[wp-hackers] Lingering UI follow-up #1

Jane Wells jane at automattic.com
Wed Oct 8 21:49:49 GMT 2008

Back from WordCamps, will try to respond to as many of the points  
brought up over/since the weekend.

> From: Stephen Rider <wp-hackers at striderweb.com>
> Something to also point out here is the off-and-on discussion of
> WordPress as a "full CMS".  Regardless of its full capability, people
> will always tend to see it as "blog software" so long as the interface
> stresses blog aspects so much.
> Perhaps the community is perfectly fine with that -- I certainly use
> it for blogging -- but it's worth pointing out.
Hi Stephen. I talked to Matt Mullenweg after reading your comment and  
asked him if I should be trying to make labels more generically CMS- 
oriented or keep the blog terminology. He opted for the latter.

I think that while WP is a blogging platform that can be used as a  
CMS, we look good in comparison to all the other blogging platforms.  
If we declare ourselves a CMS, we'll be judged by a different set of  
criteria and functionality that we don't have currently, so even  
though people use WP as a CMS, I also think it makes sense, for now  
anyway, to retain the blog platform identity.

> Manage --> Tools didn't bother nearly as much as losing "Write".
> Here's a thought though -- part of the confusion was probably in the
> way that clicking on "Write took you to a write screen, so people just
> started writing.  Also, depending on what screen you were on, clicking
> Write or Manage took you different places -- VERY confusing.
Uploading a video isn't really writing, though. Even adding a link to  
the blogroll is more like typing or copying and pasting than writing.  
I get the love of the Write label, being a word/writing geek myself,  
but as more non-text formats become common, it's probably not the  
best navigational metaphor. Create or Add would have been more  
inclusive, but the decision was made to go with an object-oriented  
top-level navigational model in response to user feedback.

> Personally, I use Ozh's Drop Down Menus plugin, and I'm not quite sure
> why we're not integrating something like this into Core.  This is
> ***so much more like a desktop app***, and it saves a massive amount
> of a) room, and b) clicks.  It's outstanding.
Ozh's drop down menus plugin is fantastic, and I hope many people  
will continue to use it.

> From: "Rich Pedley" <elflop at googlemail.com>
>> There are two fundamental opinions about navigation here: start  
>> with a few
>> menus and have deeper/broader subs, or have more main menus, with  
>> shallower
>> paths and fewer subs. We are basically switching from the former  
>> to the
>> latter to try and address some of the problems people have had with
>> findability, but again, the switch from write/manage to posts/ 
>> links/media
>> etc isn't really adding a bunch more navigation in terms of number  
>> of top
>> level links, they're just grouped differently.
> But it will mean a learning curve for current users, and I can
> guarantee now that a good proportion of them won't like it.
Based on the user testing we did on crazyhorse, in which the users  
performed tasks up to 6 times faster after only using the new  
interface for two days (compared with using their own blogs for  
months/years), I'm guessing the earning curve won't be too bad for  
most users. We'll also publish FAQs, screencasts, etc. in the week or  
two ahead of the 2.7 launch so people who do have trouble making the  
change will have a reference.  As to many people not liking it, yeah,  
possibly. When there are millions of people liking anything, it's an  
infrequent occasion that they all agree on anything being the best  
way to do something. Except maybe kittens. Everyone likes kittens. If  
it turns out that the majority hates it, we'll reconsider the  
approach, but so far the majority has approved of the change. And in  
any case: plugins! :)

> The current design doesn't work as a lot of people have to scroll up
> and down, anything that stops that is a plus. However all this talk
> about the menu does make be wonder if it will be keyboard accessible
> or not. I really hope it is...
The menu will be accessible (you mean tab-accessible, yeah?).

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