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What Does a Better Notification System for WordPress Actually Look Like?

Last week I had the opportunity to join some amazing WordPress folks to talk about WordPress notifications.

In that chat I mentioned that one of my biggest “hurdles” is getting the word out about WP Notify, sharing what the team has been working on, and what we envision for notifications in WordPress.

And then it struck me! I have this blog, and it’s connected to my Twitter account! What better way to share the WP Notify project with the world.

A Better System for WordPress Notifications

At its core, WP Notify aims to create a new (better) way to manage and deliver notifications to the relevant audience. In order to do this, we have 4 main goals we wish to achieve.

  • Allow WordPress core to send notifications to administrative users to give them feedback about changes in the system.
  • Allow plugin and theme authors to send notifications to administrative users to give them feedback about changes in the system
  • Prevent plugin and theme authors from abusing this notification system in “spammy” ways.
  • Allow WordPress users who have access to notifications to control which, how, and where they receive them.

To get a feel for what we’re working towards, let’s take a look at the project designs, which you can also see here.

Notification Types

Notification Types

WP Notify plans to offer two types of notifications, on-page, and on-hub, messages shown in the notification hub.

The Notification Hub

The notification hub will appear in the admin toolbar as a new icon (currently a bell) similar to how your operating system or mobile phone works. Clicking on the icon will show you a list of all open notifications, with options to mark notifications as read, or click through for more information.

Notification Hub Message Variants

On-hub message variants

Developers will be able to register an on-hub notification, by choosing from one of the available message variants and specifying the data for each available field in the variant.

On-page Notifications

On-page notifications

On-page notifications will be shown in the same place as admin notices, but will follow a standardized format, and allow the user to quickly dismiss all messages. However, these notifications can still be made available on the notification hub.

On-page Notification variants

On-page notification variants

As with the notification hub, on-page notifications will follow a standardized format, and developers can register notifications by choosing from one of the available variants.

Notification Settings

Most importantly, the site user can choose which notifications they wish to receive, from which source (WordPress core, plugins, theme), and via which channel (if multiple channels are available).

The designs only give you a small window into the larger scope of our plans. You can get a better feel for what we are proposing by reading our Requirements Document, but I plan to write a follow-up post to summarize that as well.






6 responses to “What Does a Better Notification System for WordPress Actually Look Like?”

  1. Remkus Avatar

    Hadn’t seen any screenshots and clear outline of what the notification systems (potentially) is going to look like yet, but I like what I’m seeing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jonathan Avatar

      Thanks. I only realised recently I should be trying to do more in my personal capacity to get the word out.

  2. Nabeel Avatar

    The concept is pretty awesome… There is a lot to like here. I am not a UI/UX expert but I find the concept easy to follow.

  3. Seth Rubenstein Avatar
    Seth Rubenstein

    I am loving this concept. We’ve long needed a more expanded and standardized way of dealing with notifications in WordPress. Can’t wait to see more.

  4. Jimmy Rosén Avatar

    This looks great! The current paradigm has been a problem for a long time. Still, I see a long tail of ”Creative marketers” that will use their old hacks intentionally. How would that likeley be supressed?

    1. Jonathan Avatar

      Thanks for your input, Jimmy. I’m preparing another post as an overview on the WP Notify requirements document, which should cover these questions.

      However, perhaps you could give me an idea of the types of hacks you can think of, and I can see if our requirements cover them?

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