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WP 2.5 Write Panel Usability

  • 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.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 54 total)
  • 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.

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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!)

    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!

    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?).

    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

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

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    WordPress 2.5 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.

    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.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 54 total)
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