Design Share: Mar 14–25

Hi, all! Here are a few projects the Design Team has contributed to over the past couple of weeks.

Status & visibility panel improvements

@javiarce shared some explorations to improve the ‘Status & visibility’ panel in the inspector 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. on this issue. You can also use this prototype to learn about its context and interact with the solution.

Adding post categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging. templates

@jameskoster has been looking at how we might enable the creation of post category templates for GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ issue #37407

Page start options

@jameskoster is also exploring a pattern-centric view of edit mode for PR #39147.

Style variation hover animation

Gutenberg PR #39322 introduced a hover frame containing extra information about individual style variations. @critterverse and @joen have been helping to explore designs for the secondary frame as well as animation options in issue #39700.

Group, Row and Stack icons

@joen worked on new icons for “Row” and the incoming “Stack” blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience., as well as how those group block variations could show up in the multi-select toolbar and inspector.

Comments query loopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop., default design mockups

@joen mocked up a default style for the comments query loop block.


If you have updates you’d like to include in the next Design Share, please drop a note in the Design channel on the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. or message @critterverse.

#design, #design-share

Design Share: Feb 28–Mar 11

Hi, all! Here are a few projects the Design Team has contributed to over the past couple of weeks.

Backgrounds & Overlays

@javiarce and @joen discuss the background and overlay properties of the Cover blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience., and how they might be simplified so they can apply across other blocks as well (Figma file). These explorations have been shared on GitHub, and are related to to recent discussions around background block support.

Openverse headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes.

@fcoveram has been working on a second iteration of the Openverse header. This time, he’s exploring two navigational layouts and adding a profile area for future features.

Process improvements

@fcoveram shared some ideas for improving current practices around the contribution process in a new blog post: Design contribution process

If you have updates you’d like to include in the next Design Share, please drop a note in the Design channel on the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. or message @critterverse.

#design, #design-share

Design Share: Feb 14–25

Hey all 👋 Here are a few projects the Design Team has contributed to over the past couple of weeks.

Site Editor navigation

@joen is tinkering with @jameskoster on wild ideas for GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ issue #36667: a dedicated space for navigation.

Cover blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience.

@javiarce and @joen started collaborating on improving the Cover Block to support multiple overlays.

Block locking

@critterverse shared a modal design and flow for user-level block locking.

Documentation update

@estelaris has been working on an update to the hashtag and its future use in documentation articles.

As part of the redesign of end user documentation, the docs team is looking into changing the hashtag # used at the end of the headlines in the articles. The hashtag nowadays has a different connotation but mainly because it is not accessible. The aria label applied to the hashtag makes screen readers duplicate the headline without warning or explanation.

The purpose is to remove the character # but not the functionality of an anchor link.

3D model icon

@fcoveram started exploring an icon for the 3D models content type Openverse is discussing displaying in a separated result.

WordPress Design Library

@javiarce started improving the WordPress Design Library. He upgraded the containers used to showcase the components and the examples, added descriptions, cleaned up some components, and refined the information blocks. He also analyzed the state of the components and variants, wrote a to-do list to highlight the pending work, and drafted a plan to deprecate the old components.

If you have updates you’d like to include in the next Design Share, please drop a note in the Design channel on the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. or message @critterverse.

#design, #design-share

Design Share

Hey all 👋 I’m sharing a handful of “snapshot” style updates from the Design team from the past couple of weeks. I’d like to try sharing these updates for a couple of months and see if it’s useful!

Here are a few things that have been worked on recently:

Advanced template creation

@jameskoster explored how we might expand the template creation UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. to accommodate more advanced templates. Discussion is ongoing in GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ issue #37407.

@joen mocked up how it might look if you could assign your featured image in any block that supports media.

Pattern fills in overlays

@joen also mocked up how it might look if you could use a pixelated pattern fill as an overlay in the Cover block.

Designing the State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/.

@javiarce and @beafialho wrote a blog post about the design of the State of the Word presentation.

Openverse — New headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. design

@fcoveram explored a new header idea to solve usability, internationalization, and consistency problems, and also designed a new version of reporting content popover considering usability and a11yAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) concerns.

These projects are just a small sample of recent design work happening in the WordPress community. Have you contributed to the Design team lately? The Make blog is a great place to share process and updates! Feel free to use the comments section below to share your work ⬇️

#design, #design-share

Redesign of Openverse

A few weeks ago, we introduced the new Openverse identity as the beginning of a redesign journey, where we placed the search engine within the WordPress ecosystem. Since then, we have been working on a new interface that consolidates the new brand and puts consistency with WordPress at the forefront.

You may have heard about Openverse during State of the Word 2021, which is perfect timing to dive into what’s coming next for Openverse.

Audio. The new content type

The goal of Openverse is to catalog all openly-licensed content, not just images. To start this journey, we decided to include audio results as a new content type that many creators use for various purposes. This integration demanded designing an interactive audio player component with multiple variants and accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) as a primary concern. Even when Openverse spans a simple flow, the audio browsing experience is completely different from searching for an image.

We wanted to keep the interface as clean as possible, but the vibrance of the brand colors also excited us. For this reason, we used our brand yellow for the active, ‘playing’ state. Its boldness really shines when interacting with the component.

At the same time, we wanted to highlight the artwork that creators added to their audio, whether album artwork, a podcast logo, or an image taken during a field recording, for example. For audio tracks without artwork, we plan to design a default image that uses the spectral data of the audio file to add randomness.

We will post about that in the following weeks.

Audio and images were mentioned as relevant content types by our users during the interviews we ran. For that reason, we explored the idea of having a gallery showing all content results to exhibit the strength and flexibility of Openverse. There aren’t many search engines, to our knowledge, that integrate results from different media types, and we’re excited by future possibilities like multimedia user collections.

Imagine a biology teacher making a collection of images of crows; audio files of crow calls; and 3D models of the skeletal structure of a crow’s wing!

The resulting gallery challenged us to make a simple yet interactive page to preview audio and dig into the content details.

Browsing results without leaving

Since time ago, we have been hesitant about the idea of seeing the content details as a modal. The page view provides a straightforward navigation and interaction experience when opening the source site and copying the attribution info. However, it felt as leaving the search results page and splitting the browsing experience into separated moments.

The new modal looks clean, and the main content is even more predominant. On images, the showcase space is modest, whereas audio fills the modal width to allow a seamless experience. The result details are clustered in sections, and the vertical lecture is flexible to varying heights. 

Next steps

I would love to dive into other changes like the new headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes., the symbol animation when loading content, and all the accessibility challenges when designing the audio states. But for now, this snap summarizes the essence of the new Openverse.

We are looking forward to putting this redesign online and seeing what people come with. This step, after the brand work, is a solid one towards a future where Openverse offers a space for creators to use openly-licensed content.

In the meantime, see the Releases file for the audio integration mockups and the Design Library for the components used.

#design #openverse

About WordPress 5.9

It’s about that time again: time to start creating the About page for WordPress 5.9.

I took a first pass on the About page using some preliminary copy that’s loosely based on the script for the recent Introducing WordPress 5.9 video. Here’s a link to this draft as a Google doc — all are welcome to view, edit, or comment there directly!


In addition to the page content, I’ve also mocked up a couple of different visual directions for the headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. artwork.

Direction 1 is inspired by jazz album covers and classic movie posters (particularly by this movie poster design by Saul Bass):

Direction 1: Balloons

Direction 2 is based on organic brushstoke shapes and is inspired by the lovely design work for the upcoming wordpress.org/news redesign:

Direction 2: Brushstrokes

The next steps from a design POV would be to create new header artwork in whichever style we choose for the other section pages (Credits, Freedoms, and Privacy). I’d also like to look into how the chosen look & feel could potentially be utilized for the Dashboard page to help create visual consistency between the two sections.

The featured content is still TBD but hopefully this first draft can help get the conversation going! Design feedback is very much welcome at this stage — please comment on the Trac ticket with your thoughts and ideas. 🙂

#design, #release-focus

Background editor improvements

This post presents an analysis that Channing Ritter and I have made of the Cover and Image blocks and offers some ideas to improve the user workflow and streamline some of the basic operations, like cropping, image placements, and rotation.

We’ll also offer an idea to integrate Fill modes into Cover blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. settings. The designs, prototypes, and an analysis of the current functionalities are available on this Figma file.

Our intention with this exploration is twofold. We’d like to:

  • Simplify the way Image and Cover blocks work.
  • Offer image editing functionalities so that users don’t need to resort to outside tools.

Besides these objectives, our work tries also to address this issue created by Matías Ventura regarding the improvement of the Cover block:

Cropping issues

Before we present our designs, let’s see some of the current problems with the cropping tool.

The first one we encounter when using this tool appears right after the user clicks the crop icon. We go from this toolbar:

To this one:

We think this change is quite disorienting because the toolbar gets reorganized, adding new icons and removing the cropping and link icons in a very abrupt way. We’ll show a possible solution to this problem in a minute.

But there are some other problems with the cropping functionality. Let’s see a video of the cropping tool in action:

As you can see in the previous video:

  • It’s impossible to revert a change made inside the cropping mode. Clicking “apply” inside this mode essentially creates a new image and replaces the original one. This means that every time users make a change and go back to the cropping mode, they can only edit the new cropped image.
  • The rotation option is limited to just 90º increments.
  • The zoom only allows zooming in, and it only goes from 100% to 300%.
  • In order to zoom in, the user needs to click the crop icon.

But the main problem is that the cropping mode works in a convoluted way: instead of selecting a rectangle and extracting the content inside, the cropping tool defines a viewport (using the set “Aspect ratio”) that will be used for the crop. Users can move the image inside, but this movement is restricted to one direction and limited by the outer bounding box of the block.

Once the user applies a crop to the image, the image then expands to fill up the entire space of the block using the selected aspect ratio. This is confusing since the user sometimes interacts with a small image that suddenly grows and fills the whole block.

Secondary toolbars

A solution to the problem we mentioned above about the confusing toolbar could be to use dedicated toolbars for certain groups of actions.

These new toolbars would present a title indicating that the user is now inside a different mode, the set of options for the functionality, and links to apply and discard the changes.

It could look like this:

And here’s a list of explorations we did for the placement of the elements:

Walkthroughs

We’ve created three walkthroughs that explain several aspects of our proposal:

  • How to integrate the cropping tool and other editing background functionalities inside the Cover block.
  • How different Fill Modes could work.
  • How could we add the cropping tool inside the Image Block.

These prototypes are self-guided, just open each of them and advance to the next slide clicking each screen. A series of notes will explain each concept.

Cover Block

A question we haven’t addressed on this exploration is what happens with the focal point functionality this block offers.

On the one hand, it could make sense to keep this feature, because it allows centering an image that is larger than its container. On the other hand, however, this block’s new background editing capabilities would make it very easy to enter inside the Edit background mode, reposition the image or crop it, and apply the changes.

Fill modes

Image Block

Thanks!

We hope you like these explorations and help us with comments and suggestions.

#cover-block, #cropping, #design, #design-tools, #gutenberg, #image-block

Adventures in Block Theme Switching

FSE Outreach Program coordinator Anne McCarthy facilitated a recent call for responses (a slight change in format from the recurring FSE calls for testing) on the topic of blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. theme switching, which officially kicked off the process of “thinking long term about what folks would want to be able to have across themes.” According to Anne’s follow up summary:

When it came to ideas for how to best manage the switching process, it quickly became clear that there’s a balance to strike between not adding too much friction to the process while also offering users options to pick and choose what can come with them when they switch.

The call for replies resulted in some imaginative descriptions of how this all could work. The responses also raise some important questions: what role should themes play in the world of block themes, especially when users may want to mix & match styles and layouts from different themes? What does switching themes mean in this context, when you might be able to use aspects from several different themes?

I used some of the responses to Anne’s post as a starting point for a blue-sky exploration around what theme switching might look like in a world of highly flexible themes that — in the true spirit of WordPress — can be hacked and cobbled together to your heart’s content.

Approach

The flows shown below stem from on an ongoing series of posts by Javier Arce and I that explore the possibility of introducing a GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/-style mosaic interface across WordPress screens — including, for example, on the Appearance/Themes page. This is a thought experiment that we are excited to share more widely — please feel free to leave comments on the blog posts or message us directly in the Making WordPress Slack!

Idea 1

Redesign the current Live Preview theme switching flow to incorporate a process similar to multi-entity saving

Entry point: Appearance/Themes

First, I explored the most literal translation of the current theme switching flow as it exists today while incorporating the top bar and other familiar Gutenberg components.

Just like the Live Preview functionality works now, we could utilize a 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.-like preview that would allow users to preview and navigate the site before activating the changes. Selections regarding which styles and layouts to activate could be made in a 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. panel, similar to the one used for multi-entity saving.

Like the current flow, the default behavior is a one-click activation that would switch styles and layouts to the new theme’s defaults (or to the user’s prior customizations of that theme’s templates, where applicable). This is based on the assumption that the majority of users will want to switch everything to the new theme’s look — but the activation panel also provides an opportunity to offer more granular selections. 

We could utilize the thumbnail preview that appears within the Global Styles panel, and there could be a toggle allowing you to switch between the theme being previewed and the active theme on your site.

A close-up view of the upper right hand corner of a live preview screen. It shows a sidebar panel containing a toggle for switching between the preview and current theme, as well as activation options.

From there, it would be possible to drill down into more nuanced selections. For example, you might want to keep certain aspects of your active styles (e.g., just the color or typography) and have those be activated rather than the new theme’s defaults. Similar selections could be made for the layout by picking and choosing which Templates and Template parts to keep active on your site when switching.

A fun variation on this idea is to utilize a slider for comparing the before and after layouts (similar to an Image Compare block):

Idea 2

Make Theme management accessible directly from the Site Editor

Entry point: Global Styles panel

This approach utilizes a “design dashboard” focused on theme management. This idea was originally explored as part of an Appearance menu overview screen.

What if block theme switching could be integrated directly within the site editing flow? For example, a modal containing the Appearance/Themes page could be directly accessible from the Global Styles sidebar. This would allow theme switching to happen more seamlessly without ever leaving the site editor, and hopefully turn the sometimes stressful moment of theme switching into something more akin to changing settings — it’s a low effort modal to close, reopen, and keep tinkering with.

Idea 3

Reconceptualize themes to emphasize styles (with optional or de-emphasized Templates)

Entry point: Global Styles panel

Editing "Index" template in the site editor. Image shows the Global Styles panel with options for three different theme styles. The options are a yellow, white, or black background color palette with various type styles.

The last idea takes inspiration from a super interesting alternate range of color schemes shipping with the upcoming Twenty Twenty-Two theme. What if changing themes was about swapping styles, with template changes becoming something more seamlessly intertwined with existing editing flows? For example, maybe you could browse Template parts from other themes via the inserter or an in-canvas selector.

In this case, navigation between theme styles could happen directly from within the Global Styles panel. Utilizing the current Global Styles navigation pattern, perhaps you could drill down further to adjust and fine-tune after selecting a theme style.

What’s next?

While there’s a lot left unexplored in these flows, I hope these sketches can help serve as a starting point for design discussions around things we would like to see in the future of block theme switching! A great next step would be to start narrowing in on an iterative pathway towards enabling the mixing-and-matching of block themes — at the moment of the theme switch and potentially beyond.

#design, #site-editor, #theme-switcher

Moving to Bi-Weekly Meetings

We had our team meeting a few days ago (Oct 6) in #design  on Slack. One of the topics was around the scheduling of our meetings. Currently, we do a weekly meeting with the last meeting of the month being on Zoom.

One of the agenda items for our meeting was to discuss moving to a bi-weekly schedule. Since everyone in attendance seemed to be in favor of the change we’ll be starting this new schedule immediately. Next week (Oct 13) there will be no formal meeting. Our next meeting (Oct 20) will take place at the normal time (18:00 UTC) and will be on Zoom.

While there will be less formal, synchronous time, I encourage everyone to continue to share progress, suggest issues, and ask for help in #design on SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. at any time.

In addition to informal Slack chatter, there’s also some ongoing “Hallway Hangout” sessions happening throughout each week. These casual hangout sessions usually take place on Zoom and topics vary. Sometimes they are planned ahead, and other times they’re spur of the moment sessions announced in Slack.

Come join us in Slack and I hope to see you at a future meeting.

#meeting-agenda, #meeting-notes

Sept 2021 “Show & Tell” Recording

Our monthly “Show & Tell” Zoom call took place yesterday. This video chat is a place for designers to share their in-progress work and an opportunity for anyone to give feedback.

This months chat covered the following:

  • @karmatosed is planning to look into blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. support and will likely have a #hallway-hangout soon.
  • @javiarce shared his designs for background images.
  • @critterverse shared her designs for theme switching.

Next week we’ll have our regular, text-based SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. meeting.

#design, #meeting-notes, #show-and-tell