Good/Bad Design 4: WordPress.com

I decided to jump on WordPress tonight to submit another Good/Bad design post, but after signing in from the main page, I was lost for a few seconds. What happened to the button to go to my blog?

No Blog Link Visible

Do you see it? Because I don't.

Then I realized, Oh, they changed it. Now, I’m usually an open minded person when it comes to changes; I usually take these things in stride. So when I saw my name in the upper right-hand corner instead of the left, I clicked it without much thought and was taken to my Public Profile. Okay, a link with my name and picture on it takes me to my profile; it makes sense. However, it wasn’t what I expected, nor my intention. I’m still lost.

After a little more investigating, I rediscovered how to create a New Post! But I’m a little disappointed that it is no longer a single stride and click of my mouse. Instead, I have to navigate through a list.

Wordpress Menu

Oh, THERE it is!

Yea, kind of a bummer. I really did like having the New Post button immediately at the top. After all, this is a blog, isn’t it? Isn’t writing a new post an important action that I should be able to access easiest?

Anyway, I guess this would be another case of not keeping the user’s goal in mind. And as we learned in class recently, users will satisfice because we are too lazy to move our mouse that few extra pixels. Well, WordPress is making us do just that. Not a huge change, but it still makes a difference. I do wish that there had been a notification that they moved things around though. No offense to WordPress (because honestly, I love how easy and sleek the WordPress UI is), but at least Facebook notifies me of changes with little pop-ups that grab my attention, instead of making me ogle idly at the screen, wondering if that New Post button just never loaded.

Edit: 9/25/2011 9:39PM
After reading Cooper’s Chapter 22 on menus, I felt the need to add this bit of information. Cooper states, “Cascading menus make it difficult for users to find and browse the command set, but they do allow menus to usefully contain much larger command sets” (p. 486). So by Cooper’s standards, I would say that WordPress could have done without a cascading menu, considering the command set is miniscule.

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3 thoughts on “Good/Bad Design 4: WordPress.com

  1. Laura, I agree that as Cooper mentioned, we should not use cascading menus for anything that might be used frequently. What’s worse, it always takes great effort to go to next level — you lose the selection easily even if you go to the wrong path… I really hate going to an exact 90 degree angle cautiously in order to get to next level…

  2. I didn’t even realize that bar did all that – always went to my site and chose the administrative interface (and probably still will). That bar could be made a lot more intuitive.

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