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The new design / interactivity sux.

  1. I've posted these to Matt's "new Dashboard Design" article over the past 4 days and not had a response so I'll post them here where others can respond. I'll post each one separately, as they address different issues with the new interface / functionality.

  2. April 5th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Holy crap I don’t like it.

    Not only is there no easy way to see where the “dashboard” button is to return to the “top” but the second nav bar has a white background just like the body of the page so it has ZERO visual significance as a nav bar. The previous color scheme was 1000% more definitive.

    It might be more useful for those managing multiple writers and a long production pipeline, but for individuals and, on my current blog) two authors and baby-driven content, almost all of the dashboard page is wasted.

    It would be far more useful if the main dashboard page (aside from being more directly and easily nav-ed to) was customizable widgets itself.

    I author another blog that used to be on WordPress and then taken to another site and I greatly prefer the old WordPress, dual-column, analytics because I could see what was going on at a glance. Where people came from, what they were looking at, and with a single click, see how individual articles were read.

    One of the only improvements I would have made to the old design was to make that graph/dual analytic page the default dashbard page. The other one has much less value to me.

    So I’m resigned to hating the new “cleaner” look for us authors. Like Apple and their “air” it really comes across as design for the look of it rather than redesign based solely on what people asked for… because I can’t possibly see people asking for the sub nav bar to be mixed in with the body content of the page and losing all visual significance. That makes absolutely no friggin sense whatsoever.

  3. April 6th, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I tried a few of the recommended “fixes”

    Changing to the classic colors doesn’t fix the fact that the second nav bar has zero distinction as a nav bar. It looks like a bunch of words strewn across the top of the white page. You’ve also added a whole new horizontal bar that houses one “button” at the left- Dashboard. Sure there’s stuff on the right but, um, all this stuff was available in the previous interface without sucking up 30 vertical pixels with another horizontal bar.

    No offense to Windows users but I really HATE this. The vertical space on computer screens is shrinking as manufacturers foist widescreen screens on us. Less vertical space. And how many tool and task and name and document bars does the average application have? By the time you get to measuring the _actual_ vertical space you can use to write or edit… it’s only half the screen space. You should be looking for ways to _increase_ usable vertical space not reduce it with more horizontal menu bars.

    “Right Now” is useless to me as an individual, personal blogger.

    Thank goodness the previous blog stats is still there under “see all”
    My fix would have been to make _that_ the standard page when I click on dashboard.

    “What’s hot” ought to be moved to a “community” page under the dashboard. It’s not part of what I’m doing so why is it in _my_ dashboard.

    “Your stuff” looks useful.
    But “Your Stuff” makes “recent comments” redundant, and far less useful.
    Kill “recent comments”.

    “Incoming links” for a personal blog, is wasted space. I’d kill it if I could.
    Moreover, if I wanted that info, I’d go to the all stats page. It’s redundant.

    Supposedly, it’s more compatible with Safari, but we still don’t get the rich WYSIWYG editor that the old design had when viewed in another browser- like FireFox.
    In Mac OS 10.4, Safari 2.0.4, the photo button brings up a grey screen and a progress bar that does NOTHING. ( I let it go for an hour!)

    On the Write page, I greatly prefer ancillary items like password, category off to the side, as opposed to taking up vertical space. Now all this is crammed vertically. The entire right column space is rendered useless. Wasted space. This makes NO sense especially in a time when more and more computer monitors are going widescreen (a trend that, itself, makes no sense in a vertically designed web world.)

    I greatly preferred the photos below and the text above, I routinely left my browser window open as big as possible so I could easily write and edit text, import and embed images without scrolling anywhere.

    The ONLY thing I needed was the “Browse All” photo window would be resizable like the text window was. On numerous browsers, it only showed the top row and then half of the next row down. I had to manually scroll down every time. Also, it would have been nice to have user selection as to how many images are on a page.

    As to the multiple user functions- they can be useful but I really don’t see the vast majority of blogs needing multiple people _editing_ the same _existing_ article at _the same time_.
    Writing? Then it doesn’t exist for editing someplace else yet.
    Published? Then only the editor (or EIC) needs to go back in and make a change.
    How many blogs have multiple people trying to edit an existing post at the same time… and how often does it happen?

    Multiple image upload- that would be wicked. But the picture thing doesn’t work at all for me.

    I’m not dissing the features, but I don’t see why we discarded so much that WORKED for so little “advancement” (saying all those advanced features actually _worked_) I also don’t see why multiple image upload or concurrent article editing protection couldn’t have been enabled underneath the previous interface design. Features / Design. Two separate houses. Adding a new feature doesn’t mean you have to make all the old ones harder to use.

    I’m sorry I’m not giving one of the “it’s great” or “luvvin it” simplistic answers.
    I figure this is a place to provide honest and detailed feedback so that’s what I’m leaving.
    I just hope the new features don’t mean that I’m leaving.

    Anthony Burokas

  4. April 7th, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Made my first post last night with the new photo upload tool and after I figured out why my inserted images were not defaulting to the actual image size (wtf) I then realized that selecting “middle” alignment was useless and had to do it again in the text editor.

    Lastly, it took considerably longer waiting for this overlay interface to load instead just having the image interface RIGHT THERE in front of me. They way I work I write, then add images one at a time, as appropriate or warranted by the copy. So I’m uploading each image, one at a time. And waiting for this image interface to load, and then load again, and then load again, and then load again.

    In the old interface, it was already there. No waiting. No loading.

    Another added benefit of the old image embed interface is that, I can- at any time, jump back up and reset my cursor to the right place I want my image. With the new system, the text editing is blocked off from me while in the image tool. That, IMHO, is WORSE than the freewheeling, do whatever we want in either area whenever we want.

    This is a definite step back.

    Also, I didn’t see any “bulk upload” but maybe I missed it. If selcting one at a time in succession is “bulk” then that’s also no improvement.

    I’d love to see drag and drop from my desktop into the copy that I’m working on… with some embed tool handling the FTP in the background.
    Now THAT would be an improvement.

    Oh, and a browse tool with a resizable window (like the text edit) and user-definable images on a page.

    DING…. here’s an idea.
    All those widescren monitors? Offer an alternate “write” page with the text and image tools _side_by_side_ with equal sizes for each. This way, those of us who aren’t working with 800×600 monitors can make use of this extra horizontal space. This 24″ widescreen monitor ought to be good for _something_ besides video editing.

    Anthony Burokas

  5. April 7th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I tried uploading a video last night and tonight.
    My digital still camera shoots an AVI.
    - WordPress says: not supported.
    I convert to the common MP4 format.
    - WordPress says: “File type does not meet security guidelines. Try another.”
    I convert to WMV.
    - WordPress says: “File type does not meet security guidelines. Try another.”

    What the heck!

  6. April 7th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Okay, another gripe…
    There’ used to be an “edit” button for comments,
    and,
    in other views, the letter “e” which we could click on to edit.

    Now there is absolutely NO button or icon or word that provides a visible link to edit a comment.
    wtf.
    How does this make things easier for new bloggers, like my wife?
    How does this facilitate editing in a hurry, where you need to find the button for everything ELSE, but not comments, which use a different interface- you click the commenter’s name to _edit_ the comment.

    Whomever thought up that little interface interactivity paradigm needs to be fired.

    Putting an “e” on the post (in the theme I have) and then not putting any disparate “edit” link for editing a comment is creating two entirely different interface designs to do the same thing.
    That’s bad design.

    Anthony Burokas

  7. April 8th, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Uploading a video - Part Deux.
    —-
    In the new interface, there’s an “upload video” button.
    As I mentioned, I tried three different formats to no avail.

    The Support FAQ says:
    “Can I add flash? video? Embed other media?
    For security reasons we remove the tags needed for the above…
    Currently we allow the linking to files from Google Video…”

    So what’s the point of an “add video” button that enables me to choose a file to upload from my computer… if it isn’t allowed.

    Ugh.

  8. The new design sucks. And now everything is so slooooooooooow!

  9. ugh… I had no complaints about the new design until I wrote a new post.

    It’s so much more long-winded now to add images to your post… it took me 10 minutes because firstly the screen failed to update after the first 2 upload attempts… then i had to go to the “media library” to add it into the post, which didn’t work in Safari so I had to switch to Firefox and try again (it eventually added it at the end of the post so i had to move it).

    Misery… what previously took only 10 seconds took so long that it’s put me off adding images in future.

    For new bloggers this is all very unintuitive.

    I hate it when designers get carried away with new tools and end up making something more complicated to use than it previously was. Please could you revert to a less fancy interface… usually simplicity is both easier and quicker.

  10. As we have SO many threads on how the new dashboard sucks already, could you not have posted these to your blog and added them to an existing thread rather than starting yet another new one?

    I understand you're frustrated, but blasting all over the forums really won't get the attention of staff anyway.

    For the record, I still like it. I agree that there are problems, but most people will get used to it.

    Think about the sheer scale of the upgrade, trying to roll it out to all the users, there's bound to be problems and I am 100% certain that staff are working to fix it as quickly as they can. If they aren't, they bloody should be!

    Yes, I agree that to roll it out over a weekend with no warning sucked. It's done now, deal with it. And I suspect that no matter how much the minority bleat that they "want the old version back" it ain't gonna happen. Yes, the minority. Imagine what this forum would be like if every single wp.com user came in and posted their penny's worth into a new thread. The genuine support requests would disappear onto page 5 in seconds.

    Citinite - please be patient, I am sure these things will be sorted in time.

    Now, to stop me taking up yet more bandwidth and time on this subject I am going to stop commenting on these "I hate it" posts and try and help people that really need help.

  11. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fix the issues with adding photos. I followed all of the fixes and tips and it still took me an hour to add a photo. Seems like it has a mind of it's own and decides when it feels like allowing you to add a photo. You can upload it but actually adding it to you post is almost impossible (yes, I know how to do it, it just is not working).

    And what happened to the option to add a photo as a text link? I know there is a way to do it still but why remove that function?

    I'm sorry but not being able to add photos to your post is a pretty big deal and just just some small bug.

    Please fix this!

  12. Cornell

    > As we have SO many threads on how the new dashboard sucks already, could you
    > not have posted these to your blog and added them to an existing thread rather
    > than starting yet another new one?

    Could I have searched for another thread to post my specific issues with the new interface for WordPress authors? Tell me how many pages to scroll back in the latest discussions (oh, wait, you can't) tell me where I click on "interface" as a tag (oh wait, you can't) tell me why I can't voice my own opinion (oh wait, you can't.)

    > I understand you're frustrated, but blasting all over the forums really won't
    > get the attention of staff anyway.

    You're the one all over the forums. I tried replying to Matt's post in the WordPress News but after many days without a response (and several days where my comments are still awaiting "moderation") I gave up and made ONE new topic- this one. Tell me how ONE is "blasting all over the forums" (oh wait, you can't.)

    > For the record, I still like it. I agree that there are problems, but most
    > people will get used to it.

    Why would you want to stay with a system that forces you to "get used to" an interface that they ruined. The better solution is for WordPress to fix it. The easiest fix, now, after having read other forum threads, is to put the old interface back.

    > Think about the sheer scale of the upgrade, trying to roll it out to all the
    > users, there's bound to be problems and I am 100% certain that staff are
    > working to fix it as quickly as they can. If they aren't, they bloody should
    > be!
    > Yes, I agree that to roll it out over a weekend with no warning sucked...
    > Citinite - please be patient, I am sure these things will be sorted in time.

    How about the WB techies make sure it works, and send everyone e-mails in advance, and warn peoplem and invite them ALL to poke around in a demo area and give them feedback and work out the bugs.

    The time it was rolled out didn't suck.
    That it was rolled out to the surprise of almost every user SUCKED!
    That there was no warning SUCKED.
    That they changed interface and interactivity standards for no reason SUCKED.
    That they broke things that worked SUCKED.
    That they have to _now_ sort these things out SUCKS.
    It's bad management and it's the wrong way to do business and it's the wrong way to treat your customers.

    > Now, to stop me taking up yet more bandwidth and time on this subject I am
    > going to stop commenting on these "I hate it" posts.

    Please do. Because you didn't take the time to answer any of my questions or address any of my problems listed above. All you did was jump in to tell me to shut up and I don't appreciate that. I have every right to complain, and moreover, my complaints are filled with actual, real-world, demonstrations and descriptions of problems. This is exactly what a support forum is for.

    Anthony

  13. Thanks Anthony for your detailed description of issues with the new wordpress. I agredd with you.

    @Wordpress-Marketing-Department: PLEASE HEAR US CUSTOMERS!!!

  14. irinelpetrescu
    Member

    Newbie, setting up my first wordpress blog. Mac user. Cannot change themes, I got this grey bar. So I see others have the same problem:

    >In Mac OS 10.4, Safari 2.0.4, the photo button brings up a grey screen and a progress bar that does NOTHING. ( I let it go for an hour!)> (posted above by littlesophia at 6:43 pm)

    guess I"ll try Firefox.

  15. irinelpetrescu
    Member

    Firefox allowed me to change from the default theme to another one. But the color customizer does not work, it always reverts to original colors, I cannot install my chosen colors.

  16. I use FireFox because, despite WordPress Matt's assessment that the new WordPress 2.5 works better with Safari, I find I still have to use FireFox to get a true WYSIWYG text editor. I use a these with custom colors and they worked. So I can't help you fix yours.

    Generally they say delete your cookies, restart your browser, try again.

  17. wow Cornell... that was a really unhelpful post.

  18. Just wanted to say what a disaster these massive changes to the Dashboard created for me tonight. Over the past month I had invested over 100 hours in writing 3 handouts for the new WordPress.com workshops I am teaching at a large library as a paid professional. Just a week ago I had painstakingly re-edited them, making sure every single step was accurate and actually worked; finding the proper procedure for many functions was not a picnic either, as many of the FAQ answers (and forum postings) had flat out wrong, outdated instructions.

    I walk into the classroom tonight with complete confidence, facing a packed room of students with intermediate computer skills, knowing that every word of my handouts is dead-right on. We create their blog, and I'm staring at a Dashboard that looks like Mars - and the 'write post' screen is completely different. Almost every single walk-through in the first handout alone was wrong, we had to correct all of them by hand (or the students would be LOST once they got back to their own computer); and I now face a mountain of work rewriting all 3 parts in less than a week, when every single minute is already booked.

    How on earth such a major upgrade of the interface could have been rolled out without so much as an email warning - or even a simple 'it's coming' message when logging in within the past week or two - is simply incredible to me. Many posts here express what a rude shock this was to experienced WordPress.com users -- imagine what it was like to get hit ice-cold with all these changes in front of a large group of new bloggers, and trying to teach 15 people at once how use something completely foreign to them - when you had no clue where things had moved, and many flat out did not work.

    I truly did not appreciate looking like an out-of-date idiot when trying to present myself as a very knowledgeable professional, after having worked myself into the ground to prepare an outstanding course.

  19. Welcome to the club! This so-called New Design/New Dashboard has turned into the worst abortion WordPress has come up with. It is a virtual nightmare trying to do something I used to do in a matter of a couple of minutes! I can't manage my text the way I used to, the video embedding does not work, have had trouble with the images and I dare not check out my widgets, I'm scared of what I'm going to find there!
    Does WordPress plan on continuing with this New Dashboard? Is there anyway that we can get the Old Dashboard back?

  20. Did you read the part of my post where I said:

    Now, to stop me taking up yet more bandwidth and time on this subject I am going to stop commenting on these "I hate it" posts and try and help people that really need help.

    Have you read anything else in the forum? I very much doubt it. Your posts sound exactly like the whinging bullshit of every other user that can't handle change.

    Do you do the same thing to Microsoft when they update Word? Do you think they'd listen if you did?

    You obviously in your small minded blindness completely miss understood my post. I said did you have to start yet another new thread, not that you couldn't post.

    Please take a look at most of my posts in the forum, maybe not recently but try a few months ago. Then tell me that I am "blasting". Ok, I apologise for that statement, it was factually incorrect.

    I have every right to complain, and moreover, my complaints are filled with actual, real-world, demonstrations and descriptions of problems. This is exactly what a support forum is for.

    And how much do you PAY for this service that you think you have a right to complain about?

    Nada, just like me. I don't pay anything because I have self hosted blogs too. And yes, they are running wp 2.5.

    If you hate it that much there's always blogger.

  21. If you hate it that much there's always blogger.

    Agree. There's also the option of installing 2.3.3 on a self-hosted blog.

  22. Thankfully, the commercial blog I work on is still using the old interface and, jumping back and forth, the "old" interface is VASTLY superior to the "new" one. In fact the 2.3.3 feels like what would have evolved from the hideous 2.5.

    Cornell wrote:
    > Your posts sound exactly like the whinging bullshit
    > of every other user that can't handle change.

    > You obviously in your small minded blindness completely miss understood my post.

    I have a desire to make known my own opinions and specific examples of specific problems that I have encountered. Despite your attestment of "going to ... try and help people that really need help." you have belligerently and personally attacked me twice, and offered zero assistance to my numerous problems. Please do everyone a favor. Don't post in this thread any more. You are worse than the problem- you are insulting those who are having problems.

    "And how much do you PAY for this service that you think you have a right to complain about?"

    The cost for which WordPress offers this service is irrelevant.
    We all have equal right to commend or complain about the service.
    What gives YOU the right to attack me for voicing my opinion and asking the forum for help with my specific issues? If you actually cared to read my posts before lashing out blindly, my problems include video that won't upload and bulk image upload.

    Anthony

  23. Ok, let's back up and rewind a little, firstly with an apology. My first post was bad enough and I should never have followed it with the second. Can I blame it on some crappy working conditions over the last few days and me lashing out at a random individual having issues with an application I have no control over? I'm sorry!

    I have gone back and re-read all four of your posts and I have to be honest and say that I cannot see any specific questions in your posts. All I can see is comments and phrases like "wtf" and recommendations of what wordpress <i>should</i> be doing.

    Can I ask a favour? Can you post the specific questions and I will do my best to answer them for you if I can.

    I will have a tinker with the video uploading in a mo, but I gather from your posts that you're using a Mac with Safari? Have you tried (I guess as you're using Safari it's the preferred option) Firefox with the interfaces?

    I agree (in advance) that the system should be cross-browser compatible but WP has always had problems supporting Safari.

    Can you try Firefox (if you're able) and see what happens?

    I am stuck with XP and FF so if it is a Safari problem then I think you'll have to take it up with support, there won't be much we can do in the forum.

    Once again, my apologies.

    Collin

  24. Grr, I HATE there's no edit button on the forum posts!

  25. Oh, can I have a link to your blog please - want to issue an apology on mine and link to it.

    Thanks

  26. Even with WP 2.3.3 Safari support was so lacking I basically only use Firefox.
    Cornell,
    I appreciate your replies.

    Matt says (http://wordpress.com/blog/2008/04/04/new-dashboard/) "We’re now using version 3.0 of TinyMCE, which means better compatibility with Safari"

    IMHO, WP 2.5 on Safari looks the same and seems to function no better (all other interface de-provements notwithstanding). I tried it out hoping 2.5 would look and work like 2.3 does in Firefox.

    As to the blogs, I have several. My main blog is http://Techthoughts.org.
    Thankfully, that's still on 2.3- and it enables me a head to head comparison which glaringly demonstrates what was so easy compared to now.

    The other two blogs are protected, internal corporate. So I can't share them.
    But they both exist on WordPress and were subject to the surprise de-grade.

    Matt continues: "Today we’re pretty excited to launch a new dashboard design to everyone here on WordPress.com. If you have a few minutes, try clicking around and exploring the new layout and features"

    He says it as if we had a choice.
    One instant I was in the 2.3 interface.
    The next instant I was in the 2.5 interface.
    I tried clicking around. I tried the image upload & embed (awfully clunky compared to the former one). Matt, I tried it. I want to go back. Matt, can I go back now?

    Matt continues: "Cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard — we’ve worked hard to take your feedback about what’s most important in the dashboard... we’ve taken the first major step forward in the WordPress interface"

    A page filled with widgets we can't yet customize at all isn't cleaner or less cluttered. In fact, as I pointed out, "What's hot" has nothing to do with my blog, it's clutter. "Your Stuff" lists recent comments so "Recent Comments" is redundant- it's clutter. On my closed blogs I have no "Incoming Links." That entire widget is clutter. "Right Now" is useless for small, personal blogs.

    By clicking "See All" in the "Stats" I see the page I'd like to show up as my Dashboard. Add "Your Stuff" to the bottom of that and I'm fine. Make the Blog Stats my Dashboard page and eliminate one of the links at the top. _That's_ reducing clutter.

  27. I can't find where to upload a doc...I'm completely lost in the new program!

  28. I think it's in the same place as the others (Image - Video etc), just press "add media" just above the main post editing window.

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