Since 2018 I’ve been pushing to design and implement a new navigation system that scales in the WooCommerce Admin project.
It seemed important to me that for the project to be a success it would have to be a core-first initiative, at least at a grass-roots level initially. I’ve worked through various iterations (some of which were shared on this blog in back in 2019) that considered not only the WooCommerce scope, but the entire WordPress ecosystem.
After some usability testing of our most promising concept in 2020 the team made the commitment to build the components required to realise the vision, and contribute them back to WordPress (Gutenberg specifically).
That new navigation system is currently being rolled out to eCommerce plan customers on WordPress.com, with positive results so far. It will eventually make its way in to WooCommerce core.
Gutenberg itself now uses those components for navigation in the Site Editor as well.
And now it seems the broader community are beginning to play with the idea of using this new component set to replace the existing wp-admin navigation as well.
It seems like such a small thing, but this is the result of years of on-and-off work for me.
I’m not getting carried away yet though, it could be years before something like this finds its way in to wp-admin. And yet I remain optimistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that.