For a couple of weeks now the blogosphere has been clogged up with posts about the new WordPress version coming out in November. Seeing the survey about the new dashboard redesign and reading Lorelle’s blog post where she mentions the post about the final features for 2.7 i kinda started thinking… The orange-ish new interface on the admin dashboard has been introduced, not long back, in 2.5. That change gave a fresh new look to a place where a blogger spends much time. Moreover, the grouping of the functionalities slightly changed. Grouped differently they were, in my oppinion, in a better place to find by a novice user. I know long term users might have been disapointed of the new rearrangement but i think it was a good deal.
Now, after about six months, the dashboard is about to change again. The developers suggest that the new arrangement will be even better and grouped even better. I know they did usability tests, took users’ oppinions and, combined, they came up with the new changes. But here is a thought…
Take Microsoft for example. They recently changed their Office suite layout after years of using the old one. The majority of the users where much dissapointed since they could not find their way around, that easy, any more. I know that the target audience of that product is much different than WordPress (Office is for novice computer users whilst the majority of WordPress users are at least very attached to the pc), even so, i think that, the never ending changes are going to be bad at some point. Here’s why. When the new dashboard came out i spent quite a few time fiddling around, trying to see what is where and, believe me, i am an experienced computer user (i am a programmer for crying out loud!). Imagine just a casual blogger, how much time he has to spend. Don’t get me wrong here. I am all for the changes, evolution is progress, but there has to be a balance. Speed of changing vs quality of service is quite a thin line.
One would say “hey you know something smart ass? you can keep 2.6 or even change your platform”. If you are thinking of it then you got me all wrong. Please read again and try to see how i mean things 🙂
All in all, i am really looking forward to the new version. I think it’s going to be a great success for many reasons, mainly because i think this is a version that really checked the users’ pulse out. But i kind of hope it’s the end of the major changes for now. Let’s keep it like that for quite some time and see how it goes.
What do you guys think? Is it a premature move or a must at this point? Is it going to hurt or help evolve even more?
Well,I have to agree with you and in any way,but for a new user,this will not be a problem.Anyway,I think that WordPress will hear all the voices and will decide what is better for the platform…
I think a dashboard redesign was needed at this stage.
I always welcome change.. be it a dashboard redesign or a complete redesign of the interface into a much more good looking and user friendly one. 😆
Hi. This is my first replay here. Do you know when 2.7 will be online?
And something else. Do you want to exchange links?
@madhur + pc: but isn’t it too soon? it’s less than six months… that’s what caught my attention…
@mario: if i recall correctly sometime in November. About the link exchange check my blogroll 😉
I love how people are saying “changing again” when the WordPress Administration Panels (the dashboard is just a panel among the many) started changing with WordPress 2.6 and has been improving with tiny steps to WordPress 2.7 and will continue in future versions.
It’s the natural evolution. WordPress users freaked with the dramatic introduction of the modular design elements in 1.5 and now we don’t think anything of WordPress Themes. The interface has to change and has been changing. That’s the nature of things. WordPress is testing, trying it out on all of us, then modifying, testing, and trying it again. The feedback has been incredible and there is a lot of data to go through to make it as good as they can.
As for what Microsoft did with Vista products – that was just dumb when it came to usability. Why put your most used menu items buried under a logo? At least WordPress is testing in a way to let WordPress users train them how people use WordPress, rather than WordPress training their users how to use it.
@Lorelle: First of all i am honored for the comment from such a great blogger such as you. I really appreciate your time coming here, reading and leaving a comment.
To the point now… From the screenshots i’ve seen it’s a complete rearrangement so nevertheless, by definition, it’s a redesign. As for the panels, the dashboard is the one that changed the most on my small blogging career. Actually from version 2.3 to version 2.5 it has seen the most changes. And this was back in March (29/3/08 to be exact). In about 9 months the way you do things around your blog is about to change (you don’t like the word “again” fine). To me, this means, that the average blogger will spend some time knowing the dashboard again (which is the most crucial part to his blog). As for the other panels, they undertook changes but not that obvious than the dashboard’s. I am really excited though about the new plugin administration (finding and downloading plugins through your blog… amazing!)
As i said on my post, don’t get me wrong. I am not here to say “WordPress this” and “WordPress that”. I love the platform! I really appreciate the work of the developers. They do an excellent job! In fact, i encouraged their excellent effort with the survey they created. All i am saying is that if we keep doing this (as it seems they intend on doing it) then it could bring different than the expected results.
The test of the WordPress interface began in preparation for 2.6. SERIOUS testing. Usability studies, user groups, testing groups, very serious testing. WordPress 2.7 is part of the results of what started then, almost a year before the release of 2.6. With advanced scientific testing now available, and the funding to pay for it, they’ve had some incredible discoveries in how to make WordPress function even better, for the basic newbie to advanced user.
Experienced users will whine, but the testing has really interesting and fascinating. They think they have it figured out, then set up the test site and find out they are wrong and start over. Every time they learn more.
I have my ideas, and then I see their ideas, and I suddenly realize that I’m right about some things and wrong about others. The more I see the new interface, the more excited I am about what they are doing to make WordPress even more friendly than ever.
What went before 2.6 were just development design decisions. Now they have the research to prove what works and what doesn’t. Trust me, I’ve heard from many involved that WordPress 2.7 will not be the final version of “crazyhorse” as it will take a few releases to get from the test layout to the final (a lot of coding goes into making it look right) but it’s going to be so worth it.
When it goes totally public, sure there is going to be all kinds of reactions. One of my favorites are those who say “If WordPress is going to change, I’m out of here. I hate change.” And then go to a new system where they have to learn everything from scratch. Go figure. 😀
Going to be interesting! And exciting.
I will have to agree with you on the point that when i get my hands on it i will definitely have a better opinion rather than commenting and criticizing on screenshots and rumors. I am definitely not among the ones changing platforms. This is extreme! I really like WordPress, in fact i feel that we are lucky that after all this success the platform remains opensource and freeware. I do not doubt the effort and excellent job of the developers (how could i, i am a developer myself).
As for the serious testing i remember the “call for volunteers” for a usability testing in NYC back in January(??). I know they are really serious this time and study rather than just decide.
The only point i was trying to make with this post is that, although i am all for changing and improving, those improvements and radical changes, should not be done in a hurry and most important not one after another (the change from 2.3 to 2.5 might had been a simple change, but still, it was a change). That could harm. That’s the only thing i am skeptic about. Other than that, as i said, Go WordPress!!
Again, thanks for bringing your insight and excellent knowledge on the subject to my humble blog. I really feel honored and i appreciate your effort!