The popularity of WordPress, being the most widely used CMS, is because of the ease of use it offers to people with almost no technical knowledge. The possibility to create beautiful and highly functional website without much knowledge of coding makes it conducive for non-technical website owners.
Though, WordPress is easy to use but it is highly likely that a client that logs in to the backend dashboard for the first time might find it too complex and confusing. Various menus, labels, and default boxes might appear daunting at the first sight. As developers, it is imperative that a client’s interaction and user experience of the backend is as smooth as it is for the frontend. WordPress allows clients to update the website and publish content on their own without much hassle. Thus, creating an easy-to-understand dashboard before handing over the website to the client becomes even more crucial. Before looking at methods to create great UX for WordPress dashboard, let’s have a look at what UX is and why it is important.
UX & The Beast
UX or User Experience is how a person experiences a product/service. Very simply, it pertains to the attitude, behavior, perception, and emotional association of the user during usage and after using a given product/service.
In reference to WordPress dashboard, UX is the experience of a user accessing the backend dashboard.
What makes a good UX?
The beast of the UX story is the complex and confusing elements that might disorient and even frustrate a user. Over the years, WordPress has evolved into a complex CMS that offers a plethora of options. Too many menus and labels can be daunting to a user at first. Thus, a good dashboard that creates a satisfying UX is that which is customized for the client. Less clutter and descriptive labels make up for a good UX. It’s crucial that instead of confusing the user, the dashboard brings clarity and navigates a user to the relevant tools and menus.
Here are some simple methods that will allow you to create a hassle-free user experience for your clients.
Eliminate the clutter!
WordPress comes with a default dashboard for every install. If you have been using the CMS for some time, you might be familiar with the entire setup. You might even extensively use the default options that WordPress offers. However, to a user that has rarely used the CMS, the default dashboard screen might look complex and cluttered with options they do not understand.
The first step is to clean the dashboard screen. There are options like ‘At a Glance, Welcome, Activity, Quick Draft, etc.’ which are not relevant to a new user. The dashboard screen can have even more options depending on the number of plugins installed. Consider the following key points to help you minimize clutter:
- Remove any irrelevant box from the dashboard screen like quick draft, activity, etc.
- Remove options like author and comments from post and page sections. sections
Organize the Admin Bar
Admin bar is a quick and efficient way for the admin to swiftly switch back to the backend from frontend. It contains options like new post, comments, edit this page, etc. However, switching to backend makes a lot of options redundant. It is best that you remove certain options from the admin bar that are irrelevant to the client.
Created Limited Access Accounts
A lot of times, not every person in the team needs access to admin options. Sometimes it is best to create editor access accounts. For one, it reduces the visibility of various menu, options, and sections of the dashboard, only displaying that is relevant to the editors.
It happens that sometimes a person with limited knowledge of WordPress backend can mess up the site’s code and architecture by mistake. Accidentally, non-technical users can crash the site and the damage at times can be irrevocable. In order to prevent things like these, it is best to create limited access accounts for non-technical users, if they have someone else to take care of the technical aspects.
However, in the long run, it is best that every WordPress user learns the basics of the CMS so that accidental crashes can be avoided. In order to publish the content and update pages on your own, learning the basics of blogging and WordPress management can go a long way. The Blog Starter has a guide on blogging which will help you in not only creating impactful content but will also be a good exercise to make money for showing some advertisements on your blog with the help of Google’s AdSense.
Add descriptive menu items and fields
A great way to explain what each element does on the dashboard is to add a description to it. It allows users to go through each menu item and field on the dashboard and get clear description of what that element is and what is its use. It takes away the guess work and helps in avoiding mistakes that occur due to hit and trial.
Add custom branding for your client
By default, the backend and the frontend have WordPress branding all over it, from loading logo, to footer, welcome message etc. It is suggested that in order to create an exclusive and satisfying experience, change the loading logo which is of WordPress by default to the clients. You can remove the howdy message from the admin bar and replace it with your own custom text.
There is a default welcome message on the WordPress dashboard. You can change it to something custom for the client. It is also suggested to change the default footer links to that of the clients.
User experience (UX) determines the nature of engagement, emotional experience, and overall perception of a user about the product. Creating a dashboard that is easy to use and satisfying is imperative in creating a hassle-free user experience.
These simple steps will declutter the dashboard, make it descriptive & self-explanatory, and customize it according to the client’s needs and branding.