MP6: The Future of the WordPress Admin
WordPress celebrated it's 10th birthday this week, and it is still changing and evolving.
In a previous blog post, we speculated on what WordPress might look like in future versions.
Now with the arrival of a plugin called MP6, we have a clear idea of what the WordPress admin area will look like later this year.
How do we know MP6 is the future?
No official announcement has been made about MP6 yet, so how do know that it's the future of the WordPress admin area?
First, MP6 was on the roadmap for WordPress 3.6 before being pushed back. Some of the people most involved in core development are now raising the idea of including MP6 in WordPress 3.7:
- Matt Thomas said, "we’re currently aiming for 3.7 but that’s not official yet."
- Jen Mylo commented that, "in 3.7 that icon style will be replaced by the icon style in MP6, so it will likely have a pretty different feel".
It's possible that some or all of MP6 may not be included in 3.7, but it is highly likely to be adopted in future releases.
Second, Matt Mullenweg is part of the MP6 developer team.
Third, MP6 looks exactly like the new WordPress.org design. Here's a sneak peak of the new MP6 admin area:
And here's the new WordPress.org:
Notice some of the many similarities:
- Open Sans font
- Black backgrounds
- White menu text with blue links,
- Tabbed arrows for active menus
- Rounded blue buttons with white text
So how do I get MP6 now?
MP6 is available as a plugin that you can install from http://wordpress.org/plugins/mp6/
So what's new in MP6?
MP6 brings no new features, but instead marks the introduction of several important new design trends to WordPress:
- High contrast colors
- Flat design
- Icon fonts
- Responsive design
First, you can see the new, high contrast colors. Instead of the subtle grey colors in today's WordPress, MP6 will have a strong black, white and blue design:
Jeff at WPTavern points out that a dark color scheme was the most popular option in a 2009 poll of WordPress users.
The flat design elements in MP6 are lead by the new Icon fonts.
Steven Bradley has a great introduction to what icon fonts are and why they're better than traditional images.
The MP6 icon font is called Dashicons and available from: http://melchoyce.github.io/dashicons. That page allows us to use see the CSS and HTML used to implement the icons.
Ben Dunkle has a fascinating post on the process used to create these icons: http://bendunkle.com/2013/03/15/designing-dashicons/.
Finally, MP6 brings responsive design to the WordPress admin area. WordPress is currently mobile-friendly via apps, but the admin dashboard is not mobile-ready at all.
If you haven't done so yet, install MP6 on a test site and see what you think.
By the end of 2013, there's a very good chance that we'll all be using it for our WordPress sites.