DP Dashboard – An Alternative WordPress Admin Design

DPDashboardLogoCreated by Tung Do of DevPress, DP Dashboard is a plugin that transforms the back-end of WordPress into something that is supposed to be simpler, modern, clutter-free, productive and an enjoyable experience. For me however, I preferred the experience of MP6. Instead of writing a lengthy review, I’m going to tell you what I liked and disliked about DP Dashboard.

What I Like

Typography – The typography is easy to read, even from a distance.

Numbered Menus – I like the idea of using numbers for top-level menu items just as long as the order doesn’t change.

Things I Don’t Like

Everything Is Too Big – DP Dashboard was created to provide a large screen experience by only supporting 1024 resolutions and above. He also added support for landscape view in tablet devices. I’m using a 20 inch widescreen LCD monitor and DP Dashboard has me thinking I don’t have a big enough screen. Buttons, text fields, menu items, everything is just too big.

DP Dashboard Is Too Big

This leads to a lot of unnecessary scrolling.

Not A Fan Of The Color Scheme – I don’t like the seaweed color scheme. There is also not enough contrast between the white and grey. On my monitor, they appear to be the same color.

Too Many Clicks Added To My Workflow – Using MP6 or the default post writing screen, the right side of the page has an area to drag around widgets. In DP Dashboard, the widgets have been replaced by links to the widgets. I prefer to have the widgets I use most such as Tags, Publish, and Categories on the right side of the post writing screen. By having the widgets I use most to the right of the post writing panel already open, it saves me a mouse click. Using DP Dashboard, I have the choice of scrolling down to find the widget I’m looking for, or clicking the link to take me straight to the widget. After using DP Dashboard for a day, I’ve concluded that I don’t like this workflow.

Conclusion

I’ve respected Tung Do’s work over the years. His WordPress themes always have a touch of class and sparkle that, in my opinion, is unmatched in the WordPress theme community. However, I can’t see myself ever using DP Dashboard. It doesn’t improve any part of my WordPress back-end experience versus MP6. I’ve left the plugin enabled for a day to perform typical administrative functions but the longer I use it, the more I want to disable it!

Instead of creating an alternative to MP6, I’d like to see Tung Do create his own version of MP6 using it as a foundation. I can tell that Tung put a lot of work into DP Dashboard, it’s just not my cup of tea.

11 Comments


  1. is this available yet? i was using the old one, but it wasnt working with 3.6+

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  2. KudosTung Do! It’s a beautiful, calm and soothing admin theme. +100. Not too keen on the thick numbers in dashboard screen and the secondary buttons gradient. Nevertheless, the admin theme is a pleasure to behold. Cheers :)

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  3. Thanks for the review. I agree. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

    It’s hard to create a new “intuitive” experience when everyone is so used to the current one. It’s even hard for me to make the switch, but giving it just one day is a bit harsh. I’d give it a week.

    As for adding too many clicks to the workflow, don’t forget that it REMOVES too many scrolls from the workflow too. I was tired of scrolling around so I built the shortcuts menu.

    WordPress is not just blogging and it’s hard to see the benefit of DP Dashboard with a default install. One benefit is jumping to custom meta boxes instead of scrolling around to find them. (By the way, you can still re-order the meta boxes.)

    Thank you for the feedback. I’ll make adjustments (especially for everything feeling too big).

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  4. Since releasing this DP Dashboard update, a few people suggested I should contribute to MP6 or modify MP6 like Jeff suggested. I choose not to go that route for multiple reasons.

    First, I think DP Dashboard has its place. It just takes time and adjusting to good feedback. Second, I work best on my own. And third, the WP admin UI can use more people exploring unique ideas.

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  5. i liked the old design with dp dashboard, are you going to release any skins other than the aqua one?

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  6. @chris mccoy – Sorry, no. You can read why that is here. Basically, I want to work with one skin so I can style it for third party plugins too. Supporting multiple skins while styling third party plugins is difficult to manage.

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  7. @Tung – You’re welcome for the review. I appreciate seeing a fresh approach, it’s just not the one that gels with my work flow. I felt as though it introduced more mouse clicking, instead of taking it away, especially when creating content. I wasn’t a fan of the emerald color scheme either. I would like to see DP Dashboard take the MP6 route in allowing users to choose between a few different color schemes.

    It would have been cool to see you experiment with some of the ideas presented in this post https://www.wptavern.com/revamping-the-content-creation-experience-in-wordpress. You could integrate some of the publishing widgets into the post editor itself, possibly negating the need for a shortcut system.

    At any rate, best of luck with this alternative dashboard design.

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