Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The New Blogger GUI Is Not Quite Ready For Prime Time

This week, we're seeing signs that Blogger is about to push the New Blogger GUI (2011) a step closer to reality.
In about two weeks from today, all Blogger accounts that haven’t yet made the switch will be upgraded to the new user interface. You will be able to opt-out at any time by clicking the “Switch back” link; however, all accounts will eventually be permanently upgraded.

For all the optimism, the New Blogger GUI (2011) just is not ready.


Collapsed BlogList
There does not seem to be any way to selectively designate blogs to be displayed, nor is the Classic GUI link to "Show all" or "View all blogs" visible - though there is now a link to show "Deleted blogs". The latter is an essential function, for people trying to un delete a previously deleted blog, or to locate a blog locked (righteously, or spuriously) as a suspected spam host.

Comment Settings
People who need to enable / disable the CAPTCHA, for commenting on their blogs, have to switch back to the Classic GUI, as there is no setting for commenting "word verification" in the New GUI.

Older Browsers
Recently, we see reports that older browsers will have a major problem, leaving some blog owners unable to use Blogger, at all.

Removal Of Blog Posts Gadget From Template Code
Occasionally, we may have a valid reason for removing the Blog Posts gadget from the template. In some cases, we need to reset the post template, and in other cases, we may have a duplicate Blog Posts gadget. Both cases have been reported as a problem, by people trying to use the Template editor, in the New Blogger GUI.

Fortunately, Switching Back Is Not Difficult
Right now, the process of switching back is (somewhat) painless. At the top right of the BlogList, and of each Dashboard page, you'll see the familiar gear icon. Selecting that, you get a dropdown menu, with "Old Blogger interface". Selecting that, you'll land directly on the Dashboard home display (losing your position in the settings for one selected blog), which is a bit annoying.

If you do not see a menu selection for "Old Blogger interface", you are probably using Draft Blogger. Click on the pulldown menu at the very top of the screen, next to your name, and select "Blogger profile". From the Profile Editor, un check "Make Draft Blogger my default".

Alternately, you may be able to use the Blogger Classic GUI Recovery URL.
www.blogger.com/opt-in-new-ui.g?useNewUi=false

We'll hope that Blogger at least resolves these setting deficiencies, before pushing this to everybody, by default.

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16 comments:

D.B. Echo said...

My biggest gripe is really just a minor one. I use Windows XP. IE9 will not run on Windows XP. So to properly use the new GUI, I need to switch to a different browser - Chrome, im my case, which gets pretty ugly when you use the zoom feature to make it more readable. But until I upgrade to a new operating system, that's where I'm stuck.

Chuck said...

D.B.,

That seems rather serious - if you're right and IE V8 won't run the New GUI. I went through Firefox V4, then V6 and finally V7 - and all 3 FF versions ran fine with the New GUI.

Maybe you should take this as a hint, and get out of IE - Chrome and Firefox are better choices anyway. See if the FF Zoom is less ugly.

Adam said...

I'm so disappointed about this. Earnestly provided tons of feedback, mostly abut bush-league errors in the UI.

As far as I can see they have not made any changes in response to feedback (to anyone's feedback) since the initial rollout last summer.

I have been down with every new thing Blogger has introduced, stuff like auto pagination and lightbox that ruffled a lot of feathers. I really try to get with the program, I mean, what is the alternative?

But I get a really bad feeling about this, especially after reading your post and the comments. Seems like every time the UI gets tweaked for any Google product nowadays it gets demonstrable worse--harder to use, more mouse clicks needed to do the same stuff, weirder navigation, etc.

Oh well.

Ultra Sequoia Semperviron said...

By a coincidence, when I tried to post a comment on this blog, it brought me to a page which is styled like the old interface. This may be an extension to the same problem, where the comment form style was just generally neglected rather than being completely updated.

Even without your changing the form style on this blog, I would expect that Blogger could at least give this comment page visual harmony with the rest of their interface.

Chuck said...

Sequoia,

This blog uses the full page comment form, because of the eternal third party cookies filtering problem. Until everybody stops filtering third party cookies, this is going to be the future.

The full page and popup commenting forms use the colour scheme of the Classic GUI. I suspect that re styling the commenting forms is not really high on the list.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2011/06/cookie-filtering-and-commenting-ability.html

Gerry said...

I still hope that they will darken the light blue color on the Layout page, because on my new LED monitor it is virtually invisible. I noted this on their feedback form, but they still have not corrected it.

Harold Shaw Jr. said...

Also you cannot delete labels using the new interface (at least I haven't figured out how) and I have to go back to the old U/I to do it.

Any suggestions?

Cloudia said...

yes, please be sensitive to less tech-savy bloggers. Thanks


Aloha from Waikiki;

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Jan's Funny Farm said...

Also, where did the links to Picasa and Google Reader in the dashboard go? I really dislike the new "dashboard."

I tried a number of times to leave feedback and until the other day, it would never take it.

Meredith said...

Also noticed that it was impossible to create a new blog using the new layout, since the pop out screen would not scroll down. A simple adjustment would prevent people from having to switch BACK to the old interface just to start a new blog!!

Meredith

Oral Fix Pocast said...

I have a podcast that I started in June and its taking off like wildfire! Now, just to inconveniently Blogger has not included a way to add enclosures to our posts! The old interface has this feature.

I feel very confused, fustrated and now helpless! Its not fair that we have given a last notice regarding access to the old interface. Its an eviction notice for me.

Especially since I've asked for helped in forums and sent numerous feedback on this issue to Blogger!

I love Google and its services. If I have to pay to have the "enclosure feature" in this new UI they are giving us I will be happy to! I rather pay Google to host my site than Square Space!

Ralph J Boumenot said...

I use 3 computers to write/view my blog. 1 is my home computer and 2 are at work. I was using the work computers to proof-read and post my blog every morning before I started working. Can't do that now because I updated to the new interface (at home) and my work compters can not be upgraded. I can view the present posting of my blog at work but if I try to do anything else the blog closes and dumps me out. This is un-excusable in IMO. Not having backwards use/compatiblity sucks. And I have to live with the new interface because as much as people say there the "switch back" link I can't find it. Moot point as the blog stated that everyone will be forced to use the new interface. I think I'll look at Word Press and see how that operates.
not very happy about this

Chuck Croll said...

Ralph,

Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of each screen - and select "Old Blogger interface".

Bill D. Courtney said...

Yea, and what the still as of today lack of option for creating link enclosures for podcasters? the total lack of discussion on this from Blogger.Goggle is not a good thing.

Chuck Croll said...

Bill,

Link enclosures are apparently not available in The New GUI yet - but they are provided as a FeedBurner accessory - and possibly, are better designed under FeedBurner.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2011/12/new-gui-does-not-support-podcasting.html

Cecelia said...

Thanks for posting the 'how to' on going back to the old interface. Really helpful.