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Dear WordPress community, we've turned WP-admin into a monster!

Cc00a4eb9366fcf378d991cbb3714ecc?s=47 Monique Dubbelman
September 02, 2017

Dear WordPress community, we've turned WP-admin into a monster!

A few events recently occurred: a WordPress developer posted a screenshot on Twitter of the WP Admin of a website he’d just taken over. It was also the day I handed over a site to one of my clients. While I was explaining them where to find what in WP Admin, it struck me: there seemed to be no logic in a lot of the menu-items at all!

While we’ve all been busy designing websites with a focus on the front end, we seemed to have lost track of usability when developing extra functionality for the back end of WordPress, WP Admin. New menu items created by plugins, seem to be all over the place, not to mention the notifications that come with them.

Even though most of us are working with WordPress on a daily basis, taking over a website developed by another company isn’t always easy. So imagine what it is like for someone with less experience.

This presentation is a first analyses on the WP admin of a WordPress website, that has the most popular plugins installed. It also presents findings of research done amongst plugin developers, on how they decide how and where the menu of a plugin should appear. Finally, I’m encouraging WP Admin users to participate in an online user test, that will help us to create a foundation for a more user friendly WP Admin.

*This presentation was part of a lightning talk I held on WordCamp Nijmegen, September 2, 2017.
https://2017.nijmegen.wordcamp.org/session/dear-wordpress-community-weve-turned-wp-admin-into-a-monster/
The video is on WordPress.tv
https://wordpress.tv/2017/10/14/monique-dubbelman-dear-wordpress-community-weve-turned-wp-admin-into-a-monster/

Cc00a4eb9366fcf378d991cbb3714ecc?s=128

Monique Dubbelman

September 02, 2017
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Transcript

  1. Dear WordPress community We’ve turned WP-admin into a monster! Monique

    Dubbelman @boemedia
  2. None
  3. None
  4. WordPress admin in 2003. Image source: http://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/evolution-of-wordpress-user-interface-2003-2009/

  5. None
  6. None
  7. Now what?

  8. Is WordPress for everybody?

  9. https://wordpress.org/about/philosophy/

  10. We love to challenge ourselves and simplify tasks in ways

    that are positive for the overall WordPress user experience. https://wordpress.org/about/philosophy/
  11. Every version of WordPress should be easier and more enjoyable

    to use than the last. We love to challenge ourselves and simplify tasks in ways that are positive for the overall WordPress user experience. https://wordpress.org/about/philosophy/
  12. How do plugin developers think?

  13. Some Figures & first findings Our plugin developers are experienced

    (yay!) The majority of the respondents works with WordPress for more than 5 years.
  14. On average, most plugin developers have 1-3 plugins in the

    WordPress directory
  15. When you develop a plugin, do you think about where

    you implement your menu items?
  16. “Integration with WordPress is more important than own company branding”

  17. There are 2 plugin style guides, but the majority of

    the plugin devs hasn’t heard of these. Helen Hou-Sandi has created one (https://github.com/helen/wp-style-guide). The other one is by Frank Bültge (https://github.com/bueltge/WordPress-Admin-Style)
  18. Do you think the labels of the core menu items

    of WP Admin make sense? Extra, Tools and Appearance are sometimes unclear
  19. WordPress notification system is used by the majority Mostly for

    settings of the plugin, saving data or after an update. (But: 26,3% uses it as a marketing tool as well)
  20. None
  21. Is the outcome of this research representative? No

  22. Is the outcome of this research representative? No Should it

    be?
  23. Is the outcome of this research representative? No Should it

    be? No
  24. With the incredible amount of available plugins, how much do

    you think the usability of Admin Area could be improved by restructuring?
  25. If only one person thinks it could be improved, it’s

    worth improving With the incredible amount of available plugins, how much do you think the usability of Admin Area could be improved by restructuring?
  26. Where do we go from here?

  27. “Navigation said: turn right"

  28. None
  29. None
  30. Future goals for greater usability (Some thoughts…) better onboarding via

    email series or tooltips more intuitive grouping of admin tasks better guidance (checklist?) for plugin devs on how to create a plugin with an intuitive
  31. this research might first lead to creation of a (new?)

    plugin that gives WordPress website creators more flexibility on structure, functionality and look and feel per user
 Plugin Admin menu editor can do this for you already 
 … that eventually will be integrated in core as an out-of-the-box feature in WP- admin
  32. Monique Dubbelman Twitter & Slack: @boemedia mo@boemedia.nl Plugin developer questionnaire

    can be found at http://bit.do/wp-admin Please share, or more important: fill it out!