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How usable is WordPress? (Part VI – The User Test)

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Blogging has become a very popular online activity. A host of free and low-cost tools have grown to accommodate writers of all kinds – from hobbyists to diarists, from professionals to government officials and beyond. Blogs are attached to social networking software, or can be started for events, such as the project at that helps patients and their families set up blogs in medical emergencies. As blogging software tools are increasingly able to integrate with other kinds of Web-based software – such as social networking platforms (like Facebook), photosharing applications (like Flickr), microblogging tools (like Twitter), social bookmarking sites (like Delicious) – some have argued that blogging platforms are becoming more like Content Management Systems (CMS) than simply spaces for chronologically displayed text.

Blogging software has typically been seen as very basic and easy to use. A cognitive walkthrough of three popular platforms  – WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad – found that there are indeed possible areas of improvement for blogging interfaces, and also that of the three, WordPress seemed to be the most flexible, scalable, and extensible for a serious and robust blog that may, over time, need functions more commonly found in a CMS. As online content grows, and individuals continue to blend the traditional static Web site with the interactivity of blogging, time is ripe to reconsider if blogging software is actually as easy to navigate as has been assumed. In the below document, a User Study of’s interface is conducted and analyzed.

Read the full WordPress User Study here (pdf)

Or, you can move on into the first version of a “redesign” (suggested improvements) in Is WordPress Usable part VII: rough paper prototypes.

This post is part of the ten-part series called Is WordPress Usable?

The series documents my learning process in attempting to systematically identify usability problems in, and suggest improvements to, the blogging software as might be done in the emerging field of User Experience.  This project was undertaken as part of LIS590IIL, a class held in the Graduate School of Library and Informaton Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois during Fall of 2009.


Written by nicolibrarian

November 11, 2009 at 5:44 am