Back in Black: The New MT4 Interface

By Anil Dash

Now that Movable Type 4.0 is widely available and we've seen such a positive response, it's time to start diving into all the new features in MT4. Though MT has been fundamentally rebuilt from the ground up, the most obvious new improvement is MT4's striking new user interface

We've been fortunate -- Movable Type has always been praised for its clean, easy-to-understand interface. And now in Movable Type 4, the entire application has been redesigned, honoring its tradition of clarity but showing off a modern new look that makes it easier to understand your blogs, your community, and Movable Type itself. The goal? Removing everything you don't need, and making more opportunities to put powerful tools right where they're most convenient.

main menus

At a high level, the number of links and controls displayed on each page has been greatly reduced, and navigation has been refocused on a few simple links arranged around key tasks: Creating content for your blogs, managing the community and organization of your blogs, changing the design and styling of the templates that publish your blogs, and adjusting your preferences for publishing and managing your site.

The new design is even more striking for users who have system administration privileges -- there's a unique graphic in the system screens that helps remind you of context, but also hints at the new power under the hood.

dashboard header

From a more aesthetic standpoint, Movable Type also reflects its evolution into a true power tool. Instead of merely focusing on presenting lists of items in an administrative view, the system has evolved to focus more on presenting information that encourages creating new content and helping to build community. And even the distinctive new palette of Movable Type shows off how completely the system has been rethought, with a glossy black header, an entirely new set of default icons, and thoughtful elegant touches throughout the application creating a tool that's as powerful as the ideas that are published by our community.

MT4's new abilities are much more than skin-deep, of course, but we thought there's no better place to start describing the new platform than with the first part that will catch your eye. And we owe a special shout-out to our friends at Mule Design, not just for being long-time users of MT and members of the community, but for helping make sure MT4 looks like Serious Business.