Interface design in Wordpress 1.2

WordPress 1.2 is out. Changes since version 1.0.2 include a new plug-in system, the ability to put posts in sub-categories, and an easier-to-use admin interface.

My involvement has been as the interface person, designing that easier-to-use admin interface.

As a very small example, this is the interface for Base settings in WordPress 1.0.2.

  • Post
  • Edit
  • Categories
  • Links
  • Users
  • Options
  • Templates
  • My Profile
  • View site
  • Logout


  • Other Options
  • General blog settings
  • RSS/RDF Feeds, Track/Ping-backs
  • File uploads
  • Blog-by-Email settings
  • Base settings
  • Default post options
  • Link Manager Settings
  • Geo Options
  • Permalinks

Basic settings required to get your blog working

siteurl is your blog’s URL: for example, ‘’ (no trailing slash !)
blogfilename is the name of the default file for your blog
blogname is the name of your blog
blogdescription is the description of your blog
whether you want new users to be able to post entries once they have registered
whether you want to allow users to register on your blog
Your email (obvious eh?)

No help for this group of options.

This is the sort of graphical interface you see from many programmers making their first attempt at a graphical interface. It’s not much different from a text configuration file — what Havoc Pennington refers to as the hmm, maybe I can autogenerate my GUI stage.

The great thing about WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg is that he was willing to spend the time to improve it. He spent hours putting up with my Is this option really necessary? questions, more hours removing the options that weren’t necessary, and even more hours implementing my design for what remained.

This is how those same base options are presented in WordPress 1.2.

  • Write
  • Edit
  • Categories
  • Links
  • Users
  • Options
  • Plugins
  • Templates
  • Profile
  • View site »
  • Logout
  • General
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Discussion
  • Miscellaneous
  • Permalinks
  • Link Manager

General Options

Weblog title:
In a few words, explain what this weblog is about.
WordPress address (URI):
Blog address (URI):
If you want your blog homepage to be different than the directory you installed WordPress in, enter that address here.
E-mail address:
This address is used only for admin purposes.

There are still plenty of things wrong here. There are fewer tabs, but still too many. The interface refers to Weblog in some places and blog in others. The label WordPress address is confusing. And so on.

But the interface has improved, which is the important thing. It has improved this much in most areas. And that makes me happy.

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