3 Comments

  1. Gary

    Alexis and Riad are both super talented folks, I’m very excited to see where they take phase 2 of the Gutenberg project.

    Tavern readers will likely recognise Riad from his work on building Gutenberg phase 1, as well as the excellent tutorials he’s been writing on his blog. If you haven’t seen it yet, he just published a super clean demo of using using modern JavaScript in WordPress plugins.

    As you mentioned in the post, Alexis brings years of design and product experience in publishing and CMSes from outside of the WordPress world, It’s going to be pretty cool to see how she adapts this experience to WordPress and Gutenberg.

    One thing I’m really looking forward to is seeing how the actual role and processes for design in WordPress can evolve. Historically, the “designer” role in WordPress has been relegated to styling and layouts: the shiny things. Similar attitudes existed in large organisations years ago, these have since been abandoned in favour of “design infused” processes: where designers and developers work together in a cooperative, respectful, iterative fashion. Neither role is more important than the other, both are working on different aspects of the same thing.

    We’ve already seen how effective this kind of process can be in Gutenberg, demonstrating that this evolution of design practices isn’t just for corporations, major OSS projects can do it, too. Even if you’re not a designer, you can look at the block editor, and see the consistency across the interface, something that WordPress has historically struggled to do.

    You’ve possibly heard of design languages for other projects: Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines, or Google’s Material Design are great examples. For developers, these kinds of standard design documents allow you to build really nice interfaces without needing a designer to lay everything out for you. For designers, you get to focus on the bigger UX issues, rather than needing to style the same button 100 times. We’ve already seen the beginnings of a WordPress design language in the Make WordPress Design Handbook, I’m quite optimistic about how this can be expanded as WordPress 5.0 is released, and Gutenberg phase 2 ramps up.

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  2. Gary Taylor

    The problem I’m having… you’ve managed to sum up in Theseus’s Paradox. If Gutenberg is effectively to become the new WordPress ‘engine’, why not just launch it as a separate product/platform? That way the classicists and modernists will both be happy!

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