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?