From the first day we launched Social Warfare the primary design focus has been on the most beautiful set of social sharing buttons available. This is a front-facing aspect that is critical to why we created it in the first place.
We haven’t spent nearly as much time ensuring that the back-end design and user experience had the same level of design and ease of use. That is, until we began building version 1.1 a couple weeks ago.
I’m very proud to announce a brand-spankin’ new user interface for your Social Warfare Custom Options panel!
For comparison, here’s what the old Custom Options box looked like:
Practical, but not beautiful. And for some people, maybe even a bit clunky and unintuative.
All that has changed with version 1.1.
For starters, the entire aesthetic has become much more visually attuned to the Warfare Plugins brand. Colors and icons have been added strategically to ensure that it is, without question, created with the same attention to detail as our front-facing share buttons.
We’ve also gone through great lengths to ensure that the layout and workflow of customizing all your options is as streamlined as possible.
More Intuitive Image Uploads
We’ve upgraded the image upload placeholders to ensure uploading the right images in the right place is intuitive and easy. The placeholder images are simply there to guide you on our recommended best practices. These images will not be shared if you choose to not upload your own images.
The social icons displayed on the placeholder images inform you of what social networks that social image will show up when shared.
When you upload your social media image and Pinterest image, they will display in the proper proportions.
Text Inputs Streamlined & More Intuitive
You’ll also notice that the custom text inputs have moved to be next to the image uploads, making the workflow a bit smoother. Oh, and what’s that— character counters?
Yes, character counters!
For those of us who really want to optimize our shares, character counting can be an annoying yet necessary process.
We know that your blog post title should be a maximum of 60 characters before to avoid having too much of it cut off in the link previews (same as for Google search results). We also know that the description in link previews will vary a bit based on certain networks, but it’s important to have something significant to wet the readers appetite for the whole blog post.
So we’ve now built character counting right into the plugin so you don’t have to switch back and forth between a character counting tool and your blog editor.
I plan on going into the science behind this at a later time, but in the meantime I recommend reading Buffer’s blog post about the ideal length of everything online and Moz’s most recent study on title tag length.
Probably my favorite part about our new character counters though is the Custom Tweet character counter. Take a look:
You may not realize it at first, but there’s a lot going on here.
Creating custom tweets for your posts involve 3 variables:
- The tweet content (what you actually type out)
- The link to the post (automatically added)
- ‘via @YOURUSERNAME’ (automatically added based on what you’ve filled out in your Social Warfare settings)
Firstly, we all know that you only have 140 characters for your tweets. That’s a given.
But you then have to realize that we’ll be automatically be adding a link to your blog post in the tweet when it is shared, so you don’t actually have a full 140 characters to customize your tweet.
Additionally, we will be adding ‘via @YOURUSERNAME’ to your custom tweets, so that has to be accounted for. But since everyone’s username is a different length, we wanted to be able to make that caluculation for you.
So our plugin will calculate exactly how many characters you have available for your custom tweet minus the post link and your ‘via @USERNAME’.
Pretty slick huh?
This has certainly made my life easier. Hopefully it makes yours a little bit easier too.
This user interface upgrade is the first in many steps to make customizing your posts and pages a more intuitive, beautiful, and seamless experience. We hope it helps make the process of getting your content shared the way you want easier than ever.
If you have any feedback, we’d love to hear it in the comments below! And of course you can always drop us a line if you like— we’re all ears… er-uh, eyes I guess.