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Learning about bloggers (Site building study #2)

These are the results of a user research study investigating mental models related to building and customising a website. Results are split across five posts:

Background | Segments: Bloggers · Small Businesses · Site Builders | Conclusions

The research group grouped participants into three segments, based on their current understanding of how people use WordPress. These segments are based on a handful of data points and warrant further study to confirm the categories. For now, these segments allow researchers to group WordPress’ extensive userbase into behavioural categories and learn characteristics specific to each group.

For this study, we focussed on three segments: bloggers, small businesses, and site builders (people who build sites for others). Let’s learn about bloggers first. (Hat-tip to @jarahsames who studied this segment!)

Bloggers wear many different hats: they are the writers, admins, and IT for their websites.

Learn more about bloggers

#gutenberg, #research

Design meeting agenda for Wednesday 6th February

This week’s meeting will be at 19:00 UTC tomorrow in Slack #design.

Here are the suggested topics:

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


Gutenberg Phase 2 Friday Design Update #4

Are you kidding me? It’s already February! Gutenberg has been rolling out with consistent improvements throughout January and will continue to do so this month too. Let’s look at what was done this last week.

Widgets to blocks

Really good discussion going on especially in regards to a11y. There’ve been some a11y concerns that need to be addressed which were brought up in relation to this screen, but really effect Gutenberg as a whole. The larger a11y issues will be addressed in another issue in Github to help keep the design of the widget screen moving forward.

Navigation block

Work is happening here and getting ready to be shared outward for feedback. So stay tuned to the issue!

Tightening up

  • Microinteractions (little animations) are starting to be incorporated into Gutenberg. Take a look at some work being done by @joen.
  • Added a style preview issue to the tightening up portion of Phase 2.

Block specific responsive controls

This issue is really narrowing down on a solution now.


The first part of the WordPress research has been posted by @tinkerbelly. This research is being used to help further any development in Gutenberg. All contributors should really have a read through.

Project Boards

In Github, the project boards are used to understand the status of issues from a high level view. @karmatosed recently went through and combined the Phase 2 Design project board into the Phase 2 project board. This will help keep us unified. There’s also been an update to how these project boards are used; there are columns based on each of the focus areas for Phase 2.

Thanks for reading, staying informed, and contributing anywhere you can!

#design, #gutenberg-weekly, #phase-2

Background (Site building study #1)

These are the results of a user research study investigating mental models related to building and customising a website. Results are split across five posts:

Background | Segments: Bloggers · Small Businesses · Site Builders | Conclusions

Results have been compiled from the sitebuilding research conducted at the end of December, and a report is ready. Make a cup of tea, it’s a long one! 🍵

Huge thanks to @jarahsames, @alexislloyd, @bengrace, @benrearick, @bph, @cathibosco, @chrisvanpatten, @designsimply, @evawong, @johngough, @joshuawold, @karmatosed, @lilibet, @lonelyvegan, @mapk, @melchoyce, @mkaz, @msdesign21, @nao, @paaljoachim, @pento, @thedezzie, @tmmbecker, @tobiasziegler, @xarisgn, and Melissa Vander Wilt for helping to make this happen. Research like this takes a village, and it was fantastic to have so many people jumping in to lead sessions, take notes, share insights, and sift through all the data. Thank you for all your hard work! 🌟

If you have any questions about these results or would like to conduct your own research, please drop into the #research channel in Slack and say hello.

With that said, let’s dive into the full report! There’s a lot of information to digest, so this will be split into five sections (see discussion), to be shared here over this week and next.

Background information

#gutenberg, #research

Design meeting notes

Link to this week’s agenda.

Research findings

Sarah Semark shared an update on the work that the team has done for research. A post has been created where you can weigh in on where our research should go.

For context: We’re trying to decide where the research results and resources should live. It’s important that it’s easily findable and readable. The report is 3500 words long, so we’re also looking at whether it should be broken up.

Once we’ve figured out a place to keep it, we can add other resources to it as well. There are a few toolkit resources (templates, guides, etc) that would be good to keep with other research, so everything’s in one place.

There was additional discussion, and a new Make post will followup with further details. You can read the Slack chat log as well.

Calls for design

The WordPress 5.1 about page

We had several designers volunteer to work on designing this during the meeting. Look for updates in future posts.


HelpHub is going to be the new portal for all WordPress user documentation that currently resides on the WordPress Codex. You can visit the Github repo and checkout the design issues that need help.

Phase 2 will see a more design work around Search, contributor feedback, acknowledgements etc. During the meeting we had a designer volunteer to help out. If you’re interested you can jump into the Github issues!

Updating the theme design

We have a request for a design for showing info from the theme readme files, which are required in themes as of Oct 25, 2018.

Plugin readme files get converted into a page where you can add additional details about the plugin, FAQs, etc. For example, compare the information on these two pages. We need to design a comparable output both in WordPress admin, and on wordpress.org. You can follow the Slack chat for more information.

Gutenberg Phase 2

Right now we’re closing in on a couple things:

  1. Responsive block controls
  2. Widget/blocks in the wp-admin screen

If anyone can hop on and provide design feedback, it would be helpful. Otherwise feel free to reach out to @mapk.


Previously we shared an update on the Showcase project. Pragmatic.agency has volunteered design time, we’re iterating on wireframes, Joost de Valk will share a first design soon, it needs to first be separated out from another page.

PHP Upgrade Page

The new page is ready for feedback, so if you have a few moments we’d love comments and thoughts on it!

Site Health

What is it? Some of you may have heard of the Health Check plugin – It’s a very useful tool that shows people how their website is doing technically.

Tim Hengeveld shared an update, “Doing good! Got some sketches up for each of the screens of the plugin with some quick wins in there, and I’m writing down all the checks that the plugin has now with what kind of actionable thing we can attach to them, be it a ‘fix now’ button or a link to more info etc, and possibly also some sort of indication which area of your site it affects (speed/security/a11y).”


Design meeting agenda for Wednesday 30th January

This week’s meeting will be at 19:00 UTC tomorrow in Slack #design.

Here are the suggested topics:

  • Housekeeping:
    • Where should research go? Post here to collect opinions.
  • Calls for design:
  • Updates
    • Gutenberg phase two
    • PHP upgrade
    • Site Health:
    • Showcase
    • Any other updates?
  • Topics:
    • Dashicons/Material icons discussion around Gutenberg.
  • Open floor

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


Discussion: where do we publish and store research results?

The research group has a report ready to share as part of the sitebuilding research. Since it’s quite long, the group would like to choose the best place to publish it.

This report should be stored with other research results in the future, since these are likely to build upon and enhance one another. It’s best if these resources are easy to find and access. They should be something that everyone contributing to WordPress can refer back to in coming months and years.

This was discussed in Slack, but let’s open the conversation to more people.

Where should this type of content live?

  1. In a series of posts on make/design
  2. On a static page on make/design, announced with a post on make/design
  3. In a static Google document linked to make/design post
  4. Somewhere else?

This research is ready to publish, so please share your preference by leaving a comment on this post no later than Thursday, 31 January 2019. Thank you!

#gutenberg, #research

Gutenberg Phase 2 Friday Design Update #3

I’ve been informed by some colleagues that this week has been super cold in areas around the globe. I live in Southern California and haven’t experienced it, but I truly hope you all are staying warm. The GitHub repo for Gutenberg, on the other hand, is on fire (in a good way)! 😉

Widgets to blocks

There’s a lot of development movement happening right now.

In addition, the integration of the widget-blocks in the wp-admin are being figured out too. Right now, it looks like staying inline with the mockups provided during the State of the Word might be the path to take (with some minor improvements of course). There’s also a desire to implement better a11y while we’re working on this as well.

Navigation block

This is a big one. While exploring the block itself, there’s been conversations in GitHub about how navigation is built. Is the block a simple one that just allows the user to select which menu they want to use? Or is the block where the whole menu is built? This decision effects the implementation of navigation building in Gutenberg going forward. One thing we know for sure is that everything is becoming a block in Phase 2, so these decisions are crucial right now. If you have some thoughts, please share them on GitHub.

Tightening up

It’s amazing to see all the areas in Gutenberg that are getting tightened up! Gutenberg 4.9 just released with a couple of beautiful design improvements: table striping and color swatch indicator. More design improvements are happening daily. Take a look at all the things.


Some might say that Documentation isn’t really design, so why’s it here? But really, documentation should be a community wide endeavor. There are weekly edits being completed to make sure the future of Gutenberg has a solid foundation. Here’s what’s been done… and what’s being worked on. These are fairly simple textual explanations of Gutenberg. If anyone is looking to contribute with something non-code related, this is a great way to begin.

Communication consistency is key to this project. That’s why these weekly design updates are going out every Friday. Thanks for reading, staying informed, and contributing anywhere you can!

#design, #gutenberg-weekly, #phase-2

Call for Design: PHP Upgrade Page

What is it?

As we all know that the PHP 5.5, 5.6 and 7.0 has hit the EOL (End of Life) and is no longer actively supported, PHP 7.2 and 7.3 are now actively supported. The #core-php team is working on a page that spreads awareness about upgrading the server to supported PHP versions for the purpose of performance and security.

What is the current status?

Work has been going on for a while, the #core-php team is working on this and they have built a page right now which can be viewed here.

There were a few designs that were created back in May 2018 and will have to be reworked on to accomodate the new fresh content. The page has a chunk at the top which gives a clear message if the server needs to be upgraded or not.

What is to be improved?

The current design is single column and does not have the ‘Table of Contents’ like the one implemented in the live page. There also needs to be a more design-wise seamless integration of the chunk at the top which gives a clear message if the server needs to be upgraded or not.

What is the plan?

This page is currently live but needs improvement in terms of how it educates the user by clearly telling that the upgrade is required. @flixos90 and myself are working on this page. Contributions and thoughts are welcome and you can reach out to us or #design channel to discuss this.