I live-tweeted a theme change and you’ll never guess what happens next

I summarize some thoughts, is what happens next. But you know what would be even better than that, is if we all looked at making these better and identifying even more problems. Some of the notes below seem like they probably translate into really good first/early contributions for both design- and development-oriented people.

  • Better ways of matching thoughts (keywords) with actual themes. Maybe that’s better tagging, or multiple screenshots to show more views that might match what I was looking for, etc.
  • There are no themes I found that did creative things with a mix of post formats, e.g. longer prose posts mixed with a bunch of photos in individual posts like on my blog. I didn’t expect to find anything that catered to that specifically, but wow did everything look the same. Somebody noted that there sure were a lot of good themes for showing off your phone.
  • The split between managing installed themes and adding new ones is really awkward in practice. Inline installing has helped a bit when adding new themes, but it’s not great. (This often applies to plugins, too.)
  • There’s no feature filter for installed themes, only a name search which is pretty useless if you don’t remember theme names.
  • Said feature filter could really use some microcopy and interaction work.
  • Adding themes in general has some UX oddities that could use work.
  • .org theme previews suck (this is widely known). .com’s are quite nice from what I’ve seen. The previews also help me narrow down thoughts about what I really want. I don’t want a theme that does it all, I want a fairly narrow theme that can strongly be what I need instead of doing it weakly or forcing me to do a lot of work to get it there.
  • .org themes should be able to have more than one associated author.
  • Widget area migration guessing is still awkward, although I guess still better than dumping all widgets out when switching a theme. Menus don’t migrate at all, which is strange considering that menus are generally more uniform in placement/use and are actually built as discrete groups.
  • Menu Locations with separately built menus are confusing in practice.
  • Some live previewing actions are REALLY slow and I have no idea why or what I’m waiting for.
  • There are still a bunch of dead ends in the customizer as it stands, and visual edit links for things like widgets would be so, so nice.
  • Post formats (un)structured data, I don’t want to talk about it.
  • Notices telling me to do XYZ to “finish” an update are slightly alarming and if that notice disappears when I click on whatever link it gave me, I probably won’t remember what it said.
  • Plugin and theme conflicts are awful and I have no idea how general users get through them.
I live-tweeted a theme change and you’ll never guess what happens next

5 thoughts on “I live-tweeted a theme change and you’ll never guess what happens next

  1. Yes. I needed to pick a theme for a site last year and it was really difficult to find anything useful. Ended up just installing the 1 theme I actually know by name and that it is quality.

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