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Opened 5 years ago

Last modified 12 days ago

#30729 accepted enhancement

Rework Theme Install and Preview Flow in wp-admin

Reported by: iseulde Owned by: obenland
Milestone: Future Release Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 3.8
Component: Themes Keywords:
Focuses: ui, administration Cc:


Consider making the "Preview" the primary button instead of "Install" in theme-install.php.

See #26899.

Attachments (3)

primary-button.png (178.4 KB) - added by voldemortensen 4 years ago.
old-primary-button.png (263.2 KB) - added by voldemortensen 4 years ago.
30729.diff (1.2 KB) - added by voldemortensen 4 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (16)

#1 @obenland
4 years ago

@folletto Do you have an opinion on this?

#2 @folletto
4 years ago

In general that seems a good change.

Are there screenshots of this updated flow? :)

#3 @voldemortensen
4 years ago

  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to 4.3

#4 @obenland
4 years ago

  • Owner set to voldemortensen
  • Status changed from new to assigned

4 years ago

#5 @voldemortensen
4 years ago

  • Keywords has-patch added

#6 @obenland
4 years ago

  • Owner changed from voldemortensen to obenland
  • Status changed from assigned to accepted

#7 @obenland
4 years ago

In 32835:

Revert [32834].

It's not ready yet and was a product of misusing vim.

See #30729.

#8 @obenland
4 years ago

I was about to commit it because I thought it would be nice to bring it up to par with themes.php, but had last minute doubts about user acceptance.

We should test it with users and see if using demo content vs. their own site makes too big of a difference to change it.

#9 follow-up: @celloexpressions
4 years ago

I'd prefer to rework this to be more along the lines of "Install and Preview", most likely in place of the pre-install preview. While this would ultimately result in having more installed themes that aren't in use, there is the huge advantage that users see the theme with their content, have the ability to quickly evaluate how easily the theme might be customized to their needs, and that the process is simplified to a single action - a single decision for the user, and then they can get right to playing with the theme rather than having to go through the extra screen.

This would ideally leverage the (I believe once-proposed) "shiny" theme install concept where the theme is installed in the background with a loading indicator eventually transitioning to loading the Customizer.

This is one of the ideas for theme-install in the Customizer that @folletto and I have tossed around. Install does a "shiny" inline install, whereas Install & Preview would install and take you back to the main Customizer panel to preview it.

On the other hand, I have no objections to simply changing the primary action for now, but the demo content is consistently confusing and very disappointing for the users I work with.

#10 in reply to: ↑ 9 @obenland
4 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 4.3 to Future Release

Replying to celloexpressions:

I'd prefer to rework this to be more along the lines of "Install and Preview", most likely in place of the pre-install preview.

Okay, let's not do this in 4.3 though.

#11 @celloexpressions
2 years ago

#37661 does what I was thinking in 9 within the customizer.

Once that's back in, the question for this ticket will be what makes the most sense for themes in the admin. Should they guide users into the customizer so that they can live preview with their content?

Really, a big question is whether the theme-install previewer should remain in core at all. It mimics the customizer UI without any options and shows the .org preview. Starter content eliminates the primary advantage of using .org at all (having content for fresh/empty sites), so I'd be in favor of bringing shiny install & preview to the admin as well, opening the live preview in the customizer.

#14 @celloexpressions
2 months ago

  • Keywords needs-design added; has-patch removed
  • Milestone set to Future Release
  • Summary changed from Theme Activation Workflow with Customizer (2) to Rework Theme Install and Preview Flow in wp-admin

This ticket is intended to handle changes to the wp-admin themes UI only. Theme installation was added to the customizer in the meantime.

I still advocate for removing the "theme-install" "preview", which is a (WordPress-3.4-era) customizer-lookalike that loads an iframe with the WordPress.org preview site. The download/install/live-preview workflow in the customizer theme browser (as of WordPress 4.9) provides a far-superior user experience by immediately showing theme previews on the user's site, with their content, and with the immediate ability to customize the theme as needed (or to continue browsing other themes).

The change would be to make the "Install" button secondary and replace the "Preview" button with an "Install & Preview" button to match the customizer theme installer detail view. Even better would be to replace both buttons with the single, primary "Install & Preview" button to match the grid view in the customizer. In both cases the code for and all links to the customizer-looking-wporg-previewer would be removed.

The best option is to instead replace themes.php (dates to 3.8) entirely with customize.php?autofocus[panel]=themes (dates to 4.9). That would unify the theme browsing experience to a single preview-oriented interface that can be the focus for future improvements.

#15 @karmatosed
3 weeks ago

  • Keywords needs-design removed

I am not sure this needs a design so for now removing the keyword, it can be added in if that isn't the case.

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