New look in the future

Let me start off by saying that it really has been some time since I even posted anything on either of my sites. Part of it is because I have been working weird, crazy hours at Starbucks and the other because I have a growing boy that loves to test my patience more than starving cat.

As many WordPressers may know there have been a few things that have been changing. One of which is the adoption of the first thought up MP6 plugin that unfortunately didn’t make it to core but will now be released with 3.8 in December.

The MP6 project was an attempt to redesign the administrator side and it did it really well, in my personal opinion. The use of genericons is what sets this apart from the past and previous versions of WordPress. I think it is a good thing and really good direction.

3-7-dash

Currently the dashboard ( admin side ) looks a little bleh for some. Granted you can choose one of two color schemes. Blue or gray. As you can tell from the image on the right the icons appear to be simple icons which many deem pixel art. And to a certain extent they are.

Yes, they do the job of communicating what each one is supposed to represent if there was no text beside it. Perfect for smaller screens. The downside is that with the next generation, high resolution screens being adopted by many those little pixels are becoming more and more visible and can look almost outdated.

With MP6, that is taken away and instead of a gif, a font is being used. You read it right, a font. It’s not really new but the implementation of it is fairly new. If you know fonts then you would argue that using genericons is much like using an ornamental font to create a different user experience. To a certain extent you would be correct but that is out of the scope of this post.

The launch of WordPress 3.8 will reveal a new look, new colors and will boast a few other little surprises that I cannot wait to see. The biggest of course is the all new admin side look:

3.8-dash

As you can tell the look is very different. Darker. More contrast. Best part I feel is the fact that it is much better in the readability department. The current look uses a bolder, slightly emphasised text to make it stand out from its background. The upcoming has a very dark background and the font is actually increased a little more, which is a good thing so you don’t strain your eyes when you try to read in smaller screens.

Those are great and all but what I’m really super, duper excited about is the new look for how the way themes will be presented. For some time that little section has plagued and probably haunted many people. Part of that reason I think is because you can quickly get lost or confused. Yes, I do mean confused.

theme-admin-3-7

As you can tell the themes are all displayed but it is a little hard to get an idea of how they present content with small previews. Clicking on the details unfortunately does not give you a better idea as seen in the following screenshot.

theme-preview-3-7

With 3.8 it will be a bigger view of the theme’s screenshot so it will give you a slightly better idea of how it looks on a default installation of WordPress.

theme-preview-3-8

As you can see the information about the theme is presented in an overlay that covers a good portion of the screen. I think for the better. It should. I mean it is what you want the focus to be on, right?

The best part is the new look of how all the themes are actually being displayed on the screen. As you can see in the following image the thumbnails got a bit bigger and some space was also introduced between them. Which I do like.

theme-admin-3-8

These are just a few of the things in store for the release of WordPress 3.8 that is due out mid-December. I, personally, cannot wait for this version since it does seem to have a lot of design, and theme, related touches added to it.

WordPress 3.6 in April

The most recent version of WordPress got delayed but I feel it is for the good. The reason this time is because the features are not quite the way the community would like. There are some minor issues but will be fixed within the time span.

The reason I’m pretty pumped about this next major release is for ¬†two reasons:

Post Formats

Why post formats? They have been around for some time now. The reason I’m pretty pumped about it is because this is one thing that not many people know about it. It has been dormant for some, like myself until about a year ago. Have yet to use all of them and experiment with them all.

Media support

Media support is going to be one of the bigger one since I know there are sites that use WordPress more as a CMS than blogging/publishing tool. The thing that really got me very excited was the introduction of mediaelements.js to core.

WordPress now has video and audio playback?
WordPress now has video and audio playback?

Seeing those little brackets around the words audio and video made my heart leap a little bit. Almost brought a little teardrop to my eye. The reason I got super excited was because when I first started this personally run blog I was on the lookout for a plugin that was able to do video playback. I love taking videos and would love to be able to expand on that a little more as my web experience expands and progresses.

What does that mean for other people?

For other people it means that they will be able to expand a little more. I think sites that already use video or audio will be happy in that they will be able to use one less plugin. I will keep wondering as to how many more sites will be using the support to their advantage and how many developers will encourage the use.