The Test Team helps manage testing and triage across the WordPress ecosystem. They focus on user testing of the editing experience and WordPress dashboard, replicating and documenting bug reports, and supporting a culture of review and triage across the project.
This post is the twelfth call for testing as part of the Full Site Editing Outreach Program. For more information about this experimental program, please review this FAQ for helpful details. To properly join the fun, please head to #fse-outreach-experiment in Make Slack for future testing announcements, helpful posts, and more will be shared there.
With WordPress 5.9 out in the wild, it’s time to start revisiting some common workflows that we’ve tested earlier versions of that have new tools, options, and more to explore. In the case of this test, we’re going to customize a 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. using everything from the navigation block to template part focus mode to then reuse this personalized header in a different template. Along the way, we explore how patterns are integrated into the experience, new dimension control options, and improved UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it. for the navigation 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.. While going through the experience, think about what would make it even easier and more intuitive to use as that’s ultimately the aim!
While there’s more information below to ensure you get everything set up properly, here are the key aspects to have in place with your testing environment:
- Use a test site. Do not use a production/live site. You can follow these instructions to set up a local installLocal Install A local install of WordPress is a way to create a staging environment by installing a LAMP or LEMP stack on your local computer. or use a tool like this to set up a development site.
- Use WordPress 5.9 (downloadable here).
- Use the Twenty Twenty-Two theme. If you’d like to repeat the test or switch things up, you can always use a different block theme.
- Use 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/ 12.6 (latest version).
- Have a test site using the latest version of WordPress (5.9). It’s important this is not a production/live site.
- Install and activate the Twenty Twenty-Two theme by going to Appearances > Themes. If you choose to use a different block theme, install and activate by going to Appearances > Themes > Add New and searching for the one that has the
Full Site Editinglisted as a feature.
- Create four different pages with different titles to add to your menu under Pages > Add New. No content in the pages are needed.
- Install and activate the Gutenberg 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 from Plugins > Add New. If you already have it installed, make sure you are using at least Gutenberg 12.6.
- By the end of these steps, you should see a navigation item titled “Editor (betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process.) under Appearance. If you don’t, you aren’t using a block theme and need to switch themes.
Helpful Hint: As you go through this test, you might find the List View helpful while navigating between content.
These instructions are intentionally more general to help you make the Header you create your own, to find more points of friction, and in case you are using a different block theme. At a high level, you should explore a few things with this test so, if the steps don’t align with what you see, either switch to the Twenty Twenty-Two theme for ease of use if you aren’t using it already or ensure you cover each of the features mentioned in the Overview section.
- Navigate to Appearance > Editor (beta). This will automatically open the site editor to the template powering your homepage.
- Using the List View, select your overall Header provided by your theme. If you’re using the Twenty Twenty-Two theme, you will see that it has provided multiple header options by selecting the “Replace” option in the block toolbar. Select whatever header you’d like to edit. Here’s a screenshot of what to expect here if you have this option.
- From there, enter the isolated template part mode to focus just on editing the Header in isolation. You can find this mode by selecting the overall Header template part > Opening the three-dot menu > Selecting “Edit Header”. You can learn more about this mode and the various ways to find it in this post.
- Once there, build out and customize your navigation block by adding the four pages you created earlier. Keep in mind that you can create draft pages that you will need to publish later in order to have them show up on the front end of your site.
- Continue to customize your Header to your liking, whether by using dimension controls in blocks like the Group or Row blocks (depending on what your theme offers), by adding any additional blocks (Site Tagline, Site Icon, etc), or by exploring more options in the navigation block.
- When done, select “Back” to return to your homepage template and make any additional changes you might want when seeing the template part in the wider template once more.
- From there, select Save and go through the saving flowFlow Flow is the path of screens and interactions taken to accomplish a task. It’s an experience vector. Flow is also a feeling. It’s being unselfconscious and in the zone. Flow is what happens when difficulties are removed and you are freed to pursue an activity without forming intentions. You just do it.
Flow is the actual user experience, in many ways. If you like, you can think of flow as a really comprehensive set of user stories. When you think about user flow, you’re thinking about exactly how a user will perform the tasks allowed by your product.Flow and Contextto save all the changes you’ve made.
- After saving, open the W menu > Templates and select another template where you’d like to ensure it uses the Header you just customized (for example, the Blank template). Open that template and, if the Header isn’t in place, add it in however you see fit before saving.
What to notice:
Remember to share a screenshot of what you created if you’re up for it!
- Did the experience crash at any point?
- Did the saving experience work properly?
- Did you find any features missing while creating or reusing the Header?
- What did you find particularly confusing or frustrating about the experience?
- What did you especially enjoy or appreciate about the experience?
- What would have made this experience easier and more intuitive?
- Did you find that what you created in the Site Editor matched what you saw on your site?
- Did it work using Keyboard only?
- Did it work using a screen reader?