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Gutenberg's Project Leadership has a meeting with the Outreach Program to address issues with the site editor.

The leadership of Gutenberg's Project recently met with the Outreach Program to address issues with the site editor. They discussed potential solutions and agreed on a plan to improve user experience for all visitors.

One merely needs to peruse this website's comments area to discover what people think about the block editor. But in actuality, WordPress is a large and intricate enterprise. It's undoubtedly subject to the decrees of its Benevolent Dictator, but it's also constrained by the very practical realities of developing open-source software on a massive, dispersed scale. Not to add that all of the effort is dependent on donations, many of which come from big businesses that have their own objectives for the project.

Three years ago, the FSE Outreach Experiment was started with the goal of bridging the gap between the core contributors who build the Site Editor and the users who use it. The program revealed last week that Outreach will be its new name and focus. Any core contributor can now tag Outreach directly in GitHub while they build new features if they want early feedback from the larger community. This is part of the new, streamlined scope. The intention is to increase the amount of two-way contact while retaining the feedback in the most efficient places, which are the GitHub Gutenberg project repository and the Make WordPress Slack channel.

Though I admit that I am guilty of using social media to express my opinions, it doesn't always result in significant change. According to Justin Tadlock, a Developer Advocate and Outreach member, the majority of our problems are with discoverability alone. Just getting folks to show up, bring in all of their responses and ideas from social media, and engage in some productive dialogues through an official channel.

Product Wrangler Automated For the past few WordPress Core releases, Anne McCarthy has directed the FSE Outreach Experiment and functioned as the Editor Triage Lead. Recently, they compiled some of these comments on the Site Editor into a frequently read blog article titled "Overlapping problems." This is a summary of some of the most typical grievances from users, and almost all of the comments point to a particular issue or pull request where work is being done to make it better. I suggest taking a moment right now to read it if you haven't already.

In a community this size and diversity, feedback loops are (un)surprisingly difficult to do right. A recurring theme in the feedback appears to be the belief that although the Site Editors' capabilities and capabilities keep expanding, the user experience itself still requires improvement. However, the typical answer to complaints about this user experience is that the users just need additional instruction and training.

WordPress aims to make publishing material online more accessible to anyone. Thus, people anticipate that its UI will be, well, simpler or at the very least, more user-friendly. Automattic Developer Advocate Nick Diego related his observation of his non-technical parents using the Site Editor.

He clarified that one of the main problems he saw with the Site Editor was the way modifications you made were kept to stop users from making mistakes. And although it might not seem like much, I saw [my dad] remove a customized template, from which there was no easy way to reclaim it. I observed him selecting "Clear Customizations," after which everything vanished. And he thought, "Wait, what? What's going on?"

Nick was providing an excellent real-world illustration of the kinds of user experience flaws that eventually cause users to lose faith in the platforms' capacity to manage content securely. He also mentioned that many of these conversations have tried-and-true customs. When you trash a page in an older version of WordPress, it goes into the garbage, where you may then permanently erase it, right? It ends up in your garbage. Oh, I see what went wrong. That's something I can get back. It flows quite logically. It resembles other applications quite a bit. However, in terms of user interface, the Site Editor frequently wanders into unknown area.

Not only are new tools and concepts challenging for non-technical users. When trying to create new WordPress sites, they can provide new issues for developers. Developers now frequently spend their time investigating new potential processes instead of developing websites, and when scoping new projects, we can no longer rely solely on our two decades of established best practices. According to what I've heard, there are changes to the process in addition to the technical ones, such as adjusting to new technologies, therefore I believe that using these tools and changing processes play a part in this as well, added Anne McCarthy.

agencies, contractors, developers, builders, and extenders. This subset of the community goes by several names, but they are all known for creating a lot of websites—often for non-technical individuals. This group feels strongly that the Gutenberg project is not putting their needs first, which is why they are turning to page builders like Bricks, Divi, and Elementor or the Classic Editor.

He informed me that there are a plethora of distinct users, each with their own calls. I'm sort of trying to participate in order to advocate for that specific work and to offer that side of the narrative. And I sincerely hope that I will be able to engage in dialogue with more people who share my perspective and come from various agencies.

Like Fabian, I work for an agency, where we are often juggling the requirement to ensure that new features are truly ready for production while also wanting to use the newest technologies for our clients. That poses a challenging difficulty to resolve. To help enhance these features, the core team needs additional users to test and use them. However, we were hesitant to use anything that might not be ready for production from the outside.

According to Fabian, it might have been four or five months since the developer started working on a feature before it is included in WordPress Core. They've moved on and released three other features since they last gave the feature any thought. Because that is no longer at the forefront of our minds by the time we accept it, the agency space's feedback loop is extremely delayed.

Observe any Outreach program meeting, and you will quickly see that everyone is frequently just as ignorant as we are—even some contributors who are funded by Automattic. They face many of the same challenges that we do. The distinction is that they're working to create an area where we can all make connections. It served as a wonderful reminder that we are all involved in this. It's not just a few individuals creating WordPress; it's all of us.

Matias Ventura is one of such individuals; he is often regarded as the de facto leader of the Gutenberg project. Matias participated in the most recent Hallway Hangout, offering his first thoughts while also listening to comments. He quickly clarified that there is still work to be done and conversations to be had after receiving inquiries regarding some of the elements of Gutenberg that still require work.

It can be challenging to find the time to provide feedback when you're deep in the weeds of developing WordPress websites and integrating new Block and Site Editor capabilities. When I'm having trouble with a user interface feature or a lack of functionality, I definitely have a tendency to turn directly to social media. Having said that, I want to see WordPress succeed as a platform, therefore I've joined the #outreach Slack channel and will do my best to offer suggestions whenever I can.

I appreciate you bringing attention to both the original post and our hallway hangout. For what it's worth, I think the post's framing and my efforts in relation to these issues are still getting lost. I remained involved in the Outreach Program and have a strong desire to contribute to finding solutions for these issues. Alongside the evolution of the work, I contributed to its evolution: Changing the FSE Outreach Program: I am really appreciative of the others who have taken the initiative and rethought it as merely outreach (which I continue to be active in). The essay on overlapping difficulties was an attempt to compile major, high-level themes that I frequently discuss with different contributors (such as Rich, Fabian, Matias, and more!). Many earlier

This makes me very glad to read because I know that many talks with people in the community—whether it be in person or through reading GitHub comments, X posts, or observations of others using the Site Editor—were necessary for me to be able to write this post. We are aware of you. Our efforts to resolve these problems are intense. We sense the immediacy. We are actively listening to your comments, so if you read the post and saw that it addressed some of your concerns, that is because we have heard it. Kindly continue to share and take part. As I said in the conclusion, when you consider BC and the variety of ways WordPress is used, there's a reason these are difficult challenges to tackle and no simple solutions. I'm eager to relocate to

For those who are interested, during the course of the FSE Outreach Program's three and a half years, we have discussed just this in several conversations: thefse-hallway-hangout I hope more people express how we can improve it and that we never stop trying to make it better. This is an ongoing endeavor that I hope more people will begin to feel and consider; it is not a new willingness.

The following is just conjecture, but Make WordPress Core can occasionally be challenging to study, navigate, and even read. It's possible that because your post was easier to find naturally, it attracted a lot more attention (beyond simply a few tweets going viral). Just something to think about.

I'm happy that more people are becoming aware of and interested in the Outreach program. Similar to the Gutenberg effort as a whole, these kinds of initiatives require time to pick up steam and momentum. It's encouraging that we're seeing some momentum in this area.

We are aware of you. Our efforts to resolve these problems are intense. We sense the immediacy. We are actively listening to your comments, so if you read the post and saw that it addressed some of your concerns, that is because we have heard it. Kindly continue to share and take part.

I hope that's what this article's main lesson is. Although it appears to the community that the project leadership is not paying attention, the truth is far more nuanced. After reading this post, I hope extenders and core contributors will figure out how to get involved in the feedback loop that the Outreach program has been helping to create.

Brian, I appreciate you covering this. Since the Outreach Team isn't set up like other Make Teams, I'm apprehensive to give them a call. We may consider the 700+ of us on the channel to be one huge team, in a sense. The reason I don't want to use that nomenclature is so that nobody would mistake it for a structured team that operates in the same manner as other teams.

Although I agree that we face many of the same challenges, I'm not sure if the phrase "in the dark" suits (it's just a small quibble). Ultimately, the majority of Automattic Outreach participants are also developing on top of the platform. We therefore experience pain when it occurs. That's the reason it's crucial that we all use this channel and work together.

Although the block editor is a fantastic tool, it does not currently have all the necessary features. I also miss features for a lot of other blocks, like the option to modify for tablets and mobile devices without CSS. Naturally, in this situation, I can use the required media queries, but many users find it difficult to implement them. For instance, there is a fantastic plugin called GenerateBlocks that provides just these extra possibilities.

Better late than never, I suppose, but this should have happened five years ago. I can't even begin to count how many times I've brought up important usability issues and provided evidence in the form of posts from eminent usability experts to support my remarks, only to have the issue either ignored or closed with no action taken. I'm so tired of this that, unless there's a real bug, I don't even bother reporting issues anymore. I agree with Mike McAlister when he says that they aren't paying attention to us.

Gutenberg's persistent tendency to conceal all of its options behind a maze of menus, icons, popups, and popups inside popups makes using it extremely annoying! I still cannot use this editor to create a website for a customer. When all my clients want to do is update their material, I don't want them to feel any less frustrated than I do. Because of the way the blocks are implemented in the Block Editor, I seldom ever use ACF anymore. When I do, I utilize the Classic Editor with the classic custom fields to obtain a far better editing experience. For the time being, I've had to use Elementor and the Classic Editor to construct everything. That's not to say that it

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