Call for Testing: Theme details pages

Hello again! I’m Davide, the product design lead for the Theme Showcase. Today we’d like to open for feedback our next big piece related to themes: the theme details page.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 12.33.25.png

What is it?

The theme details page includes all the informatoin about a single theme: screenshots, overview, feature details, setup instructions, live preview, and links to support pages.

What works:

  • All the details about a theme: overview, setup, screenshot.
  • Live preview.
  • Activating the theme if you’re already a user, registering with that theme if you’re not (logged out).
  • Box with theme features.

What will be added soon:

  • Related themes

Note also that this design is meant to accommodate other changes in the future: taller screenshots on the right for example, which is why today the page might seem a bit too heavy on the left. In other words, this is the foundation that will enable future things to be tested and added.


What to test?

We’d like to know:

  • Your overall impression: does it present a theme better than our previous showcase page (example)? Is it easy to find the setup and support information? Is it intuitive to activate the theme?
  • Any bug or frustration you feel while using it.
  • Anything that you feel it’s missing?

Try the following activities:

  1. Go to My Sites on Horizon, and tap “Themes” in the left sidebar.
  2. Pick any theme, tap “•••” and select “Details”.
  3. Check the page that shows up, and imagine you’re reading it like you would to choose a new theme.
  4. Do the same for a few different themes.
  5. If you have a test site, try enabling a few themes and see how the overall process feels.

Write any feedback you have as a comment to this post, even multiple comments if you find different things at different times.

We are going to gather feedback about this specific sequence of tasks for next week, and if there aren’t any major issues, we’d like to launch this feature around June 13th.

Published by

Davide 'Folletto' Casali

Designing Product Experiences at Automattic · Advisor · Mentor · Speaker · Baker Framework Founder · ManifestoIbridi Author

8 thoughts on “Call for Testing: Theme details pages”

  1. It would be nice to have more theme details like fonts, font sizes, site logo size, et cetera; and the option for people to like a theme and share buttons to share a theme and maybe ratings (if ratings ever get updated one day and if the various ratings bugs ever get fixed first).

    I hope that Horizon Feedback starts adding some free themes here for testing, because there are many bugs and annoyances and accessibility problems with themes that have been getting worse (mostly the annoyances and accessibility problems leaving only one usable free theme since Twenty Sixteen was released for someone like me in my opinion), and this could be reduced and improved if we ( users) could give feedback before they are released and if the developers would listen to some this feedback that has been given for years to help stop this downward trend.

    Thank you,
    -John Jr

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It would also be nice to know who all worked on or made a theme; especially which members of the theme team instead of just saying the theme team without knowing which members worked on each theme.

    -John Jr

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Davide,
    Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback. I checked out the theme details page on a desktop PC using Firefox.

    1. My first impression was confusion. I saw “live preview” and thought it was telling me the area below was a live preview of the site. So, I looked at the left side for options that I could change expecting they would be updated on the right.

    2. When I selected a theme, the page opened partially scrolled down. This happened with every theme I tried (about 7 or so). Screenshot:

    3. To me the subheads (Featured Images, Create Menus, etc.) are colored similar to links and are the same size as paragraph text making them hard to read. I like the larger, darker subheads in the old format. Here’s a comparison of the old and new as they appeared to me:

    4. The setup section looks great. Very informative.

    5. When activating a theme, both the “visit site” button and customize link open a new tab. I expected them to open in the same window.

    6. Maybe have an option to select/activate the theme at the bottom of the page. The Twenty Sixteen description, for example, is a pretty long one.

    7. Perhaps include a message on the Premium theme’s forum page that you need to buy the theme to participate in the forum. When I selected the Gema theme and went to the forum, I couldn’t do anything since I don’t own the theme. Also, there weren’t any posts so the page wasn’t helpful. Screenshot:

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi Davide,

    I’ve tested on Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS running Firefox 46.0.1 and mainly with the Twenty Sixteen theme. Here are some things I noticed.

    The ‘Live Preview’ link always shows the vanilla version of a theme and not one with my contents.
    I can confirm the scroll problem ‘Micawbr’ mentions in his 2nd point. I noticed this occurs when you scroll down on the Themes selection page prior to clicking on the ‘Details’ link.
    I also agree with ‘Micawbr’ about what he calls ‘subheads’. I think they need a bigger font and maybe even a light background to make them pop out more.
    The biggest nuisance in my eyes is the calypso-typical amount of scrolling that is needed now compared to the older version. I think every ‘subhead’ needs a (right aligned) link which jumps back to the top of the page.
    Hovering the ‘Overview’ menu should open a dropdown menu with all ‘h2’ headline links (Get Started, Featured Post, Overhanging Full-Size Image, …) which jump to the corresponding boxes. This would reduce the amount of scrolling in case I’m only interested in a special aspect of one theme.
    The Quick Specs with all the pixel measurements is IMHO an important information which I wish would be listed further up the page. Especially when people want to know how wide the header & featured images need to be. It’s a common question in the support forums. That’s why I’m mentioning it. 🙂
    The ‘Features’ module is pretty useless at the moment. They are not click-able to find all themes with the same feature and worse they don’t show a helpful text when you hover over them. How is a new user supposed to know what ‘RTL Language Support’ or ‘Editor Style’ means?
    The other thing about the features is we don’t have enough of them to really differentiate the huge variety of themes. Nearly every theme supports most of the features like ‘Custom Menu’ or ‘Custom Header’. I’m for example interested, if a theme uses serif fonts for the posts text. No way of finding this out but checking all the theme previews myself. Others are interested if the archive pages show full text or just a summary. How about asking the community about the ‘Features’ they’d like to see there which would help them finding the right theme?
    The ‘Download’ link at the bottom should be part of the section-nav at the top of the page right beside ‘Overview’, ‘Setup’ & ‘Support’. Otherwise uers who just want to download the theme have to scroll down to the bottom of the page or even worse, ask in the support forums where to download it.
    Why do some theme details pages (e.g. Luxury, Inspiration Laboratory, …) don’t show the usual ‘subhead’ boxes in the ‘Overview’ page but everything in whole big chunk? Or better asked why are these themes displayed differently (bigger fonts, h3 instead of h2, …)?
    The ‘Visit Forum’ buttons on the ‘Support’ tab have different colors. One is blue (theme support forum), the other one is white (CSS customization). Any reason for that?

    Ok, that’s all for now. 🙂

    Martin K.

    Liked by 3 people

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