Almost exactly a year ago, I joined the WordPress Core UI Team. Since then I've had the pleasure of doing and speaking about some of the most challenging and rewarding work of my career to date. Today, I'm exploring a small tangent in relation to that work: WordPress UI Labs.

What is it?

UI Labs is a free plugin for WordPress that comes with progressive enhancements and experimental user interface features for the WordPress administration area.

In a sense, this is for UI touches that aren't appropriate or currently feasible for core implementation - mixed with totally new ideas that I hope might indeed get picked up by core some day. Essentially, if you're interested in a constantly evolving WordPress UI with some clever (and useful) touches, you should check out the plugin. It's like GMail Labs, but WordPress, got it?

Experiment #1

The first UI experiment inside the plugin is colour-coded post statuses. Its purpose is quite simple:

Sometimes you have lots of posts with different statuses mixed together, it's hard to tell what's what because they all look the same.

The UI Labs plugin will take that list of posts and transform it into something which is a little easier to scan:

It's a simple as that really. Give it a try - you might be surprised what a difference it makes to your workflow. Either way, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Please Note

At present this is not an official WordPress plugin of any kind and has absolutely no influence over future WordPress UI decisions. Will it ever go that way? Maybe. I would love it if the core team wanted to adopt the plugin - but for now, this is just a little project for me (and perhaps other people) to get creative with the WordPress UI and test new things.