How was the talk "Author Experience (AX) in WordPress"?

The numbers

  • Registered for the talk: 37 people.
  • Assistants: 15 people.
  • It was held on 21 June 2021 via streaming due to coronavirus restrictions.

Author Experience (AX) in WordPress: The Talk

We're coming back from our summer vacation with more enthusiasm than ever. Despite the confinement by the coronavirus COVID-19, we return to you from WPAlicante with our online talks, as we still can't see each other in the space of ULab where we usually meet.

As usual in the last few talks, we are meeting via streaming. On this occasion, we will be joined by Rosa PérezShe is a computer engineer and trainer. She is professionally dedicated to web development with WordPress, also very focused on user experience and for the last three years, embarked on a venture called Gaptainfocused on cybersecurity and digital skills in schools. She is an all-rounder in the web world, and you can find out more about her at its website.

A few years ago Rosa was interviewed by our colleague Isa Gómez of WordPress for WomenYou can also listen to the interview:

She talks about Author Usability (AX), which is sometimes a bit forgotten in favour of User Experience (UX). Rosa brings us up to date on how to improve that author experience, to minimise repetitive tasks or to find easier and more intuitive certain elements of content creation that may be obvious to us but not so obvious to a novice editor.

Of course, at the end of the talk we had the traditional round of questions, but unfortunately this time we had to skip the networking accompanied by refreshments for obvious reasons. The streaming was made possible thanks to our sponsors: WeglotThe WordPress Plugin to translate your website into the language of your choice. You can try it out without any obligation, as it is free to use for translating up to 2000 words into a language, and it takes up very little space on the server. We also have in this meetup as a sponsor Company WebThe website, a hosting company specialized in WordPress, among other services, with several plans available to suit your needs.

Here are some points that we found interesting, although we include them at the end of this entry The full video of the presentationThis time it was streamed and recorded to be posted on Youtube. We also link you to the presentation he used to develop the talk on scalable web architecture .

Basics: Concepts about the talk

UX: User Usability. Makes the experience easier, more useful, accessible to the user.

AX: Author Usability. The focus is on efficiency, speed, especially the most repetitive tasks. The logic part is also taken into account, as a new user is not always able to find what he/she needs in the administration panel.

The first time it was heard was from Rick Yagodich, and it consists of providing authors with the right functionality for each context. It's not a question of giving them too much functionality, as that can make them confused, but to give them just what is necessary.

The aim is to make WordPress more accessible to people who are not computer scientists, since nowadays any professional profile may want to have a website and sell their products.

Interesting tips

Simplify the access URL: Let the author decide how he wants to access, instead of /wp-admin, maybe he prefers /access. It can also be done via plugin or by adding a line in .htaccess

Adapt the login formto allow the author to see their own logo instead of the WordPress logo, customising the colours, adding any fields they need.

Users and administrators: You have to be careful because with an administrator role you can break a lot of things without realising it. The ideal is to give the minimum necessary role. If you want to have an administrator role, ideally you should also have an editor role, and only use the administrator role when you need it. Also, make sure that only the profile fields they really need are shown.

Help sectionsThe more information they have to help, the better:

  • Desktop widget: Where you can put on the main screen basic help on procedures, manuals, how to contact us... Through a plugin: Dashboard quick links widget or White Label CMS
  • It can also be very useful to feed the help tab that opens on each page at the top right.

At the content level, Loom can be used, for example, to create help videos. The only downside is that when you create them for a plugin or WordPress version and when they change, you have to adapt the video.

Remove what is not used: On the desktop there is a lot of information that may not be useful to the user, such as the next WordCamps, the quick draft... as well as the menus that are not used, both WordPress' own menus and the ones that plugins create. There is a plugin called Adminimize, which is very useful and can be customised per profile.

Personalise as much as possibleChanging the names of the menus to make them more intuitive. Example: Desktop can be Main Access, Media can be Photos or Images. There is a calendar plugin called Amelia, and it appears like this in the menu. The user can see "Amelia" and not be clear that it is the calendar.

Take care of the imagesEspecially for users who are not used to cut and paste, or who take high-resolution mobile photos: They need something to adjust the size, such as the Resize Image After Upload plugin. Sometimes they also need to control the quality of the images and create image galleries, such as Unsplash.

Publisher or Gutenberg.

  • Custom blocks can be made, although a little more coding knowledge is required.
  • By default, it allows us to easily change the colours. It uses a predefined colour palette as a base and we can create our own to add to Gutenberg so that you can only choose specific colours that suit your theme. Each colour has the name it displays, the slug (name in lower case and without spaces) and the colour code in hexadecimal. If you don't want it to improvise, it is also interesting to disable the "colour picker", that is to say, you can choose the colour you want.
  • Similar to the colours, we can also control the font size for the different headings, to limit and not allow you to change sizes (as well as bold, italic, underline...).

Security. It is interesting to have certain plugins to ensure the recovery of the web in case of a catastrophe made by the user (I don't know what happened, nobody has touched anything but now it doesn't work). There are plugins that warn you when the user logs in, there are tracking plugins that you have to be careful with because they can be very heavy due to the amount of info they store.

If you are not going to have update permissions, it is interesting to remove the info of nºplugins pending to update... You can also use "mu" plugins, it is a normal plugin, but in the WP installation plugin is wp-content/mu-plugins and they are not seen in the plugins menu option, so you cannot deactivate them. Also, they are the first to load.

Final networking questions and issues

QUESTIONWhat security plugin do you use or recommend?

RESPONSE: I currently use Subwaybecause it is very light and allows a lot of customisation and the rest I put in by code (like preventing them from editing files). Before I used to use almost always WordFence. One of the things that this plugin allows is that when a user logs in, it notifies you.

QUESTIONDo you have a WordPress installation template or a document with a checklist?

RESPONSE: I have it in a custom plugin of mine with everything I consider interesting to keep in mind. I hide and unhide what I need, which allows me to have the latest version of everything that can be useful to me. I update it as I find new things. In the installations I do, I install that plugin. By default I set it to MU so no one can see it.

QUESTIONWhat is an MU plugin?

RESPONSEIt is a normal plugin, just that it is installed in a separate folder, specific to WordPress and named MU-PLUGINS, and everything you put there is not seen in the plugin administration. They are the first to load and cannot be disabled unless you go to the code and remove them. You have more information in this Fernando Tellado's entry on the website Ayuda WordPress.

QUESTIONIs there a way in which you also facilitate the workflow for the client to create the content in the simplest way? (Explain how to create content)

RESPONSEI used to have a lot of video, but with Gutenberg I had to start from scratch. So I have a lot in text with screenshots. I also do custom stuff, although this often takes too much time. Anyway, it's always interesting. There is a WhiteLabelCMS plugin which has a free version and allows you to configure the basics to put, for example, your own logo. It also has a paid version that allows you to put videos that they have created themselves at the top of the help section. Right now they are in English but a few months ago they started to create help videos in Spanish. If not theirs, you can always put videos created by others and they will always be updated.

Author Experience (AX) in WordPress: The video

Some photos


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