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WP 2.5 Write Panel Usability (55 posts)

  1. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Sorry to start a new thread on this topic, but I think the old one has gotten so long that it's hard to wade through.

    To summarize: quite a few people were unhappy with the new write panels - specifically the amount of scrolling required and the lack of notification of open drafts. Sapphire, eric23, vintagepretty and myself posted hacks to make the screens more usable. It was suggested that the hacks be added to trac, in the hope that they would be incorporated into a future release.

    The ticket in trac has been closed as "invalid" for being "not an idea for trac." Matt has further taken it upon himself to pronounce it ugly. He is, of course, entitled to his opinion. But that makes me think that getting this change into a release will not be easy.

    Several days ago, gambit37 posted an idea to make at least some of these changes permanent. If you agree, please go over there and vote.

    If you want to see what my "ugly" changes looked like, there's a picture here..

    You can download the changes here.

  2. Matt Hill
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I'd rather have ugly and functional than pretty and broken, so this is still a good piece of work, regardless of Matt's view.

    I posted a response over on that blog you linked -- dunno if he'll see it, but I'm still hoping to get some kind of official statement on why the changes to the Write screen were made as it still baffles me.

    If I can hear the reasoning behind it, backed up with the (empirical user analysis) evidence that the new layout is more efficient, I will gladly moderate my view.

  3. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Ah, well. I occurs to me that perhaps he followed the link to my blog and found it ugly. I guess my feelings should be hurt but I'm having a hard time caring.

  4. bryan868
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Good work on this jabecker, I'm using it on my site.

    How can Matt say it's ugly when it's his same design just moved to the sidebar, and it's way more functional! I wouldn't call it "ugly" but I think there could be some slight improvements.

    1. Remove the random blue bar right above "Categories."
    2. Place "Tags" right underneath "Categories." That makes more sense.
    3. Potentially place the "Publish Status" and all that at the very top.
    4. Comments/Trackbacks and Password Protect could go back, I think.

    I'd hate to see this not implemented into the core because one developer thinks it's 'ugly.' That's crazy!

  5. KJToo
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    First, let me say that I sincerely hope it wasn't really Matt Mullenweg who posted the comment on your blog, jabecker, as it was exactly the opposite of what folks like Otto42 have been asking for: instead of being constructive it was mean-spirited. Instead of acknowledging a fairly elegant wordkaround for what is to many people a rather significant flaw in WordPress 2.5, the commenter (whoever he may actually be) chose to put you down and minimize your efforts. If that's really how Matt Mullenweg responds to WordPress users, then he's got a thing or two to learn about tact. However, it's the Internet and the concept of an anonymous instigator spoofing someone else's identity isn'te entirely unheard of, so I'll give Matt the benefit of the doubt.

    Second, let me thank you for the hack. As I've already mentioned, it is (in my opinion) an elegant workaround for major design flaw in WordPress 2.5. It took twenty seconds and two browser refreshes to install and I'm pretty happy with it. I'd be happier if I could reclaim another 50% of the "above the fold" space between the top of the page and the top of the editor, but I'll take what I can get.

    Thanks again.

  6. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Thank you, all. The best approach now, I think, is to gather the troops and vote. If hordes of people vote for the change, surely it can't be ignored? I'm hoping that wp.com users will come over and vote, too. They are affected as much as we are, and cannot even resort to hacks to make it usable again.

    On the other hand, I was very careful to open the Trac ticket as a requested enhancement of a future release, not a show-stopping bug needing urgent fixing. So I'm having a hard time seeing why it was deemed "not ideal for trac."

    KJToo - I really doubt that it was Matt Mullenweg as I have a hard time believing he even has time to read many blogs, let alone post on them. I've been around the interwebs for a long time, and I have a pretty thick skin. To those who think my blog is ugly I say - then use a reader if you want to read it plain. And if you don't want to read it that's just fine by me.

  7. StrangeAttractor
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I think you did a very nice job on the look of the admin fix, and it's much appreciated by everyone. People like you who put in extra time to benefit everyone are what makes it great to use WordPress.

    And I'm not a knitter, but your blog looks great ;).

    (I very much doubt it was actually Matt who commented on your site. Seems too petty for a guy who is very busy, and I don't think that seems characteristic of his approach to users. At least, I would hope not!)

  8. zigzag
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I have to agree that the old write panel was much better and it worked well, I'm all for improvements and updating but in this case I think that if it's wasn't broken then it didn't need fixing, as for the new image upload facility...... arrrggggghhh!

  9. Matt Hill
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    It's entirely possible (though maybe not probable) that it really was Ma.tt, but speculating on it is rather a waste of our energies. What I'm more excited by is how good things came out of that long conversation that Otto told us was pointless.

    I agree with Jabecker that we need more support to get our voices heard. What is the best way of getting people to vote on the Ideas? We need to publicise them better as even that part of the site is a little hard to find (Extend? -- what?).

  10. Matt Hill
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Goodness, I just realised how badly implemented the ideas navigation is too.

    You can view the latest Ideas and the highest rated Ideas on the first page, and select to see More of either. But once you've seen that More page, there is no way of seeing all the ideas in a simple way: you have to use Search, or select "You haven't rated" from the left menu which gives you 5 randomly selected Ideas.

    As a result, it's virtually impossible for a user browsing the Ideas page to see anything that isn't New or Highly Rated.

    So we need to get the Idea for improving the Write page back to the top of the list, either through promoting it on our blogs or some other method.

    Hmm... thinking about it some more, I'm not entirely sure if my Idea is succinct enough. It might be better to write an improved one that clearly highlights all the flaws and proposed solutions. We'd lose the current votes, but there were not many so far and we could easily promotoe a new idea far and wide.

    The current idea is this one. I ranted a bit when I wrote it. Who's a good writer who can improve it?

    http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/topic.php?id=1354

  11. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    gambit37 - maybe what I wrote in the trac ticket? It was fairly succinct.

  12. Matt Hill
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Do you think we should post a better written Idea, or keep the existing one?

  13. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I'm really torn on that question. On the one hand,I appreciate clear communication. On the other hand,I hate to start over again getting votes from people who may think they've
    already voted. Leave it, I guess.

    How can we get more people to vote when it's so hard to find? I'd like to see the WP.com users vote too.

  14. StrangeAttractor
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Goodness, I just realised how badly implemented the ideas navigation is too.

    You can view the latest Ideas and the highest rated Ideas on the first page, and select to see More of either. But once you've seen that More page, there is no way of seeing all the ideas in a simple way: you have to use Search, or select "You haven't rated" from the left menu which gives you 5 randomly selected Ideas.

    As a result, it's virtually impossible for a user browsing the Ideas page to see anything that isn't New or Highly Rated.

    Total agreement with you. I look at the ideas thread a lot, and it's very annoying because it means the already popular ideas get more and more popular (hundreds of hits, even for ideas that have already been implemented in the newest version), and any new ideas quickly sink to the bottom before anyone gets a chance to even rate them.

    Do you think we should post a better written Idea, or keep the existing one?

    Keep the existing one, because people are already rating it.

    Do you think we should post a better written Idea, or keep the existing one?

    Maybe go outside of this forum -- start posting entries in your own blogs, and comments on high profile blogs (such as Matt's :) and Donncha's etc.) where there is discussion of the new WP 2.5 admin panel, and put a link to the entry in the ideas forum. Should be easy to find a lot of blogs discussing the new write panel, so start putting comments where you find them.

  15. Matt Hill
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I have a folder full of links to other blogs where you can post and I'm collecting more. Here's some in no particular order (some might not be relevant). These aren't all big names. For the 'heavy hitters', I suggest searching for "WordPress 2.5" on Technorati.

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/03/29/wordpress-gets-major-overhaul/
    http://performancing.com/wordpress/why-i-hate-wordpress-2-5
    http://mxm-studios.com/blog/dont-upgrade-to-wordpress-25-yet/
    http://facibus.com/onblogging/2008/04/01/wordpress-25-issues-roundup/
    http://onblogging.com.au/2008/02/19/wordpress-25-alpha-it-doesnt-totally-suck/
    http://onblogging.com.au/2008/03/18/wordpress-25-perhaps-i-was-wrong/
    http://www.sephyroth.net/2008/03/wordpress-25-im-not-excited-are-you/
    http://openswitch.org/journal/wordpresss-fly-is-open
    http://www.sephyroth.net/2008/03/wordpress-25-not-coming-here-soon/
    http://kjtoo.com/2008/04/03/welcome-to-wordpress-25/
    http://www.blogohblog.com/disappointed-with-wordpress-25/

    Here's Zeldman's own blog post about the release. His company did the Information Architecture and design of the new backend. He and they are very well respected in the industry.

    http://www.zeldman.com/2008/03/29/wordpress-25-unleashed/

    If you do post criticisms anywhere, make sure they are clear, succint, constructive ("It would be better if...") and do not attack PEOPLE or make anything personal, simply comment on problems with the software or the systems that make it hard for us to be heard. Keep comments to the FACTS and ISSUES and do not make personal criticisms.

    I'm guilty of doing this wrong and I wouldn't want anyone else to let their passion get in the way of communicating the problems clearly. We won't be taken seriously if we just rant, which is why we should be cautious to comment on blogs where the author is "ranting"

    Regarding getting wp.com users to comment. There's a long commentary on Matt's blog post about the new dashboard. However, it's too big and crashed my browser, so finding a new post and replying to that instantly before other comments come in would be best, as more people will see our comment and link.

    I'm getting ready to go away for the weekend and don't have time to coordinate this today. But on my return next week, I'm happy to do what needs to be done.

  16. StrangeAttractor
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    In my post above, I see that I blockquoted the same thing twice. My last paragraph above was in response to this:

    How can we get more people to vote when it's so hard to find? I'd like to see the WP.com users vote too.

  17. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Goodness, I just realised how badly implemented the ideas navigation is too.

    You can view the latest Ideas and the highest rated Ideas on the first page, and select to see More of either. But once you've seen that More page, there is no way of seeing all the ideas in a simple way: you have to use Search, or select "You haven't rated" from the left menu which gives you 5 randomly selected Ideas.

    As a result, it's virtually impossible for a user browsing the Ideas page to see anything that isn't New or Highly Rated.

    Click on "Ideas" and then on "Under Consideration." That brings up the list of all ideas.

  18. chewru
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    jabecker - i just wanted to drop my $.02 that i like your design better than the wp default and hope they implement it. in the meantime, i'll be using your hack. thank you!

  19. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Click on "Ideas" and then on "Under Consideration." That brings up the list of all ideas.

    Apparently you have to be logged in to see the list of other options.

    Horrible navigation, indeed!

    chewru -- please vote!

  20. Matt Hill
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Just a quick note to say that with a couple of tweaks, Judy's hack works really well with the Fluency admin theme and makes the whole thing so much better, I've actually briefly stopped hating the 2.5 upgrade!

    Find out more here:

    http://kjtoo.com/2008/04/18/wordpress-25-the-write-post-interface/

  21. Matt Hill
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    You all might be interested to know that I emailed Matt Mullenweg asking when he was going to make a public comment on these issues. He said:

    There has been plenty of discussion on the public developer mailing lists. Every release of WP generates polar reactions, to be honest 2.5 hasn't really had any more than we have in the past. We collate the feedback and will be trying a few different approaches to things like categories that people seem to be having the most trouble with.

  22. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Thank you gambit37 for pushing through with the pre-2.5 Write panel issue. As I've mentioned to jabecker in her website, imagine scrolling down the iframe of the 2.5 Write panel to check one or more of my 60+ categories/sub-categories when I use WordPress as CMS... it was a nightmare.
    Thank you again jabecker (Judy) for taking time out from your knitting to come up with the WordPress hack to restore the Write panels to pre-2.5. The installation was painless, the result ... heavenly :-)

  23. astereo
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Anyone know if this works with 2.5.1 ?

  24. chewru
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I can confirm the hack works in 2.5.1 using Safari, IE7, Opera Latest, Firefox 3.0 b5.

    IE8 doesn't seem to render right:
    Can't type in 'title' or 'post' section, and the input sections (even though you can't input) are gigantic.

    Pretty odd because IE8 is supposed to be 'standards based' and IE7 isn't. Can anyone confirm this with the IE8 beta?

  25. tmaster
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    The file dates are older than the ones in 2.5.1 telling me perhaps something has changed in the new css version.

  26. jackuul
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Bah humbug. I'll take a broken link if it makes my panel look pretty again.

    Otherwise you could compare code from this a 2.5.0 and see what was changed, that way you could self-update without breaking anything.

    Anyways, it works on my blogs. I just wish 2.5 wasn't so retarded. It is - it is retarding my ability to enjoy WordPress.

  27. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hi. I've updated 2.5.1 with my hack. The modified files can be downloaded from the same place. Please download and replace the prior version.

    Use at your own risk, no guaranty, no warranty, no support. Yadda yadda.

    In this version I tried to clearly mark what I'd changed so it's a little better documented internally. I also took the opportunity to decrease some of the annoying white space in the admin header. (I know the name of my blog, thankyouverymuch.)

  28. chewru
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    jabecker, thanks for all your hard work! just an FYI it still doesnt render right in IE8, which is starting to seem like IE7 all over again. =)

  29. jabecker
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I haven't started playing with IE8 yet, so I'm afraid you'll have to be on your own there. I usually blog with FF and it looks fine. It's not perfect, but usable, in IE7.

  30. ReneODeay
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Jabecker, thanks for your timely and useful hacks. my write page looks great now.
    I haven't dared 2.5.1 yet. What's new with that? ie. what gets changed?
    I've blogged about you on:
    http://blog.talesofkingtut.com/2008/04/26/wordpress-251-update-again/

    One thing that 2.5 broke was the link in my header to my home page. Haven't been able to figure out where to change that. it was there before, and my other wordpress blog which I haven't updated yet still has it, tho somehow it got problems out of the blue....

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