[WIP] The future of (rich text) authoring experiences in Wagtail
Hi 👋, I’m Thibaud! Web developer @Torchbox since 2 weeks ago. Member of Wagtail’s core dev team since 2 years ago.
Today’s talk covers what I did before joining Torchbox. Some context:
- Draftail started in 2016 @Springload
- We were frustrated with the previous editor’s UI, and lack of extensibility
- We wanted guarantees that rich text content is free of unwanted “copy-paste” formatting
- We needed to introduce new, custom formats to support our client’s sites.
- Draftail got integrated into Wagtail core a year ago, february 2018
- All of what we will look at as part of this talk was done over the last year, made possible thanks to the people who supported me on Patreon
- Last year’s talk: Introducing Draft.js in Wagtail – Wagtail Space 2018
- Today’s talk: the missing “UI/UX blog post” that was supposed to be on its way a year ago.
Why this matters
More context - motivations:
- IMO, If your site’s content sucks, the whole site suffers. No matter how good the design or features are.
- To me, this makes the content authoring UI the most important feature of a CMS.
- If the UI is lacking, content authors will work outside of the CMS and only reluctantly use it for publication.
- “Copy-paste from Word” workflow is a symptom (but should be supported nonetheless).
- Other tools are innovating a lot with authoring experiences – Dropbox Paper, Slack, Notion
- Demoing things outside of Wagtail, but all of those examples can also work within Wagtail
*As soon as my PR is merged and released 😅
- Proof-of-concepts meant to demonstrate the capabilities of Draftail, and stress test its APIs. Not refined designs.
- Linkify for intuitively creating links
- Single-line inputs for headings
- Markdown shortcuts for power users
- Action lists as an example of a custom block
- Slash commands for editing actions beyond rich text
- Custom toolbars, blurring the line with StreamField
- Polish and integrate some or all of those changes in Wagtail, out of the box or as plug and play extensions
- Do more documentation, tutorials, so people can leverage those APIs to experiment with their own UIs
How you can help:
- Talk to your content editors, do UX research with them, pass on the feedback
- Have them try out those features, inside and outside of Wagtail
- Try out the APIs to build your own extensions, and share pain points / missed opportunities
- Get involved with a future rich text task force?