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If you are a developer who creates all sorts of plugins, themes, and whatnot, then you should have come across experimental plugins by now.
These plugins can be very handy to use because they give you more power over a specific feature that you normally wouldn’t have. Some of them are created solely by users while others are created with some help from the WordPress developers themselves, and other times (which is the case for this plugin) by the design team over at WordPress!
In most cases, when people from WordPress create such experimental plugins, they do it to see how people are going to use them and to detect any problems that may arise if the plugins were to be implemented into WordPress fully. That is why it is crucial for you to give them a go and test them out. And of course, to give your feedback to the developers so they can further improve the plugins’ features and remove any downsides.
Feedback is also good for WordPress because through it they get a lot of ideas from users on how to improve the Website builder with small tweaks and new features. And this is great because the developers at WordPress can’t come up with everything themselves.
Also, this way they can see what is popular and what people like about a specific plugin, and in the end, they may completely implement the features that fit people’s preferences into the website builder.
So, what is Design Experiments?
In essence, it is a tool used for prototyping designs in the context of WP-Admin that comes with a couple of proof of concepts that the design team over at WordPress is actively exploring.
As stated in its name, it is an experiment and it is called that for a reason.
Do not use this plugin if you want to rely on it being a part of your site forever. The reason for this is that it might get scrapped, removed, implemented at a later date with all of its features polished up causing you to have some issues.
Other than that, you can go ahead and play around with it all you want.
How to install and use this plugin?
The plugin is installed like any other WordPress plugin. Go and download it from the repository and then proceed to install and activate it. After doing all of that, just go to Settings->Design Experiments to choose and activate an experiment.
List of Experiments
This experiment is just the default plugin style sheet that they offer right off the bat.
Guttenberg Form Fields
This Guttenberg Form Fields experiment serves as a way for you to see how Guttenberg form field styles might look if they were implemented into WP-Admin. This can go a long way because people can also add more things to it.
This one is pretty much self-explanatory.
This mode allows you to see how things would look if the dark mode effect was implemented in WordPress. It is kind of weird and messy. But the point is to see if people would like to have such a thing as an option.
I for one like the idea because I sometimes work in the dark and this helps me not to strain my eyes so much. Then again, I would like to use it on a daily basis just because it looks awesome.
Larger Font Sizes
Do I really need to explain this one? Well if yes, what this experiment does is increase the font sizes on various things in WP-Admin, just to see how they would look like.
Last, but not least comes the Header Update experiment. Something that is basically a header treatment in WP-Admin that is heavily inspired by Guttenberg and Material Design. A pretty good idea that might actually be implemented if people seem to like it enough.
There is a fair number of these small experimental plugins floating around WordPress and some of them could actually be great additions.
And although they aren’t that big in scale and in the number of features they offer, we have to be honest and say that some of them are really nifty.
Background Image Cropper is a good example of this. It gives you the ability to crop a background image into your desired size and proportions, which is a feature WordPress does not offer yet. Personally, I am very glad that I gave it a go and I am looking forward to features like these being implemented in the near future.