Inclusive Design, Day 7/15: Roku and the 10-Foot Rule

This is day 7 of 15 in a short series on inclusive design. If you missed earlier posts, see day 1 here or view the full list. "Solve for one, extend to many" is a key principle of inclusive design which I learned from Kat Holmes and her work with Microsoft. Via fellow WordPresser Leo … Continue reading Inclusive Design, Day 7/15: Roku and the 10-Foot Rule

Top 5 Recent Sensible Leader Posts, and What’s Up Next

Here are the top 5 posts on this site — as measured by your visits and likes — published in December 2017 and January 2018. Gutenberg is the Next-Generation Engine for WordPress The Real Reason People Won’t Change TOA (Thoughts on Acronyms) Radical Renewal 2017 Daily Reads: Dalio and Drucker What else interests you? I'd love to hear … Continue reading Top 5 Recent Sensible Leader Posts, and What’s Up Next

Tide: Automated Testing for WordPress Plugins and Themes

Yet another way to contribute! Remember this 20-piece WordPress contribution chart with the tester Easter Egg? Even though testing is growing stronger in WordPress core with each release, it's still mostly manual — usability, visual regression, accessibility, and beta testing with real sites before launch. Now the tide is turning a bit more toward automation. I'm beyond thrilled … Continue reading Tide: Automated Testing for WordPress Plugins and Themes

Stripe Connect, Frontend Experience

Connect: behind the front-end experience is an extraordinary frontend engineering knowledge drop from Stripe's design team — how they built engaging landing pages with next-generation technologies like CSS 3D, CSS Grid, and the Web Animations API — including the (new to me) Intersection Observer API to detect the visibility of an element. A must-read. Via Twitter / johnmaeda.

If You Love Being Limited

Laura Sorensen — the talented designer behind Atelier LKS (and my first cousin) — explains why Squarespace might not be a great for fit for your website in 10 Reasons to Choose WordPress Over Squarespace. First of all, their templates virtually require high-end photos to not look odd or underwhelming. Some Squarespace sites are gorgeous, but you … Continue reading If You Love Being Limited

Inspired by Doug Glanville’s Triple Threat: Baseball, Journalism, and Social Justice

A modern-day baseball anthropologist, Doug Glanville is a former Major Leaguer whose activism and advocacy for social justice is as inspiring to me as his incredible talent as a writer and journalist. For years I've enjoyed his essays and reporting on sports, society, and life from The New York Times to ESPN to The Atlantic to … Continue reading Inspired by Doug Glanville’s Triple Threat: Baseball, Journalism, and Social Justice

Home is Where the Work Is

In Home is where the work is my colleague Cate talks about remote working, tools for communicating in distributed teams, and fascinating bits of detail about her daily routine and habits for getting work done. (Via "Increment" Magazine). See also: Where is Automattic? Our HQ is right near you.

Understand By Doing

This wonderful exposé in Kinfolk on fashion designers and artists Isabel & Reuben Toledo struck me in both its beauty, and a clear description for understanding a business or a craft. Do it yourself. The only way to truly understand how every piece of [a] business can be assembled…is to do it all yourself. — Isabel Toledo … Continue reading Understand By Doing

How Canaries Help Us Merge Good Pull Requests

Technical update from my colleague Alister for how uses automated tests for build confidence, now running for on GitHub pull requests instead of after deployment to production. The tests and webhook “bridge” infrastructure are open source just like the Calypso source code itself.

Developer Resources

At we strive to provide a consistent and reliable user experience as we merge and release hundreds of code changes each week.

We run automated unit and component tests for our Calypso user interface on every commit against every pull request (PR).

We also have 32 automated end-to-end (e2e) test scenarios that, until recently, we would only automatically run across our platform after merging and deploying to production. While these e2e scenarios have found regressions fairly quickly after deploying (the 32 scenarios execute in parallel in just 10 minutes), they don’t prevent us from merging and releasing regressions to our customer experience.

Introducing our Canaries

Earlier this year we decided to identify three of our 32 automated end-to-end test scenarios that would act as our “canaries”: a minimal subset of automated tests to quickly tell us if our most important flows are broken. These tests execute after a pull…

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Happy Second Birthday AMP

Great to see this report via VIP of the huge improvements driven by AMP on conversions, traffic, and time spent on page. Drives home the fact that mobile is everything, even in the WordPress world. VIP: Enterprise content management platform

Today the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project turns two. As part of a look back and ahead, the AMP team at Google has shared impressive data today that quantifies its positive impacts on time spent on page (2X), traffic (10% increase), and sales conversions (20% increase compared to non-AMP.) We’re proud to be a part of AMP’s unfolding story, and to continue to make it easy for WordPress users, from the individual author to the largest global media and marketing organizations, to take advantage of these powerful open source tools.

Photo by Mo Jangda

From early on we saw AMP as an important project to support because of its core focus on improving the mobile web experience for both publishers and readers, and for its commitment to the open web. We were proud to be the first platform to integrate with AMP, and continue to iterate on the plugin to…

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