To me what many people misunderstand is that we are building WordPress as much for the next generation as we are for ourselves. If we don’t build something thats familiar, something that they feel comfortable using, we’re going to lose them.
This reminds me of a story. I have this little buddy named Joseph. When he was really little his only experience with technology was using his mother’s phone. He had never experienced anything but touch screens. Whenever he came over to our house he would assume that every screen was a touch screen. He’d touch my MacBook screen or the TV and expect it to work. It didn’t and whenever something didn’t act like a touchscreen he’d go back to the phone which worked exactly like he expected.
When people say that they liked the old way, that the old way was better, it worries me. Norms change. I remember when I was first creating WordPress themes, responsive design wasn’t a thing. Smartphones were rather new and it just wasn’t something you worried about. Now you wouldn’t dream of creating a non-responsive site. People assume (rightly so) they can visit any site on their phone.
The WordPress community is aging up and I think we need to try harder to attract the younger generation. Imagine trying to explain a shortcode to a teenage. We thought it was great when it first came out but it’s actually a terrible experience. The new generation is use to apps where everything just works. Where the interface is so intuitive that they can pick it up right away.
As much as some people don’t want to admit it we live in a post-block world. Nothing else will do. What we need to do is not only embrace the concept of blocks but take it even further. Create blocks that younger people want to use. The fact that we have a core block for CrowdSignal but not TikTok is a crime. The WordPress community prides itself on being inclusive but I think there is one group that isn’t represented, the younger generation.
This is my long winded way of saying give blocks a chance and maybe ask your kids what they’d like their WordPress to look like.