design tools we have available for building WordPress. 

Figma is:

  • Built for collaboration: From real-time collaboration to shared component libraries to versioning, Figma prioritizes collaboration, like a “google docs for design”.
  • Made to translate design to code: Developers can inspect, copy, and export CSS and design assets directly from Figma design files, removing guesswork and making handoffs seamless. More on developer tools.
  • The first design tool built completely in the browser, which makes it fully accessible to users across all platforms. (There’s also a desktop version for those who prefer!)
  • Prototyping and screen design all in one tool: Figma has native tools for prototyping without having to export to other services.
  • Inline commenting and feedback: One of the challenges of discussing designs in GitHub issues is the difficulty of “pointing to” something via text. Inline feedback tools can allow for a clearer, more direct conversation about design concepts.

These are just the highlights. In short, where we may have used multiple tools in order to support all the parts of the design process, Figma incorporates many of the core features of other tools all in one product for a more efficient and powerful workflow. For those of you who have been using Sketch, you can also import Sketch files directly into Figma, so no need to worry about recreating your Sketch files from scratch. I’m excited about the possibilities for how Figma can make the WordPress design process more collaborative, robust, and efficient.

How to get access

You can sign in to the WordPress.org Figma team with your WordPress.org Slack account using this link: https://www.figma.com/slack/642003996626140596/invite

New users have “view” access by default. If you need upgraded access to create or edit files, ping in the #design channel and we will get you set up!

@jarahsames has volunteered to convert the SketchPress library into a shared team library for Figma, so when that is ready it will be automatically available when you sign in to Figma. Thank you Sarah!

Learning Figma

Once you’re signed in, you can check out the Figma Help Center for getting started tutorials and more. Here are some specific links to learn more:

If you already use Figma and know of other good learning resources, please post in the comments!

Go deeper

#figma, #tools

Weekly design meeting notes of Wednesday November 14, 2018

A new week, a new design meeting in Core! If you haven’t jumped in we wholeheartedly recommend joining the group and lending your thoughts and feedback. We meet each week to chat about the things our team can focus on. Following are the main points we discussed today:


The labels have been and board have been simplified as a first pass. Feedback is welcome. At this point we’ll likely put it through its paces and see if any tweaks are needed. Feel free to jump in and take a look

  • Meeting discussion: topic to bring up in meeting
  • Waiting: something blocked.
  • Needs review: something that needs input, doesn’t have to be in meeting.
  • Needs decision: could be from someone in team but also doesn’t have to be in meeting.
  • Critical: something very important to get done, high priority task. (edited)

Labels removed:

  • Needs designer: if it’s not in progress it should be seen as needs one, no need for label.
  • Needs discussion: meeting has discussion 


WordPress 5.0 is coming, let’s all take time to test as designers can help a lot with testing.

We are amazing at breaking things!
Test on all your devices, test on walks using mobile data, test with throttling, test with themes/plugins.

Test all the things!

Office Hours

The office hours aren’t currently working well, as we haven’t had attendance. So we’re going to drop them for now and likely revisit next year.

About page

Every release we have an awesome about page that celebrates and informs on changes that have happened. 

We discussed the page itself and its need to show off the features of Gutenberg with text and images/gifs. 

We’d love to have browser testing, responsive testing, and a11y (accessibility) testing today. 

You’re welcome to jump in and take a look at the in progress work. Once text strings are finalized we can get this over to the polyglot team for translation.

Readme for themes

We discussed (Slack link) the proposal for adding a readme to themes, similar to how plugins works today.

The basic TL;DR is – plugins allow for a readme, to share more from the plugin creators; let’s do the same for the themes. Design support is needed where Core shows the readme for themes.

Word of advice: never use the word final in a design file. It will always come back to bite you. 

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Weekly design meeting notes of Wednesday October 31, 2018

The full transcript of our meeting this week can be found on our Slack channel. @joshuawold led this week’s meeting.

The design team meeting will be changing to 19:00 UTC from next week to accommodate daylight savings.

Gutenberg usability testing

@sarahjames gave us a walkthrough of the Gutenberg testing she’s been working on. There will be a blog post coming about this but you can follow along in Slack archive.

Automattic design award

A reminder was made of the Automattic design award which is accepting entries.

Upgrading to 5.0 and handling the Gutenberg plugin

We went through this ticket together and ended up as a team going through feedback and work towards a solution. You can follow along the outcome in the ticket as Joshua added an update today.

Thanks to everyone attending the meeting. If you have anything to add, please feel free to post in our Slack channel or in the comments below.

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