Perhaps I’m still not used to it yet, but I find wordpress.com very difficult to navigate. I admit that coming from blogging websites such as tumblr and blogspot.com, using this format is almost overbearing with how much it is capable of. This is good of course because the site has so much potential, but figuring out what does what can be time consuming and irritating.
The landing page does show that the users goals can be accomplished and the essential content and functions are available, however there are so many functions and so much content that it makes finding the desired function difficult. Each function has its priority, however I do not seem to find the logic of their priorities. Normally when a person creates a blog, they choose a them and then set it. Why then, is the wordpress store the second to top priority on the dashboard? Why not just have it listed under “Appearance.” I understand this is where part of the site’s income is generated, but from a user’s standpoint, this does not make me want to change my theme anymore than normal. Another priority I do not understand is why comments is listed halfway down the page. A blogging website should have interaction between users as a high priority, and while there is a notification for new comments that are received, I would place the whole section higher up on the dashboard.
Navigation is the biggest problem I face with wordpress. When a user is viewing their “reader” (Why not just call it a newsfeed, timeline, blogroll, etc) All of their options are available on the right hand side of the screen with only a few main options across the banner on the top. According to the Eye Track Map on page 326 of our book, the right side of the screen is the last place the eye visits. I understand that this makes the blog posts from other users one of the first things seen on the website, however, if someone wants to read the blog posts of the people they already elected to follow, they will look for them and make those posts a priority.
Another thing I do not understand about navigation is why the “Freshly Pressed” tab is listed across the top banner and under the “reader” on the right hand side. This tab, regardless of which section it is clicked, takes the user to a page of recently published sponsored blogs, none of which are relevant to what each individuals blog is about. While I think pages like this on blogging websites are neat ways to explore and find new blogs, I don’t think having the page listed in two of the most prime bits of real estate on a website is necessary.
Credit where credit is due, wordpress.com is very good at presentation. The font is clear, clean and simple, and the colors used give the website some depth without being overbearing. The site, on some pages, uses proper website design (three columns with a banner across the top.) It also does create trust with its users. There is always a search icon in the top right corner of the dashboard and any posts that become published incorrectly can be edited. However privacy settings are not accessible on any of the main pages.