MP6, the Other Side of the Coin

Let me start by reiterating that i love MP6 and that i think it’s a worthy successor to the legacy WP interface. It’s clean, modern and clear and definitely feels like the next generation of WP UI should.

But i have noticed a small issue with MP6 which promises for me, at least, to be functionally speaking at best a lateral move, more then likely it will make my everyday tasks quite bit more time consuming due to its additional space requirements forcing me to do a lot more scrolling to accomplish my everyday site management tasks.

Excessive scrolling, which is the problem i am trying to identify here is quite possibly the worst UX/usability flaw a website can have in my opinion, an extreme example of this i would be the issue the currently well known issue in the widget admin area of WP admin. But even in simple things like selecting posts in the bulk edit screen become much more time consuming when you can only select about two thirds as many posts before having to scroll again.

Anyway that’s the opinion portion of this post, i will now layout my comparisons of a few parts of the MP6 UI elements in the hope that some improvements can be made to make MP6 better in all aspects not just most aspects as compared to the legacy UI.

This example site has a few plugins, is hosted on WP Engine and is a Buddypress/Multisite network who’s homesite is a magazine content driven site so we get a lot of posts compared to most wordpress sites but i suspect we are fairly typical in terms of complexity and number of plugins for magazine style sites.

In this first comparison we have the post list, probably the most often used screen for managing content driven sites. As you can see on the left hand side in legacy UI there is room for 20 menu items before scrolling is required on this 1280 by 800 screen i’m using; using MP6 this number drops to 17, 15% reduction of available menu items (click for full size).

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.58.05 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.58.09 PM

Also note the difference in the number of posts displayed in the post list, here we see without scrolling we see 6 in legacy versus 4 in MP6. If you scroll down so that the entire screen is filed with posts the difference lessens a bit typically but there is another issue which can also exacerbate the issue besides the white space itself which is that the font is taking up more horizontal space in the list which can cause more line breaks as well, so even with no space wasted in top UI the difference is usually about 2 less posts per screen (7 in legacy versus 5 in MP6, in my example). With the default setting of 20 posts per screen this means 4 scrolls versus 3 to see your entire list, and this ratio holds if you have your post list set to a higher number with MP6 generally requiring about 30% more scrolls to view the same amount of posts.

In this second comparison i highlight the horizontal component of this issue as you can see the extra space is actually breaking the layout of the admin menu due to its extra space requirements causing the left and right sides of the menu bar to collide:

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 6.23.21 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 6.23.30 PM

In conclusion, for anyone who has bothered to read this entire post i would just like to add that i think with a few minor adjustments we can have the benefits of mp6 without any of the drawbacks i am seeing. So thanks for your time and any and all comments are more then welcomed.

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