[2.0] Navigation idea (bold one)

Mark threads with "[2.0]" for discussions about features in the longer-term future, "[1.6]" is for short-term. This is not the place for general discussions or plugin or template requests. Only features that are approved to happen by the core team should be listed here for better structuring.
User avatar
Posts: 7111
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:46 am
Location: Eutin, Germany

[2.0] Navigation idea (bold one)

Post by yellowled » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:49 am

Here's one (possible) idea for a better (I think) navigation for our new backend, now infamously codenamed “Layla” (because it's got me on my knees). I'll explain later why I think this is a good idea. All of these are supposed to be top-level navigation items which are related to one page in the backend.

* Start: fka “Frontpage”; should also hold logout, back to blog, personal settings, possibly integrated into a dashboard or as buttons (doesn't have to be called “Start” as long as it's not “Frontpage”, that sounds wrong)
* Entries: presents just two things – a button to “create a new entry” and a list of recent entries (including filters); all of these should have individual buttons to edit, preview or delete them; could also be named “Content”
* Media: goes straight to the media db (overview) which should have buttons for adding new media, managing directories and rebuilding thumbnails
* Comments: fka “Entries/Comments”
* Taxonomy: a collective interface for “Categories” (default) and tags (if installed); yes, it could also have a different name, this is only what came to my mind
* Templates: fka “Appearance/Manage styles”
* Plugins: fka “Appearance/Configure plugins”
* Configuration: fka ”Administration/Configuration”
* Users: combines “Users” and “Groups” (maybe in a tabbed interface?)
* Tools: a new page which holds all the rarely used stuff like import, export, verify etc.

Just let it sink in for a minute.

Okay, so why is this better (in my humble opinion)?

A single-level main menu is easier to “scan” and easier to style, especially in terms of different navigation patterns for various devices/screen resolutions. Right now, users have to scan much more menu items to figure out what to i.e. click to create a new entry. This leaves one option per task, there's very little room for ambiguity. I also like that it actually gives the backend's start page meaningful content instead of just a greeter message and some links. It also removes some misnomers we currently have – for instance “Configure plugins” doesn't really fit under “Appearance”.

I realize this would be a pretty radical change, but that's what 2.0 is for, right? It should at least allow us to consider this kind of change …

Of course, this isn't perfect. It works pretty well for a standard installation, but once a user installs plugins which create additional menu items, it could get messy. Did you know we have 36 plugins which actually create additional menu items? I was pretty stunned by that. Some of them might integrate well with this, i.e. Tags could go into “Taxonomy”, static pages could be combined with “Entries” etc. We might still need an item “Extras” or something to collect the rest of them which don't fit in.

So, is this too bold, too much change … or actually a possibility?

amazon Wishlist - Serendipity-Podcast (German only, sorry)

User avatar
Don Chambers
Posts: 3648
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:40 am
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: [2.0] Navigation idea (bold one)

Post by Don Chambers » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:10 pm

I am working on a backend mock-up... and it is very similar to what you are proposing. I show only top level elements, such as Dashboard, Entries, Comments, Media, Templates, Plugins, Users, Administration, Serendipity (this is where all the "Further Links" stuff went). I then have secondary navigation for the finer points, such as new, edit, etc.

Whatever we decide on, I think the start/frontpage HAS to be a dashboard. It really serves little purpose in its current form. I am also a strong believer in separating templates and

I am not opposed to keeping categories and tags under "Entries" in the event the majority feel a heading such as "taxonomy" to be confusing.