Elevating content in the Site Editor

Most of the features in the Site Editor focus on editing templates and template parts. The only content you’re able to access and edit is your homepage. It was necessary to build this way to get the project off the ground back in the day, but now seems like a good time to consider how we might elevate the prominence of content editing. We have the capability, we just need to get the UX right.

For some time I’ve suspected that Browse Mode would be the gateway to content editing. The idea of browsing around your site then clicking a button to edit the page you’re viewing seems very intuitive. But given the technical hurdles we need to negotiate there, I am contemplating an interim solution that is easier to implement now, and sustainable in the longer term once Browse Mode is built.

Dynamic Address Bar

In my last post I discussed an alternative initial view for the Site Editor, where features (styles / template management, etc) are listed on the left, and your site appears in a ‘frame’ on the right.

Site Editor feature menu and frame

It should be relatively straight-forward to make the address bar in the frame interactive so that folks are able to locate content like posts or pages, and even archives like post categories or tags.

After selecting and navigating to the desired page, editing is just a click away.

Browse Mode as initially envisaged still makes sense, but I see the dynamic address bar as an augmentation of that feature. It provides a couple of important UX optimisations such as being able to navigate directly to a specific post (rather than digging through archives), and locating entities that you cannot otherwise ‘browse’ to like unlinked pages, or the 404 template.

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