These Are a Few of My Unfavorite Things

After my little rant the other day about the differences between MovableType and WordPress, I got thinking about more about their interfaces. In my argument I begged the question that MT’s interface is much slicker, but I’m sure some people feel otherwise. After the recent release of Shuttle, a redesign *yawn* of WordPress’ administration panel, I felt like maybe it’s time for MT users to air our dirty laundry about what we would keep and what we would throw to the curb from Movable Type’s interface.

Always happy to find a new rant, here’s a running tally of what I like and what I don’t:

MIGHTY DULL: Don’t get me wrong, I love the icons. Though 3.2 gave us quite a few visual improvements, the interface is purely functional and unfortunately a bit tired. As Mint taught us, good looks and hard working can get along quite nicely. It needs some polish and a hint of joy. You should be happy to see your MT control panel.

FIXED WIDTH INTERFACE: As much as I can appreciate the reasons for fixing the width of your UI, with so much data, a liquid layout is almost a must. See Gmail and Google Maps for more info

LOCATION CRISIS: Far too often I’ve pasted code into the wrong template box, which I’m especially prone to do with multiple instances of MT up. Some type of site avatar could be a simple way to avoid mixups for faster users. Or we could be lazy and just make the entry or template title stand out more.

NON SEQUITER: There are several little nuisances that just don’t make sense. Like being expected to know that clicking Showing All Entries would give you options to not show all entries. Or that clicking “Commenters” wouldn’t show you all commenters, only registered commenters.

UPLOAD FILE: Probably the weakest offering of MT, this needs a massive overhaul. Uploading a file using the “Upload File” button is like eating steak with a straw. It can be done, but it sure is difficult. I’ve yet to work with a client who understands the difference between popup with thumb, embedded with thumb, popup without thumb and embedded without thumb? And I’ve yet to find a plugin that gives strong file handling support in MT. It should be trashed. Or at least make it functional and do the RightFields thing and include an upload field on the entry page, which is what 99.9% of people would use it for anyhow.

TAGS, TAGS, TAGS: You may not like them, you may adore them, and you may just think they’re tantamount to mullets, but tags really give bloggers the power to break the rigid framework of categories.

NOTIFICATIONS: Another great example of “if you’re going to do it, at least do it right”. Default notifications in MT are like drinking Diet Coke at Burger King. Sure, you could use it, but it’s really there to make you feel warm and fuzzy about your CMS. Get Notifier-on-steroids integrated with the app for both RSS feeds and email notifications and then let’s start treating comments like the lifeblood they are to blogs. I shouldn’t have to learn coding to let people follow articles or even comments on my site. For that matter, how about a nice “RSS Feed” switch for categories, comments and blogs?

I’m sure more will come to me in the shower, but those are a start. I’m sure you all could think of better ones anyhow.

How about it? Am I the only one with MT pet peeves?