Of the many topics in the WordPress.com support forums prompted by the “2.5” redesign, the largest currently has 167 responses. There’s a lot of repetition and agreement in there. That’s not a criticism of (most of) those who’ve repeated and agreed, since the forums are there for the bloggers. But it does make for some tedious reading.
So I was struck by a recent contribution, which expressed a fresher concern.
The only thing that worries me is how the changed dashboard and entry pages will feel to an absolutely new, tyro blogger with little or no web experience. Will they be frightened away?
I think that the new design (not the new bugs) will feel better to a new blogger than did the old design. I’d be interested to hear if anyone’s done any testing on this.
I get the impression that the WordPress.org community is less bothered about the new design than is the WordPress.com community. I can think of several reasons for this. For example, the .org community comprises those who upgrade the WordPress software for themselves, and so will install 2.5 when they’re ready.
So, I’m thinking that: if we plotted approval of 2.5 against blogger experience, we’d see a U-shaped curve. Those who approve least tend to be moderately experienced bloggers, of which there are many at WordPress.com.
I should add that the U-shaped curve thought is a rather tentative hypothesis about what we’d find if we gathered data from WordPress bloggers on a couple of variables. There would of course be “outliers,” such as WordPress.com bloggers who love the new interface and novice bloggers who hate it.