Gutenberg 7.7 Ships Refreshed UI and First Iteration of Block Patterns

Gutenberg 7.7 Ships Refreshed UI and First Iteration of Block Patterns

Last week, version 7.7 of the Gutenberg plugin shipped to users. In what is one of the more visually-striking updates in a while, the design team presented a refreshed UI. Users will also get their first chance to test the upcoming block patterns feature.

Some users may get a surprise. Gutenberg 7.7 is the first version of the plugin to ship the editor in fullscreen mode out of the box. This change will land in WordPress 5.4. Now is a good opportunity to see how it works before upgrading later this month.

Block developers can rejoice for the ability to create their own block wrappers. This is part of a change for creating a faster DOM. Inner blocks also produce a lighter DOM output, so the element tree in the editor now matches the front end. These changes make it easier for theme designers to style blocks without a convoluted mess of nested <div> elements.

Version 7.7 includes over two dozen bug fixes. It also includes a fix for the “View Posts” back button at the top of the editor while in fullscreen mode. Instead of an arrow button, which was confusing for users who thought it might return them to the regular editing mode, the team replaced it with the WordPress “W” icon.

A Fresh and Clean Editor UI

Refreshed UI in Gutenberg 7.7.

It took a few days to grow on me after more than a year getting accustomed to the old UI. The basics are the same. The layout has not changed. However, the buttons and related elements have received a nice refresh.

The editor feels more professional. The block toolbar is simpler and cleaner. The Gutenberg team redesigned the icons. The color contrast makes everything crisper.

The block inserter now uses the full height of the editor. This is a large improvement over earlier iterations. It means less scrolling to find the right block, which has been one of my pet-peeves (I have fewer and fewer of these with each release).

This is a first pass over the new interface, and there is still more work for the Gutenberg design team to tackle. Work on the sidebar, dropdowns, and other elements is currently in progress and should land in upcoming plugin updates.

Overall, the UI is much more polished. The average WordPress user will not experience it until WordPress 5.5, but it is well worth installing and activating the Gutenberg plugin to give it a spin.

Early Work Toward Block Patterns

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This article was written by Justin Tadlock and originally published on WordPress Tavern.

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