Happy Thanksgiving. Here are some more ideas, partly based on the comments left in post #1. At the bottom is a gallery of all the various mockups, and feel free to download, tweak, etc.
Instead of a big Sidebar Locations box in upper left, what if you made location an element in the Sidebars themselves (Primary, Test)?
This has the location selection in the Sidebar Area itself. I’m not sure if I like the multiple saves, but if you have a long Sidebar Area, it seems sensible I made the space a big bigger with the idea that plugins could hook in and add things. More on that in a minute. You’ll also notice that there’s a scrollbar for the ‘Available Widgets’. Yeah, we lose drag/drop with this scenario, and while I agree D&D is very cool, it’s starting to get unmanageable when you want to drag a widget over to the area halfway down the screen. My grandmother said it was impossible for her to scroll in two directions (over and down) while holding down the mouse button. Mind you, she’s a 90-year-old with glaucoma.
Here’s what the dropdown looks like. Obviously we’re on Twenty Eleven here. The ‘blank’ is for ‘none’ which, on reflection, may need to become ‘(none)’ instead. It’s obvious to me that blank == none, but I’m not sure how new users would feel about that. Yes, my rounded corners suck.
Again, my colors and icons suck here, but this is a large pointer finger hovering over Custom Menu being told “Use this to….” My (minor) concern with this is that Akismet, for example, has the description of … Akismet. Singularly useless. You’d think it’d be better. But they’re not the only ones who slacked off on descriptions, so some of these will suck. Still, color it any which way and a hover-up will provide information.
The major concern I have, again, is accessibility. I’m hoping that this has already been hashed out before and we don’t have to invent something all new to allow screen readers to parse what things are for. That would be a deal breaker to me.
Here is the ‘new’ screen, complete with directions and a button.
By the way, since I suck at gradients, I opted not to make ‘Create Sidebar’ in the button, but that’s a nice idea too. Of course, with Jane’s recent post about the square button, that works too. I spun up a inverse of that, since it mimics the blue background and looks ‘obvious’ to me.
I LOVE the idea of a visual guide to where the sidebars are. Makes me think of Stephanie Leary’s layout fiddling with IDs:http://sillybean.net/downloads/widget-admin-ui-altered-with-ID.png (Trac ticket #18334:http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/18334 – some other cool ideas there, too.)
I love Stephanie’s idea too, but. I really didn’t like the ‘uneven’ feel of her screen (not her fault, it’s just CSS layouts drive people to drink). Her’s works because you see where the widgets are going to go. I would want to have it be a wireframe. This is one idea for where to show the description, though I’m not really sold on it.
I know that Jane mentioned per-page widgets as a priority (maybe in IRC?), but we’ll have to wait until after the core team meet up to see what they decide on as goals.
On the other hand, I really like my idea for Sidebar Logic. If you’ve used Widget Logic, you get the idea. Put in the PHP to say ‘This Sidebar shows up on the Main Sidebar area IF these parameters are met.’ It’s not as ‘per page’ as Jane probably had in mind, though, and I’d like to see it avoid the need for PHP, but on the other hand, I’d love to see something plugged in there.
That’s all I have for you today, but here’s the Gallery, as promised!