How usable is WordPress? (Part VII – Rough Paper Prototypes)
I’ve started to move on from analyzing problems in the WordPress interface into sketches of what, specifically, can be improved. Design of this kind seems to work best in a series of iterations, so this is iteration one of three. As preface, here is what the back-end of a hosted WordPress.com blog looks like (click the image to see the entire screen width; opens in a new window):
Some of my ideas on how to improve the interface can be found in these paper prototypes (a Google Doc PDF).
Recommendations (each are further explained in the PDF):
- Make the “Visit Site” button more visible.
- Show the changeable nature of the interface by adding “x” (close window marks) to each module.
- Re-organize the left navigation based on user goals: to blog! Better “chunk” functions based in order of usage.
- Remove “turbo” from upper right corner.
- Remove the WordPress announcement banner.
- Begin to improve clarity in WYSIWYG by moving “upload/insert” into main tool section.
- Improve ability to find where things are in the back-end menus by putting “edit” links in front end – like is currently done for each post (when user is logged in).
- Make module/menu expandability easier – don’t have the drop down arrow disappear.
- Improve Help menus by adding links from text to function.
- Link dashboard modules to their corresponding pages in the back-end.
Here’s a quick visual of some of the changes to the dashboard (again, click to see full image); you can see hand-drawn sketches and revisions in the PDF:
Confused? Feel free to drop me a line with any questions.
In the meantime, see the next iteration of my mock redesign in Part VIII – Iteration 2.
This post is part of the ten-part series called Is WordPress Usable?
- Part I – Introduction
- Part II – Picking a Method
- Part III – Preparing for the Cognitive Walkthrough
- Part IV – Analysis by Cognitive Walkthrough
- Part V – Conclusions from the Cognitive Walkthrough
- Part VI – The User Test
- Part VII – Rough Paper Prototypes
- Part VIII – Iteration 2
- Part IX – Iteration 3
- Part X – Conclusions
The series documents my learning process in attempting to systematically identify usability problems in, and suggest improvements to, the WordPress.com blogging software as might be done in the emerging field of User Experience. This project was undertaken as part of LIS590IIL, a class held in the Graduate School of Library and Informaton Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois during Fall of 2009.