I receive a lot of comments, emails and questions on WordPress and we try to answer them all as succinctly and as quickly as possible. However, there is one question that I receive over and over again that I do did not have a quick and painless answer for. Professional designers and web developers who help small businesses and individuals with their custom WordPress needs have been telling me that some of their clients are worried about the new WordPress 2.7 and the hype surrounding it. The completely new WordPress 2.7 admin interface scares some of their clients to the point that they are worried about switching. They are worried that the backend will continue to change and become unfamliar and different with every new release and their blogging lives will be made more difficult with each future upgrade. I have tried to allay the fears in my replies with examples of how blogging tasks will get easier in 2.7 with screenshots and writeups on various blogs and review sites. What they really needed was a quick, simple and effective way to communicate how much better this new admin interface really is and what has been done to make bloggers’ lives simpler and WordPress easier and more fun to use. What they needed was a WordPress 2.7 trailer.
The Automattic team (thanks Jane!), has posted just that on the WordPress.com blog. This time, it’s personal has a nice and short video to answer those questions and alleviate the FUD. I love the trailer-like commentary on the video. If you are one of those that have received such questions and/or concerns from your clients, I suggest you use the video well and use it often.
I cannot wait for the WordPress 2.7 release! My dad is an avid blogger on WordPress but is not very technically inclined at all. He loved the new 2.7 interface when I showed it to him and it seemed so intuitive to him that he found everything he had used in the past without any fumbling at all.
Are you or one of your clients in this boat? Do you have any other material that can help reduce the fear of upgrading to WordPress 2.7?
[EDIT] For those that are looking for more detailed information on the thinking and design process that went into WordPress 2.7, here are a few links to blog posts, videos and walkthroughs from the past months. If you have other links to share, please leave and comment and we will add them to this list.
Usability Testing Report: 2.5 and CrazyHorse
The New 2.7 Dashboard
The Visual Design of 2.7
WordPress 2.7 wireframes
Comprehensive Codex Article on WordPress 2.7
WordPress Development Updates from Jane Wells
WordPress Usability Testing in New York
WordPress 2.7 UI Configurability from Ryan Boren
Customizable Post Editing Screen from Mark Jaquith
WordPress 2.7 Navigation Survey from Jane Wells
Shortcuts/Favorites Menu from Jane Wells
CrazyHorse Presentation at WordCamp SF
WordPress 2.7 Walkthrough by Matt
WordPress 2.7 and beyond from Matt at WordCamp Utah