Some of the best collaborations and discussions happen at WordCamps. While attending the WordCamp Seattle contributor day last month, Siobhan McKeown, Mike Schroder, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, and Sonja Leix began some preliminary discussions on how they could improve the image editing experience in WordPress.
The current state of WordPress image editing is functional with basic rotation and cropping features, but it’s also confusing and frustrating. McKeown and collaborators are proposing an image editing feature plugin to improve the experience.
The team isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to image editing. “WordPress is not an image editing platform,” McKeown said. “But we do offer some minimal image editing tools and, since they’re there, they should be intuitive instead of anger inducing.” After identifying the major pain points with WordPress image editing, the team hopes that the feature plugin will provide the following:
- A set of simple image editing tools that just work (crop, rotate, scale)
- Image editing tools that integrate better with image uploading workflows
- Image editing tools that are easy to access
- An interface that is extensible so that plugin developers can create advanced image editing which can be easy integrated
The team will be conducting interviews with various user types, especially those who author image-heavy WordPress blogs, such as food bloggers, photobloggers, tutorial writers, etc. They are also setting out to examine how other platforms provide image editing. From there they will move on to UI mockups, design, coding and testing.
The project is still in the planning stages and anyone who wants to be involved is welcome. The team is looking for people to conduct user interviews, research other platforms, provide screenshots, mockup workflows and UI, provide feedback, and code the plugin. Backbone skills are especially welcome.
Contributors working to improve the image editing experience will have a major impact on millions of WordPress users. Many trac tickets have been logged concerning the image editor and core contributors agree that it’s time for a new approach. If you’re frustrated by the current image editing tools, you can help this project gain momentum by getting the word out and volunteering to help on make.wordpress.org.