Top 10 reasons the new WordPress Beep Boop Boob editor is a stunning failure.

(WUWT readers, please excuse this distraction while I holler at WUWT’s hosting provider, wordpress.com. As Willis would say, “my blood is mightily angrified”.)

I have generally been supportive of most wordpress.com upgrades, for example the recent upgrade to allow the top editor bar to float with scrolling is a HUGE time saver.

Unfortunately, the new Beep Beep Boop “upgrade” is a crash-and-burn moment in user interface design.

Top 10 reasons the new WordPress Beep Boop Boob editor is a stunning failure.

1. It turns a process that used to take 1-2 seconds into something that takes several seconds, sometimes as long as 30 seconds. My timing this morning was 17 seconds to get the create a new post dialog. A second attempt took 32 seconds after I cleared the crash dialog (see below).

2. It is visually annoying. It makes me want to scream at the screen while it takes all those extra seconds to load, seen below.

beep_boop_boob_editor

The reason for the “beep beep boop” is that whoever programed it, realized it takes longer, and they needed something to let the end user know the program was doing something. Classic bloatware failure.

3. It makes wordpress.com seem juvenilized.

4. It is inconsistent with the rest of the wp.com user experience. For example, no “beep boop” appears when you try to create a new page.

5. It presents a smaller editor than we used to get, which isn’t fully representative of the CSS settings for width of your theme.

6. It was foisted on us with no warning. And this is the thing I hate the most, many of these “upgrades” just appear overnight. Microsoft learned this lesson of just foisting unwanted upgrades on end users without notice and allows you to opt-out. You should learn this lesson too. New is not always better.

7. It crashes:

beep_boop_boob_editor2

8. The “Welcome to an easier way to create on WordPress.com! Missing the old editor? No worries, just switch to classic mode. “ feature doesn’t seem to “stick”.

9. It comes up in text editor mode, more work, more wait to switch to visual editor mode.

10. Whenever I accidentally stumble on it now, I realize my mistake and back out of it, and find the correct link to bring up the real editor. When users actively work to avoid using a new piece of software, because it wastes time, annoys them, and crashes, you know you have a MEGAFAIL on your hands.

Whoever came up with this idea, along with the person who approved implementing it deserves a virtual 2×4 upside the head to knock some sense into them.

For me, it may be the tipping point to abandon wordpress.com and go to a paid service where I at least can control my own user experience by choosing not to install inane upgrades.

UPDATE 8/27/14 :

WordPress seemed oblivious, but I and many others continued to bombard them with emails, posts, phone calls, and anything we could do to tell them how bad this change was.

Today, all of the sudden, things were back to normal, and this appeared above the editor page:

wp-editor-posting experience

That “new and improved posting experience” aka the “beep boop” editor, is corp-speak for “we took this turkey out back and shot it in the head”.

Two thoughts:

1. Users win. Lesson to WordPress – trust your users.

2. Thank you WordPress for finally seeing the light

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Ben

“Classic bloatware failure.”
You need to send feedback about that. I do software development for a living, and when we’re deciding what to do, we pretty much look at numbers of user requests and prioritize off that. If enough people are saying, “this is slow and janky,” that bubbles to the top. And you have to get heard because simplifying and streamlining code (paying off “tech debt”) takes time.

I don’t have as much experience as you with the Boop Editor. One encounter was enough for me and I stopped doing my blog and have since done nothing but complaints there using the now-crippled editor we all once had as the default. I’ve been with WordPress since 2006. There have been bumps, but this is just a disaster and their failure to roll back is frustrating (to say the least!).

beng

Hmm — don’t see it, fortunately. Runs on java-script so gets denied by Firefox’s NoScript, which is a lifesaver & vastly speeds up page-loading.

Pamela Gray

You have described Windows f***ing 8. It was meant to work for mouse-less touch screens on tablet-like devices and computers. But most of us still buy a mouse and notebooks with mouse pads and buttons. The interface results in a maddening rate of unintended deletes with no ability to recover, and sudden switches and flips from what I am working on to the [cough, hack, gag] tiled “easy access” full screen program menu. I hate it more than anything computer related I have ever worked on. I cut my teeth on the operating system of a WANG and would gladly go back to it if Windows f***ing 8 was my only other choice.

Barbara Skolaut

“3. It makes wordpress.com seem juvenilized.”
That seems to be the directions ALL websites are going – even my bank, fercryin’outloud..
The kindergarten inmates are running the asylum. >:-(

skeohane

I have been commenting here for several years. This new version of wordpress is a pain in the ass. I just spent ten minutes logging into wordpress so a comment could be posted. Instead it took me to a ‘dashboard’. It also changes my user name to a truncation of my email rather than my full name which I have always posted under. No more comments from me with this ridiculous software. Steve Keohane

Jimmy Haigh.

I agree. Windows 8. A total effing nightmare. Thanks for the fix Anthony. I don’t have Windows 8 yet but I guess it will be unavoidable eventually.

ossqss

One wonders if this had anything to do with the appearance of the mystery “like” button a short while back?
Windows 8.1 is fine as long as you are using Windows 7 /sarc

Beta Blocker

Pamela Gray says: August 17, 2014 at 8:23 am
You have described Windows f***ing 8. It was meant to work for mouse-less touch screens on tablet-like devices and computers. But most of us still buy a mouse and notebooks with mouse pads and buttons.

In addition to a Windows 7 box, I have three identical XP boxes all configured to the same hardware standard, one of which is always in continuous use. With any luck, at least one of them will remain functional until I breath my last breath.
Here is a question for the WUWT readership: Is one of the reasons why Chinese engineers are more productive than American engineers is that most of their desktop applications still rely on user-friendly Windows XP?

MikeTheDenier

I’ve been in IT for over 30 years. This is what you get by hiring recent college grads who think they are smarter than the rest of the world and management who thinks cheaper labor is better.

Thank you, Anthony. I was going to email you about it.
I also HATE the Beep Beep Boop editor.
It locks up one of my browsers and it’s slow with the other,
Let me repeat myself for WordPress: I HATE the Beep Beep Boop editor.
Please remove it as the default WordPress editor.

This latest change to the interface is mind-numbing and frustrating. Even at “free” its not worth it dealing with. Grey Enigma.

RCM

One of the curses of having an in-house software development staff is that they must keep developing or lose their jobs. The low-hanging fruit has long ago been picked in many applications but no developer ever got a raise for saying everything is just fine. Further incremental improvements will only carry you through one, or two at best) performance rating periods.
As an easy example, MS Word and Excel were probably at their optimal efficiency and ease of use around the year 2000. However the development team had to keep adding features that only professional editor -might- ever need (who wanted “Reading Pane”?) to be doing something, and them turned them on as default because no one would otherwise even know they existed. When that string ran out, it was time to change the interface, just ’cause.
Even creating a turd can be good for developers. Releasing a disaster is always first blamed on the discomfort of users with new features, but the disaster also has the perverse effect of increasing overtime, and creating a triumph for the team when they finally fix the problems.
The ultimate solution for Win8 for my wife (even after ClassicShell) was a Mac Airbook.
/angry crazyman rant.

chesmil

Steve Jobs would have said, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

Philip Peake

Ben — the process you describe for software roadmap/development is a recipe for ultimate failure. Back in the Netscape days, I had these same conversations with the product manager of a couple of products there, and saw a similar problem with what was once a successful operating system.
The problem is that you try to satisfy current customers by bending to their will. The product becomes more and more focused on their requirements. One day, you notice that you are not getting many (any) new customers, but product management still insist on asking existing customers what they want, without balancing it by going and asking people that decided not to buy why not. Of course, the second part is harder to do, and the answers are generally unwelcome, but if you want a future, you sometimes have to piss off (a little) existing customers.
In the worst case, you end up like Apollo. They made HUGE (and IMHO stupid) dptations to support their biggest customer. One day, they only really had that one huge customer left. Then that customer decided that they needed to change platform to one of the more ubiquitous ones. Guess what happened to Apollo (which was then owned by HP) and how fast.
Having said all of that, whatever changes you make, never just foist them on people with no warning, and public beta phase. Unfortunately most of WordPress seems to stuff that never really made it out of beta anyway.

jakee308

Was it a mistake? Or did they do it to us on purpose?

Scute

Another example: iOS 7 is an entire software platform that was foisted on us overnight. It’s a shadow of iOS 6, just tinkering for the sake of tinkering and decimating what was a smooth and intuitive user interface. I know some people who have hacked their way back to iOS 6 but that will be a temporary fix because soon their apps won’t be supported.

You said it well. I also come from a development environment. You can always tell when I development team has been set loose without regard for real-world needs of users. The comparison to Windows 8 is valid. And poignant. You’d think WP might learn something from the others’ disasters, but apparently not. I would be seriously considering changing platforms if I could find a platform I don’t hate … or is so expensive I can’t even think about it. Maybe, in the end, they’ll just push me into giving up the whole thing. I’d rather not … but when a hobby becomes more angst than fun, it’s time to rethink.
Thanks for a professionally written piece. It would be nice if someone at WordPress read it. Many of us have written about this in the past few days, but I doubt they care. WP seems to be bent on doing their own thing without regard for customer satisfaction. Pity about that. Reminds me of DEC … Wang .. GTE … Where are they now?

Willis Eschenbach

As Anthony said, this new editor angrifies my blood mightily. I reverted immediately to the “Classic” editor … don’t’cha love a world where something we used yesterday is “classic” today? But as Anthony sez, it doesn’t stick, and come up with the Beep Beep Boop editor each time I return.
Fail. Epic fail.
w.

Louis LeBlanc

Ee Windows 8, you can still buy Windows 7 Business with the option to switch to 8 in the future, which is what I did recently wity my new Dell Latitude laptop. Lots of Dells come with that OS option, as do some other leading brands. I’ve read that W8 is pretty much W7 with the touch screen on top, making it difficult.

“WordPress Beep Boop Boob editor ”
So, what exactly needed to be edited on WordPress’s Boobs in the first place?

I use Windows Live Writer. It is simple to use, easy to paste images etc, and automatically published to WP at the press of the button

interesting that the classic editor doesn’t stick – according to a “staff” person in the second & third posts on this wordpress forum page http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/new-post-editor-improvements#post-1998366 – (1) the editor pane has been enlarged – and (2) the classic editor should “stick” once chosen – UNTIL you clear your cookies

Apparently it’s browser specific. It works on some, not on other. Not on Chrome.

one benefit of running WP on dedicated server, can update as you need and also run clone site to test updates.
downside is you are responsible for the server.
managed dedicated servers are expensive but they maintain the o/s and hardware for you, basically they are your businesses tech dept.

Man Bearpig

Do you have any Ad blockers installed in your browser? or anything else blocker ? it may be something to do with that. Have a look at the web-page source code and see if there are any external urls that may be slowing things down. Looking at Disconnect fro Firefox I am getting the following disconects;
1 Advertising – Let through
2 Analytics
15 Content
2 Facebook
2 Google+ and
2 Twitter

And this upgrade breaks the use of the “code” shortcode. The code has characters such as < (less than) replaced by HTML entities. Fortunately reverting to "Classic mode" is offered, and fixes this problem.

This is another example of programmers & developers who are legends in their own minds. As a result, they think they can do no wrong and become obsessed with making changes (often just to make changes). They have yet to learn the humility that comes from failure and understanding the truth of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

markx

RCM on August 17, 2014 at 9:15 am
As an easy example, MS Word and Excel were probably at their optimal efficiency and ease of use around the year 2000.
Dang right. And dang right that most change was ‘change for the sake of change’ … And encouraged by management wanting an ‘upgrade’ to charge for.

Sam Hall

This version of WordPress has a “toolbar” at the top with no way to remove it. I hate it, hate it..

breisebreiseleighgoleire1969

Reblogged this on Breise! Breise! Extra! Extra! and commented:
I switched back to my old editor mode because this new one was not easy to use and hard to navigate.

phlogiston

Would it be possible to have a counter showing in real time how many people are currently viewing a thread. (Or does this already exist? )

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Just ‘cuz.

JoeWalker

If the WP tech says it does stick (in Classic Editor) unless you clear cookies, the check your Win Internet Explorer. It has a toggle to clear your cookies everytime you get out of IE, or not. Of course you may “want to” clear cookies each time – then this won’t help.

Not in Chrome. Cookies or not.

Well stated. There are many of us who have been posting our complaints. One response received was essentially ‘too bad’, eventually the Classic version will be gone and you will have to accept the new one. When that day comes I will move my blog and I will migrate my content.

Beta Blocker

In today’s world, a business either grows or it eventually dies. It is possible that moving to an I.E. 8 style interface for use with tablets and mobile devices is seen by corporate management as being essential to WordPress’ long term survival.
On the other hand, if a majority of current WordPress users prefer the more traditional interfaces, and will prefer those legacy interfaces for some time into the future, then WordPress has now jumped the shark and is inevitably on a pathway towards extinction.

They can’t distinguish between “fad” and “future.” I don’t know a single writer or editor who works on a tablet or cell phone.You might respond to comments on one of these little devices, but you’re not going to create anything new. You can’t edit a photograph on a surface that small, not if you’re serious about it nor can you create something longer than a few sentence, especially if it includes illustrations. Unless writers, photographers, and other artists won’t exist in the future — or won’t be blogging (maybe because they declare us obsolete and make it impossible?) — they are getting way ahead of themselves. Just because something is selling well doesn’t mean it’s replacing something else.

Hoser

More of the same: maps.google.com did the same thing. I find the new and disimproved Google Maps does less far less well than the “classic”, but it is wrapped in a pretty new package. And Pamela is completely right – for us dinosaurs who still use a mouse and a real full sized screen, the simpleware is frustrating. The reality is, sales of what we would call real computers, even laptops, are falling and tablets are apparently the wave of the future. I predict what’s old will be new again when the resolution of the smart-crapola nears something reasonable again. I’m amazed people are happy poking at something with any detail at all using a tool with the resolution of a finger. One day, we will have either eyeball pointing, or a neural control interface (like the Borg). Hey Apple, steal this: use your facetime camera to detect where my eyes are looking. That’s my mouse, and button push with blink is a click, and double blink is double click. Oh, rats, it doesn’t work in the car because of vibrations? Then just keep finger pushing too. A smart phone for me isn’t a phone, it’s a modem / backup internet search device. I have a dedicated cell phone and it is far superior for that purpose. And my final word of not-so-wisdom, if you have to call it “smart”, it isn’t. Smart grid? Smart growth? Smart tyranny?

Bloke down the pub

A problem I run into occasionally with wordpress is that it will tell me I’m posting too quickly, even if I’m not. I then have to re-submit and hope that it doesn’t duplicate, and even then it will go through moderation first making more work for you.

When did Microsoft ever let you opt out of one of its gratuitous UI “upgrades”? I’m still using XP and Office 2007 because they’re better, darn it — and Windows 8 belongs on a toy, not a real computer.

joelobryan

Obviously a poorly designed Java implementation.

Grant

I find win 8 a good operating system, the best MS has made and I find it fine for a non touch screen. The problem with it is that it’s too much of a departure from win 7 but once you learn it …….

Latitude

so far there’s been three invests out in the Atlantic that they’ve hyped as developing….
…every time I’ve gone back to check on them
they’re gone………….LOL

urederra

A year ago my hard drive crashed and instead of reinstalling windows I changed to Linux Ubuntu. I do not want to use windows any more. In windows every time I wanted to try out a new application, a toolbar was installed in my browser, even if I ticked on the “no thanks, I don’t want any toolbar” option. And uninstalling the application and the toolbar was a pain, And something remains inside the registry, which only gets bigger over time.
With linux I don’t have any toolbar installed in my browser, I have openoffice as a productivity suite, which is free and it is enough for my needs. Less viruses and more control over your archives are other advantages, provided you know some unix scripting.

Tom in Florida

“Whoever came up with this idea, along with the person who approved implementing it deserves a virtual 2×4 upside the head to knock some sense into them.”
Yeah but the models showed it to work flawlessly.

Greg Goodman

8. The “Welcome to an easier way to create on WordPress.com! Missing the old editor? No worries, just switch to classic mode. “ feature doesn’t seem to “stick”.
===
My guess is they are running this option using cookies. Your probably, like any sensible persion set Firefox to clear cookies on closing. Hence it does not stick.
If my guess is correct, this should be done within the WP database

Gary

I worked in IT for many years, as an outsider: Telecom Manager. I didn’t have much to do with the daily ins and outs of the IT development. My stuff was cut and dry. Calls in, calls out. We did almost all of our development for ourselves only. The number one bottom line was functionality. It’s funny. We were able to develop many “modern” software conveniences all on our own, often years before the mainstream software companies were able to provide. We created our own pollers, our own scripts, even had our very own database administrator who created our very own platforms. One single dit and the whole staff worked towards resolution, johnny on the spot. We were able to sell many of our software evolutions on the open market. It is the beauty of self-development. We ran our very own specialized environment, tailor made for our business. It was a genesis brought about by self-ownership and small business. Out there in the real world, you get what you get.

WP annoyed me long before this. The only use I have for it is to be able to post in these threads.

DirkH

You will not escape the powers of Beeb Beeb Boob.

NikFromNYC

Strongly note that the one demographic that should have already converted to climate alarm skepticism based on intelligent reason but hasn’t is the urban tech crowd, heads full of buzzwords and hipsterism. Thank anti-intellectual college indoctrination for that, outside of most of the hard sciences, but fully at hold in the professions…as the temperature now conspires to collapse their new religion. Without a Steve Jobs character to literally scream at anti-social programmers and now ladder climbing “brogrammer” sociopathic jerks, a sort of law of nature kicks in that egomaniacs will screw things up, like that story of the scorpion stinging the frog to its own river crossing demise. But the trained litigious and politically correct activist nature of educated professionals they are forced to hire now also makes a lot of bosses into wimps.

Blogspot has a similar floating tool bar and it loads quickly.
I like Forth. No C stack thrashes.
http://spacetimepro.blogspot.com/2014/04/lpc812-devl-20-march-2014.html