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Review of Tumblr’s new features
I primarily post Photo posts and that’s what I’ll be commenting the most. I think the general idea is great and this is clearly the best direction to go. Redesigning site features and making them more intuitive and streamlined is one of the highest priorities and one of the hardest tasks you can get because you have millions of people heavily using your interface for years.
Making reblogs and posts directly on your dashboard is an absolute improvement which shows that Tumblr designers and developers are thinking about a natural, seamless intertwined flow of posting, viewing and reblogging content on the spot but - as soon as the new post/reblog window expands that flow stops.
It seems like the top priority for this redesign was to make it look simple and make it look like you are editing the post just as it looks like. But by treating the post window too literally, advanced usability fell to second place.
How I do it
I like to equip ALL my posts with neat tags, custom URL’s and meaningful click-through links that relate to that post. I’ve posted more than 14,000 posts of which 95% have these attributes. They make my blog drastically more SEO friendly and make people visiting my blog dig deeper and deeper. When they click on a vintage GIF I made they end up on my Vintage tag and find many, many more posts that they like. It was easy for me to do that again and again because all this was available on a single page. I could fill all these fields and review them with one quick look within seconds. So we come to the “Advanced Options” and “Click-through Link” hover buttons.
Advanced Options & Click-through Link
By making these options secondary the focus is on speed - drop a photo, maybe tag it, maybe add a line and quickly post it . Tumblr is already full of disembodied, uninformative, absurd posts that drain a lot of bandwidth but have little informative value (which is of course one of it’s charming sides) but I don’t think that way of blogging should be promoted even more. Bloggers who blog fast and don’t spend time filling out these few nerdy forms will do it quickly regardless of the design (or worse they will find an extension to do it even faster) so why make it harder for bloggers who want their posts to be more informative and SEO friendly? If I have to click 5 times more to fill all this out (and then if I’m not sure I did everything properly, click some more) to do the same thing I could do on a single page - that is not that intuitive.
Quick idea 01: Just add those fields to the existing expanding window to reduce the number of unnecessary clicks.
Quick idea 02: Create a new option in blog Settings where users can choose between “Basic” and “Advanced” post layout where the “Advanced” option will just have all those fields displayed.
▲ In Photo post - why not make the URL button transform into an editable text box in the same spot when clicked? Why have an extra pop-up balloon for that?
▲ I recently started making stupid videos. When I finish editing them and start rendering in the video editor (which takes time) I want to prepare a post while the video is rendering so that I can just browse the file, upload it and publish it. But now I have to first add the file (photo or video) before I can have the option to write a caption. This is forcing me to do something in a particular order which is too limiting and I can think of a number of scenarios where this will just make me angry.
All big changes to Tumblr’s functionality hurt in the beginning and the pain goes away within days. It is very important to know that people who are designing it want to make it better not worse so stop panicking.
I see a lot of people trying to discredit this update by saying that there are a lot of other previously known issues that are not being addressed but that is a silly way of criticizing Try to be constructive and focus on what this update covers. Yes, they didn’t fix the video player but that has nothing to do with this update and will be a subject of a future update of the video player. I guess when they work on that you will complain about something else so whatever.
Let us know
I think it was a mistake not to inform us that there is a big change coming just as we were informed about incoming maintenance shutdowns.
I get it that Tumblr wants to compete more with Twitter, Instagram and other ultra-fast platforms which is a good strategy for the future but this needs more tweaking and there will be more tweaking because tweaking towards perfection will never stop.
These are the first quick impressions I am sure I will write more about this. There are surely many aspects of it that I am not seeing this early but how do you feel about the redesign?