Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blogger's White Screen of Death

Blogger's slow transition to a new user interface (for bloggers, that is) has produced many bugs and problems.

One experienced blogger recently described the "White Screen of Death," in which the new Blogger engine sometimes hangs while trying to load the dashboard.

However, the real White Screen of Death is the new interface itself, in which related page elements (graphics and text) are scattered

and yon
in super tiny sizes

and in low-contrast pastels, on a vast white background.

The White Screen of Death has already attracted howls of protest, especially (though not exclusively) from bloggers who are visually impaired. WSOD effects are especially acute on large-screen monitors, where the new design uses all the screen real estate instead of organizing things compactly.

The problem is exacerbated by the use of harder-to-read printer fonts (such as Ariel and Helvetica) instead of eye-friendly screen fonts (such as Verdana and Trebuchet). This is web-design 101 stuff that Blogger used to know.

There are other problems with the new interface, but these are emblematic of a faddish disregard for basic design principles.

It's still no longer possible to choose the old interface. , but eventually Blogger has retired that option will be withdrawn and everyone will be has been force-marched to the new look and feel.

To revert back (for now) from the new to the old, choose the old interface from the gear-cog menu on the dashboard. Right now I recommend this, if only to avoid outright bugs in the new technology.

Thanks to unrelated problems in the underlying technologies that Blogger is also deploying, the April 2012 date for final mandatory rollout has been pushed back.

Presumably Blogger will fix these technical bugs (which have nothing to do with the design of the user interface) and terminate the old UI.

There's not a whole lot we bloggers can do other than watch this train wreck unfold.

For the record, you can register your protests here. But do not hold your breath.

If this blog gave a Too Clever By Half award, these awful design decision would be a leading contender.


  1. Me too join. Please.
    Unable to understand, why not add new features to Old Dashboard ?
    Thanking You for the take-up.

  2. HEAR! HEAR!!

    GooGle hates their users. It is the only reason that makes sense.

    PS: Do you know you have that appalling Word Verification on? I'll fight through it if I have something to say, but a lot of people won't, and more than a few can't. FWIW.

    1. I was getting so much spam here (and not on my other blog for some reason) that I had to take steps.

      Since then the CAPTCHA that Blogger uses has become horribly difficult. I'll try turning it off to see what happens.

    2. I can understand that. But if you're going to moderate comments, there really isn't any need for anything else. (unless you have an automated 'approval' process or something, which would just be weird)