Preview the Future Design of the WordPress Dashboard

Though nothing stays still for long with WordPress, the design of your blog’s dashboard hasn’t changed much lately. While we’ve added new features and made some adjustments along the way, the dashboard has been looking forward to a refresh for some time. With that in mind, seven weeks ago, a scrappy gang of web designers and developers teamed up to explore how to do just that. We asked ourselves the question: “What should a modern version of WordPress look like?” We decided that:

  • It should have a simple, uncluttered design; free of excessive decoration and focused on your content.
  • It should use webfonts for beautiful, legible typography that’s consistent in every browser.
  • It should have a responsive design that’s tailored to PCs, tablets and smartphones.
  • It should do all this while retaining the familiar, user-tested dashboard interface that millions of users already understand.

Screenshot of the new dashboard design

We’ve drawn new icons, increased contrast and font size, and generally modernized the design from top to bottom. We’re still working on it, but you can preview it starting today! To step into the future, head over to UsersPersonal Settings in your blog’s dashboard and check “Enable experimental admin design (MP6),” then Save Changes.

We’d love to have you preview the new design and let us know what you think. You can use this feedback form to send us your ideas. Since it’s a work in progress, you may see some things that don’t look quite right or aren’t working just yet. You can instantly switch back and forth between the new and old dashboard design during this test period. We’ll switch on the new design for everyone later this year.

If you host your WordPress blog elsewhere, you can preview the new design with the MP6 plugin. If you’d like to learn more about how the new design was created, or you’re a designer or developer who would like to contribute, please join us on the Make WordPress UI blog.


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Matt (Thomas) Miklic

124 Comments

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  1. El Moony

    Reblogged this on elmoony.

  2. Lolly

    235 posts and only 3 comments? :-(

  3. Realiction Boy

    Looks quite cool. Will test it and give you guys feedback!

  4. William Kelly

    Yeah! I get to be lost all over again!!! Yes I agree that technology is and must always be changing and improving. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it makes it any easier. We will survive the change I am sure.

    • Matt Thomas

      You can always switch back to the old design for now, but I’d encourage you to try it for a while to see how it grows on you. You should find that we haven’t actually moved any functionality, just given it a different look.

  5. Ismail Omar

    Reblogged this on Ismailomar's Blog and commented:
    Spurb design for superb bloggers.

  6. gpcox

    Just when I think I have something down pat – you change it.

    • Matt Thomas

      Once you give it a try, you should find that everything is still where you expect to find it, just with a different look. If you find anything harder to use, please do let us know!

  7. LissaCaldina
  8. mitzs

    I’ll try it. Thanks for the updates. I love WordPress

  9. m.mourad

    Reblogged this on The Source.

  10. El Santo

    Wooo! I like it! I especially love the mobile theme, since I’ve been blogging a lot from my cell lately.

  11. haydendoylemarketing

    Reblogged this on Hayden's Blog Box.

  12. David W. Boles

    This is instantly fantastic in taste, design, functionality and joy for the eye! Thanks for making a proper, beautiful, eager, aesthetic behind-the-scenes as important as what we present to the world!

  13. Rebekka Roderick

    Looks great! Can’t wait until the new dashboard becomes a reality. :)

  14. Teepee12

    From what I can see, I like it. It would be nice to get a bigger picture without the phone blocking half the picture!

  15. Teepee12

    I tried putting it into the experimental settings. It went into a loop and locked my computer solid. FYI.

  16. teddytom4u

    it looks quite Dashy ;) thanks for all the love n work you put into wordpress. it is appreciated

  17. peko1012

    I like it! Great improvement but still testing it out, I’ll let you know if I run into any issues!

  18. Jerry Bates

    Looks great! Can’t wait for it to roll out for real! :)

  19. Mike

    Looks good – except
    When mousing over any link in the side-menu – all the menu text gets fainter – see image http://graphiclineweb.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/new-dashboard-wp-com.jpg
    Some CSS effect – makes it harder to read especially for older and tired eyes. (Browser – Firefox 20.0.1)
    Hope this is just because it’s still in-development

    Otherwise very nice :)

  20. Leslie Stockton

    Can you guys possibly PUT THE *DRAFTS* to Posts ..to the SIDEBAR along with the other(s) ie..Posts, Add New etc.. no just click on DRAFTS .. constantly having to perform more clicks than necessary. just wondering .. i sure hope this is as easy as you describe .. layman may not comprehend .. :)

    • Matt Thomas

      That’s an interesting suggestion Leslie. Our current project is limited to visual changes, but I think that’s got potential as a future improvement.

  21. danieltstone

    Looks great. I didn’t know I could get it on my cell phone. I will add that ASAP. Thank you.

  22. R. Lynn

    Cool, can’t wait to try it out, reblogging.

  23. Christelle

    Hi I would like to know if it is also for people who has free wordpress..because my wordpress is free and there are not a lot of option about themas, no pluggins,

    • Matt Thomas

      It’s available to all users of WordPress.com, whether you have a free or paid account. If you host your own WordPress installation somewhere else, you can install the MP6 plugin to get the new design.

      • Christelle

        Hi Matt thanks for the link but there is no place to upload something on my dashboard :(

  24. Ken Ranos

    This is a good example of a good change–the Dashboard has gotten a facelift, but users don’t have to adjust to a new layout or build–it’s the same dashboard, just with an updated look. Much better than the “Comments I’ve Made” change.

  25. akalorik

    hmmm i can’t find the personal settings for users on my dashboard. what am i missing?

  26. momndaughtersavings

    In my wordpress dashboard, there’s no “personal setting”
    thanks,

    Jody Cowan

  27. Eugenie Street

    Dear WordPress team, you truly impress me. I came to WordPress for my first experience as a blogger and I don’t think now I can ever blog elsewhere. You constantly look for improvements to you great service. Bravo and thank you.

  28. The EssWhyDee Blog

    Hi. Looking good but I have a concern for Android devices using the app. On the dashboard we can only see the notifications when landscape and not portrait. Which is a pain…also everything isnt formatting properly in portrait mode ..using galaxy s3. Duno if anyone else has come across this?

    • Matt Thomas

      We’re still working hard on mobile issues, so you may encounter things that aren’t quite right for a while. Rest assured we are testing with Android (and iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry) devices so we’ll be sure this is fixed up before the public launch later this year.

      • The EssWhyDee Blog

        Thanks… thats good to know and to be acknowledged…. btw the Android recent upgrade is 100x better. And thats coming from a pessimistic person lol! Looks fantastic. ..still needs a notifs section tho… and with the new dashboard. . Its brilliant. . Loving the darker theme

  29. Joe Linker

    Matt: Looks good so far. Suggestion: Can you add a link directly to the Dashboard from the Reader, Stats, My Blog, Freshly Pressed page? Seems like a couple of clicks are necessary to go from that page to the Dashboard – or maybe I’m missing something?

    • Matt Thomas

      Thanks Joe — links between the WordPress.com homepage and your dashboard are something we’ll be working on once the dashboard design is a little further along.

  30. Meghan Johnson

    “… a scrappy gang”… How I love those words! “Scrappy” might just be my favorite word in the English language. Very much looking forward to testing this new dashboard! Thank you for being awesome, WordPress.

  31. diaryofdennis

    I dislike the trend of changing designs too often.

    • Matt Thomas

      We feel you there, Dennis. Give it a try though; we think you’ll find that everything is still where you expect to find it, just with a new coat of paint.

  32. SimpLeigh Organized

    I love it! It looks very nice! My only issue is that I can’t seem to find the video tutorial and the helpful links (ex: hero to zero link) that used to be at the top of the dashboard. As a new blogger, I visit them frequently. Is there somewhere else I can locate them?
    Thanks!

  33. Beverly Everson Photography

    I tried it and I like it! :)

  34. Thiago Vieira Pereira

    Very good. Liked the solid colors and it’s still very easy to use. Keep it up!

  35. JR HAFER AVIATION BLOG.COM

    All I ask you to do is remember that all of us are not quick smart young techies…
    So my best advise to you is: USE the KISS Method… keep it simple SAM.

  36. SimpLeigh Organized

    Disregard my previous question. Everything reappeared when I refreshed the site. :)

  37. rihane

    Tried it on Nexus7, works much better than the previous dashboard. For my mobile is the app a better choice.

  38. Satwinder Rathore

    Reblogged this on Satwinder Rathore and commented:
    WordPress New Dashboard

  39. timethief

    I am visually challenged. I make mistakes I cannot detect and that combined with false pride suppresses my commenting. Please forgive me, in advance ,if there are typos in this comment.

    The contrast and readability is much improved.
    The clutter has been reduced.
    There is a sporadic lag time when loading Admin pages but a left click anywhere on the page while it’s loading brings it up instantly.

    I’m giving this dashboard makeover a thumbs up. I’m grateful to those who have improved my blogging experience by undertaking this task. Thank you.

    What I am seeking now is a reliable way of gauging audience growth, as the current situation of not being able to vet followers before they follow my blog is frustrating, and there is no other reliable means of judging how many followers my content is attracting.

    • Matt Thomas

      Thanks, timethief. We’ve thought a lot about improving legibility via increased contrast, larger text, and less visual clutter. I also 100% agree with your suggestion about better information about your audience of followers; that’s great fodder for a future iteration on Stats.

  40. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Ah, uncluttered – I like the notion. In my blog at least, if I can’t manage it in my life.

    I like the black tone, too. It’s solid.

  41. christrocks

    I like it! Are there any significant changes, or is just a new look?

    • Matt Thomas

      We’ve intentionally challenged ourselves to revamp just the look in this update, without introducing any major new features or reorganization. It’s a big change, so we want to let you guys get used to it on its own, without having to figure out where we moved your cheese, too. :)

  42. judge3690

    I like the color scheme and organizational flow; however, the increased text size—which will be a boon to small-screen devices or the visually impaired—is way too big on my 21″ 1080p monitor. Is there an option to maintain the new look while maintaining the experimental settings and theme? Thanks!

  43. judge3690

    P.S. Oops, didn’t proofread; that should read “…to reduce the text size while maintaining the experimental…”

  44. Diana

    I do all my computing + photo blogging by phone, on 3 gigs a month data plan. Your new mobile update/ re-do is horrible.

  45. Wendy

    Looks very nice! I second the suggestion to add “drafts” to the posts flyout or come up with some ingenious UI that would let me get at drafts, published posts, and scheduled posts without having to click “all posts” and then click again (lazy, I know). A tad more contrast for those of us who no longer have 20/20 vision would be a nice touch too. :)

  46. nanbush

    Nothing on my Dashboard Users options says Personal Settings. I have Profile/Personal Options; but that screen has no “*Enable experimental admin design (MP6) *link.

    How to see the new Dashboard design? Thanks.

    Nancy Evans Bush http://dancingpastthedark.com

  47. Saptarshi Nath

    Very good and responsive UI design. I agree with WordsFallFromMyEyes.

  48. Saptarshi Nath

    Reblogged this on dezinelife.

  49. Matt George

    Love the, “new coat of paint”. It’s a step in the right direction. I am excited to see improvements here at WP.

  50. Shea Bunge

    Reblogged this on SheaPress.

  51. araneus1

    I’m having a lot of fun here but the word ‘intuitive’ does not spring to mind when it comes to navigating your site. Hire more people who can spell ‘intuitive’.
    Thank you for the fun had so far.
    Terry

  52. homepreneurs

    Reblogged this on Homepreneurs's Blog and commented:
    For all my WordPress blogging friends -

  53. hakaner

    After using it about a month, it was good to see new ui here. Thanks!

  54. Linda Farah Dee

    Reblogged this on LindaFarahDee and commented:
    Life is dynamic and continues to evolve while still a chance

  55. pattisj

    Will have to check this out!

  56. alonemrinal

    It looks nice and improved but I don’t know. WordPress means decent and clean. I will keep myself with whitish looks.

  57. Michael Pagliarello

    The clean design looks really good

  58. DonBrefo

    Reblogged this on DE BLooG WordPress.com and commented:
    Hope this comes soon

  59. HunnyBunny

    This does looks great, because it has proffesional look. It looks like it can help me find things better, because it looks it’s more organised. The black sidebar makes it focus, and the small icons can help search things, when I’m hurry.

  60. Matthew Curry

    I usually don’t like format changes, but this looks pretty good. I really like it!

  61. savethemightyimps

    WordPress continues to be the gateway for ‘non-techie’ writers to dazzle, ensuring original content finds its way to an audience, I certainly did not dream of, when ‘pressing’ my first article in October 2011 – Thanks Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

  62. hanifizm

    i tried it, like it very much

  63. Puspanjalee Das Dutta

    Reblogged this on My writing & My world and commented:
    Looking forward..

  64. Lyda

    Reblogged this on Lydablogger.

  65. reminoir

    Looks nice. Plain and simle – just the way I like it. Especially I like the contrast between sidebar and content area – I would increase that even more and make the grey background color lighter and closer to white. New icons design is also neat. Keep up the good work

  66. ejims05

    From the description of its features, i think it will definitely make wordpress blogs look awesome. Thanks to the wordpress team for this new design. Nice blogging with wordpress!

  67. Gary Hessler

    So far so good. I especially like that it is responsive to mobile devices, and the overall appearance of this new Dashboard is so much better. There are a few things that don’t work correctly, but I’m sure those things will eventually be ironed out. Keep up the good work! 😃 👏

  68. Bonnie Marshall

    Matt, bit of a problem replying to recent comments…when I mouse to reply I lose the chance. Hmm… Otherwise, fine improvement.

  69. Monique"s FM/CFS Blog

    Reblogged this on Monique's FM/CFS Blog.

  70. Monique"s FM/CFS Blog

    Reblogging this…

  71. Germano "Iceman" Neres

    WOW! It was awesome!
    In fact, the visual difference is, however, for the better!
    What I liked most was the implementation of “open sans” as default font as the theme Twenty Twelve. ;)

    It was show, Matt!
    Congratulations, and thank you for reward us with more great work! :)
    Incidentally, when we will definitely feature in our blogs? I’m using a trial. :)

    Hug!

  72. Softeek

    Reblogged this on softeek.

  73. ashleybateswriter

    Reblogged this on The Sands Social Media and commented:
    Be sure to make comments on the WordPress feedback form on the new WordPress dashboard! Make sure your voice is heard while tweaks are still being made.

  74. allworldissues

    Looks great! I like change. Change keeps everything fresh, and you sir are definitely keeping things fresh :p

    Keep up the good work.

    AWI – http://allworldissues.com/2013/02/06/my-addiction-to-writing-in-my-head/

  75. rhyzal05

    Reblogged this on GO-AHEAD COURSE.

  76. Olli Laasanen

    I like the increased contrast and the font a lot!

  77. angloswiss

    I have blogged around a lot, but am now nicely settled in Word Press, not perfect, but no-one is perfect, and one of the most perfect. Changing the dashboard design is ok with me. It is only a design and the blog remains the same. My experience is that computer steered sites like yours change from time to time. A question of keeping up with the others I supposel Over the years I have got used to it, so just accept it. My blog is still the same, it is only the dashboard and in the computer world one thing you have to get used to is change. Be versatile, go with the times, so no problem with this golden oldie.

  78. Linda Farah Dee

    Hi, Matt Thomas. Thanks and It`s Sounds good too, why not :))

  79. jennessjohnston78

    Hello all I care about is that it is user friendly I have a hard time finding my way around sometimes.
    Jenness

    • Cianomi Daily Posts

      Still looking for the settings – I do have a basic WordPress for now and only just started. I am told of a new change every week. Happy with WordPress so far but slow down… My works in progress… Cannot catch up with all the excitement :)

  80. Christopher Agostino

    Please don’t keep changing the look of things. It’s not necessary. I’m fine with the current dashboard and consider it a negative that I will now have to become familiar with a new look.

    • Matt Thomas

      The only constant is change, they say — but we’re trying to smooth the path by letting you opt-in to the new design now, rather than surprising everyone with it at once later this year. Once you give it a try, I think you’ll find it’s a change that’s you get used to pretty quickly, since nothing’s moved from where you’ll expect to find it.

  81. Hanggar PS

    I like wordpress so much, it’s more more beautiful in the features

  82. ELMalvaney

    Going forward, it would be nice to be able to have a calendar view for posts that helps those of us with multiple authors schedule out posts more easily than the current all-in-one-list format. Also, a simple update would pop up a calendar when in the single post editing view, so I don’t have to count on my fingers to see which date to schedule the post for.

  83. barrysalter

    When you have the IQ of a rocking horse like me .and have just about sussed the current way to do things…….the word NEW
    fills me with trepidation…….I will put it off for as long as I can…..then have a large scotch and go see :)

    barry

  84. Fish & Bicycles

    My only complaint was going to be that I don’t care for the darker sidebar, but then I collapsed the sidebar and now it doesn’t bother me.

    Also I LOVE the way the new Dashboard renders in iOS. I used to have to double tap to resize it, but now it’s perfect.

    I do find that the Dashboard still scrolls too slowly in iOS, which was the case before the redesign, so it would be great if that was improved.

    All in all, I like it!

  85. monika

    i like it :) nice job….

  86. Niejan

    I like this new clean look. Point of improvement: using black and grey is a good choice, but wouldn’t black and white be even better? It would bring much more elegance to the screen. This grey background isn’t that good for your writing mood.

  87. Barbara Sherry Rose, PhD BornToInspire

    The changes sound great. I’m going to give it a try now with a new post. ONE thing I would LOVE is to be able to change font, color, size, and positioning (such as center) I think this would make reading more enjoyable if not overdone.

  88. Carlos García

    It looks quite similar to the last app actualization for android. I find it so cool and ordered with that sidebar which i completely luv!

  89. Shannon

    Is that why my word press site is messed up again? Thank you so much for the free site it’s AWESOME….it keeps disappearing except when I click the main link….maybe because you are undergoing renovation?   Thanks so much I hope it is done soon and I can see who a follow and use the links again <3

    "If you ever get a treasure NEVER let it go….If you are not willing to die for it when you have it you will spend the rest of your life dying for it…."

    Irish+Asia= Irishasia

    ________________________________

  90. LucyJartz

    I tried it out and I am glad you didn’t move things so I have a chance to start recognizing the new Icons.

  91. vonhonnauldt

    One addition I would like would be to be able to underline in a post. Bold and italic are fine, but, oft I want to underline.

  92. GrayFoxDown

    I’m currently in the process of giving it a go. So far, it looks neat, compact, easy to navigate. Thanks.

  93. vishalhd

    I really like what I am seeing. I don’t host my own wordpress blog yet though, but I can’t wait for it.

  94. porter

    Im a massive fan of the progression of the WP admin area and where you guys are planning to go with it. Even some of the new functionality in recent builds such as the media manager and the html5 video support coming in the next build. keep it up!

  95. David Parsons

    as long as its responsive im happy :)

  96. William Anthony

    One has to scroll from left to right to read the page.

  97. trilliondollarsecretboss

    WOW This is awesome! Thanks :D

  98. georgettesullins

    I have changed it administratively for orientation purposes and I really don’t see much difference but then I only use it on my desktop or laptop. I can imagine the “biggy” is that it have a “responsive design that’s tailored to PCs, tablets and smartphones”. Thank you for not completely reinventing it.

  99. Darek Kargul (@DareksGuides)

    It look awesome, need to try this one, thanks!

  100. ismailimail

    Hi, everything looked fine until I saw the Press It bookmarklet window. It has unnecessary extra white space and it doesn’t even look right. Hope you’d fix it. I have reverted back to the old dashboard.

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