Usability Testing for WordPress Customizer Theme Switcher Improvements

I did five usability tests for theme switcher and sliding panels in the customizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings..


  • Users found the customizer very user-friendly overall.
  • Expected clicking on a theme thumbnail to open a preview, not the details modal.
  • Difficulty navigating back using the current 4.2-alpha design (pre-31289.diff).
  • Expected clicking the “Save & Activate” button to not kick them to the front end.
  • “Save & Publish” is clicked a lot more often for sliding panels.
  • I asked two users (note small sample size) which navigation style they preferred, both picked accordion.

Full Videos

  1. 1406491a-usertesting.mp4 (17m5s)
  2. 1408362a-usertesting.mp4 (8m53s)
  3. 1408760a-usertesting.mp4 (7m58s)
  4. 1408936a-usertesting.mp4 (11m15s)
  5. 1414874a-usertesting.mp4 (15m35s)

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#accordion-vs-sliding-panels, #customizer, #theme-switcher, #usability-testing-2