At LexBlog, we’ve been on a year-long journey to make the deepest, darkest areas of our WordPress-based platform useable by real users—not just us Super Admins. That means we’ve been making updates to Widgets, Customizer controls and our custom Site Settings pages.
It was somewhere in a review of the various widgets and settings we have for showing users on the front end that I was reminded how unruly our core User Profile had become. Along with some of our third-party plugins, we had added fields to the profile throughout the years without considering the overall organization of the page.
The result is a page that is nearly 10,000 pixels tall on desktop with around 40 fields, leading off with the little used and even literally useless Personal Options. That’s not good when many of our customers’ sites show User Profile info on the front end and so does the newly redesigned LexBlog.com.
So after some discussion, we set our art director Brian Biddle to the challenge of making the User Profile pleasant to see and use again. I’ll let him speak to the details, but what he came up with and was refined by our team looks like this:
Using patterns from our Site Settings menu, Brian organized the fields into five tabs ordered by frequency of use and grouped by purpose: User Info, Contact Info, Biography, Subscriptions and Personal Options. Along the way we eliminated extraneous fields and made our labels, helpers and placeholders consistent with our other UIs.
Redesigning the User Profile was just the tip of the iceberg (sorry Brian) because the project’s dev Angelo Carosio is actually replacing profile.php with our own page and accounting for all of the user actions. As Angelo said: “It’s like a giant box full of old Christmas lights that were just thrown together and are all wrapped around each other.”
But after much testing by Jared Sulzdorf and me, we’re nearing a release in time for the holidays.