2010 is the year of open source design for WordPress

January 14, 2010 | No Comments Yet

It’s no secret that a major design change is coming to this year’s WordPress development cycles in the form of a new default WordPress theme, but that’s not all. Jane Wells has announced plans for all things design—open source design, that is:

  • Creation of the wp-ui mailing list for design-related updates
  • Return of the design challenges that have determined the look and feel of the WordPress admin interface in the past
  • Mobilization of a distributed Usability Testing group
  • Creation of the #wordpress-ui chatroom on irc.freenode.com and setup of a weekly chat as with #wordpress-dev
  • Launching of the WordPress UI/UX blog

While I’m surprised all these things haven’t been set up sooner, I’m excited that design and usability are finally getting the attention they deserve—makes you wonder how WordPress got to be so beautiful without all these in place yet.

Between this, WordPress 3.0, and WordPress Multi Site, it looks like 2010 is a packed year for WordPress! There are so many things to do and lots of volunteer work is needed, so if you can find your niche in the community, why not contribute?

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What’s new with WordPress 2.8

June 5, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s another post that checks out some of the new features in WordPress 2.8. If you’ll go through the comprehensive write-up, you’ll observe that a lot of the improvements lean toward usability, accessibility, and performance optimization, which in turn improve one’s overall experience with WordPress. Example:

JavaScript files properly registered via the appropriate script API can now be placed at the bottom of the page. In most cases this is preferable, because JavaScript blocks parallel downloads (browsers need to evaluate it before proceeding) and can delay the time by which a page is usable and also the time by which the rendering is complete. So, unless a JavaScript file needs to be at the top, it can be moved to the bottom for better performance.

Check out the rest here.

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WordPress 2.5 and Crazyhorse admin panel usability report

October 29, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Jane Wells has posted a report on the usability testing of two WordPress admin panels: the one found in version 2.5 and the newer, rapidly-prototyped Crazyhorse (demo-ed in WordCamps worldwide).

Take note that this Crazyhorse is different from the WP 2.7 interface designs we’ve seen lately, which are a lot more polished. Still, you’ll see from the PDF that the redesign was a welcome change to the users, compared to the 2.5 interface.

I’m impressed at how transparent Automattic is about these things. For the casual WordPress user it may be a bit too much, but for the hardcore fans, it’s great seeing the whole story!

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