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WordPress 2.7 Wireframes

Posted October 1, 2008 by Jen Mylo. Filed under User Interface.

For those of you who have been downloading the nightly builds or contributing code to 2.7, you’ve noticed how quickly features are being added, small layout changes are gradually being implemented, and the application is morphing before your very eyes. For the most part, the response has been extremely positive, but even the people who love 2.7 have been wondering what it’s going to end up looking like. Though 2.7 is still a work in progress, we’ve put together a set of wireframes to illustrate how we think it will all turn out, so you can take a look under the hood of the design process, so to speak.

The PDF attached to this post outlines the navigation model, header elements, and important screens such as the dashboard, the new post screen, and list screens for posts, comments, and media.

Some things to bear in mind if you’re not used to looking at wireframes:

1. These are a guide, not a dictate. Changes may be made by developers and designers as needed for technical, aesthetic and/or usability reasons. When you have a team of superfast developers like we do, sometimes wireframes can become out of date quickly. In the two hours since these wireframes were approved, for example, already there are a few things that have moved and a menu change or two. Tweaks will continue to be made over the next week or two before freeze. This is Alpha software, not Beta, and it’s not static. That’s part of what makes it exciting, that every time it’s updated there’s something new.

2. These are all black/grey/white. That’s because we have a designer hard at work on visual styles for the new admin panel, including color palette, fonts, graphic elements, etc. When we have a new look to show off, we will. For now, the wireframes are “lookless” on purpose.

3. Not every screen is wireframed. We focused on creating wireframes for those screens that are undergoing the most change. For screens retaining largely the same functionality and layout, we have not included wireframes. In some cases, we’ll be updating screens but haven’t decided how to do it yet, so those aren’t included either.

4. Some elements apply directly to wordpress.com or wordpress.org, so don’t be alarmed if you see something that doesn’t seem to apply (like multiple dashboards).

One of the things I love best about WordPress is the vibrant community full of talented developers and designers who care about the application and want it to be the best it can be. Despite the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve gotten when showing 2.7 at WordCamps and from the majority of the community, there will always be people who would prefer it to be structured another way, which is why we love plugins! The decisions that went into 2.7 were based on a combination of usability testing results from 2.5 and Crazyhorse (both including laser eye tracking, official report to be released soon, but slides from WordCamp SF available in meantime), community feedback, personal and professional opinions, and some thinking about where the next couple of versions will be going in terms of new features, so that we will have a design that scales to accommodate some the features we hope to incorporate in the future.

So, I hope you enjoy getting an inside look at how we’ve been organizing our thoughts around 2.7, and that when the community feedback starts flowing everyone remembers that we all want the same thing: the best WordPress possible.

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