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)

This week’s design meeting agenda for January 26th

This week’s chat is happening Thursday January 26th 17:00 UTC.

This weeks agenda is:

  • Lets talk about ‘What little blocks are made for‘.
  • How can people help with the design lead process?
  • Anything else?
  • Feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss anything people want.

    See you in the #design channel in Slack

What Are Little Blocks Made Of?

At the core of the 2017 editor focus is the is idea of introducing blocks (or sections) which help “make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or ‘mystery meat’ embed discovery”. How do we do that?

Let’s start with paragraphs as blocks/sections. If we count a paragraph as a block or section you can manipulate, here’s how that could look:

You can still type type type but you create blocks along the way. When you mean to insert content that isn’t text, click the plus (or perhaps as a power-user feature, type / on a newline, Slack-style?), to invoke the insert menu:

Click an item to insert it, or pick it using arrow keys.

One of the interactions we need to figure out here, is what happens when you press Enter, as you’re writing. Over chat in the past week it was suggested we might want to tweak the default behavior so that Enter inserts just a single linebreak, and a new paragraph is created with two linebreaks. (The pertinent bits of the chat starts here, or you can read this summary).

Let’s discuss these mockups, data structure, linebreaks and lots more in Wednesdays editor chat, Wednesday January 25th 19:00 CET! And please keep the feedback coming, here and in #core-editor Slack, the feedback already given has been amazing.

The next immediate goal is to start building prototypes. It’ll be a blast! 🚀

This week’s design meeting agenda for January 19th

This week’s chat is happening Thursday January 19th 17:00 UTC.

This weeks agenda is:

Share a walkthrough of setting up a WordPress site

A really powerful way to share your experiences using WordPress, is to actually show us how you use it to build sites. As the Editor and Customizer teams start working on researching and designing better experiences for core, now is a great time to share examples of how you use them in your day-to-day work.

So, what does that mean?

Please walk us through your process of setting up a new WordPress site. I’d suggest is to pick a subject — for example, today I’m going to redesign my blog, or I’m going to build a website for a local restaurant — and then walk through the setup process, from installing WordPress, to picking a theme, to setting up some pages and writing some blog posts, to completing something you’d feel comfortable launching.

As you do your walkthrough, be sure to take notes about your experience and keep a list of any bugs you encounter.

Once you’ve reported back from your own experience, asking someone else such as a friend, family member, a coworker, and even a client would also be helpful. For some useful pointers as to how to run user tests, you can check out this handbook link.

What format is useful?

How you report your walkthrough is truly up to you.The important thing is to feel comfortable with what you share. Here are some suggestions:

  • Video (with or without audio)
    • If you do a video with audio, please also create a transcript. If you do a video without audio, feel free to just highlight the biggest pain points, “gotcha!” moments, and bugs. You can post your video to Youtube, or upload it somewhere like Cloudup or CloudApp to share.
  • Screenshots
    • You can do a series of screenshots. With each screenshot, add a caption or comment about what you’re doing, along with any highlights or observations.
  • Text
    • If you’re not comfortable or capable of doing video or screenshots, it’s also okay to just post your observations via text. Lots of times when I’m casually testing a feature, I’ll write some freeform, stream-of-conscious style notes. These are good for capturing your state of mind while you’re working and revealing particularly frustrating moments.

However you decide to do your walkthrough, please post your results here as a comment. If you’re comfortable submitting bugs you find to Trac, add those tickets to your comments. Otherwise, describe the bug you encountered and we’ll create a ticket for you.

Thanks!

+make.wordpress.org/flow #user-testing #editor #customization

(Thanks to @karmatosed for getting the draft for this started!)

What makes a great customization experience?

Customization is one of the core focuses for 2017. We’ll be focusing on creating a great editing experience first, and then we’ll be extending that experience to encompass site building and customization.

There’s a lot of work we can do to improve customization in WordPress leading up to the convergence with editing.

What do you think makes a great site building and customization experience? Outside of WordPress, what are your favorite tools and services for making sites? What makes them great?

Conversely, what are some of the biggest pain points you see within our existing customization experience?

If you’re interested in working on customization, please join us in Slack in #core-customize. The next meeting will be Monday, January 16, 2017, 1:00 PM EST. Looking forward to kicking of 2017!

This week’s design meeting agenda for January 12th

This week’s chat is happening Thursday January 12th 17:00 UTC.

This weeks agenda is light:

  • Lets talk about ‘what makes a great editor’ and give some feedback on @joen‘s amazing post.
  • Contribution day projects: what can we have ready for people to do design wise? How can we tie in the focuses here?
  • Anything else?
  • Feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss anything people want.

    See you in the #design channel in Slack

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!

This week’s design meeting agenda for January 5th

This week’s chat is happening Thursday January 5th 17:00 UTC and it’s the first of the year!

This weeks agenda is currently open, so what shall we talk about? If anyone has other tickets the needs attention or other matters for the meeting, feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss that.

See you in the #design channel in Slack

Call for advanced bulk / row actions for object-to-object relationships

During last week’s multisite meeting the need for a new design pattern related to list tables was expressed. The intended functionality would require some kind of advanced bulk actions and row actions that would provide a second step to choose one or more related objects from a dropdown.

Before describing the requirements in more detail, the actual use-cases from the discussion are outlined:

  • Network Admin > Plugins list table: It should be possible to bulk-select plugins, then choose a new bulk action “Activate on site/s…” and then select one or more sites from a dropdown/autocomplete field on which to activate the initially selected plugins. In the same manner a row action “Activate on site/s…” should exist with a similar way of then selecting the site/s to activate the plugin on.
  • Network Admin > Themes list table: This would need a similar functionality like what has been described for plugins above, with both a bulk and a row action called “Enable for site/s…”.
  • Network Admin > Users list table: It should be possible to bulk-select users, then choose a new bulk action “Add to site/s…” and then select one or more sites from a dropdown/autocomplete field to which to add the initially selected users. A similar row action should be added as well.

While all these use-cases are about selecting related sites, the new design pattern should by no means be restricted to that. Such a pattern could benefit many other list tables in WP Admin as well. Some of the use-cases could be (without any intention to actually implement them though):

  • Posts list table: It could be possible to bulk-select posts, then choose a new bulk action “Set taxonomies…” and then select one or more taxonomies from a dropdown/autocomplete field to set these taxonomies for the initially selected posts. A similar row action could exist too. The functionality is technically already available through QuickEdit, so this example would not be useful in Core, but in general it still makes a valid use-case.
  • Posts list table: It could be possible to bulk-select posts, then choose a new bulk action “Set post format…” and then select the post format from a dropdown/autocomplete field to set the initially selected posts to. A similar row action could exist too.
  • Users list table: It could be possible to bulk-select users, then choose a new bulk action “Assign role…” and then select the role from a dropdown to assign this role to the initially selected users. A similar row action could exist too.

The initial thought during the multisite discussion was to have some kind of popover open when an advanced bulk action is selected or an advanced row action is clicked. This popover would contain the dropdown/autocomplete field to select the context for the action to perform. However, this is likely not to be the optimal approach here. Another approach would be to dynamically include the dropdown/autocomplete field on the right side of the actual bulk actions selection, which is what Advanced Bulk Actions does, a plugin that was recently created. This plugin could possibly serve as inspiration, however it does not currently provide an autocomplete functionality which would be required due to the possibly high amount of items selectable. Furthermore the autocomplete does make for a good example of REST API usage in WP Admin.

The three images below indicate the desired functionality in three steps, here following the second approach described, for the third example mentioned above (Network Admin > Users list table):

Bulk Actions Context Flow 1

1. A bulk action that requires context (indicated by three dots) is selected.

Bulk Actions Context Flow 2

2. A contextual autocomplete field appears.

Bulk Actions Context Flow 3

3. One or more sites can be selected before hitting the Apply button.

The goal for this new design pattern should be to be able to define any kind of object-to-object relationship (whether one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one or many-to-many) from a list table, by assigning one or more objects from the list table to one or more related objects of any type, which would be defined per individual bulk / row action.

While functionality like this could be included in an interface similar to QuickEdit for posts, it appears that having dedicated bulk and row actions might be more specific and fitting for such a use-case. This will still need to be discussed in detail though.

We would like to ask the design team for their feedback so that we can implement advanced contextual bulk actions in a proper way with the best possible user experience.

#core, #design