Disclaimer: In this series of posts, I’ll explore possible improvements to the navigation that is shared across WP Core and WordPress.com. My goal with these posts is not to lobby for any specific direction. My hope is that some helpful insights can at least be gleaned by following a standard design process and by exploring multiple disparate design options.
In this post, I’ll explore the information architecture (IA) of the current nav and see if there is any way that we might be able to optimize how links are represented.
Current WP Core Nav IA (no plugins)
Here’s a text based scaffolded view of the current IA with zero plugins installed (intentionally leaving out the WP nav on the front-end of your site for now):
There are numerous directions that you could take this.
Implementing fundamental changes to core elements, such as navigation, can be challenging. In the short term, maintaining a similar information architecture and gradually refining it may yield the most desirable outcome.
Nonetheless, my exploration’s objective isn’t to determine what should be implemented immediately, but rather to investigate the potential boundaries of innovation. My focus is on discovering an optimal approach to presenting navigation within WP. While this may not necessarily result in a practical solution, my hope is that we can gain valuable insights throughout the process.
With that in mind, instead of devising a completely new structure, I will revisit a proposal Joen and I developed four years ago. Although it didn’t gain traction at the time, I believe it still holds merit.
The following is the updated IA that I plan to use in my nav explorations. I’ve done my best to cross check these changes against the constraints that I’ve outlined.
A few notes:
- I’m combining the top nav links with the left nav. This is an intentional design decision. This may end up proving to be an error, but for now this is the direction I’d like to take things.
- I intentionally kept site specific links separate from global links. This will be increasingly important as we expand this design from WP Core to WP.com.
- I’d still like to explore the idea of combining the “Manage” and “Settings” sections, though I’m not sure how feasible it is due to the number of links across both categories.