WordPress Admin Help

Here’s a draft of the proposed project scope:

As part of the move towards developing features in plugins, we’re looking at making improvements to the WordPress admin help. On Monday at 3:30 UTC we discussed the issue in #wordpress-dev

The Problem: The current Admin Help is hard to find unless you know it’s there. The content lacks any focus; it’s simply a description of what’s on a particular screen and doesn’t add any particular value. It’s possible that we’re failing WordPress users by a) not providing useful help in the Admin, and b) not providing adequate basic resources in the Codex.

Work was carried out by @chexee in ticket 21583 on making Help and Screen options more discoverable.

In 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/., Matt talked about the 96% attrition rate on wp.com, and how it was probably higher on WordPress due to the extra steps. If users are getting frustrated and walking away from WP, how can we prevent that frustration?

Goal: to alleviate frustration in people who find the admin too difficult to use.

(Note: changing the Admin is outside of the scope of this project. We are creating help for the admin as it is. However, testing and research will inevitably show up issues which we should record and make available for others to work on should they wish to).

Some questions to keep in mind:

  • how can we best provide admin help to users?
  • what help do users need?
  • how can we ensure that help is unobtrusive for people who don’t need it?
  • what tools are available to us?
  • should we de-couple screen options and help?
  • how can we ensure that the help is accessible to all WordPress users?

The process:

1. Research & Identifying the Problem
Before fixing the problem, we need to discover what problem users are facing. @trishasalas has started writing some questions for user testing so we can identify at what stage the pain points are appearing. For example, are they baffled when they first log in to WordPress, or are they having problems when they are in the middle of work?

@jazz3quence has started researching how other platforms are implementing admin help, and the tools available. Once we have identified the problem we can match a tool to it.

We should also draw up a list of WordPress plugins that are providing admin help (WP-Help, for example).

2. Mockups
Mockups and sketches will be created for the following:

  • the user interface
  • the user’s journey and interaction with the functionality

3. Design & Development
A 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. designer will put together the interface (to match MP6) and developers will be needed to create the 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. After the first version we go on to the next phase.

4. Test and iterate
Testing and iterating for fun and profit.

5. Finish!
Time for tea, beer, or scotch.

Who’s needed:

It would be desirable to get the following skills involved:

  • developers
  • UI designers
  • technical writers
  • WordPress users (for testing)
  • people who run WordPress training (to provide feedback)

#3-8, #admin-help