The WordPress Design Team recently had an in-depth conversation in Github about enhancing the publisher flow in Gutenberg. After watching Gutenberg go through several iterations since our last user test, I decided to try testing the current flow to see how well it was received by publishers. I hoped to identify friction or pain points in the Gutenberg authoring experience in the interests of helping refine the publishing flow.
A new WordPress content editing experience—Gutenberg—is coming soon to WordPress core, and 10up’s User Experience team is eager to understand how it will impact the experience for content creators. As a starting point, I created a usability test to study the experiences of professional, digital content publishers who are used to writing stories in the current editor. Building on other Gutenberg usability tests that focused on re-creating a prescribed layout, I instead asked professional writers to produce the same kind of content they already produce every day: write a simple story.
The user test asked ten participants to complete the following prompt:
Write a news-style blog post about somewhere interesting you have visited. Please include the following elements in your post:
- A title
- A paragraph or two about the place
- An image
- An extra item such as a video or blockquote
These tests were taken with Gutenberg 2.9.2 (the current build at the time the test was created). As of this post, the current version is 3.0.1.
During the unmoderated test, participants described what they were thinking as they progressed through the task. Their words and screen movements were recorded with permission.
Sketch, a digital design app for macOS, enables the the rapid creation of wireframes using libraries of symbols and and reusable design elements. 10up has extended these capabilities with SketchPress: a library of WordPress admin interfaces, symbols, and icons. When wireframing admin interfaces, SketchPress frees up our designers’ time to focus on big picture problem solving and user experience challenges, rather than the repetitive minutia of button treatments and existing page layouts.
Recently, SketchPress was recognized as the preferred admin wireframing resource by Make WordPress Design – the official core WordPress design team – and is now listed on their official Trello project board. This endorsement validates the utility of the project while inspiring us to continue iterating. We value feedback, contribution, and adoption by the community as we seek to share high quality open-source design resources as part of our commitment to openness and giving back.
Getting started with SketchPress
Download SketchPress from GitHub and open it in Sketch. You’ll see a number of pages down the left side of the interface. The first page is an introduction to the document and outlines information about what is included. If you plan to regularly use SketchPress, you’ll probably want to set it up in the templates folder: clone or download the repo directly into the Sketch templates folder, and you can to begin a new Sketch wireframe from the newly-saved template. Add or remove elements to begin modeling WordPress admin interfaces.