Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » I’m not change resistant, but this has a way to go…

  • jvmedia


    Guys, you have a long way to go if you think you’re going to replace the default editor with this.

    Just spent an hour with it. For reference, my company builds custom WordPress themes and we create our own “builder” using Advanced Custom Fields. The upside to this is that, we can make it exactly what we want, we can name the fields and even provide hints and prompts to our clients who want to make their own edits, we can fully integrate design elements into our “builder” … this is just to name a few. I also have a lot of experience with designing user interfaces as well as usability testing.

    So here’s what happened during the hour I had played with this on a default WordPress install I set up:


    • I had entire blocks just disappear on me and a lot of the time, I was initially unsure of exactly what I did to make them disappear. This is bad. Some of the time it was placing a block, like an image block, and then deleting the image … the entire block went, which meant I had to go through the motions to add the block, then add an image block again, and then add my image again. Lame.
    • When I floated an image in a block, the text blocks below floated around the image block, however the image was large and that block was ordered above the text block. What this did, was “hide” the ability to hover over that text block that was now under the image so I could get the + symbol to create another block below that.
    • why does every little thing have to be in a separate block? That is a feature I think I actual detest. I do not want 50 zillion little fussy blocks on a page.
    • Columns is a bit of a usability disaster if you want more than 2. It’s like Inception – columns within columns. At least that was the only way I could figure out how to have more than 2 columns.
    • The ability to change font size on a sliding scale and change the font and background color … man, I can just see the average, non-web designer person abusing this. You want completely non-uniform font sizes and every color in the rainbow on websites? Because that is how you get non-uniform font sizes and every color in the rainbow on websites.
    • I was typing some dummy text, hit “enter” and it created a whole new block. Are you kidding? So I tried to replicate it, and did, then finally figured out that if you choose paragraph, it does that. If you choose verse, it doesn’t. That is gonna trip people up, big time.
    • At one point, I used the “font-bigger-maker” and I had this single, huge letter in the block … that overlapped the block below it .. and the one below that even. Then I couldn’t click into the blocks below it because the gigantic, imposing letter was preventing it. The only way to apparently get around this was to keeping moving the blocks around.
    • When I click the little + symbol to add a new block … why does it add it above the last block?? You also can’t move it until you populate it.
    • Hovering over the little + symbol gives you “Insert Block”. Then if you don’t see a grayed out symbol already at the top of the block editor for what you want, you’re like, okay … so how to get what I want in there? Then you notice, hey if I hover over this thing, the + sign is now on the left side … but it says “Add Block” … I just added the block WTF? So you click it anyway, and then all the other options come up. I would suggest you give some thought to naming or instruction prompts. Such as, once you add the initial block (basically the “container”), then you can populate it with layout, text, and media options.
    • Noticed there was a “table” option (which can be useful for displaying certain types of data) … doesn’t seem to be responsive out of the box.
    • I was able to mess with this thing to an extent (mostly with the columns within columns, and floating things) so that in the editor, it didn’t look like what it showed up like on the webpage. So that whole thing that your content in the editor looks like what shows up in the front end can be botched pretty easily. Any time you’re creating UI for anything, you have to figure out exactly how people can use your beautiful piece of work “improperly” or badly or however you actually didn’t intend them to use it … because they will find a way to do just that.

    I could spend more time pointing out all the badness, but I think that’s enough for a start.


    • Hey, floated videos! That’s cool and useful.
    • The “move down/up” feature on the blocks is pretty intuitive.
    • The gallery feature is nice (but you have to be careful to place it well beyond a floated block or else it will try to squish next to it … by the way a CLEAR BOTH would be pretty advantageous … maybe there is one and I just haven’t found it?)
    • The “hints” I saw in the color settings are a good idea (for example – when I added a button with funky colors there was a hint about how that combo might be hard to read).
    • I can see the usefulness of the “reusable” feature, but it would also be nice to be able to name a block without it having to also be a reusable block.

    I guess going all Microsoft on us and having the masses bug and usability test it for you is one way to go about it, but I hope you’re taking all this seriously thoughtful and critical feedback right back to the dev team and making some improvements. I can just see some of our clients getting mad frustrated trying to use this thing.

    Also, please do not force this as the default editor – keep it a plugin and allow people to choose which one they want to use … classic, or this. Above all, WordPress is the most popular CMS out there because it’s multiple steps above other CMS. Don’t lower yourselves to the Wix and Weebly level. You don’t need to compete with that. I’ve walked 50 year old clients through the admin of a custom WordPress site that we’ve designed and built and had them editing their own stuff in 15 minutes. I don’t think I could do that with this, especially in it’s current, beta state.

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by  jvmedia.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by  jvmedia.
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  • Plugin Author Tammie Lister


    @jvmedia first, thanks for taking time to leave such a considered review and feedback. I’m going to do my best to reply to everything you wrote.

    You certainly seem to have a lot of experience creating custom themes and your insights there are greatly appreciated.

    I would love to dig a little into some of the issues you have. You shouldn’t just have blocks disappear. Would you be able to create a bug report here: If not I would love to know a little more so I can create one for you.

    Similarly for anything else you experience, with people testing it is great to convert these into bugs. Your testing and reports are greatly appreciated.

    I will add responsiveness for columns is something to be explored, later version will have that absolutely. Similarly the table block is going to have a lot of work soon. It does sound like with columns though you maybe hit another bug, that’s great as we can dig into this and get fixes. Thanks again.



    @karmatosed You’re welcome! I’ll see if I can submit a couple bug reports for the disappearing blocks and the floating issues. I only looked at this with the base WordPress install (no other plugins active) with Twenty Seventeen and on the latest version of Chrome (Mac OS 10.12.6).

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