[wp-hackers] UI: too many widget sidebars?

Leonid Mamchenkov leonid.mamchenkov at gmail.com
Mon Jun 18 22:13:58 GMT 2007


Recently I've been working on a web site, which uses WordPress as a
web application platform.  Nothing to do with blogging at all.
Widgets came really handy.

In fact,  I switched the web site to be completely widgetized.  Front
page uses three sidebars (can we get a different name for these?) -
left, main, and right.  Then there is another one, which subsitutes
main area once the user logs into the web site.  And then there are
another two for other web site sections. (Conditional sidebars)

Many widgets are re-used from the place to place with slightly
different options.  And the best part is that the non-technical client
has full control of his web site layout (drag and drop, simple widget
options, etc).

There is an interface problem though which I haven't found how to
solve yet.  In Presentations -> Widgets screen, it gets too crowded
when the number of defined sidebars exceeds three.  Things get too
wide.  It's difficult to make sense of them.

I think that more and more people will start noticing this problem in
the nearest future, as widgets are so cool and gaining momentum.  So,
I suggest something is done about that interface before too many
people are disappointed. :)

I am not a big user interface designer or anything, so I don't know
any good way to fix it.  Two ideas that I had are:

1. Smaller sidebar boxes used in several rows.
2. Displaying only three sidebar boxes at any given time, but provide
next/previous sort of navigation (AJAX Gods?) to switch between
available sidebars.

P.S.: One thing I'd absolutely hate to do is edit core WordPress files. ;)

Leonid Mamchenkov

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