Admin Help: 14 October 2013

We had a good meeting today and did a lot of fine-tuning of some of the ideas that have been tossed around.

One admin help path to rule them all

Last week, we had decided to try to let things roll with the two different ideas that were presented (a help page and a contextual help box with pop-ups/tooltips). This week, after some discussion, we’ve scrapped that idea in favor of rolling with the mockups that @veraxus presented.

A few notes:

  • We’d like to add links to the codex on the update screen and the dashboard welcome box
  • We haven’t yet decided whether tooltips or modals would be best for contextual help. @trishasalas will do some user testing on Verify to try to get some feedback. It’s worth noting that this may be guided by content — modals give us more room to have more detailed descriptions but require a user action. Tooltips are arguably more “in your face” but disappear if you move your cursor, so are best used if the message is fairly succinct. They are both good for different things.None of this help content is actually written, so it’s hard to know which would be the best option right now.
  • Help icons for metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. boxes should be floated left of the title, since floating right interferes with the toggls
  • Help icons for options should be floated right with some sort of uniform alignment

Keeping up to date with other initiatives

Helen Hou Sandi is working on styling the default jquery-ui css to be more integrated into the general WordPress dashboard styles. That work is going into this:
https://github.com/helenhousandi/wp-admin-jquery-ui

Mel Choyce has been working on CEUX and MP6 and general admin updatedness. At least some of that stuff can be seen here:
http://melchoyce.com/wpadmin-ui/content-editing.html
with updates and stuff available here:
https://make.wordpress.org/ui/tag/ceux/

Additionally, if we’re talking about icons (and we sort of are), we should be looking at Mel’s Dashicons icon font which is bundled with coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. and used for all the icons:
http://melchoyce.github.io/dashicons/
…until further notice, that’s what we have to work with as far as an icon set (though presumably ideas for new icons or porting specific icons from Genericons could be suggested to Mel) since there are no plans to bundle Genericons with core at this time.

As we start moving forward, we should keep these things in mind as much as possible and try to keep what we’re doing in line with what they are doing, e.g. if Helen is working with jQuery 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. — which has tooltips — we can use those jquery tooltips instead of something else. Likewise with modals, if we decide to go that route.

Let the coding begin

I think we’re ready to start writing some code. The tentative plan is to start with a 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/ repo and move that into the Contextual Help 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 that’s already on .org when we have something to show/use/test. I will post a link to the repo just as soon as either @veraxus or I set something up. 🙂

#3-9, #admin-help

Admin Help: 7 October 2013

Today we had a fairly productive meeting (I think).

Admin help mockups were presented and discussed


from @trishasalas


from @veraxus
More mockups here

and

from @ubernaut

Discussion

@trishasalas is proposing a new top-level 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. menu that opens a Squarespace-like, human-driven help page with a search and some easy-to-navigate/use links, e.g.:

  • I would like to…
    • …write a post
    • …add a design
    • …etc.
  • @trishasalas will work on designing some mockups to show this page and some of the other potential screens

@jazzs3quence noted that it may be tough to sell a significantly different icon than what would work with the overall design of MP6

  • does this affect how useful it would be to have a sidebar option at all if it blends in with the other sidebar menus?

@jazzs3quence suggested that @ubernaut’s and @Matt’s mockups are really the same idea, with some slight differences and proposed that we consider them to be the same thing moving forward.

  • @jazzs3quence will try to get in touch with Matt (I’ve responded to his post, I will contact him via email if he isn’t checking post comments or doesn’t get email updates from this P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/.) and invite him to our next meeting since we’re talking about his mockups.
  • @ubernaut will work on some variations on Matt’s mockups that make the help on/off toggle more persistant

Both of these options will require some dev work.

We need devs

  • @jazzs3quence will set up some 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/ repos once we start laying down some code and can help with some of the development when we’ve got some ideas about the direction

@jazzs3quence has suggested that, at least for now, we look into both options and pursue both (see above)

  • @trishasalas will work on some Verify tests for these options to see if they can guide us in one direction or the other

Other notes

  • Anyone else is still free to submit mockups/ideas that are different than the ones that have been presented. We can talk about pros/cons at the next meeting.
  • The revised plan is to shoot for inclusion in 3.9

#3-8, #3-9, #admin-help