A Fresh Take On The Design Of The WordPress Backend

George Kordas WordPress Backend RedesignBrowsing ManageWP.org, I came across a submission that piqued my interests. George Kordas, an interactive designer and front end developer based in Melbourne, Australia, submitted a project to the creative social network Behance.net. WordPress Admin Theme Redesign is the name of the project and it shows a fresh new perspective on what the WordPress backend could look like.

Created in 2011, the project was meant to show a different look to the WordPress backend while matching the code to current HTML and CSS markup standards. According to George, he wanted to try to “create a more current and engaging user experience.” Near the end of the project’s description, he notes that this redesign will be a free plugin which is currently in production.

GeorgeKordasWPBackendRedesign2

When asked on Twitter how far away this plugin was from being available, George replied:

The Excitement Over This Design Is Reminiscent Of Ghost

While this project barely had 2,000 views on Behance a few days ago, it’s now over 19,000 while news of its existence is spreading throughout the WordPress community. I’ve seen a lot of excitement surrounding this redesign. For instance, people are already asking where they can buy the plugin. It reminds me of the time Ghost was in the middle of its Kickstarter campaign. People were chomping at the bit to use software that had only been represented by screenshots. It was new, fresh, and even if backers didn’t have one idea as to how useable it would be, they didn’t seem to care.

Would Like To See More Admin Redesigns Like This Project

The redesign project by George is in a similar situation. It presents the WordPress administration area in a way we have not seen before. It has that new car smell but like Ghost, no one knows how useful the design will be. If a beautiful interface is not useable, then what’s the point? We’ll know how useful it is once the plugin is released. Until then, I’d love to see other people in the same career field as George take a stab at recreating the WordPress backend based on the way they think it should be designed.

I can’t wait to try out this plugin. I love the design improvements in the WordPress 3.8 backend but being able to use an entirely new concept is exciting. What do you think of the redesign based on the screenshots and the video on the project page?

10 Comments


  1. Not sure if I would pay for that plugin…

    Also making admin skins that are drastically different can cause plugin UIs to break. Just my two cents.

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  2. Admin UI is really looking nice and quite interesting. I am really quite sure about paying for this plugin because many wordpress webmaster and users want to use the nice admin UI. If client is want to use this UI and likes it then we should go for this plugin for sure. @Syed Balkhi

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  3. @Syed Balkhi – I wouldn’t pay for it either. The experience I get with the enhancements from MP6 suit me just fine. However, if it remains free, I would love to give it a try to see how it works and if the workflow is any better than what WordPress currently has.

    It would be funny in a way to install the admin redesign plugin and see all sorts of plugins break because the UI is changed around. However, if plugins used the same UI elements that are in WordPress already, I’d think it would be a smooth transition.

    As I mentioned at the bottom of the post, I’d love to see more radical redesigns of the WordPress backend. Even if they are not useable, it would be nice to see real world examples of a WordPress backend that was designed from the ground up, not based on the current design.

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  4. @Syed Balkhi – I agree with your concern about breaking the UI, but that looks so much better. If the plugin was done right and was basically just SASS/CSS it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

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  5. Definitely a breath of fresh air! I would buy it of course as I am constantly testing new admin approaches for/ within WordPress. There are already a lot of other approaches out there – look at WordPress.org repo or marketplaces like CodeCanyon…

    Stuff is “only” likely to break if plugin and/ or theme developers make their stuff not compliant with the core UI and API. I have no problem if stuff breaks, then we have the chance to tell those devs what’s up and that they should become active in using the core UI & API. That might sound like a bit more work but in the end a win-win for all parties involved.

    Really can’t wait for this plugin mentioned above!!! :-)

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  6. To me this feels like someone had too much of their new iOS settings page. A first glance at those screenshots tell me it is all just very superficial:
    * more whitespace
    * bigger icons
    * gradients everywhere
    About 10% of this screen real-estate is of any real use to the writer. Another admin redesign is not what’s going to make WordPress better. If I take the bigger picture above out of consideration, I can value George’s original take on this as something fresh and not seen before.

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  7. It’s pretty, but I don’t see it as any real UI improvement. Also, all the screenshots are of really wide-screen monitors. I wonder how well it would translate to a more-conventional resolution monitor?

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  8. Yes to the post and yes to all the thoughtful comments. I’d just like to second your push for us to be thinking about this experience. MP6 doesn’t really change backend functionality, it’s pretty much some cosmetics, yet I just can’t tell you how much “happier” MP6 makes my backend experience. I’m in the backend of a bunch of blogs all day long and MP6 makes me smile. That’s a lot!

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