Thursday, September 17, 2020

Why I Don't Like the New Blogger Interface

In  April 1985 Coca-Cola Company introduced a reformulation of Coca-Cola that would become known as "New Coke." There had been no demand for Coca-Cola to do away with the old formula, so it should come as no surprise that public outrage was swift and immediate. By July 1985 Coca-Cola announced the return of the old formula, now called Coca-Cola Classic. As to New Coke, it struggled in the soda market until Coca-Cola Company finally discontinued it in 2002.

Right now Blogger has found itself in a "New Coke" situation. It was in May 2020 that Blogger announced "a  better Blogger experience on the web." As it turns out, reaction to the new interface has largely been negative. Many long-time bloggers noticed glitches in the new interface, from posting images to how it dealt with html. Most absolutely hate the way the new interface looks and functions. Despite this, it was in the past few days that Blogger replaced the old interface (termed "Legacy Blogger") with New Blogger. To say bloggers are not happy is a bit of understatement.

As someone who has operated a blog on Blogger for 16 years, I number among the bloggers unhappy with the new interface. To begin with, there was simply no demand for it. Legacy Blogger was not perfect, but it was functional and easy to use. While many of the glitches that plagued New Blogger upon its introduction have since been fixed, it is still largely inferior to Legacy Blogger, which makes Blogger's choice to replace Legacy Blogger both puzzling and infuriating.

Indeed, my biggest objection to New Blogger is everything is just too darn big. This is especially true of the post list, where not only is the font much too large, but Blogger insists on displaying an image with every single post. On Legacy Blogger I could see up to nine posts in the list on my screen. On New Blogger that number is down to five. With regards to the Comments section, depending on the length of the comments, I could see anywhere from eight to ten comments on Legacy Blogger. I can only see four to five comments on New Blogger. Throughout New Blogger the fonts are too large, meaning items take up too much space on the screen. This is complicated by New Blogger's insistence on using images. Sadly, there is no way on New Blogger to reduce the font size of the interface or hide images.

Another problem with New Blogger is its reliance on drop down menus. For instance, when one was making a post on Legacy Blogger, all they had to do to switch to HTML is click the HTML button. On New Blogger the only one can switch to HTML is by clicking on the Compose icon to bring down a drop down menu. Another example is the Comments page. On Legacy Blogger to access comments for moderation, one just clicked on Awaiting Moderation in the menu to the left. On New Blogger one must click on (you guessed it) a drop down menu. This is also true of the Stats page. On Legacy Blogger one simply clicked on Now, Day, Week, or All time for the time period of stats one wanted to view. On New Blogger one has to use a drop down menu to do this.

Of course, the Stats page on New Blogger is incredibly inferior to the Stats page on Legacy Blogger as it is. On Legacy Blogger everything is right there on one screen. Do you want to look at your Stats for Posts for the week? Just click on See More on Posts. Want to look at them for the Day? Just click on Day, then click on See More on Posts. With New Blogger one must scroll down an incredibly large graph of the stats for one's latest post and then an incredibly large graph of the stats for one's blog for the past seven days before he or she even reaches the stats for posts. I rarely look at the stats for my latest post or the overall stats for A Shroud of Thoughts for the past week, but I regularly check the daily stats for individual posts. The New Blogger Stats page is then incredibly annoying to me.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with New Blogger aside from the fact that everything is so darn big is that it is not nearly as intuitive as Legacy Blogger. A perfect example of this is the New Comments page. It is not immediately obvious that one has to click a down menu to access Comments Awaiting Moderation. On the list of posts, it is not immediately obvious that one can hover over a post in order to edit, view, or delete it.

All of this makes me wonder why Blogger thought it was necessary to replace Legacy Blogger and why they somehow think New Blogger is an improvement. From their original blog post announcing New Blogger in May, it would seem that they think that New Blogger is easier to use on mobile devices. That may well be the case, but in making it easier to use on mobile devices, they have made it harder to use on desktops. I think this is a big mistake, as I know of no blogger who uses Blogger who makes their posts from a phone or a tablet. Every single one of us uses a desktop or laptop computer. Let's face it, trying to make a post from one's smart phone would literally take forever. My typing speed on a desktop keyboard is 180 words per minute. My texting speed on a phone is much, much less.

Like Coca-Cola Company before it, I am hoping that Blogger realizes that they have made a mistake and restore Legacy Blogger. They could keep New Blogger available for anyone who actually like it. As it is they have simply irritated long time users with something that they did not want and that is actually inferior to what we had all these years.


Caftan Woman said...

Hear, hear!

To quote Miss Gravely: "I don't know when I've been more annoyed!"

Those drop-down menus get on my nerves. I spend half of my time thinking I can't do something and then searching for a way to do something and stopping myself from putting my fist through the screen.

You nailed it. Who blogs on a mobile device?!

Swank Daddy said...

This "upgrade" is a hot mess that is totalling aggravating and infuriating to use. It's a NON user-friendly interface no one wanted or needed. Obviously Google didn't turn to users for any input and thus is shoving something down user's throats that one of their wonks thinks people Need. Sad and utterly disappointing.

Laura said...

I spent a good ten minutes last night trying to figure out how to delete a photo from a draft in compose mode but couldn't find a "remove" or "delete" button...I finally had to go into the HTML page and delete it there. If there's an easy way to take a photo off the page after you upload it, it wasn't easy to find!

The whole thing is junk. Makes you wonder what their agenda is -- surely they must know it's not nearly as functional as "Legacy Blogger."

Best wishes,

Phyl said...

It is not easier on a tablet, like I had hoped. When I write a review I use a desktop but I usually type up my monthly ‘list of movies I watched’ on my iPad - I add the movies as I watch then get on a desktop to add images and post. On both legacy and the new blogger I can’t scroll down in editing, so if my list is too long I can’t change or add anything at the bottom. Also sometimes I want to fix or add something to an old post but if it’s too far down I have to try to remember to fix it later on a desktop.

Todd Mason said...

And some relatively trivial things are nonetheless enervating--they were making it more and more difficult toward the end of Legacy version to scroll to the oldest posts one had, if one had quite a few...and I do, thoug not nearly as many as some do.

But with Thumb-typer Blogger, the old keyword files (at least the ones I had, and I assume I'm not alone) have simply been erased. There can't b a good reason that information couldn't be carried over.

Remarkably ham-handed redesign.

Laura said...

I just went in to a 2009 post to update a dead link I'd happened to discover, and when I hit publish discovered all the paragraphing was removed, merely by updating the link. Boy was that fun to get fixed.

It's driving me crazy not being able to drag photos into position anymore.

Best wishes,

Chris Otto said...

Preach. Have been on Blogger since 2010, and my blog has 3,000+ posts, most with multiple images. Really dislike this change. Afraid to go back into any old posts now, too, given what might happen to formatting with auto-saves, etc. What an unnecessary mess.

Virginie Pronovost said...

I'm not sure what's the deal with changing websites that are perfecly find as they were these days... This, but also Facebook and wordpress. Since wordpress changed for the blocked editor it's quite nightmarish. I mean, I have to go through five steps just to include a photo and sometimes it won't include itself so I have to go through those steps a couple of time. Love your comparison with Coca Cola!

Todd Mason said...

Most of the changes seem to have been made for the benefit of users who interact with the services (ha!) with their smartphones. Unsure if that's true of WordPress, which often seems to have found new ways to be annoying throughout its history (Blogger usually in the past mostly annoying when pointlessly deleting complete blogs and making no apology.)