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Opened 9 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

#6827 closed enhancement (maybelater)

Add BP top level menu and Admin Page to Improve User Experience

Reported by: mercime's profile mercime Owned by: mercime's profile mercime
Milestone: Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version:
Component: New User Experience Keywords: has-screenshots, has-patch, dev-feedback, trac-tidy-2018


This is a proposal to add back the BuddyPress top level menu. It will have two links: Settings and Admin Links. The “Settings” link goes to our Settings > BuddyPress screen and the “Admin Links” points to a new panel after the What’s New and the Credits panels.

BP Top Level Menu brings easy access to the Settings > BuddyPress configuration screens.

  • For new site admins: After activating BuddyPress, they are brought to our Welcome Screen (About Page) and then they don’t know what to do next. They might go to either the Plugins Installed page if they remembered that there is link to the BuddyPress Settings page there, or go to to find the answer in the Getting Started section, or search on Google. We will eliminate the need to do either.
  • For new site admins and veteran developers: Instead of scrolling all the way down to the Settings menu in wp-admin, and then scrolling again way down the list of default Settings links to find the link to BuddyPress, the 7th link from top of the submenu. The Settings top level menu is 10th link from the top when BP is activated or the 14th link from the top when BP and bbPress are both activated. That’s a long way down when on desktop much more when on mobile.

New Admin panel provides site admins with all the available links/info to BP assets in wp-admin.

  • Covers all the BP administration screens/links which are activated or must-use. See the Backend Administration Panels I listed in for an example.
  • Can add a section below for BuddyPress plugins which are hosted in the WordPress Plugin Repository to hook into after being activated with links to their respective settings screens, if any, etc.

Pros: All of the above-mentioned.
Cons: None :)

Screenshot of this enhancement as implemented in a recent project I worked on will be attached.

Attachments (7)

bp-project-12.jpg (15.4 KB) - added by mercime 9 years ago.
enhancement in recent project
find-bp-settings-mobile.png (46.9 KB) - added by mercime 9 years ago.
long way down to the Settings > BuddyPress link
6827-screen-reader.png (48.8 KB) - added by mercime 8 years ago.
top-level-menu.png (102.4 KB) - added by mercime 8 years ago.
6827.patch (18.8 KB) - added by mercime 8 years ago.
6827-top-level.patch (3.4 KB) - added by mercime 8 years ago.
Adds only the top level menu linking to Settings screen
top-level.png (13.6 KB) - added by mercime 8 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (29)

9 years ago

enhancement in recent project

#1 @mercime
9 years ago

  • Keywords has-screenshots added

#2 @DJPaul
9 years ago

See #3708 for when we removed the top-level menu about 4 years ago. We still have backwards compatibility code in place for it (unhook the bp_core_admin_backpat_menu() function, or run a really ancient BuddyPress plugin).

While I agree with your intention, personally I remain unconvinced that adding a top-level menu item for managing anything other than a content type is detrimental to the overall WordPress experience, even if it's sub-optimal for BuddyPress itself. I'm interested to hear what everyone else thinks.

I'm sure there's some solution to this, but I can't imagine what it is immediately.

#3 @modemlooper
9 years ago

New users have trouble finding what BP admin pages as they are added as sub pages. So don't think you need top level but an Admin Links tab to bp settings page would work for this

Last edited 9 years ago by modemlooper (previous) (diff)

9 years ago

long way down to the Settings > BuddyPress link

#4 @DJPaul
9 years ago

  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to Under Consideration

#5 @mercime
8 years ago

@DJPaul Thank you for your feedback. I'm thinking at that time, 4+ years ago, mobile viewing of the wp-admin dashboard was not the norm as it is nowadays. WP core only just started the "responsification" of the dashboard around the same time. So many if not all, used desktop/laptop to set up their plugins/sites.

Fast forward to the present where the WP dashboard is fully responsive.

Attached find-bp-settings-mobile.png shows some random plugins (conservative few) I installed in test site to show how most plugins have a top-level menu nowadays (no, I do not use peepS or ultimatM at all). BuddyPress represent! :) It also gives one a sense of how many scrolls (2 to 3) down and the tap for the Settings link in order to get to the BP settings link -- where you might still need to scroll down once again for, depending on your phone.

In addition, attached is 6827-screen-reader.png which is the screen reader output of the wp-admin menus while at the BuddyPress Welcome Screen where you can see how far a user will navigate to get to the Settings > BuddyPress link.

an Admin Links tab to bp settings page would work for this

@modemlooper Thanks for your comment. That would work if a user is at the BP Welcome Screen after activation and they see the Admin Links tab. But what if BP is already activated and a user goes back to wp-admin to make some changes to BP configuration/settings? That would bring us back to full circle where a user will then go a-scrolling and a-finding again where the BP configuration/settings pages are or even where that BP What's New/About Page is to find the Admin Links tab.

8 years ago

#6 @imath
8 years ago

I'm not sure we should do it actually, here's why.

I'm doing something like this for one of my plugin "WP Idea Stream". I understand the interest of this but like it's the case for my plugin, then under this top-level menu i would expect to find all that's relative to BuddyPress, meaning: Activity/Groups/Profile Fields management/etc...

And as BuddyPress has began to need things relative to post type, this won't be possible as soon as BuddyPress is network activated. Because you don't have the network-admin pages to deal with post types or taxonomies and tweaking in this part is not great (i know i'm doing it for one of my plugin).

So i think, we should try to find another shortcut/menu item to help users find the BuddyPress settings like using one of the Admin Bar links eg: the one that helps you come back into the admin when you're on front end.

#7 @mercime
8 years ago

  • Keywords has-patch added

@imath Thank you for your feedback. I was reading the WordPress Codex re Administration Menus and one of main arguments on whether one should add a top level menu is the following:

It is rare that a plugin would require the creation of a top-level menu. If the plugin introduces an entirely new concept or feature to WordPress, and needs many screens to do it, then that plugin may warrant a new top-level menu. Adding a top-level menu should only be considered if you really need multiple, related screens to make WordPress do something it was not originally designed to accomplish. Examples of new top-level menus might include job management or conference management.

BuddyPress meets the requirements stated above, and then some. BuddyPress has many related screens in the back end that should be made easily apparent or discoverable in some form or the other for better user experience.

At this point, we have placed some of our admin screens under other top level menus, then in other cases placed screens called in via links in screens under other top level menus. My proposal to move forward is to consolidate the available BP site management tools/info in the Admin Links panel and add the BP Top Level menu.

Attached patch is the first pass at the concept. I plan on expanding this to have a BP top level menu in the root blog of a multisite installation that links to the BP Admin links screen in network admin.

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #buddypress by mercime. View the logs.

8 years ago

#9 @DJPaul
8 years ago

  • Component changed from General - UX/UI to Core

#10 @DJPaul
8 years ago

  • Milestone changed from Under Consideration to Awaiting Review

#11 @DJPaul
8 years ago

  • Component changed from Core to New User Experience
  • Keywords has-patch removed
  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to Future Release

I don't know what it should look like, but we should re-visit the new user experience (site owner). We haven't iterated on it for a couple of years, so now feels a good time. Let's keep this ticket open because it has good discussion, even if we end up with something very different.

#12 @mercime
8 years ago

  • Milestone changed from Future Release to 2.7
  • Owner set to mercime
  • Status changed from new to assigned

Let's work on this for 2.7.0

8 years ago

Adds only the top level menu linking to Settings screen

8 years ago

#13 @mercime
8 years ago

  • Keywords has-patch added

I was not able to focus on this for 2.7. Attached patch with screenshot just adds a top level menu which links to the Settings screen.

Last edited 8 years ago by mercime (previous) (diff)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #buddypress by mercime. View the logs.

8 years ago

#15 @mercime
8 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 2.7 to Future Release

#16 follow-up: @johnjamesjacoby
8 years ago

FWIW, I'm still not into the top-level menu idea for all of BuddyPress.

I know some users find this easier to navigate, and I think I understand why that is, but I think this is the wrong way to address the usability issue users are feeling.

Maybe there's room to be more creative, and maybe even more pervasive, in a way that does make wp-admin feel more tailored to operating a community site, that doesn't take away from the rest of the functions of wp-admin.

I'll keep thinking...

#17 @sooskriszta
8 years ago

I really like the idea of a BuddyPress menu item. However, in that scenario, I'd prefer the Groups and Activity menus to be consumed/folded into that menu so as to prevent littering.

#18 in reply to: ↑ 16 @sooskriszta
8 years ago

Replying to johnjamesjacoby:

Maybe there's room to be more creative, and maybe even more pervasive, in a way that does make wp-admin feel more tailored to operating a community site, that doesn't take away from the rest of the functions of wp-admin.

IMHO the way to do that is outside of wp-admin, i.e. in the frontend. Now THAT would feel like operating a community site.

#19 @modemlooper
8 years ago

its a weird thing. Do you cater to a newbie or a seasoned BP site owner? A newbie can't find BP menu items. BP adds user centric functionality so maybe it should be under users.

#20 @slaFFik
8 years ago

  • Keywords dev-feedback added

I tend to agree with @mercime to make it top level.
My reasons:

  1. BuddyPress is a huge part WP installation, it's not yet another related posts plugin for which it's ridiculous to have a top level menu item. Same as WooCommerce - it's an essential part of the site. Same (if not more) value as Pages or Media top level admin area pages.
  2. It will greatly improve settings visibility, which is great for new-comers. On my Russian BuddyPress site I did get questions - where to edit settings. Part of the reason - lots of installed plugins, most of which are integrating there options under Settings menu, so it becomes over-crowded.
  3. Making it top level will give more flexibility for other plugins to add own pages under it (same as for WC), and for our own smaller functionality (see #2227 as an example).

We can't move Activity/Groups under BuddyPress - because they are important, often used by admins, and some 3rd-party plugins are already adding own subpages for them (I did that personally for some of my own plugins). Moving them under BuddyPress top level will break others, or we will need to write a big workaround to make them as tabs on Groups - which is not a good idea in terms of maintainability and good sense.

Last edited 8 years ago by slaFFik (previous) (diff)

#21 @DJPaul
6 years ago

  • Keywords trac-tidy-2018 added

We're closing this ticket because it has not received any contribution or comments for at least two years. We have decided that it is better to close tickets that are good ideas, which have not gotten (or are unlikely to get) contributions, rather than keep things open indefinitely. This will help us share a more realistic roadmap for BuddyPress with you.

Everyone very much appreciates the time and effort that you spent sharing your idea with us. On behalf of the entire BuddyPress team, thank you.

If you feel strongly that this enhancement should still be added to BuddyPress, and you are able to contribute effort towards it, we encourage you to re-open the ticket, or start a discussion about it in our Slack channel. Please consider that time has proven that good ideas without contributions do not get built.

For more information, see
or find us on Slack, in the #buddypress channel:

#22 @DJPaul
6 years ago

  • Milestone Awaiting Contributions deleted
  • Resolution set to maybelater
  • Status changed from assigned to closed
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