All of us know that WordPress 3.2 was…

All of us know that WordPress 3.2 was released last week and that it has been receiving positive responses from everyone. What I liked most was the distraction-free editor or the zen mode while writing posts. While thinking about it, it struck me that using as much screen space as possible is most important for phones, among all devices, due to their reduced screen size. The existing app provides only about 5 lines for writing posts and it is difficult to view what has been written earlier. I then decided to go about implementing full-screen option for writing posts, even though I hadn’t discussed it in my proposal. I feel that it is a must for the Android app and I am pleased to say, that it works well 🙂 (might require more testing though).

Here is what I have implemented.

                        

The first image shows the normal Add Post screen that a user sees. Note that, other than the action bar, only one additional change has been done with respect to the earlier app. That’s the “Write in Fullscreen” option in the ‘Post Content’ section, below the format buttons.

The second image shows the fullscreen feature. The app takes the whole of the android screen (it hides the system notifications section too). At the bottom are the format buttons. The user can type as usual, and apply the format buttons on it too. The following image shows an example.

            

Once the text is entered, the user would have to press the Menu button on his phone. The user is provided with 2 options. To save the text and exit fullscreen, and to exit fullscreen without saving. Once “Save and Exit” is pressed, the user can find that the text has been entered into the Content textbox and the user can proceed as usual, to add media, publish post, etc as shown in the image on the right. And as the name implies, “Exit without Saving” exits the fullscreen without any text being entered in the Content textbox.

I also fixed a bug related to the width of the Stats graph with the help of my mentor Dan Roundhill, after going through the source code of WordPress for iOS. I am also trying to implement a few other features into the stats app too. The following screenshots can confirm that stats for different durations are all accommodated within the screen properly.

                             

                             

I was also working on the Add Media feature this week, where I encountered a workflow problem. I was also confused for a long time about how to remove the initial blog list and ensure that the dashboard is the first screen that the user views. I realized that both problems were related to the workflow as I had not completely understood what my mentors had in mind.

Isaac Keyet, my UI/UX mentor, agreed to help me out and after some discussion on irc and a voice call over Skype, I was able to understand the workflow clearly! He also showed me some mock-ups for the app and I am sure that I have understood it properly now.

I have started working on it and will be done with it over the weekend. This is the workflow that the app is supposed to follow.

1. User starts the app and sees the dashboard.

2. The dashboard contains the icons in the grid for Viewing Posts, Adding Media, etc.

3. Initially no blog is selected. Therefore the respective contents under that category, from all blogs will be displayed upon clicking each grid icon. (Either this, or having a blog selected as default, and user changing it, if required.)

4. Whenever new content is being added, or content specific to a blog has to be viewed, the user selects the blog name from the action bar, where all blog names can be selected with the help of a spinner.

In short, instead of choosing the blog first, and performing actions specific to the blog, the blog name is taken as a parameter to every action that the user does. After a lot of discussion, I realized that this seems to be the most comfortable option to the user.

The above is high priority work and I will be working for it first and then try to fix bugs in other parts later.

All features are expected to be complete by next week as its the mid term phase. Therefore I am working hard to complete everything by then.