The goal of extendify is to truly extend the experience of WordPress, starting with templates and patterns to ‘jump start’ any site.
I began working as the Head of design at Extendify when they had no real product. During my time there I worked on the initial experience and worked on making the ideas of this early startup grow into reality. I continue to support them as an advisor.
First, we worked on the browser to discover templates and patterns within WordPress. This was to ‘extend’ the options you have out of the box with WordPress and bring design into the hands of more people.
As with anything it began with sketches, a simple format using the core editor foundations. The brief was to be as native as possible, truly extend.
The screen had multiple iterations over many months ending in a release and now it has grown from this start.
The styling system
In order to create templates and patterns rapidly, natively; I worked on creating a system that drew both on design systems and was strongly connected to the WordPress design system roots itself.
From just a few combinations and simple styling, multiple combinations of templates and patterns were easily created and then offered in the browser.
As the vision for what we were creating grew, our view looked to how to easily onboard and combine these foundations into hosting – for example with an onboarding process or perhaps a site builder.
The first step was to create a simple, branded onboarding that could be used in the browser. By now the branding was evolving, the logo had been simplified along with colors.
Further explorations looked at a standalone version for hosting.
The design system
One of the pieces begun in this was creating a system and brand for the startup. This has evolved, but by laying a strong foundation the natural evolution was possible.