Saturday, June 30, 2012

The World Wide Blogger Culture, And Date Formatting Under The New GUI

Since Blogger took the next step with The New Blogger GUI a few months ago, and made it The Default Blogger GUI, complaints about the New GUI have been numerous, and impassioned. One complaint, seen occasionally, mentions the date / time setting wizard, in the Post Editor "Post settings" Schedule.
In the new blogger interface, it is very hard to backdate content. You have to use the calendar GUI, you can't just type a date it. I have content going back 13 years, do you know how hard it is to click the left-arrow on the calendar 144 times to get to the proper date??? It's a nightmare!
This is one person who needs a more flexible date setting wizard, in The New GUI.

In criticising the new date setting wizard, we need to understand the reasons for the design. I don't think that Blogger designed the new wizard, and removed the ability to just type the date, simply because they wanted the new wizard to look shiny.

Since Blogger gave us the ability to compose posts now, and have them published some time in the future, there have been problems with scheduled posts not publishing properly. Both posts published too early, and posts never published, have been the source of many complaints. The reason for many of these complaints were not obvious, however.

When Blogger offered us the scheduled posts option in 2008, they made the ability to schedule posts quite simple. Unfortunately, they did not observe that the entire world does not type the date in the same way. Many scheduling problems were caused by people who did not enter the date properly.

Now that more people are using The New Blogger GUI, and the new date setting wizard, we are seeing significantly less complaints about posts not publishing at the right time (or at all). A large part of the reduction of such complaints, I believe, is due to the design of the new date setting wizard, which does not allow typing of the date - but forces you to explicitly select the month and year by sequential selection - and eliminates the ambiguity.

Unfortunately, this ignores the needs of people who wish to back date (or forward date) by large time spans. So, Blogger needs to make the date setting wizard just a bit more flexible.

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3 comments:

D.B. Echo said...

Seems like drop-down boxes - with months named rather than numbered - might be the solution.

runway14 said...

And now, what is the message of your lenghty post, except that the date setting wizard is a mess, what we all already know?

Traxy said...

I was thinking drop-down boxes too, or to have the date setting according to what the region the blog is specified as belonging to, e.g. if it's the UK, DD/MM/YYYY, if it's Sweden YYYY/MM/DD, if US MM/DD/YYYY. And then I thought drop-down boxes would be a lot easier. ;)

For me, I'm not having to back- or forward-date my posts so far that it becomes an issue, but the issue I have is that there's no ability to schedule posts from the Blogger Android app. If I write a post on my smartphone but don't want to publish it there and then, I'll have to save it as a draft and schedule it for publication next time I'm on a computer.