Human nature dictates that we often resist change.
This is most definitely true for changes made to online platforms / solutions that we use on a daily basis and it is not unusual for ‘improvements’ to be met with a chorus of uproar and complaints about how usability has suffered. Sometimes, this is most definitely warranted (Google Analytics 4 – I am thinking of you!) but most whinging usually subsides once users have got over the 4 minute learning curve that is required to work out where familiar features are now to be found.
I cannot deny, however, that my heart skipped a beat when I was presented with the following splash screen for the new Yoast 20.0 version, which rolled out this week:
As an aside, if you use WordPress, you should definitely use Yoast. It is one of the most popular and proven plugins available on WordPress. It really does make it very easy to take care of some simple SEO considerations and helps you get basic on-page optimisation in good shape.
When I read prompts like ‘fresh new look’ and ‘easier than ever’, the anxiety starts to rear its ugly head. I can hear the inner demons cackling away at the spectre of hours of frustration trying to work out how to do simple things that I have been doing for years. In this particular case, the sound of laughter was further amplified by the next slide in the mini introduction:
Oh no – please help me! I don’t want things to be moved around and my bet is that it really won’t be ‘much easier’ to find the most important settings. Warnings like this tend to actually mean ‘we got bored and decided to overhaul everything so that it is much harder to use, without actually offering any benefit to our users’.
Well, I am very happy to report that Yoast 20.0 is a very decent update and I do find that it is very intuitive to use and have not yet torn out any of the hairs that remain on my head. Everything feels fresh, but in a good way and I have not run into any problems at all regarding finding what I am looking for. The search box at the top of the new menu is also very effective, helping to isolate particular features that you search for.
A very positive end to a good week, so thank you very much to the team at Yoast for rolling out a fairly chunky overhaul that has clearly had usability at the core of the update. It is very refreshing to see and very welcome.
Have a great weekend folks.