DISIMPROVEMENT 101

It’s a trend. Developers and software companies, from the corporate level down think we are stupid. That we need everything to be made very simple lest we be overwhelmed by too many choices, too much information.

Statistics on the old, unimproved stats screen

Statistics on the old, unimproved stats screen – showing just about everything at a glance

How do I know this? Because the trend in software from most mainstream companies (excluding Adobe, which possibly accounts for their phenomenal success) has been to automate everything.

New disimproved stats page, showing less information in a thoroughly inconvenient format

New disimproved stats page, showing less information in a thoroughly inconvenient format

To leave us with few — or no — choices. Because if we have choices, we’ll screw it up, right? Because, we are stupid.

WordPress, not content with their poorly received “improved posting experience” which caused near insurrection by bloggers, has come up with an “upgraded stats page.” It’s even worse than the “improved posting experience.” Hard to believe, but it’s true.

Commonsense says an upgraded stats page contains more and/or better data. Perhaps a faster response time with improved navigation.

You would be wrong. Instead, we are getting much less information, no navigation other than scrolling (a lot of scrolling) and a slightly slower connection.

Why? Does it not occur to WordPress to test this stuff with users before dumping it on us and telling us these downgrades are really upgrades? How stupid do they think we are?

Seriously guys … how about some beta testing? Surely that would cost nothing but a little bit of time. I’m sure most, if not all, of us would happily do your beta testing. For free. Just ask. Really.

I am not stupid. Or a newbie. Neither are most of the people with whom I connect with on WordPress. If you want to put out a “statistics lite” version for your baby bloggers, that’s fine. Offer it as an option to those who feel less is more.

I don’t think the new page is easier to understand or better in any way at all. It’s less informative and has lots of links for people who are clueless about blogging without providing anything useful to experienced bloggers. That’s a world away from better. Less is not more, not if you are talking about statistics.

Better ought to mean more statistics, additional layers of information. It should include improved navigation tools — and scrolling isn’t navigation.

A bigger typeface doesn’t improve the quality of the data, especially if you’ve eliminated everything but data for one previous week.

Yup, that’s right. You can’t get stats on previous years. No depth. No way to chart overall progress unless your blog is a week old.

It’s sad. Unnecessary. And infuriating.

For other opinions, see If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It Anyway and My iPod Has Issues – WordPress Has Joined the Crazy Club.



Categories: Blogging, Computers, Software, Statistics, Technology, WordPress

Tags: , , , , ,

30 replies

  1. frustrating to say the least. at the very least, give us to option to ‘upgrade’ or not.

    Like

    • I’ve been patient, but if they make blogging any harder for me, I’m going to substantially lessen how much I do. Eventually, I’ll give up. It’s like they absolutely refuse to listen to any input from real users, aka customers. I don’t understand WHY they can’t let those of us who don’t like their new improved stuff keep doing it however we like? Why do they feel we have to all do it their way or the highway? I’m so frustrated with this.

      Like

  2. The stats are never accurate anyway. It is useless on my iPad as when I go through the reader half the posts aren’t there. So it is a waste of time. 😦

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  3. I have yet to meet this new unimprovement…. but all I’ll say is they better not take away my search terms list! That’s part of my daily entertainment!

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  4. As a former computer programmer and teacher I believe change is inevitable. The reason is that if we, as programmers, didn’t make constant changes, we would be out of a job. Add to that the constant need for supervisors to tinker with our programs, whether they know anything about programming or not. The “simple” changes they demand require many work hours to implement. The elaborate changes are generally simple modifications. It comes from the old management philosophy: “If you’ve got one, make one, if you’ve got two, throw one away”! That’s their definition of job security.

    Like

    • Yes, I know. I worked in development most of my professional life, but usually, I worked for companies where upgrades meant additional functionality, improved interface and navigation … you know.Oh and a LOT of testing. I know because I was the one who did most of it. Our new versions of the software were UPgrades, not downgrades. I know why they are doing this: they want everything to work on mobile phones and small tablets. But tablets and cell phones are losing traction — laptops are coming back fast … as I knew they would. Those little devices are too limited for anyone who needs to do actualy work — and for blogging, useless. WordPress really IS backing the wrong horse and it is making me weary and sad.

      Like

  5. I found the latest so called improvement when I checked back on my blog half an hour or so ago. I was not in the least impressed. While I try not to be a stats junkie when I first come to the blog I like to see the stats and without the link I had to find where they had hidden them. I don’t like the new format at all. As my blogs are only 18 months old I do like to see weekly and monthly stats to see how things are going. As others have said if we could download the stats it would not matter.I am annoyed that I have to do without information because it doesn’t fit on a mobile phone. Why can’t they supply both options? It’s not rocket science.
    I left feedback to say that I prefer the old stats page but wonder if they will pay attention. They seem more interested in how things look than anything else.

    Like

    • I’m hoping they leave us both. The old stats page could be better, but it is worlds better than the new one. The information available on the new page is so limited, almost useless for anyone who has a mature blog. I’m tired of fighting. I gave them feedback — they asked for it, they got it. Who know what and who they are listening to? They are catering to the newbie no-nothing market and experienced users like us are not even on their radar.

      Like

  6. I woke up this morning to the new and exciting up/down grade and thought “Oh no”, so thanks for the introduction to what I suspected. Why do they do this to us? I was settled in my little WordPress world, not happy, but settled. I did not ask for more, I did not want more, so am I getting more? It is so confusing. I don’t want pretty stats or anything else. Some of us want pingbacks that work, some of us want to kill the magic grid and some of us just want to get on with it with no complications. It was broke and now even more – all in the name of progress of course. And now to finished my breakfast, at least that remains.

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    • It is very discouraging. I understand they want everything to run on a mobile phone … but you can’t make everything work WELL on a tiny device. They aren’t BIG enough or powerful enough. For a quick glance, okay, but not for any real analysis. I’m tired. I’ve put a lot of ME into this blog and I feel so very unappreciated. They aren’t the only company to treat long term customers as if they don’t exist or matter while pandering to new customers. It’s the way of the world, but I don’t have to like it.

      Like

  7. I totally agree with you and really feel frustrated with the new layout and especially the “stats” part.

    It’s not an improvement, but a degraded version, Didn’t feel like checking my blog at all.

    So nice to see you raised this topic here with the screen shots of old and new pages.

    I really wish, they give an option to choose from, either keep the old page or downgraded to the latest one 🙂

    Like

    • WordPress seems more concerned with how their pages look than whether or not they do the job for which they are intended. It IS terribly frustrating, especially because we are so invested in our sites. It’s years of work at building up followers and honing skills — while.they are determined to ignore us in favor of newbies who may or may not stick around long enough to make a difference. It makes me feel really un-valued.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think more and more people should raise their voice and concerns…

        As you rightly mentioned, it’s years of our work and stats is something we always look forward to as a feedback and for inspiration…

        Like

  8. I so agree with you. Don’t you wish they’d stop fiddling? And like the first commenter here, I too would like the ability to download a dump of all my stats into a spreadsheet.

    Like

    • I don’t mind them creating these super simple pages. Just leave a way for the rest of us to get the information WE want. Don’t cater entirely to the cell phone crowd. Some of us — MOST of us — don’t write our blogs on our phones. We sure as hell don’t edit our pictures on them!

      Like

  9. Change at times doesn’t mean improvement. Bloggers have to deal with so many technical issues when WordPress surprises us with updated versions. I can imagine how constraint you must be feeling.

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  10. I think the way you displayed the long, narrow “upgraded stats page” on the left side of your post says it all. Here’s a thought for WordPress. Give me a “stats lite” page with basic information, but then let me download my own stats into an Excel file or a CSV format so I can run my own reports, create my own charts. Give me the ability to take a dump of all of my stats and run with it on my own. Do that and I’d be happy with a “stats at a glance page.” But give me some data from which I can do some real, deep dive analytics. Then I’d be a happy camper.

    Like

    • What wrong with the “new improved stats” page is that you can’t get substantial information. I understand — after reading their announcement — what they are trying to do. They are trying to make everything “mobile device friendly.” Information? Usability? Nothing matters but that cell phone addicts can do everything on their phones. I don’t object to their creating pages that are cell phone friendly. I object to them taking away real information so everything can fit on an iPhone.

      Like

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