Designing Login for the WordPress apps

Earlier this year, a project squad in our mobile division set out to work on a surprisingly tricky task: creating a simple login flow for our mobile apps that works with any WordPress site.

Why would that be hard? Because there isn’t just one flavor of WordPress. Endless hosting configurations, an almost infinite number of plugin combinations, and competing APIs make it challenging to create a single login experience that works for everyone. There are users with multiple sites, and users with no sites at all. Users who are accustomed to desktop computer interfaces, and those who have never used WordPress on anything other than their mobile phone. Multiple paths for logging in had been added over time, each optimized for different kinds of users. As a result, our existing login flow was complex, to say the least.

Continue reading “Designing Login for the WordPress apps”

Improving Accessibility in WordPress with Dynamic Font Sizes

At Automattic, I lead a team of three designers dedicated to our native apps. We focus our time on the design of WordPress for Android and iOS.

Over the last few months, the developers and designers who work on our apps have been improving our support for the accessibility features available on mobile devices. This includes ensuring our apps properly support features like VoiceOver on iOS, and TalkBack on Android, which make the apps accessible to blind users.

One new feature I’d like to highlight is support for dynamic type sizes. This lets users choose larger (or smaller) text, to find the size that’s most comfortable for them to read. We recently made a change to the text used for blog posts and pages on iOS to make it even more readable. Now, no matter what text size the user prefers — even the largest sizes, which are huge — WordPress responds as the user should expect. This makes the app accessible to users with low vision, in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Screenshots of dynamic text on iOS

If you use an Android device, you can customize your device’s font size, too.

Screenshots of enlarged text on Android

We’re continuing to perfect this feature, so if you notice parts of the apps where it doesn’t work quite right yet, drop us a line, and stay tuned for future improvements.

For more information on adjusting the font size on your device, see these articles:

Originally published on A8C Design.

Just a Bunch of Silly Pictures of Me and my Dog, on the Occasion of Her Adoption Day

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Exactly 11 years ago, I brought Maggie home for the first time. A few days later, I took this picture.

This was the first in a long line of silly pictures of Maggie and me.

Eventually, I realized how much she hated being picked up, and I found new ways to make her hate being photographed.

The past eleven years have had many ups and downs, but the constant source of happiness, stability, and love is this pup.

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I took this one on the scariest day of our lives together; the morning I dropped her off for her cancer surgery.

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And took this one once she was home.

We’ve both got a little more gray in our beards these days, but we’re going to keep taking silly pictures every chance we get.

Maggie D, you’re the best. Happy adoption day, little bear.

The Big Reveal

After much planning, estimating, digging, hauling, welding, grading, planting, adjusting, and obsessing, my back yard is complete. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and am excited to share the first pictures of it today. But before we get to that, here’s a 2-minute timelapse video that shows where we started, and how we got here.

Shouts out to Humzah Khraim here in Atlanta for a beautiful design and a job well done — if you’re in Atlanta I highly recommend working with him.

Now… I’ve got to buy some furniture for this back porch.

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Steel going up

Haven’t posted in a few days because not much has happened for a few days. But today, things really started to take shape. Before, my back yard undulated like hills on a putt-putt golf course, for reasons passing understanding. The new layout deals with the slope by terracing the yard with this cool cor-ten weathering steel (you can see the same stuff used in my neighbors’ garden on the left).

I’m still kind of blown away by the changes, though it’s still basically just a mud pit. But I can finally visualize the end result now, and I think it’s gonna be good.

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Progress, generally

Well, we’ve reached the point that I’m having to take the pups to the front yard to do their business, as the back is a muddy wreck. But it’s pretty exciting to see it happen. I bought the house and moved in while they were still finishing the original back yard, so I’m familiar with Georgia red clay. This time I’m so much more excited about what’s coming next, I don’t even care.

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