User Experience of Training Team Make Site

Folks in the training team have collectively provided bits of feedback about the current structure of the Make site for the team for a little while. This conversation turned into more of an in-depth evaluation of the site and it’s purpose at WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. NYC’s contributor dayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. this past month. In this post, I’m summarizing some of the key pieces of that conversation (myself, @melindahelt and @Becks979 attended) and applying pieces of that conversation to the current structure of the website. Please add your thoughts as to what pieces of the website need to shift in the comments of this post.

General Thoughts

  1. It needs to be more clear that there are completed lesson plans that can be used in real life.
    • I’m starting to think that the “Lesson Plans” navigation item should lead to a landing page that describes the available workshops rather than the long list of workshops in progress.
  2. Examples that show different ways to use the lesson plans would be helpful
    • We could include case studies, for example, that show how the plans have been used at a meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area., at a mini-workshop, at a conference, etc.
  3. We need a handbook.
    • Most Make teams have a handbook that contains the logistical information about how to contribute to the team and how the team self-organizes. This information is scattered across our site currently and needs to be gathered into one location (e.g. style guide,
  4. The lesson plans in progress need an explanation.
    • The handbook on the site is currently used to house the in-progress lesson plans, which is confusing due to it’s inclusion of partially completed plans. An introduction on the first page that explains what this is – and what it isn’t – would be helpful.
  5. Inconsistent use of tagging/categories
    • At different times, folks have categorized/tagged the blog posts on the site differently, leading to a somewhat meaningless structure. @courtneyengle had started to clean this up at one point and perhaps this is something we should revisit.
  6. Areas of Focus
    • The “Areas of Focus” 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. on the 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. was intended to be an easy way to find the threads that relate to current conversations the team was having. It hasn’t been used as such much this year, though we were very consistent about using it this way during the second half of 2015. Perhaps this section should be renamed something like “current priorities”? Some of the content linked from it now should really go in a handbook instead and we could use it to bookmark key blog posts instead?
  7. Rethinking the blue box
    • I think revisiting the description of what the team is (e.g. are the lesson plans really “downloadable” as we describe?) could be important. We also should use this area to promote the use of lesson plans that already exist as well as contributing to the team in other ways (the list of which we should also review).

Some Specific Changes

  1. Teacher Resources – this page needs to be rewritten to be in line with the lesson plans that we’ve created and to rely less on outside resources.
  2. An FYI, I changed the time of the meeting on the contact form to the new time.
  3. There are some pages that may not make sense to include any more given the current direction of the team: proposed theme lessons, proposed user lessons, project status.

Please add your reactions to any of these ideas, suggestions of changes we can make to improve the user experience of the website, and any other thoughts about the website in the comments!