I’ve always thought the left-column vertical navigation of the admin section was clumsy and inconvenient, and so I install the Ozh Admin Drop Down Menu on every WordPress install I do. An article from Smashing Magazine today confirmed that for me. I think the Ozh menu or something similar should be default in WordPress.
Significant thought and testing went into the decision to change to a left-hand menu in version 2.7. We won’t be changing core to a top menu any time in the near future, but Ozh’s plugin is awesome, so luckily you have an easy alternative for customizing your admin menu to be horizontal.
As a note, that Smashing Magazine is regarding web sites, not applications, which are structured differently. Part of the move from top to left navigation was to make WP more of a web application and less of a web site. The Smashing Magazine site is running WordPress, for the record, so you’d think they’d mention it as an example if they were referring to web apps.
Hmm, I think that left-handed is better in this situation, because there are too many options for drop-down horizontal menu.
“Significant thought and testing went into the decision to change to a left-hand menu in version 2.7”
I hope that this will be user-tested again.
When you have plugins that add items to the meu, you have to scroll pretty far down to get to them.
I don’t understand why horizontal navigation couldn’t be built in as an option so that we can choose, and the explanation that the idea was to “make WP of a web application and less of a web site” isn’t a very user-oriented rationale. I think what users want–and especially my clients who are novice users but can handle WordPress basics on their onw–is something easy to use. They really don’t care if it looks like a Web app. Having to scroll down, reach over to the left of the page, and then expand a menu to see the selections under it is not their (or my) idea of easy to use.
Just my 2 cents.
Oops. Forgot to add to my post above that the Ohz admin menu is terrific and would solve the problem IF it worked in all cases. Like many plugins, it can have incompatibility issues. I am trying to work some out even now. Relying on a plugin to deliver a reasonable scenario that could be built in is risky because of those WP to plugin and plugin to plugin compatibility issues.
Unlikely. Like Jane said, there was a lot of work that went into the switch and even more that went into the design. From a usability standpoint, this is where WordPress works best for most people. Not all, you’re right. Putting both in as an option for a minority is a lot more work for the dev team, which I suspect many people would rather see them spend effort and time on other things.
You can put in a request on trac, but I’m fairly certain it’ll be denied. They did usability studies and this is what you get. Sorry, man.
Thanks, ipstenu. I am amazed this wins on usability tests. Not one of the WP users who I know, at any level, likes the left/vertical menu. I used to manage a usability testing group and it really just blows my mind that this menu was a winner. Maybe they were comparing it to the icky old WP menus and not to Ohz’s Admin Menu. Or all of the users were left-handed 🙂
Anyway, since posting that I found this beautiful alternative:
Fluency 2.3 by Dean Robinson
It is still a vertical menu on the left, but you can hover over a top menu item to see the submenus. No need to scroll forever and click a top item to see the sub-items. It’s elegant and is working like a charm with WP 3.0.1.
And when WP 3.1 is released a new version of Fluency will have the option to display the menu at the top as a horizontal drop down:
Dean’s own blog is also terrific. When he gets to the horizontal drop down version of Fluency it will blow Ohz Admin out of the water.
In any case, i don’t need to bother the WP folks anymore.
you can hover over a top menu item to see the submenus. No need to scroll forever and click a top item to see the sub-items. It’s elegant and is working like a charm with WP 3.0.1.
You get much that same effect when you collapse the menus and make them skinny (click on the bars between sections).
Glad you found a solution for yiu, though, and thanks for sharing 🙂
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