FIXING WHAT IS NOT BROKEN

Change For Change Sake, by Rich Paschall 

You may have noticed that the websites you use regularly change their format from time to time. Just when you got used to your favorite credit card site, they changed everything around. It is frustrating, to say the least. This is particularly true when the new format offers more information but spreads it out in a way that you can not find it. As we all like to say, it is not “user-friendly.”

Corporate executives, company IT (Information Technology) departments, their programmers, and their minions must all feel that they are not moving forward if they do not keep changing things.

I just want my balance

“They mistake change for improvement, and that is not always the case.”  – Time Management Ninja

Sometimes the best you can hope for is they don’t screw it up too badly. At one time MySpace was the leader in social media. We all had an account and actually had fun there. There was interaction with others, but it was the kind of back and forth you find on a fan forum, not what we know today. As facebook quickly gained ground for its unique ability to connect friends and neighbors, MySpace did not know how to adapt. Their changes drove people away and it eventually turned into a music site, more or less.

Sometimes change is necessary, but it has to be the right change. It needs to be the type the user will embrace. When a company does not know how to do that, they lose momentum and business. Remember the dot.com boom?  Do you remember the dot.com bust? Change is a tricky business. Knowing when and what to do is a tough call. Sometimes it seems like the people making changes never actually used the site themselves.

Do aliens write these programs?

“Change for change sake does not always result in progress.”

My bank changed several features on their online banking site at some point after I had been using it for a while. It wasn’t awful and I got used to the new layout and features pretty quickly. They maintained a similar look and the items flowed naturally as you paid bills or looked at accounts. My credit card statement was there as well so I could see what I had and what I owed. The people who changed things might actually be banking there.

On the other hand, eBay has made changes recently that are beyond baffling. When I first joined the selling page was simple. All the information for active listing, sold and unsold listings were easy to find. Then they wanted us to use their new format which had the listing more spaced out, bigger pictures, and less of what I wanted to know. Since the listings were bigger, it took you longer to scroll down the page. I resisted using it. This, by the way, has nothing to do with the listing page the buyers see.

Now they have introduced another format. Charts & graphs & dashboards, oh my!  They dumped the original format which I loved. I have started using that second version that I avoided because what they offer now is just information overload.

“And while I am a big advocate of leaving your comfort zone, too much change can result in confusion, disorganization, and lack of competence.”

This brings me to this very site. For a while now Word Press has been pushing their so-called block editor. As Marilyn has pointed out this week, it is not a true “Block editor,” but I digress. WordPress also has a “classic editor” which allows you to create a document much like creating a Microsoft Word document. It is straightforward, with the usual basic tools: Font size, bold, italics, color, links, and so forth. The Block editor works under the premise that you write things in little chunks and assemble them later in building block style. I had building blocks as a child. I am sure we knocked them down and then arranged them again in order. It’s an interesting concept, except I don’t actually write that way.

Sometimes I look back at what I wrote and it does not flow like I had in mind. I can not imagine the result if I worked in “blocks.” One continuous document is the best way to edit blog posts, I think. Do younger generations actually write in little pieces and assemble later as if it was some giant Lego project?

Just another Rubik’s cube?

Marilyn has commented extensively about this Word Press mish mash in the past. She did not mince words and yet, I think she was too kind. Do these programmers actually write blog posts, or are they just creating something different because they can?

There used to be a WP Admin. menu that gave you useful items. Yes, you can still find most of the same things. Apparently, they just want you to hunt for them.  On Sundays, I usually look back a year to find something to reblog to “Sunday Night Blog.” I did this by filtering down to my posts of a particular month and year. They must think that scrolling down for pages is a better way to find past blog posts.

Fortunately, Marilyn knows the tricks, and the classic editor can still be found. If Word Press wants to turn writing an article into a giant video game, they could take themselves down the same road as MySpace.

“So, next time you want to make a change, ask yourself why you’re doing it first.”

All quotes from: ​”Change for Change’s Sake Doesn’t Always Equal Progress,” by Tori Reid, lifehacker.com, November 3, 2014.

 



Categories: Application, Computers, opinioin, Rich Paschall, WordPress, Writing

Tags: , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I struggled with the New Editor for a while. They kept promoting it so I foolishly figured well … “It’s gotta be better” right? But after I blundered around with it for a post or 2 I just had to give up on it. Yeah, it had more features, but it was slow to use and awkward. Some of it I just couldn’t figure out at all. Finally I noticed – as you say – that I could reactivate Classic from the Plug Ins. Classic really does all I need and is much simpler to use. I f things aren’t simple that’s a real problem for the likes of me.

    Maybe if they fix it bit, I’ll have a look at it again. To this moment though I haven’t seen anybody say they like it.

    WP periodically does things that their customers don’t like – without asking. For instance, with Jetpack nobody can reBlog my posts. The button to do that is gone and can’t be found. That’s not wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What keeps baffling me is why they feel obliged to make us all walk in lock step. What harm does it do for us to do thing our way rather than theirs? Do they have some kind of claim to our work? If they do, Ive never heard about it.

    Maybe I would sometimes use the block editor because they have interesting text features. On the other hand, no matter how hard I try to work with their graphics, it’s idiculously hard to control even the simplest things, like resizing pictures. Their ideas of how writers and photographers work is based on something they learned in a classroom or read in a book. They are NOT writers or photographers and they haven’t a clue how we work. They’ve never asked ANY of us what we want or need.

    Worst of all, THEY HAVE HIDDEN THEIR OWN LINKS. They don’t have a graphics menu or a text menu. Where the categories and tags are is a permanent mystery. Since there’s no way to easily fix errors, it’s often easier to go back to draft and start over. I rarely want to start over. I don’t have the time to write the same post repeatedly, so the ONLY time I use their block editor is when I’m going all text and maybe inserting a single graphic.

    It’s a pathetically bad piece of software. There are a lot of talented programmers and engineers available. They should hire some. I hope I’ll still be blogging should they ever get their shit together. Right now, I’m disinclined to keep paying them for worse and worse service.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I have to chuck it and start over it really would not matter the editor. It was not good and going in the wrong direction. Most of the time I just need a Word document that I will insert some graphics of links into later.

      Like

      • Yeah, but I’m not dumping it because it isn’t good. It’s because I can’t figure out how to fix it! And it is surprisingly difficult to delete the graphics stuff. You can’t just back up and delete it or highlight and delete. It gets VERY complicated and occasionally, impossible.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Today I went to ebay to relist some items. There are 25 listings in a page. I checked select all and looked for the relist button. I found out in the help section that if I now want to relist multiple items, I must use the new “Seller Hub.” They are forcing us onto their new page from something that actually worked well. The “Add recommended items” button does not work. It has not worked all week. I am guessing no one was moving off the “Classic listings” so they removed it. We will use their new complicated system, or we can just go away. I have news for ebay. There are other seller sites.

          Liked by 1 person

    • After you write your post, if you click on POST on the top R of the page, that is where categories and tags are listed.

      Like

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