For weeks before and after the announcement of Project Icon‘s results, WordPress users have been waiting in anticipation. Like so many other network-based web platforms operating with healthy levels of traffic, an interface overhaul was well overdue, and WordPress Version 2.7 provided much expected promise. Certainly not in vain: Having officially transitioned and gone live at 1am this morning in London (UTC), I’m now reveling in the brand new interface as we speak. In fact, I think back now and realize how much the previous UI had begun to go stale in face of exposure to significant and somewhat recent Last.fm and Facebook upgrades (whether those were successes or not, time has yet to tell). The new dashboard punctuated with Ben Dunkle’s winning 35%-in-favour designs is impressively easy on the eyes, and the icons are well-defined, slightly larger and more simply lined. To much relief, the traditional WP buttons have been streamlined and the palette has been toned down for a more neutral, compacted finish overall. And if any typefaces have been re-assigned in the stylesheet, the change is only marginal with a suitable balance between both serif and sans serif fonts (the latter a star member of the Lucida family).
What’s really wonderful and immediately evident upon logging in is that customizable, single-page navigation has been made possible (not to mention ridiculously easy) via further diversification of the Dashboard, which now includes a ‘QuickPress’ feature for speedy publishing, as well as ‘Turbo’ add-on tools most compatible with Firefox 3.0 and Google Chrome browsers. And when you publish from the standard post editor, the page doesn’t automatically take you to involuntarily write another new post as it did before; instead the current remains open in view for further tweaking until you’re satisfied (admittedly this ‘Update Post’ enhancement is one I especially like). With the addition of a control panel in the upper left-hand margin, the Dashboard now fits more snuggly with the traditional F-structured page-flow for increased enhancement in reading and digesting web content so commonly implemented by designers. Add to that the visibility of recent drafts and blog stats in the admin panel decreasing the necessitation of excessive scrolling as a result, and you’ve got a winning WordPress version that’s certainly worthy of making Matt‘s parents proud.
Sarah Badr © MMVIII
See also: WordPress.org