[wp-hackers] Re: New Posting Screen

Matthew Mullenweg m at mullenweg.com
Thu Jun 23 19:07:21 GMT 2005

Scott Merrill wrote:
> Why?  The old admin interface, while maybe not perfect, was servicable.
>  Changes from that foundation can address usability, and workflow,
> without adding gimmickery.

Because I think you have a misconception of what it does and doesn't do 
based on what other people have told you?

> The same variable layout could be accomplished in any of several ways.
> Preferably in a way that respected individual author preferences.

Everything you move or minimize is saved in a cookie and will eventually 
be stored in your profile on a per-user basis.

> Per-user data could include those items that the blog admin allows
> authors to access, and also whether or not that author has chosen to
> display or hide them.

Things they can't access are already hidden. Having the controls inline 
with the interface saves us yet another configuration screen with yet 
another interface. People with far more resources than us, like 
Google/ig and My Yahoo have taken this exact same approach, I think we 
would be unwise to ignore their research and testing in this area. I'll 
be getting some more in-person feedback at Gnomedex as well, I keep the 
screen cached on my laptop.

> As was discussed earlier on the list, a single "SAVE" button, instead of
> the three seperate ones ("Save & Continue", "Save" and "Publish") would
> easily remedy some of the confusion.

> A redesign of the page, taking into some of the consideration of Gabriel
> White's review, could easily make good use of the screen real estate
> above the fold.  Sliding widgets doesn't really offer much.

Gabriel White's review as well as several others are playing a role. I 
also think WP will be a project at the next FLOSS usability sprint, 
which will include some of the most widely respected and professional 
interaction experts in the bay area. (And actual user testing.)

> How about a completely plugin-driven post interface?  Plugins present
> whatever form(s) they want, and hand the POSTed data off to WP handler
> functions for that data, which in turn performs error checking, saving
> to the database, etc.  Then we can have as spartan or as fancy an
> interface as we want.

I would hate the first question in any support thread to be "what 
interface are you using?"

> My mom uses WordPress, but will never install it; so an install-time
> prompt is functionally no different from an Options page prompt for her
> (and for anyone else using a hosting-provider-installed WordPress).

I meant in hypothetically, as a test for if something was important 
enough, not an actual suggestion.

> Are you seriously asserting that sliding widgets improves usability?

I don't think any "widget" improves anything. But I think the simpler 
default interface is simpler and more usable. I think having one 
interface is better than N +1. I think that if customizability can be 
lightweight and non-intrusive, that's a *great* thing. I believe that 
things should still work with JS off, and they do. I also believe there 
is a lot left to do.

> Now, if -- on the post screen -- my mom could dynamically resize the
> textbox for post entry, she might be impressed.

This should be in relatively soon, I have the code working but I'm 
trying to constrain it to vertical expansion and not horizontal expansion.

Matt Mullenweg
  http://photomatt.net | http://wordpress.org
http://pingomatic.com | http://cnet.com

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