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-coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.-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 pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party soon so we can start playing with these ideas. See you around!

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

Content Editing User Experience (CEUX)

Howdy folks!

This group will be focused around streamlining and improving the overall content editing experience in WordPress. We’ll be exploring better methods for curating and formatting content within the post and page editors. We have a preliminary set of mockups that we’ll be expanding and iterating on as we start. Here’s the plugin we’ll be building.

Our first CEUX meeting will be taking place on Tuesday 17:00 UTC in #wordpress-ui. Providing this works for most people, we’ll continue meeting at this time each week.

During our meeting, we’ll elect a team lead and discuss our process moving forward.

Current team
Our initial team is: @melchoyce (me!), @wonderboymusic, @saracannon, @DavidHickox, @georgestephanis, @helen, and to a lesser extent, @joen will be contributing feedback and ideas. We’ll also be communicating closely with the Page + Menu team as content blocks move into pages. @jenmylo has graciously agreed to advise this group. If you’re interested in getting involved, come by on Tuesday!

#3-8, #ceux

Widgets, Widgets, Widgets

Howdy everyone! I’ll be leading Team Widgets3 as we work to update widgets in WordPress. Our project overview explains some of our overall goals and the problems we’re trying to solve. We’ll be holding weekly IRC chats every Monday at 20:00 UTC in #wordpress-ui.

Current Team

As of now, our current teams is: @shaunandrews (lead), @jtsternberg, and @richardtape.
The following people have expressed interested in helping: @yoavf, @gregrickaby, @helen, @lonchbox, @kelderic, @ipstenu, @celloexpressions.

If you’re interested in helping, please leave a comment on this post and let us know.

Initial Survey

We’re running a small survey to get some more feedback. As of this morning we have 132 responses. I’ll be wrapping up the survey and sharing results early next week. Feel free to share the survey with anyone: http://shaunwp.polldaddy.com/s/working-with-widgets

Ideas and Feedback Flowing

We’re still early in the design discovery and research phase, and have had lots of ideas flowing around. Some old, some new:

  • http://www.shaunandrews.com/wordpress/widget-redesign/
  • http://webdevstudios.com/2013/08/14/webdevstudios-take-on-a-wordpress-core-widget-ui-refresh/
  • https://github.com/WebDevStudios/WordPress-Widgets-Refresh/issues/6
  • https://make.wordpress.org/core/2013/08/08/excellent-3-8-brainstorm-session-today-people-talked-about/#comment-9859
  • http://jesserfriedman.com/a-call-to-change-wordpress-widgets/
  • http://www.shaunandrews.com/wordpress/widget-redesign/widget-links/

Thats all for now — we hope to see you in #wordpress-ui on Monday, August 19, 2013 at 16:00 UTC-4 for the first Widgets3 chat.

#3-8, #widgets

Proposal: Making the relationship between pages and menus clearer [Update]

A common issue I encountered when I freelanced was a disconnect clients experienced when customizing menus. They would add a page, it would show up in the menu, they would delete the page, it wouldn’t disappear from the menu. My hypothesis is that this page/menu relationship can be clarified and improved by merging the Pages and Appearance > Menus section into one, then testing configurations of this thoroughly.

See also mockups by myself and Shaun Andrews.

Update: Please see new mockups based on feedback.

Questions

  • How does this scale to hundreds of pages/menu items?
  • How can it be made clearer that you can also add links or categories to a menu?
  • If we are able to merge, how do we best communicate the change in the admin-sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme., a pointer?
  • What happens if a theme doesn’t use menus at all?
  • Are there other ways to improve the relationship between pages & menus, without merging the two sections into one?

Opportunities

Pages arguably do more than any other feature to make WordPress viable as a CMS, especially when combined with a static frontpage and a customized menu. Having to visit three disparate admin locations to set this up, however, is not necessarily intuitive. While the scope of this project is to simply merge the two and see if that tests better, if this succeeds it would give us a bunch of future opportunities for iteration, such as:

  • reducing duplicate functionality (no need for a duplicate page-list on the Menus section)
  • revisit the “Page Attributes” box, perhaps subsume it by integrating parent/sort order features directly into the menu management
  • integrate the “static frontpage” feature directly in the page-management section

Please share your ideas, questions and concerns, and let’s discuss whether this is worth moving forward with.

#3-8, #menus

Proposal: Improving the content editing experience

As a follow-up to Matt’s recent post on make/core, I’d like to propose improving the content editing experience.

I see this working in two parts:

  1. Content blocks
  2. Content formatting

Some questions to consider moving forward:

  • How can we make formatting easier and faster to use?
  • How can we make it easier for users to include different types of media, such as audio, video, images and galleries?
  • How can we make it easier for users to embed external content, like tweets or maps?
  • How can we make it easier for pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party authors to include new types of content in a way that is more clear and intuitive for our users?
  • What would updating the content editing flow mean for theme authors? How can we make it as easy as possible for this workflow to work with current themes?

Let’s start brainstorming some initial ideas and figure out how to move forward with a proposal for next week’s 3.8 meeting.

#3-8, #content-editing