WordPress Are You Listening? Fix Your iOS Experience.

I just spent 30 or so minutes composing a post using the WordPress App for iOS on my iPad. As I was wrapping up I began to insert images into the post only to have about half of them fail. Apparently the latest update to the app has broken the insert image feature. If you select more than two, it will fail to upload all of them to the WordPress servers. Along with this, the app no longer posts to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

I have been a WordPress user for six years now, and for the most part a huge fan. When working correctly it is a powerful content management tool, that is far more robust than Blogger, or SquareSpace in my opinion. Note that I said “When working correctly”. WordPress if you are listening, you need to take note of the following constructive criticism.

About a week ago WordPress updated its desktop authoring environment with a new simplified editor. As the screen takes what seems like days to load yu are greeted with the juvenile “Beep, beep, boop” phrase. If and when the page finally loads, there are far fewer options than the old editor, a confusing UI, and a slightly cleaner look. WordPress must know that they have issues, because in the upper right corner of the screen they have a link that takes you back to the classic editing environment, which I have done every day since they rolled out the new set up.  This isn’t such a big deal for me, well not a big deal until they get rid of the classic editor and force us to use the new one. At that point I’ll probably drop WordPress and move on. Yes that is how much I dislike it.

I chose WordPress because it was billed as a professional tool. Because 6 years ago and earlier it had recieved so much good press and reviews from people y that used it daily, and because even businesses were using it do to the robust tool set and depth of professional themes. The latest update feels like they have rolled it back to amature hour. I get ease of use. I get clean simple design. I get streamlined UI. What I don’t get, is “Beep, beep, boop” and the removal or hiding of tool sets.

Now lets talk iOS.

WordPress for the iPad is a joke. There is no other way to say it. It’s horrible. The app is so bad that with each new update they break something new. In the latest version they broke image uploads, social media hooks, spell check, categories, and more. They failed to fix the ability to embed video from Vimeo, or YouTube.  With each update the iOS app has remained unstable, buggy, and feature broken. With each update WordPress says it has done “Bug Fixes”, but with each apparent fix, they have introduced even more.

WordPress in Safari, or Chrome on iOS is no better. The pages do not load correctly, even when you “Request Desktop Site” in Chrome. The editor simply doesn’t load correctly. Simple things like scrolling, and selecting don’t work. Embedding images and video is difficult, and the overall experience is just goofed. Even simple acts like selecting a line of text don’t work well. It’s so bad that if I have to use my iPad, i now have a multi-step workflow that involves drafts, and multiple apps.

The first step is to write all the text out in the Pages and copy the text.

Step two, go to the WordPress app, create a new post and paste.

Step three, save the draft.

Step four go to Safari and open the draft.

Step five embed video and save the draft.

Step six, go back to WordPress, open the draft, embed any images one at a time.

Step seven, select the image tag, cut, go to the insert point I want the image to appear and paste. (Yes the iOS app doesn’t embed images at the place where your cursor is. It embeds everything at the bottom of the post. Another fix needed) Save the draft.

Step eight. Launch Chrome, and spell check. Save the draft.

Step nine launch Safari, open the draft, and publish.

WordPress are you listening. This is an excercise in frustration. You need to step it up and fix your product. Fix it, test it, and then roll it out. Right now it feels like your dev team is just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks.

The Selfie Obsessed Olympus EPL7.

In a selfie obsessed world where even the spirit of Narcissus is tired of seeing people pop photos of themselves , Olympus has announced the EPL-7 camera with all the selfie shooters in mind. The tech spec on the camera are all over the internet, and as a camera goes, this looks like a pretty solid micro 4/3 system. What is cracking me up though is the marketing materials on YouTube that they have created. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s just me being grumpy, but these videos make me say “Get a life. Get some friends and take pictures of them instead of narcissistic yourself. It makes for far more interesting images.” Watching this woman snap shots of her own mug, by herself, while making kissy faces at the camera, just makes me want to laugh. The thing is though, this angle might actually work, with those people that are selfie obsessed and want more than what their smartphone has to offer. For the complete EPL7 selfie channel, click here.

Jason’s Big Brother.

The short film below by Savannah College of Art and Design student  is one of the Cartoon Brew Student Film Fest finalist, and it’s great. The short film has a solid story, and a great look. Even though the film has a distinct CG look to it, that look never takes away from the underlying story, message and overall charm of the film. Modeling was done in the open source software Blender with animations being done in Maya and post in Nuke. The result is a very, very strong student film. Every time I see what students are turning out these days, it makes me want to go back to college.

That Eighties Design Look is Back.

You might not have noticed it, or you might not be aware of it because you didn’t live through it the first time around, but the eighties are back. Over the last couple of years there has been a slow growth of a very 1980’s aesthetic inching it’s way back into graphic design, and especially the motion graphics side of things. The colors. textures, retro-styled graphics and illustrations that all feel somewhat digital, but have that look that seems to blend stop motion styling with a kind of eight bit quality. the look reminds me of the old school days of the Quantel Paintbox and Newtek’s Video Toaster. There is a “New Wave” thing happening and I have mixed feelings about it. Part of it waxes nostalgic, and part of it makes me say “uh oh here comes the tacky”. When it’s done right it works, when it isn’t, look out. Below is the opening title sequence for the 2014 Motion Conference created by State Design, and this clip gets it right. It has a freshened up approach to an old school look. It definitely gives a nod to the 1980’s, yet manages to come off with a fresh approach and style that I predict is going to flood your media channels in coming months.

Get Ready To Be Hypnotized at IKEA.

In less than 30 days IKEA is opening here in the Kansas City area. The city has been trying to get an IKEA store for years, so the hype around the grand opening has been pretty hot. I’m a fan of IKEA but I won’t be going to the new store until the hype wears off a bit, and massive crowds settle down. That doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention to the clever IKEA marketing ideas that the company continues to roll out though. About a week ago IKEA launched a new campaign called “The IKEA Time Travel Experiments” as an online video series. The series features customers that get hypnotized and then interact with actors that represent the future.

The two videos below show the trailer, and episode 1 that launched on August 20th. In episode 1 a couple is taken 12 years into the future. The overall theme of the campaign is to try and create an engaging form of entertainment, that captures and holds the online audience, hopefully getting them to engage by clicking through to the IKEA site at the end. With over 200,000 views in a week, the campaign has the potential to go viral. What would be interesting to see is how many people go to an IKEA store in hopes of becoming a participant, or witnessing this live.

 

Grilled.

Grill is the latest furniture design from Zeren Saglamer. It is a beautiful combination of line, shape and form, in a half solid, half hollow visual that combines a cage like structure with a solid surface. The solid surface is available in either Carrara marble, teak, or walnut and is combined with a black metal frame that doubles as a hanging rack for reading materials. The look of the piece is stunning especially when seen against a white or solid color surface with the grid creating optically vibrating field that is in juxtaposition to the calm of the solid surface. Based in Istanbul, Salamer  has a background in industrial design as well as fine art. She is the head of XS Design studio who specialize in furniture, industrial design, lighting and interiors.

If you want it and you have $1300.00 to spare,  Grill is available through Selectivism.

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Havana Lamps.

Jonathan Adler has a knack for creating designs that feel fresh, yet are heavily rooted in classic mid-century modern aesthetics. The Havana lamp is no exception to the rule. When I first saw this I thought about the pendant lamps, and table top lamps that my parents had in our house growing up in the 60’s. Our lamps were 1960’s avocado green with white interiors, but the basic shape and stands were very similar. Adler has taken that classic mid century design and updated it with modern materials, and a laser cut pattern to give these lamps a fresh yet familiar look for manufacturer Robert Abbey. One of the things that is so appealing to me about this series of lamps is the feeling of familiarity, combined with materials that give it a fresh new look.

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