Automattic Design Award and Block Gallery logo

Interview with Automattic Design Award winner for ‘Best Solution’: Block Gallery

Last week, we chatted with Taeke Reijenga about Level Level’s Automattic Design Award win for ‘Best Style’. And, this week we spoke to ‘Best Solution’ winner, Rich Tabour for his Gutenberg plugin Block Gallery.


Block Gallery makes it easy to switch between different gallery styles with the click of a button. With options varying from stacked, carousel and many more – this simple tool enables you to create the perfect display of pictures that will look great on every device. And, it’s completely free! Rich is currently working on a Pro version which will include even more gallery blocks and enhanced features. 

Here’s Block Gallery in action with some pics from the Automattic Design Awards.

This is what Rich had to say when we asked him about the creative process of building Block Gallery, WordCamp US and more …

So, Automattic said they were looking for ‘honor code-based enhancements for WordPress’. When you’re developing a site or plugin, what’s your process?

Well, for me, I just like to create and kind of see what happens as I go along. I also like to see what other developers are doing. I often get inspiration from them. However, I did find creating Block Gallery to be a bit challenge as I knew I wanted to give people options to play around and create for themselves.

Screen Shot of Block Gallery's homepage
Did you find that there was one thing in particular that you found a bit more challenging when you were creating Block Gallery? Something that maybe demanded a bit more time?

In the plugin, there’s the option for people to change the gutter size and I’d say that was a bit more challenging because I had to build a control that would be available on any device. So it would have to be suitable for both desktop and mobile. I had to create a utility class system, so although the code may look simple, in reality it’s a lot more complex. I wanted the user to be able to switch from one gallery to another really seamlessly.

Screen Shot of Block Gallery's homepage which indicates that block gallery can look great on any device
And then, was there anything that you found particularly interesting and had more fun creating?

Well, I think when you’re developing something, one of the most important things you need to consider is the user experience. I wanted to make is so you’d be able to manipulate the slider and edit it at the same time.

Well you were definitely able to accomplish that! The jurors of the Automattic Design Awards said that Block Gallery created a positive user experience. So, it was built for Gutenberg, what were the main things you needed to keep in mind when making sure it was Gutenberg ready?

Well for me, it was important that the editor looked how it was supposed to on the front end. I wanted to make the blocks easily customisable. I obviously didn’t want to create something that looked impossible to use.

The Automattic Design Awards jurors were looking for a solution that would enable others to create great sites. How did it feel to be crowned the ‘Best Solution’ winner?

I mean it was pretty cool. You know, I was striving to build something awesome, and I think we can all agree that to be recognised for your work, something that you’ve put a lot of time and energy into – it feels pretty nice. At the end of the day, I wanted to build a solution that would give people more options and answer a problem that they may have. So it’s great that I was able to build a solution that could possibly do that for people.

So, Taeke who we interviewed last week is from the Netherlands and had only been to America twice before – you’re from the US, but still, what was it like going to WordCamp US?

Obviously besides winning the award, it was honestly meeting people, you know? I was able to see people that I have spoken to online for years but had never met them in person until then. And, it was nice as well to talk to like-minded people, on things such as Gutenberg.  I left WordCamp US, feeling inspired and wanting to create more.

We’d like to thank Rich for taking the time and talking to us. Next week, we’ll be chatting with ‘Best Site’ winner, Peter van Grieken about Kit’s win.

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