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Opened 2 months ago

Last modified 7 weeks ago

#51419 new defect (bug)

Reconsider the UX impact of up/down arrows on meta boxes

Reported by: johnbillion Owned by:
Milestone: Awaiting Review Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 5.5
Component: Editor Keywords: needs-design
Focuses: accessibility Cc:


In #39074 an accessibility problem was fixed whereby it was not possible to reorder meta boxes using only the keyboard. This is an important fix because it allows a keyboard-only user to reorder boxes in order to improve the tab order of these boxes.

Unfortunately this created a side-effect where it's now easy to accidentally reorder a meta box by clicking on one of the up/down arrows, whereas previously you had to drag the meta box to another position to reorder it.

There are a few UX issues related to this on the post editing screen:

  • Accidentally clicking the "up" arrow on the topmost sidebar meta box will cause it to move below the main post editing panel, which makes it easy to miss as it will commonly move well below the fold. I've just been dealing with reports from two separate users who did this and were unable to find the meta box.
  • Clicking anywhere on the meta box title expands/collapses it, but now there is also an up/down button that causes it to move position instead, in addition to the dedicated expand/collapse button. Users who are used to clicking the title now have to be careful where they click.
  • It's not possible to move block editor meta boxes (which are React components). This causes a significant visual discrepancy between "classic" meta boxes and block editor meta boxes, and causes especially strange behaviour when a user moves a meta box "up" and it doesn't actually move up to within the block editor meta boxes.

"Classic" meta boxes aren't going away any time soon, so I think the last point is an important one.

Change History (2)

#1 @afercia
2 months ago

Related: #51284.

#2 @SergeyBiryukov
7 weeks ago

Related: #50699. The latest patch there aims to only show the UI for reordering meta boxes when the Screen Options tab is open. Looks like that would solve the first two issues?

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