robot-heart shares some thoughts on the recent Tumblr dashboard alterations.
Everybody hates change. Even folk who say they clamor for change. And when it comes, even many of those who champion it, then deride it. Especially in the realm of software applications.
Which is why usually I am hesitant to criticize such enhancement efforts, at least until some period of time has elapsed in which I can acclimate to the “new ways”.
Not that this “refresh” was overarching — it just shuffled some blocks around, fine-tuned some element aesthetics and introduced some new doodads.
Now, having laid out some befitting disclaimers, let me simply state: I wonder if Tumblr developers actually use Tumblr. At any level approaching its most ardent users? Last year, it was the clown shoe mangling of the queue, where it was rendered impossible to move a queued post to the top or bottom, and exceedingly difficult to even drag and drop one spot above or below if the post contains more than a hearty paragraph. And the redesigned interface is useless on mobile devices (an aside, is it possible to publish posts from the Tumblr queue with the Tumblr iOS app? — I have not been able to figure out how to do that).
I would enumerate the UI problems with the new “dashboard”, but I would simply be echoing what robot-heart has stipulated in her pair of posts. Except that the display glitch she illustrates on “Search my posts” is not present on my display(s) — perhaps it is a browser/OS quirk or maybe it has been quickly remedied. I will expound slightly and express that I should absolutely not need a second click (to select a blog from the top row) to get to my queue (when on the Tumblr “Dashboard”). And the inclusion of avatar images for each note is not only noisy clutter, but I suspect the mobile experience to be bedeviled with the added weight (again, the default mobile dashboard does not allow me to publish from the queue).
Finally, a take on tags. When introduced, I was enthusiastic, believing Tumblr was to incorporate, merge, and integrate the wondrous utility of del.icio.us with the coolness of Tumblr. But now I surmise that my assumption was incorrect, and it was more a formula for directing handcrafted curating of “common” generic tag buckets (i.e., “Politics”, “Long Reads”, “News”, “Fashion”, etc.…). If so, that is a bit dejecting as most of that relatively small set of commonplace collection tag fare is not as interesting as the profuseness of novel tags, each carving out a dedicated niche. Also, I have noted that non-commonplace tag usage is not reflected accurately or completely in the generated tag boards. In example, I have employed some unique tags and do not see posts I intentionally tagged as such appear in the given “tumblr.com/tagged/” pages.