I don’t like change. There, I’ve said it. Once I’ve got a tool working efficiently, I don’t appreciate being forced to learn how to use a different one, just because someone, somewhere, thought it might be a good idea.
You see, the thing I care about is not the tool itself, it’s what I can do with that tool. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, please. Every time you do, you’re wasting my precious time. And whatever you do, please don’t make my blogging life harder!
Sadly the latest iteration of the WordPress interface does not give me anything worthwhile, but it does make what I do a little bit harder.
Before I start complaining about the failings of this new tool, I have to concede that the WordPress designers did not develop this new interface for me. In fact they did not develop it for any of us old users. Almost without fail, every innovation has been aimed squarely at new users, or to be more precise, to attract new users. This can be seen most clearly in the login screen :
The whole, visual thrust of this screen is to make it easy for a new user to sign up. Unfortunately, if I were a new user, I’d look at that screen and scratch my head because :
1. I would not know the format of the wordpress URLs, and hence I would not know what to type in that nice, convenient box,
2. There is nothing on this screen to help me decipher what’s expected of me.
In a word, this is poor design compounded by the fact that as an old user, I now have to add an extra click to my sign-in procedure. If I stayed in WordPress all day, that extra click might not bother me. But I’m in and out a number of times per day, and each time I have to :
a) Wait for the screen to load
b) Click the Log In button
c) Position the cursor at the new input dialogue box, and only then actually type in my log in details.
Quite frankly, this is unnecessary and more than a little annoying. Sadly, it’s just the beginning.
Once I am inside WordPress, the interface does look greatly simplified, and ‘clean’. By default, the interface opens with the Reader screen, allowing me to dive straight into other peoples’ blogs, if I so wish. Well, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. First thing of a morning, I’m more likely to want to see my stats, or reply to comments. However, if I’ve just had a great idea for a new post, I’d rather get straight into writing.
Now, to be fair, there is a ‘New Post’ icon at the top right of my screen :
but when I mouse-over it in the Opera browser, I get no tooltip telling me that this is what I should click in order to create a new post. Again, to be fair, Opera is very unforgiving of html or CSS errors, so perhaps the lack of a mouse-over is just a problem with my browser.
However, I find it hard to believe my browser is also to blame for the fact that the ‘New Post’ icon never seems to work properly for me. I can certainly type a new post, however as soon as I try to save my draft, or preview it, the waiting animation just goes berserk and won’t stop. In order to save my work, I have to :
- select all
- cancel post
- select My Sites
- select Posts
- select New Post
- and paste what I typed into a screen that can be saved.
As you can imagine, this is just a wee bit …annoying.
My biggest gripe, however, has to do with how important features have now been hidden behind acres of simplified screens. For example, in the new, streamlined interface, the only way I can find one particular post I have written is by scrolling through every single post I’ve ever written, in date order! That is the prospect I faced this morning when I went looking for my original post on ‘frozen shoulder/hydro dilation.
I eventually found the search function under My Sites/Dashboard/Posts/All Posts. Now, I have always been able to find the search function on the Dashboard, but I distinctly remember also being able to access the search function from the My Sites/Posts option as well. That is no longer available to me, and I’m forced to do everything the hard way.
[Note: if you have not already found the search function in WordPress, there is a quick how-to at the end of this post].
Again, this lack of functionality is only likely to annoy the $hit out of people like me who have 500 plus posts to wade through. But what happens when those new users become old users and discover that all the best, most efficient features have been hidden from them?
-grumble- I suppose they’ll have other interface ‘innovations’ to gripe about by then…
In the final analysis, I have no objection to WordPress making the lives of new users easier, but so far many of the innovations seem more counter intuitive than anything else. New users need hand holding. They need to be told what everything is, because when everything is new, nothing is obvious.
As for us oldies? How about some innovations that allow us to hotkey our favourite functions so we can customize our working spaces as we see fit? Now that would be a change I’d welcome.
How to find the search function in WordPress [July 2014 version]
1. Click ‘My Sites‘ at the top left of your screen :
You should now see this :
2. Click ‘Dashboard’ as shown above.
You should now be looking at the slightly revamped Dashboard screen. This was the heart of WordPress when I began blogging almost 3 years ago.
4. Now click on All Posts as shown below :
You should now be looking at a table listing every single post you have ever written.
5. Click in the Search Box [at the top right of the list as shown] and type in a keyword. Then click the ‘Search Posts’ button next to it.
In the example shown above, I typed ‘Nanowrimo’ into the search box and was presented with every single post I had ever written that contained the word nanowrimo in it. This cut my ‘check it and see’ search area down to just a handful of posts.
Once you have found the post you are looking for, you can click on the ‘Edit’ option to open it up. Clicking on ‘Edit’ allows you to..tah dah…edit, but it also allows you to get a ‘Shortlink” for the post. Shortlinks are invaluable when you want to link to an old post from within a new post. Or link to any post from within a Tweet, etc.