WordPress.com just got a new Dashboard and it looks nice. It’€™s a brushed up version of the original Dashboard that we all have learned to love, err, use at least. Nothing fancy, but an improvement which I like.
I also like Tiger Admin, a plugin for WordPress that makes most of your admin interface look cleaner and nicer. Some functionality is lost however, and I have experienced quite a few visual mistakes. Actually, the lost functionality is the visual mistakes come to think of it. I run Tiger Admin on my personal blog, but not in any of my other projects so far. Anyway, the Dashboard in Tiger Admin is good and I can imagine that Matt & Co. has looked a bit on it when doing the new Dashboard over at WordPress.com.
As have the Shuttle project, the next generation (sorry) admin layout for WordPress. I still don’€™t like it very much but perhaps it’€™ll get better.
So all this is just bells and whistles, or not even that really. It’€™s the coating on the car, and a more or less easily handle for the door. Still, I want the best design there is, but not at any price. As I said, I like Tiger Admin it’€™s lacking in some parts which stops me from running it everywhere. The same goes for me still working in an Windows XP environment, when I’€™d like to run Ubuntu Linux or even venture into the Mac world. Why? Because it looks better.
Superficial, isn’€™t it? Well, I do my templates in Word before starting a new major writing project as well, because it stimulates me to produce better content. The same goes for Dashboards and admin interfaces in general. I really need the functionality, that’€™s first and foremost, but I’€™ll do a slightly better job if the layout is good. Just because it sets me in a better mood.
If you are like me then by all means check out Tiger Admin and see if it works for you. And pray tell me of any other admin layout plugins, because although the traditional WordPress layout isn’€™t bad, it sure doesn’€™t give me that refreshingly good feeling a fresh layout does.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.