Design Tweaks: Who's In? (An idea in three acts)

Posted April 25, 2009 by Jen. Filed under User Interface.


Jane: It is a thorn in my side that the blog name header is above the “dashboard” nav section in the admin, since in MU installations and with plugins (like stats), things in the Dashboard section span multiple blogs. Makes more sense for the header to head only the per-blog content area.

Mark: I agree about the header. “This is the menu, this is the content.”

All: Yep.

Five minutes later…

Mark: What do you guys this of this quick mockup I just did, playing with the admin header?
Mark Jaquith's mockup

Jane: I like it that the nav is not under the header. Might need some styling help. I was also thinking maybe the favorites menu should drop down into the white h2 area by screen options/help tabs.

Ryan: Menu color to the top with blog title pushed over and favorites next to screen options sounds quite nice.

Jane: I’ll ask Matt Thomas if he could style it [ed. note: Matt Thomas created the visual style for 2.7], and we can see what people think, maybe post on wpdevel for feedback.

Ryan: If it’s quick, maybe we could even get it into 2.8.


Matt T: Here are some comps based on what you told me.

Jane: Cool, but where are Screen Options and Help tabs?

Matt T: Still working on that.

Jane: Hm. Wonder if there’s time to open this up to community designers? I know we’re in freeze, and it’s no notice, but you didn’t get any notice either when we dropped this styling request on your lap a few hours ago. That’s the way open software development works: sometimes the best ideas come at the last minute!

Matt T: I’m all for letting the community take a stab at it. Especially if they come up with something brilliant to do with the Screen Options and Help tabs.

Jane: I’ll ask Ryan about release date and see if there’s time. I know they wanted your style recommendations today.


Ryan: Tuesday is probably doable, no later than that for final delivery of style and any gradient graphics, etc.

Jane: Awesome! People will hate me for the short notice after the has-patch marathon, but since it’s a small project and over the weekend, and wasn’t even something anyone was planning until a few hours ago, I’m *really hoping* people will take this for what it is, an attempt to give more people input into an upcoming visual change in the interface, even if it’s not a huge one.

Ryan: Would have the benefit of warning people that header and menu will be changed a bit.

Jane: And we can have a vote. If I can get all the materials together and post in the morning, that would give 2 days of design time for submissions on Monday, and if we do a day of voting Tuesday, that’s 3 days notice for the vote. I’ll make sure to post to all the lists, etc.

Ryan: Will we announce with comps from Matt T as examples of what we’re thinking?

Jane: I’ll write up the UX reasons for considering the change, and Matt T can provide some style guidelines and his original comps so no one will have to waste time mocking up the basic screen layout.

Ryan: That would help set the scope. We just want tweaks here and there, given the timing.

Jane: Woot!

On Your Mark, Get Set…
Okay, so here’s the deal. Modifying the nav/header to be a little nicer is was a last-minute design idea, and if it can’t be worked out in the time we have left before 2.8 (which is very little), we’ll just wait until 2.9 to work on it. But! If someone comes up with something the community really likes and it doesn’t break any of the design guidelines for the rest of WordPress, we could sneak it in.

UX and design guidelines for this mini-project are posted here (so as not to clog up anyone’s feed reader with big graphics). Read through the UX stuff, check out the comps Matt Thomas mocked up last night (with absolutely no notice, for the record). Use the .psd as your base, and when it’s time to submit your ideas, make a .jpg or .png and post a link to it in the comments on this post. (Note: Only comments containing a link to a design submission using this format will be approved. For general discussion about this design challenge or any of the submissions, please head into the #wordpress-dev IRC channel.)

Submit the link to your comps by 1am Tuesday, April 28 UTC (7pm Monday, April 27, New York time). If you have questions or want early feedback, we’ll be in and out of the #wordpress-dev IRC channel between now and then.

Once we’ve received the submissions, we’ll post a voting survey (much simpler than the icon survey; this one will be more of poll, just choose the one you like best) as soon as possible, and will post the link to it here as soon as it’s online. We’ll only keep voting open for one day because of the 2.8 deadline, so put it on your calendar if you think you’ll forget. Voting will close at 2am Wednesday, April 29 UTC (8pm Tuesday, April 28, New York time). Results will be announced the following day.


* Chats above are a conglomeration of actual chats.

Reminder: Only comments containing a link to a design submission will be published here. All other comments will be deleted.

If you want to leave a public comment about this contest, the design, etc., I’ve created a thread in the forums that you can use. Please discuss these things there. If you leave a regular comment here on this blog, no one will be able to reply to you, because only actual links to design submissions will be posted in the comments here.

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  1. […] SaturdayApr 25, 2009 Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet BoxJane Wells has posted a conversation on the WordPress blog ending in a an opportunity to make your suggestions, about tweaking the header in the WordPress admin. […]

    Pingback from Help redesign the admin header - Fun with WordPress on April 25, 2009

  2. […] in the WordPress Administration Panels interface, there will be a few minor tweaks. In “Design Tweaks: Who’s In? (An idea in three acts),” Jane Wells explains that your help is wanted to redesign the header area of the interface. […]

    Pingback from WordPress News: WordPressMU Updated, WordPress 2.8 News, WP.com, WordPress Events | The Blog Herald on April 26, 2009

  3. Here is my submission: a blog post explaining the reasoning behind the redesign, and a direct link to the image.

    Comment from Kaspars on April 26, 2009

  4. […] in the upcoming version of WP. Posted on April 25, 2009, the development blog post titled “Design Tweaks: Who’s In? (An idea in three acts)” is asking the community to take up a short notice design idea for possible inclusion in WP […]

    Pingback from Help design dashboard navigation for next WP version | The Shopping Network on April 26, 2009

  5. Here is my submission


    psd is also available here :

    Comment from arena on April 26, 2009

  6. […] WordPress › Blog » Design Tweaks: Who’s In? (An idea in three acts) Design Tweaks: Who’s In? (An idea in three acts) (tags: design wordpress challenge) […]

    Pingback from links for 2009-04-26 | Blog Wolkanca on April 26, 2009

  7. […] diskussioner kring finputsningar för layout och design i den nya adminpanelen som vi kan se i bloggen. Något som dock har fått lite motstånd ibland testarna. Man anser att man inte bör ändra för […]

    Pingback from Kommande, WordPress 2.8 | Eyesx on April 26, 2009

  8. […] diskussioner kring finputsningar för layout och design i den nya adminpanelen som vi kan se i bloggen. Något som dock har fått lite motstånd ibland testarna. Man anser att man inte bör ändra för […]

    Pingback from | WP-Support Sverige on April 26, 2009

  9. This is a pretty awesome opportunity so thanks for it.

    Since we’re under the wire, I didn’t go too crazy changing any core files other than the wp-admin.css file.

    Here’s a link to my screen shot, and here’s a link to the CSS to make it work (if you’re anxious to see it in action.)

    Comment from John James Jacoby on April 27, 2009

  10. For my submission I tried to stick with what we have as best as I could. I like this one because its a little more personal for the user and saves quite a bit of room with the site link (which for WPMU could be made into a drop down).

    Screenshot: http://p51labs.com/projects/wordpress-2.8-navigation/screenshot.png

    PSD: http://p51labs.com/projects/wordpress-2.8-navigation/km-db.psd

    Thanks for the consideration!

    Comment from Kevin Miller on April 27, 2009

  11. Mockups are all on the page linked below, I’ve included examples of expanded and collapsed menus, plus a couple of minor variations in colours, plus some reasoning behind my choices.


    Looking forward to seeing what others suggest.

    Comment from Dean Robinson on April 27, 2009

  12. […] there was a post on the WP dev blog asking folks for ideas and tweaks to the Dashboard design.  Jane Wells linked to the related WordPress forum thread if you want to contribute or just follow […]

    Pingback from Hackers Highlight 26 April 2009 | WPLover on April 27, 2009

  13. […] macht Jane Wells im WordPress Team sich einige Gedanken zum Backend Design und ruft zu Ideen auf, die das Backend nicht neu gestalten, nur optimieren, so dass Nutzer nicht verschreckt werden. Aus […]

    Pingback from WordPress Design Tweaks – bueltge.de [by:ltge.de] on April 28, 2009

  14. […] Das Voting für die eventuelle Verbesserung des Backend in WordPress 2.8 ist offen; nur wer mitmacht kann mit entscheiden. Hintergründe finden sich im Beitrag Design Tweaks: Who’s In? (An idea in three acts) […]

    Pingback from Design Tweaks Voting für WP 2.8 - Design, Tweaks, Who’s, Beitrag, Hintergründe, Verbesserung - WordPress Deutschland Blog on April 28, 2009

  15. […] quick comp I did last night in response to WordPress’s call for AI revision designs. My internet went down last night, so it’s a bit late, but you can do with it what you will. […]

    Pingback from Concept Comp for WordPress 2.9 « Gordon Brander on April 28, 2009

  16. […] Entwicklerteam hatet deswegen kurz vor Toresschluss noch einmal zu einem Designwettbewerb aufgerufen. Der Navigations- und Headerbereich des Backends sollte optimiert werden (Guidelines). […]

    Pingback from Modifikationen im Desing von WordPress 2.8 » Peruns Weblog on April 29, 2009

  17. Пора переименовать блог, присвоив название связанное с доменами 🙂 может хватит про них?

    Comment from Marinkina on May 22, 2009

  18. […] there was a post on the WP dev blog asking folks for ideas and tweaks to the Dashboard design.  Jane Wells linked to the related WordPress forum thread if you want to contribute or just follow […]

    Pingback from FARIFUNCOM » Blog Archive » Hackers Highlight 26 April 2009 on July 10, 2009

  19. Her whole family is preditory. That father of hers complaining HARD about his $150,000/year salary.
    Now we all know where she gets it.
    Should be automated anyways. You let the blacks in New Orleans off.
    Barely skilled labor.
    Reincarnated as milking cows, ironically.

    Comment from Good riddance on September 19, 2009

  20. Спасибо. В этом блоге комментаторы хоть нормальные.. А то пишут обычно в комментарии ерунду всякую.

    Comment from loputreyu on September 24, 2009

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