Several days ago, I released the DP Dashboard plugin to mixed reactions of love and hate. Thankfully, only those on the outside looking in without the actual experience of using it has had bad things to say. However, I welcome all opinions because that’s what it takes to make a great product. (If you don’t like something of DevPress, send me a note and I’ll look into it.)
Why There’s No Neutral Ground
Like the personal computer/laptop, when you do anything to the WordPress admin and people don’t like it, it gets personal because we use WordPress so much, which explains why people will either hate it or love it.
Thank You to the WordPress UI Team
Before I address the recent criticisms, I want to thank the team behind the WordPress admin UI. It’s a difficult and thankless job. When you design for millions, you’re bound to have several hundred thousand pissed off users. You just can’t win.
Issue 1: It’s Ugly!
This is subjective. It goes back to my point above about designing for millions. So far, people who have actually used it, love it. If you don’t like the default style of DP Dashboard then wait for the upcoming themes. I have more coming.
Issue 2: Is WordPress really that difficult to merit a $40 improvement?
Concerning difficulty, for some it’s extremely difficult and mildly so for others, but deciding whether to use this plugin based on difficulty is missing the point.
The open source nature of WordPress and specifically how new features/improvements are currently decided aren’t a good platform for design collaboration. The system lacks vision for the bigger picture and user experience regarding what you actually feel when you use the WordPress admin.
…things that are wrong with WordPress: A bunch of developers, discussing design, in Trac.
I made this plugin for myself and who I am is a full-time WordPress designer/developer/blogger, basically someone who uses WordPress frequently. (My skills aren’t up there with the best of them to consider myself a designer/developer, but that’s the easiest way to explain what I do.) And, for full-time WordPress professionals like me, it’s well worth the money and then some.
Three reasons to use DP Dashboard:
- Happiness during work hours affects productivity. Why compose blog entries in text editors like NotePad when you have the WordPress editor itself to work with? Eight hours per day, everyday, how many times have you mis-clicked something because the sub actions/tasks were hard to identify? Don’t you wish everything was easier to find?
- I built this for designers/developers and meant it. DP Dashboard is a month worth of documentations. That alone is worth the money if you’re planning on customizing the admin for yourself or for clients. (Visual documentations are coming soon.)
- Even among the mightiest heroes and few suave astrophysicists, only a handful fully understands the beauty and beast that is the WordPress admin. What you’re doing when you purchase DP Dashboard is giving yourself a head start and a constant guide to everything latest about the tool that you use everyday, leaving the heavy lifting to me.
Issue 3: You’re just skinning it, not making it simpler!
Whoah! One step at a time. I haven’t shown you the experimental features and themes being built. The default theme IS a simplification of the admin, but not to the extent the WordPress community has been hungry for. I did this purposely for the initial DP Dashboard release because I want to set the tone for this plugin and that is to say DP Dashboard is an alternative for everyone, not just a select few.
The WordPress admin UI currently does a good job of handling and presenting all of its features to all different types of users. Drastically simplifying the admin requires going niche, meaning designing for a small group of people with a limited and very specific use of WordPress. For example, designing for bloggers requires removing most menu items. That would be useful to bloggers, but not to everyone else who uses WordPress for other purposes (portfolios, ecommerce, etc.) I didn’t want the first release to be experimental, which is only useful for a select few.
Most criticisms are based on my own shortcoming with the English language. I’m not a writer and certainly didn’t do a good job of explaining the initial DP Dashboard release on its home page. Last but not least, thank you very much to those who purchased the DP Dashboard. You’re contributing to a project much needed in the WordPress community.