WordPress 3.2 Brings A Backend Refresh

Codenamed “Gershwin” this update is a major release and it feels like one with the dashboard redesign. As I type this post (the first in the new editor) I’ve got to say there are major and subtle changes that really make composing a better experience. To see the big picture updates watch the video from WordPress below.

In the Details

My illustrator friend Jake Thomas always reminds me that great work is in the details. Keeping an eye on the subtle design adjustments to the dashboard mark this as a great release. The adjustments to the size of text in the dashboard makes reading easier.

See how the title of the post is the largest element. The title and current page you are working on are clear and easy to read at a glance. The name of your blog isn’t information that you need to see big and bold. See what it used to look like, taking up more space and not directing your eye what to read first.

Another little feature I like is the change in typeface when you switch between visual and html editors. Making it clear what mode you are in.

The Workspace

Next lets take a quick look at the side bar. This change makes viewing the screen easier and helps you to focus on writing content. Look at the example, the gray palate is more subtle than the more contrasty 3.0 design. Each box in the previous version is calling for your attention. The revision is smother, has fewer colors, and improved typographic implementation.

So what do I mean by smoother? In the previous design, the sidebar and main editor share a similar color style. Dark gray area above a white content box. In 3.2 the editor has a darker gray than the headers in the sidebar, and the sidebar doesn’t put a white box below each header. Giving the content area it’s own look, softer color scheme and helping you focus easier on the content.

A quick note – the full screen composer is very cool as it gives you a feeling as though you are working in a word processing program.

Room for Improvement

While I think this is a great refresh I do think there is some room for improvement in the general settings tab. Reading and viewing settings seems to have lost some readability in 3.2. While I haven’t spent a lot of time in the settings yet I feel that the leading is too tight in between options and in some instances the columns are too spaced out.

On the whole I like this update. A very modern design that is constantly getting better.