Hallway Hangout: Pattern Party Testing Walkthrough (6 October)

This is a summary of a Hallway Hangout that was wrangled in the #fse-outreach-experiment channel as part of the FSE Outreach Program. It was intended to be a casual walkthrough of the current call for testing with @sparklingrobots taking the lead sharing their screen. Big thank you for being brave enough to meander around the call for testing publicly.

As a reminder, there is still 1 week left to participate so please join in if you can.


 Thank you to everyone who attended 🙂 @karmatosed @mkaz @shaunandrews @paaljoachim @annezazu @sparklingrobots @richtabor

Video Recording:

Feedback Overview

Throughout the session, some specific issues were noted as problem areas to follow up on, including some previous reported and some new:

  • It’s not clear when you are adding a theme 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. outside of the 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. vs within. In this case, it was confusing when the Post Comment Count block wasn’t properly displaying the number of comments and it wasn’t clear the issue was that it needed to be within the loop. There’s an open issue to discuss this general phenomenon.
  • She had a desire to change the post excerptExcerpt An excerpt is the description of the blog post or page that will by default show on the blog archive page, in search results (SERPs), and on social media. With an SEO plugin, the excerpt may also be in that plugin’s metabox. length, which has an open enhancement issue.
  • There was an issue with the post title overflowing outside the bounds of a Query Loop block pattern. Need to replicate and open an issue!
  • There was a strange Inserter issue where you couldn’t find any theme blocks based on the current block you were selecting. Need to replicate and open an issue!
  • The call for testing itself needed to have updated instructions as you need to install 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/ first before activating a block theme. This was updated live on the call.

Outside of specific points of feedback about the experience, there were also high level themes that became apparent as @sparklingrobots made her way:

  • They were confused about where various settings were expected to be, sometimes seeking out the block toolbar and other times the block 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.. For example, it was unclear at a glance how to change width of overall query and how to change the number of posts displayed.
  • The placeholders for various theme blocks were underwhelming and often not informative enough to know quite how to customize.
  • She was confused by how by selecting one Query Loop pattern, they instead ended up with two Query Loops! This is part of one of the default patterns included in the Query Loop block and could cause confusion long term when thinking about having more complex patterns.
  • There was a desire for more dimension controls for various blocks including the Columns Block and Post Comments block. This is under active iteration!

We ended the call talking about how the future of the Query Loop block powering more user friendly variations, an integrated block pattern library, an overhaul of the IA of the various design tools, & more will help ease this current experience. For now though, we’re in an in between state where loads can still be learned to improve the default tools themselves.

Next Steps

@annezazu will follow up next week after she returns (she’s out Thurs/Fri) to replicate and open issues.

#fse-hallway-hangout, #fse-outreach-program