Some feedback: WordPress reader on desktop

Navigation in reader

  • There are no visible cues hinting at ability to navigate from one expanded post to the next (or previous).
  • Navigating back to the post list (using back button), and then to next post makes it slow, and click heavy.
  • Keyboard shortcuts work, but there are again no visible cues indicating even their presence.

Keyboard shortcuts

  • No visible hints that any keyboard shortcuts exist
    • Keyboard shortcut discoverability is solely by trial and error, or ‘Google’
    • Traditionally, pressing ‘?’ (in, say, GMail or Pocket) brings up relevant shortcuts modal. Doesn’t work in reader.
    • One suggested hint could be to place a keyboard icon next to the help (?) icon, at the bottom, in the left navigation bar.
  • Navigation shortcuts
    • j/k navigate to next/previous post as expected. However, the more ‘lay’ user-friendly left-arrow/right-arrow versions don’t.
    • esc key works the same as browser’s back button – navigating back through history stack (i.e. going back to last viewed post).
      • A better (expected) implementation would be to jump out of expanded-post view to the posts list view, ideally scrolled to the last viewed post.
  • Like keyboard shortcut, l, works as expected. Adding f as an additional activator would be useful – a lot of platforms use favourite as an alternative to like, and some users may be more behaviourally trained to press f instead of l

Trello labels – UI delight!

Trello Is Gold!

A few weeks back when Trello announced their unlimited labels update, I wrote a post about how it broke my usage pattern by significantly increasing keystrokes required to label cards.

Just discovered, by mistake, an even faster way to label than I’ve ever used before. Not sure if this is new, or I was just doing it the harder way all this time.

When hovering over a card, or with a card open, just press the number(s) of all the labels you want to toggle. No need to prepend it with ‘L’ at all!

Here’s how the keystroke count (from the earlier post) looks now.

Target: toggle labels 1 & 3.

My old usage pattern: 4 keystrokes (L + 1 + 3 + Enter)

Forced usage pattern after unlimited labels update: 6 keystrokes (L + 1 + Enter + L + 3 + Enter)

New usage pattern: 2 keystrokes (1 + 3)

Simply put, the number of keystrokes to toggle N labels has gone from N+2, to 3N to just N.

I’m not just pleased, I’m positively delighted! My love, respect, and addiction, for Trello just keeps on increasing!

Trello label upgrade – UI fine tuning

Trello, probably my favourite software out there, implemented an awesome new feature today – unlimited labels. Before today, users were restricted to the 6 system defined labels. We could rename them to what they meant for us, but couldn’t add new ones. This handicap was removed today.

Thanks for the unlimited labels, team Trello!

However, this upgrade also breaks a very useful keyboard ui pattern.

Earlier, I could press L (shortcut for label interface), followed by digits (codes) of all the labels I wanted added, and be done with labeling a card in one go.

Now, I need to press L, followed by label digit, followed by enter, for each label separately. Adding 3 labels to a card went from 5 key strokes to 9 strokes. Makes it harder, tiresome.

I understand the need to break the earlier pattern because of the possibility of double digit label numbers. These would make it impossible to decipher if L13 meant apply labels 1 & 3, or apply label 13.

My suggested alternative: reduce the number of custom labels from UNLIMITED to 26. Then you can use alphabets as codes for custom labels. Now L1C could mean apply labels 1 & C, while L13 would continue to mean apply label 1 & 3.

I hope 26+6 labels would be sufficient for most use cases though the teams at Trello would have better data to check the hypothesis.

Would love to hear views of Trello UX, design teams.

And, thanks for an awesome product!

Keyboard Shortcuts – Google & WordPress

My dear Google & WordPress overlords,

We need to talk about something. Keyboard Shortcuts.

I like both your products. And even if you refuse, despite all the frustration, I will keep using both your products. Yet, I request you, as I must, to please spare me, and thousands of others, the misery of trying to recall two different sets of keyboard shortcuts. Please, our dear software overlords, shower us with some of your infinite kindness, and reconcile your keyboard shortcuts for compose boxes/areas/windows, and anything else they may be used for.

As a frequent user of Gmail, Google Drive Documents & Sheets, as well as WordPress, I’m quite tired of remembering 2 different sets of shortcuts. I’m bored with pressing Ctrl-K in WordPress, expecting an insert/edit link box to appear, and of pressing Alt-Shift-O in Gmail and wondering why an ordered list wouldn’t appear.

So I, your devoted user, humbly request you to please have pity on my puny brain, and reconcile your respective sets of keyword shortcuts for text composition. 

Yours, and yours only,

Adi.

Continue reading Keyboard Shortcuts – Google & WordPress