WordPress Usability Gripe

Argh! Enough WordPress! After several months of blogging with you I now have to vent my frustration of your poor user experience for the task of inserting an image into a post. You would think it would be easy just to insert a picture wouldn’t you? Well it turns out it isn’t quite so simple… Here’s how I do it:

1)  Select the ‘Add an image’ icon

This is the far left square box. If you hover over it, it helpfully says ‘Add an image’. Thankyou.



2)  Choose the file you want to add by using the ‘Select Files’ button. Simple.



3)  Now the file name will appear. You assume that because it is now shown on the page that it has been uploaded, but actually there is another 2 or 3 second delay before it is uploaded and the rest of the form appears. During this delay I often find myself automatically pressing the ‘Select Files’ button again to (obviously) select the file I thought I’d just uploaded.  Fail! This takes you back to the upload dialogue.



4)  The form appears. I have learnt that it isn’t necessary to complete all the many fields it presents you with so often I do just skip these. Then I automatically click the big button at the bottom which I assume is the final ‘yep that’s it I’m done, Save it’ but NOOOO this takes you to some library and doesn’t insert the picture! The big button at the bottom just conned you into doing the wrong action! Damn you WordPress! On other sites the bigger button at the end is always the final ‘I’m done’ button. Consistency please!


As you can see, the actual button you need to press is slightly higher up and is labelled ‘Insert into Post’. It’s position with the border of the upload box suggests it is an option and not a ‘DO’ button. Just in case you do find it, there is a nice ‘Delete’ link placed right next to it just to try and catch you out at that final moment. Even though I learnt this weeks ago, it is still catching me out. After just choosing to ‘Add an image’ into my post why would the main action be to Save it to my library? The big ‘PRESS ME’ button on this page should be to insert the picture. 

Lesson learnt:

Think about what the user has pressed to initially carry out the task and ensure that you design for this task from start to end.

WordPress have tried to incorporate multiple actions (upload and insert) into the same dialogue and it doesn’t work. They assume that most users want to upload and not insert a picture. Thus they have chosen to give emphasis via placement to the ‘Save’ button. The end result is the user is caught out and frustrated. They may not even know why they went wrong which reflects badly on your site.

One thought on “WordPress Usability Gripe

  1. whatisinyourhand says:

    Thank you for the heads up on this!
    Poor interface design, no doubt.

    Additional uglies: OK, so having uploaded an image
    (perhaps several times) it still remains a mystery to
    me how to insert one of those images into a post (or page)
    {aha, figured this one out, despite the bad UI design}

    or how to get rid of the extraneous images so that the
    inserted page has the intended name without an appended
    number, enumerating the number of failed attempts.

    There is a place where images can be deleted from the
    gallery, but subsequent uploads of the same filename still
    end up with an appended digit, revealing that the deletion
    was actually a deception – the unwanted files remain.

    It is reasonable to expect that re-uploading a file will overwrite
    the previous contents. If this is not the case, and some other
    deviant behaviour has been substituted as the norm, this raises
    the question of how to handle multiple references to a file.
    If I have many pages that all refer to a single file, and I re-upload
    a revision of that file, and it is auto-renamed and instanced on
    whatever page I uploaded it on, do I have to manually seek out
    and fix all references, both internal and external? Too nutty!
    What is the answer to this?

    Some images can be zoomed to more than 100% – others not.

    Apparently the Add New editor window allows formatting which
    the underlying system doesn’t support…

    OK, I freely admit I’ve got some newbyitis going on, but (so far)
    this WP is like picking my nose with mittens on…
    It’s hard to imagine getting good at driving this thing when all
    the controls seem to have so much slop in them

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