[wp-hackers] Seeking feedback on Plugins UI

Aaron D. Campbell aaron at xavisys.com
Sun Jun 8 17:20:38 GMT 2008

DD32 wrote:
> On Thu, 05 Jun 2008 21:24:50 +1000, Ozh <ozh at planetozh.com> wrote:
>> My thoughts:
>> I don't see much improvement in the Plugins page. The bulk selection 
>> stuff
>> is cool, but I'm definitely not fan of the "let's split the plugin 
>> list in
>> 3 parts" move: yet another area in the admin where I will be scrolling
>> back and forth like crazy to find what I'm looking for (especially 
>> between
>> the "not active" and the "recently active" lists)
>> What I find more efficient and would like best would be a single list 
>> with
>> filtering capabilities:
>> <http://planetozh.com/download/plugins/better-plugin-page-demo/>
> I guess it comes down to the user really.
> A few people who i've talked to about it rarely goto the plugin 
> interface, When they do, they're generally after deactivating an 
> active plugin, or activating a plugin.
> Or its to upgrade a plugin, In general, They're only interested in the 
> Active plugins.
I kind of like the idea of separating the plugins into multiple lists, 
but I think three is excessive.  What's wrong with just an "active" and 
"inactive" list?  Once you give the user an easy way to delete and 
install plugins, I don't think there will be a ton of plugins that 
aren't used, so that third list will only hold "recently added and 
not-yet-activated" plugins, which probably shouldn't be on the bottom 
since the user is probably planning on activating them.
>> Note about the wording: "available plugins" might be confusing here. A
>> plugin can be available "on my blog" or available "for download from
>> wp.org", so I recommend the good old "inactive". "Available" makes more
>> sense on the page where you browse and pick a plugin to install.
> My thinking was "Here are the plugins you have installed which are 
> Available for use"
I agree with OZH, I'd use "active" and "inactive" and then use 
"available" for plugins that are available to be installed.
>> The other pages under the "Install Plugins" page are definitely cool and
>> bring true features.
>> I'm not sure we need a "recently updated" list: either we get 
>> notification
>> updates for plugin we have installed, or we find a cool plugin by 
>> browsing
>> through popular or by searching, right? "Newest" can be a cool page 
>> to get
>> some inspiration ("hey, nice plugin idea, I'm going to try this") but I
>> can't imagine why I would ever look at the "recently updated" list.
I think that "recently updated" shows that a plugin is under active 
development, and hasn't been abandoned.  However, it's not perfect 
because often plugins have a longer release cycle than what wp.org 
considers "recent" ...So I understand its purpose, but I'm not sure it 
quite accomplishes it.
>> More infos in the "Install Plugins" pages would be cool: average rating,
>> sure, but how about the number of ratings, the number of downloads, and
>> infos about version compatibility (a lot of plugins are mentioning 
>> they're
>> compatible up to 2.3)
> Yep, Compatibility needs to be mentioned, Still unsure how to show that
> Total downloads... Thats not really a statistic which needs to be 
> expressed in the downloads list IMO, I'm not interested in a plugin 
> being downloaded 1000 times ot 5 times, What i want is something that 
> is rated well, and completes the needed task.
> I am open to ideas though :)
I think that total number of votes and total number of downloads are 
both important.  Total number of votes because a plugin rated 5 stars 
with only one vote (probably the plugin author's) shouldn't look the 
same as a plugin with 5 stars and 100+ votes.

As for the total number of downloads, I think this gives similar 
information on the viability of the plugin.  People don't often come 
back to the plugin page and vote for a plugin that works.  However, if 
the plugin causes them problems, they come back and vote it down.  So, 
if a plugin has a couple thousand downloads, only 5 votes, and a 3.5 
star rating, I can probably assume there are a lot of people out there 
that like it, would rate it in the 4-5 star range, and just didn't vote.

Which leads me to the next point:
>> A cool feature to consider would be a way to rate a plugin right from my
>> own Plugin Management page. That would increase connectivity between 
>> blog
>> users and wp.org/extend and make those ratings more relevant with more
>> votes.
> That is a good point, I'll have a think about it. It does increase the 
> conection between the 2 significantly..
> There's possibly going to be a few changes to change that in the 
> future too, So i think i might leave that thought until later, and 
> just get the core installation working first before looking at the 
> integration issues.
What is changing that would keep this from being accomplished?  As a 
plugin author, I'm continually frustrated by the lack of feedback from 
users.  I have one plugin with 1800+ downloads and 5 ratings, another 
with 2300+ downloads and 4 ratings, and yet another with 6300+ downloads 
and only 5 ratings.

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