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Missing Filters in Dashboard>Appearance>Themes

  1. A quick question:

    With the recent change to the UI in Dashboard>Appearance>Themes, will the feature filters be coming back there or will they only be available in the Theme Showcase?

  2. Hi Jennifer - I don't think they'll be coming back to the Dashboard. I think you'll have to use the Showcase for the filters.

  3. Oh. Joy. God forbid we have that functionality on our own dashboards.

  4. Uch! Bad news for users then. There are far more themes available (to me, anyway) in my dashboard than in the Theme showcase and now finding them by feature will be more difficult.

    On the other hand, while looking for the Responsive theme in my dashboard, I did accidentally discover that the in-dash theme search bar did seem to return results for "responsive," aka responsive width, but how would a user know what filters to look for? :/

  5. Hi folks - I've passed along your feedback to the theme team that the filters are missed. :)

  6. I am not even sure where the "Theme Showcase" is - so yet another Easter Egg hunt for things - since I don't swap themes much I guess maybe I am lucky - but still sounds like another two step process - filter in the Showcase - then back to my blog to work with the theme - not the best sounding to me - would also be nice to have not so much graphic load with the themes just to look at the themes - save the high rez graphic for when I want to look at a specific theme

  7. Will the [theme] feature filters be coming back?

    This is undecided as of yet, but it's cool that you asked about it and I'm interested in your feedback:

    • What filters did you use most?
    • Did you use them for yourself or only when recommending themes to others?
    • Would you say filters are better than search? Why?
    • Did you try searching and you weren't able to get the same results compared to using filters?

    User testing has shown that the old filters were pretty confusing for a lot of people. So if they are brought back, it's likely they will be in a different, better format—not sure what that will look like yet, but I am sure it will be better than that old, massive, checkbox-filled filter form craziness.

    There are far more themes available (to me, anyway) in my dashboard than in the Theme showcase and now finding them by feature will be more difficult.

    This is because you are a long-time user and you currently are able to see older, retired themes that you have enabled on your blog at one point or another in the past. New users won't see retired themes in their dashboard. In the future, we'd like to remove the retired themes from all dashboards at some point.

    still sounds like another two step process - filter in the Showcase - then back to my blog to work with the theme

    You can activate a theme for your blog right from inside the theme showcase available at http://theme.wordpress.com/ no extra steps unless you have multiple blogs and then you just have to verify the blog where you want to activate the theme (our stats show that most people have only one though).

  8. @designsimply
    Sheri- Here are my answers:

    1. What filters did you use most?
    2. Did you use them for yourself or only when recommending themes to others?
    3. Would you say filters are better than search? Why?
    4. Did you try searching and you weren't able to get the same results compared to using filters?

    1. Mostly the Feature Filters. Also the Layout filters. Occasionally the Subject filters. Rarely the others.

    2. Both

    3. I just searched for "one column" (without the quotes). I'm still waiting for search returns in the dashboard and results don't seem consistent with the search term. So yes, filters are better. Also using multiple factors like, "one column" and "Free," work better in the Theme Showcase. I don't seem to be able to search multiple terms in the dashboard. If I search "one column" and then click "free" my search term disappears.

    4. I'll give you my first example again, looking for the "Responsive" theme in the in-dash search bar. I had a lot of results for themes with a responsive layout, but it took a while to actually find the "Responsive" theme. So that was more painful than needed. :)

    If the old filters were confusing to users, then why are they still enabled in the Theme Showcase? :)

    Yes, I know that I have access to more themes than new users, but I still want to be able to find them, regardless of whether they are retired or not.

  9. Thanks for the feedback. Some of it has already come up in other conversations. For example, I thought the same thing about an exact match for a theme name search, but the flip side of that argument is that a theme name like "Responsive" or "Photography" shouldn't get an unfair advantage compared to other themes. Both sides of that kind of feedback get considered when we iterate features like this one. Thanks for being part of the conversation—I'm listening to your feedback. :)

    Regarding the theme showcase, it's already on its way to being updated.

  10. If you spell like I do - filters with the ccorrect spelling are more betterr

  11. @auxclass - Touché!

  12. Get back! We all know that after the head injury I became our unofficial Queen of dyslexic spelling errors and missing words, don't we? I might be getting my new eyeglasses x 2 today. If not then I'm getting them on the 27th and I can't wait. (It took almost a whole year to save enough money to pay for them. )

  13. @designsimply-

    /scratching head
    If I'm searching for a specific theme name, I most definitely want the theme name to have an unfair advantage. After scrolling and scrolling through 131 responsive layout themes I was ready to thrown in the towel.

    Just sayin'...

  14. I hear ya. You are an advanced user who knows theme names by heart. I'm that way too. Great note about spelling mistakes. It would be nice to address typos in the search algorithm. We'll be studying user testing, and stats, and forums feedback an weighing all of those things together to decide the details of the next updates.

    I am collecting and organizing your feedback, so I like getting all of your ideas noted (a lot of them are the same as my first reactions). :)

    I don't know how the final updates will look as of yet, but my $0.02 is that I'd think it'd be way cool to see a better faceted search—think more like Amazon.com or Hipmunk.com and less like a checkbox explosion.

  15. Not so much really. A lot of times I'm switching themes on my test site to test for a problem that someone has posted in the forums. Not being able to search, find and switch themes easily makes my life as a volunteer that much harder.

    New free themes are easier to test on my gallerydemo site as they are announced and at least for those there is a filter (Newest).

  16. @designsimply
    I agree with jusjennifer's requests as they would make volunteering easier.

    I know every theme URL will be found in this format http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/spirit/ and I can simply change the last bit http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/modularity-lite/

    I know that I can find the retired themes' live demo sites this way because I know what the URL will be http://vigilancedemo.wordpress.com/ and I do have theme notes but it would be great to have the theme description access as well.

    As for using search filters I admit that I don't use any of them very often. I know the format of the URLs will be http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/features/featured-images/?sort=free so I use the URLs rather than actually searching.

  17. Nerts! I mean change the last bit http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/modularity-lite/

  18. @tt - I would not rely entirely on "fixed" URLs for sorting simply because they do not remain fixed.

    For example, recently (how recently I do not know) the responsive-width URL sort in the theme showcase became responsive-layout. I had to update several links on gallerydemo as a result.

    Just an FYI and enjoy your new glasses! (Sorry I overlooked that earlier...pun somewhat intended). :)

  19. @jj
    Oh flop! Now I have to edit posts to re: responsive width becoming responsive-layout. SIGH ... not today ... bokmarking.

    P.S. The glasses di not come as they were to come from out East where there are hundreds of thousands with no hydro. I feel blessed as we have power and we have a woodstove. As we are used to power outages in winter here we are prepared to survive independently for 7 days at least at all times. People living in cities are not prepared.

  20. @designsimply-

    More feedback: You mentioned the ability to apply themes directly from the Theme Showcase, which I've played with in the intervening days. The only real feedback I have is that on the drop down menu to select which blog to apply the theme, hiding the blogs I've hidden under "My Blogs" would make my life easier. Of course I realize not everyone may have as many as I do. :)

    I can't believe I overlooked this:

    Regarding the theme showcase, it's already on its way to being updated.

    This is not the holiday present I was looking for. :( The ability to search multiple features at the same time would be the real loss here. Hopefully this is being addressed in some manner.

  21. I just searched for '3 columns'. The results showed 8 themes, one of which is 'Delicacy' which only has two-columns. When I typed 'three-columns' the results showed 63 themes.

    The thing is, how is someone supposed to know what they should type in the search box if they don't know how WordPress labels the features.

  22. The responsive-width URL should redirect. I've filed that as a bug.

    I've forwarded the suggestion to exclude hidden blogs under "My Blogs" in the next round of updates. You're right that the problem of having too many blogs for a dropdown list affects very few users though.

    @greylocks, features will stay in at least some form—the naming for some of them will probably change and the checkbox layout part will probably go (or get redesigned). Thank you for providing a specific search example, "3 columns," because knowing details like that give me something to focus on and forward in bug reports and feedback summaries. I'm always on the look out for positive and clearly communicated feedback.

  23. [...] on the drop down menu to select which blog to apply the theme, hiding the blogs I've hidden under "My Blogs" would make my life easier.

    We just updated the showcase with that. Additionally you'll find your primary blog at the top of the list. Great input, thank you! :)

    Best,
    Konstantin

  24. Changing the feature tag from responsive width to responsive layout also left a trail of broken links I have to fix. The forum threads tagged with the original are closed. I'll "fix" the ones I can when I have time.

    Please may we have a list of responsive layout themes rather than that link to a page full of images. It's such a waste of time scrolling through it to answer support questions. http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/search/responsive%20layout/

  25. @timethief, I'll see what I can do!

    I've already asked about getting the broken bookmarked links fixed.

    Please may we have a list of responsive layout themes rather than that link to a page full of images.

    It helps me a ton to have very specific examples. Are you asking for a list because you're searching for "Responsive" in the showcase and then trying to search on-page again because "Responsive" doesn't come up first? Using a specific example, what's your process exactly so I can understand the pain points?

  26. In the case of Responsive the theme, you can do ?theme=pub/responsive on the admin to get to that theme quickly. Same for other themes you know by name and want permalink access from the admin.

    We'll be iterating on the search capabilities and how it deals with filters. Thanks for the feedback, and keep it coming.

  27. @designsimply
    The responsive theme tag used to appear on each theme description page in the Features column on the right hand side. It was easy to click into the theme description page and see if it was there or not when answering theme question. There was no need to actually click into the responsive width page.

    That link tag was changed to responsive layout AND the link no longer appears in the Features column on the themes description pages. So the only way to know if a theme has the feature aside from reading source code and I pass on that due to the visual challenge I face is to go directly to this page. http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/search/responsive%20layout/

    That means two clicks and still no answer, instead of one click and an instant answer.

    What I'm faced with next is not a list of theme names I can quickly scroll through. It's not a page of thumbnail images of the same size and in alphabetical order - oh no! Instead I have to focus my eyes and refocus them again and again as I scroll through a hodge podge of images of different size to locate the answer to the question:
    Is ________________ a responsive width theme?

    It's a so annoying I am making my own list so I can know in seconds flat what the answer to that question is.

  28. This is good feedback. Thanks for including a specific example.

    In case it helps in the short term, the full set of tags is still exposed in the theme details in your blog dashboard. Example: https://cloudup.com/c0LW2qNmBYR

  29. Thank for hiding "hidden" sites in the drop down menu.

    So far "Responsive" "Responsive width" and "Responsive Layout" seems to be the hot potato.

    Looking in the search box on the Theme Showcase for "responsive" brings back 55 results. Searching for "responsive-layout" brings back 14 results. If I click on the feature filter "responsive-layout" I get 133 results.

    Sorry, that's all the testing I can do at this time. Have a hot date with hubby.

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