The new WordPress Plugin Directory design was launched this week, and while it looks prettier there’s some significant usability issues. A lot of plugin authors (including myself) submitted multiple pieces of feedback using the form they wanted us to use, but nothing really changed.
We’re feeling a little ignored. Even Matt was.
So what to do when you’re annoyed with something? Vent on Facebook!
I was commenting and liking (so many likes..) with some of the large threads on groups like Advanced WordPress, until I realized it wasn’t all that productive.
Sure some of the folks on the WordPress meta team saw and even replied to the comments, it wasn’t organized and the chance of action actually being taken on it was slim.
What to do instead?
- Submit specific issues and ideas for change to the Meta WordPress trac. See if there’s already a ticket for what you’re submitting first, and mark it in the Plugin Directory component. Leave the milestone blank, the meta team will change that for you. I submitted a few including removing the description read more or making it larger, removing the full output of the last two reviews, and a bug with the search result display.
- Subscribe by email to make.wordpress.org/meta and make.wordpress.org/plugins to stay up to date and provide (constructive) comments on posts. These are more likely to be read and replied by those who can do something about it, and won’t be buried in a random Facebook thread.
- Attend meta meetings in the WordPress slack group. The plugin directory v3 chat is currently at 22:00 UTC on Tuesdays over in the #meta channel. The beta of the new plugin directory was live for a long time and I should have attended some of these.
- Write a more thorough blog post expressing points that others can refer to. Vova did just that with an in-depth analysis of the open source algorithm for the plugin directory search, which sparked a lot of conversations and highlighted some of the issues and loopholes with the current implementation.
- Contribute a bit of code back. There’s a nice guide to getting started including how to set up your local environment.
WordPress has an amazing community behind it, but at the end of the day a lot of the work being done is from volunteers doing their best with the limited time they have to give. If there’s change you want to see, being an active part of the community will move things in the right direction.