WordPress.com says “Goodbye IE6″
This past week WordPress.com rolled out a spiffy Dashboard interface update to its users and with it officially dropped support for IE6*. Don’t get me wrong. If you’ve read my earlier post on IE6, you know this makes me happy, although it seems not everyone is.(What is it they say about behind every joke lies a kernel of truth?)
I love the new Dashboard, a lot. It’s cleaner, clearer and much easier to navigate. The only real caveat I have is when using it on my netbook. Before the redesign there were two points along the left menu sidebar where one could collapse the menus to icons to reclaim some screen real estate (very important when using a netbook). Now there’s only one and it’s at the very bottom of the menu list. If there are menus open on my netbook, even using Chrome, which has more screen real estate above the fold to begin with, this can involve a serious bit of scrolling to get to. Reintroducing that second collapse point above the fold would make a great redesign perfect.
The Admin bar also has gain a new feature when you are in your Dashboard. The button that was located at the top of the screen where you could click to straight away write a new post or page has been replaced by a new button in the Admin bar instead. A very simple, but elegant, functional change.
But the real excitement in the Dashboard redesign announcement was saved for the new “Distraction-free” writing mode when in the Visual or HTML Editor. Distraction free it is. Nothing but you, your keyboard and, except for your words, a near-empty screen. Being someone who is more visual than literal this is going to take me some time to get used to!
(Also hidden in that new Support doc was an Easter Egg in the shape of “SimplyNoise“. The “brown noise” with low oscillation is close enough to the sound of ocean surf at the beach, a sound I sorely missed when we were living abroad and landlocked, and am completely addicted to.)
*Updated: If you are one of those few people still using IE6, check out “Browse Happy” to review different browser choices and upgrade your Internet experience.