Gloria Antonelli Speaker Interview

Gloria Antonelli WordCamp Grand RapidsGloria Antonelli has been a WordPress consultant, instructor and developer since 2006. She is pivoting her emerging technology consultant and educator experience (since 1996) to focus on improving WordPress user experiences. Gloria is wrapping UX, information architecture, content strategy and learning techniques together to help theme and plugin developers create better learning channels for their users.

She’ll be presenting Road Map to Great User Documentation.


Why do you use WordPress?

As I started to develop client sites in WordPress, I found myself sharing with my professional training clients how you could do web design easier and quicker in WordPress. After teaching how to code a form, I would share about WordPress form plugins. For my SEO & Content Strategy clients, I would share how Google loves fresh content via blog postings. It wasn’t hard becoming an evangelist for WordPress! It continues to be amazing in regards to flexibility, extensibility and the engaged growing community.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

I remember precisely the day I first learned of WordPress. It was May 17, 2006 from Peter Merholz, the guy who coined the word “Blog.” I was assisting his Adaptive Path 2-day workshop on Information Architecture, User Research and Interaction Design. That started my research on WordPress. Shortly after that I incorporated a blog on a client’s site.

What tips or resources would you recommend to a new WordPress user?

The long tail of new WordPress users with no or limited skills should be prepared for a learning curve – the admin UI, theme functionality, options page, widget areas and plugins to start!

I would strongly advise learning about WordPress before you start. Get a WordPress book from the library, sign up for WordPress online training, and watch videos of basic features; these are a few ways to get started. Any knowledge will greatly improve the first-time experience.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?

Make user experience a gold standard by producing quality products with a focus on development, design and documentation. If your business model is client-centric incorporate user testing, information architecture, content strategy and SEO into your development structure. If your business model is providing themes and plugins, provide an effective learning channel for your users.

What do you like most about WordCamps?

I have been to 10 WordCamps coast to coast since 2010! I first started going to meet other developers, to learn best practices and new features. I’m still going for that reason, plus I am giving back to the community. Grand Rapids will be the 5th WordCamp I am presenting at! Also, giving back at WordCamp San Francisco 2013 Contribute Day working on Codex documentation was fun.

Where can we find you online?

@GloriaAntonelli on Twitter, and I am working on a new project not ready for prime time. I am developing, a site for tips on documentation for WordPress themes and plugins.

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