First Impression of the WordPress 2.7 Wireframes

I’ve done a few posts about WordPress Usability Issues before (and the original wordpress usability post..), documenting my experiences with starting to use WordPress from scratch. I still manage to publish loads of posts without tags and categories, so I’ve been eager to find out if there is anything in the new version of WordPress that will solve this issue for me.

Then a couple of days ago an article appeared on containing a collection of wireframes for how the layout in WordPress 2.7 is currently planned. Sadly enough, it seems to place the tags and categories part of the layout to a location which is even harder to notice: Below the items in the sidebar at the right. I just discovered that I have a “Shortcuts” and “Related” menu items there, so I’m quite sure that this will be a place that’ll leave me missing the tags and categories even more often than today.

If the placement is set in stone, I’d strongly suggest adding some kind of visual hint to the Save/Publish buttons that indicate that tags and categories are missing; at least if you’ve enabled an option in the settings part of wordpress. It seems as the boxes are draggable in the wireframes, but for fresh users, this will still be confusing.

I guess most people at least want to add a category for their posts, but the wordpress guys probably have a lot of usage statistics on this from It’d be very interesting to see any change in the usage of tags and categories between the different layouts, and the number of edits that simply add tags and categories within the first 24 hours after a post has been published.

(and yey! I remembered tags/categories on this one.)

Followup on WordPress Usability Issues

I’ve now spent a fair amount of time with WordPress since I ported my blog over to it from Serendipity. My first experiences were collected in my post titled WordPress Usability Issues, and I’ll further extend on this here.

  • I’ve gotten used to having the “Save”-button on the right side, but this comes from having to learn the location by hand. I still move to the bottom of the page from time to time, but I’m not lost like I were earlier.
  • The location of the “Save”-button has however trigged another problem: since I now move my focus to the right of the page when I’m done writing my post, 9 of 10 times I fail to give my posts any tags or assign any categories to it. This is done beneath the text of the post, but since I no longer move vertically to progress from the post field (my eyes now move horizontally to the save/publish button instead), I never think about adding those. Guess I’ll have to learn that too, instead of following the flow of the application.
  • “Preview this Post” does not save the post before showing the preview. That means I’ll have to press Save, then “Preview this Post”, even though “Preview this post” is placed all by itself and seem to function independent of the other buttons.
  • Not a usability-issue, but probably a simple bug: some times my posts does not allow for comments, and I’ll have to enable them manually by going to the details of the post. I’m pretty sure that I’m not turning them off by accident, as the option is buried even further down from the tags and categories that I’m already having trouble finding without thinking explicitly about it.

Video Browsing By Direct Manipulation

Just got pasted a link about this very neat way to navigate through videos and their playback, Video Browsing By Direct Manipulation. Haven’t read the paper yet (it’s linked on the same page) but it seems that they’re recognizing objects through several frames, and then allow a user to navigate through the video by following those movements. The video says it all.

Describing the Optimus Maximus 17 Years Early

Many people looked in awe when the first saw Art. Lebedev Studio’s Optimus Maximus keyboard – a keyboard with small OLED screens attached to each button. This allows the currently active program on your computer to switch your keys with whatever keyboard layout or shortcut layout you are currently using, and suit the visual appearance of the keyboard to what each button actually does. I’m not going to discuss the apparent problems with this and the Other Attempts at LCD Based Keyboards, but I’m going to quote a few sentences from “The Design (Psychology) of Everyday Things” which I happened to come across the other day:

Someday key labeling will be done by electronic displays on each key, so changing the labels will also become trivial. So computer technology may liberate users from forced standardization.

I guess Donald A. Norman were going “Yeah, I know.” when Art. Lebedev Studio released their first concept shots.