This is day 12 of 15 in a short series on inclusive design. If you missed any of the earlier posts, see day 1 here or view the full list.
I’d like to share another example of solving for one case, extending to many. This one comes from my team at Automattic. We’re called “Delta” — and we focus on making the editing–publishing flow for WordPress.com as smooth and pain-free as possible.
From our own experience, we know that publishing content to the entire world can be nerve-wracking! This “publishing confidence” experience started out with a specific case in mind: the WordPress.com announcements blog. With 43 million email subscribers as of the latest count, the authors at Automattic writing for this English-language blog never want to accidentally hit that “Publish” button before a new announcement is polished and ready to go.
That’d be a total disaster, right?
alert() dialog intended to add a quick warning before publishing. Developed for use on high-end client sites running on WordPress.com, it looks like this:
Fast-forward to 2017 — the Delta team starts revamping these same publishing flows as we upgrade many of the key features in the new WordPress.com interface. As we researched the pain points in the experience, we realized that this same feeling of anxiety could be shared by many other people. In fact, our customers often wrote in to request this exact thing for their own blogs.
There needs to be an “Are You Sure” button on the publish section, I’ve accidentally published a blog post too early so many times. — A WordPress mobile app user, writing it to support in 2017.
What if we could make a product change to reduce that same anxiety for everyone? Well, yes — it makes sense. The team also upgraded the blog post preview pane to add in a switcher for screen sizes — mobile, tablet, and desktop — to further improve the confidence in the end result.
Solving this in the WordPress.com editor experience means making it much harder to accidentally publish on any blog. The change enables all of our customers to breathe easier. Like us with the WordPress.com announcements blog — they can now feel more confident that the changes they’re sharing are ready for the world.
See also Publishing on WordPress.com for a project-level report on improving this publishing experience written by colleague Shaun Andrews.
For day 13 of 15 of inclusive design, we’ll look at speed and connectivity as an exclusion example. How the trend of “Lite” apps built for certain markets to drive adoption brings needed improvements to everyone.
About this Inclusive Design series — In 3 days I’ll give a talk on inclusive design at WordCamp Phoenix 2018. Leading up to the conference I’m publishing notes on voices, stories, products, and other resources: everything I’m learning about this emerging practice. This is day 12 of 15. Read more about the series.