An Open Letter to Tumblr
Hello Tumblr. I love you. I really do. You are intuitive and addictive, which are often the most difficult things to be as a website. And unlike most of your users, I thought all of your recent UI changes were brilliant and long overdue. Being a former UX designer at YouTube, I can sympathize with putting in a ton of work and iterations to produce the best product possible, and only getting hate back. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still a few further improvements I think you could take into consideration.
(Please note that I’m using Tumblr in its normal desktop version and haven’t installed Missing E or any other plugins, so apologies if some of this is already covered there)
1. What if you Included an option to sort the homepage by original posts versus reblogs? When I wake up in the morning (and get my bowl and have cereal), I want to see what I missed on Tumblr overnight, but I’m mostly interested in people’s original content and it would take far less time to get caught up without having to scroll through the same photos being reblogged over and over and over again.
2. Along that note, feed filters seem like an obvious feature that is nowhere to be found. Why can’t we sort our feeds by text posts, photos, videos, etc.? And/or be able to create lists like in Twitter, so that if somebody you like posts so often that it drowns out other people’s content, they don’t need to overwhelm your main feed, but you could still see their posts in dashboard format, which is easier to read and scroll through than most Tumblr layouts.
3. Speaking of sorting, why can’t we sort notes on a post by whether they’re likes, reblogs, answers, etc.? Lots of likes on a post are nice, but it would also be nice to be able to see all of the reblogs that add their own comments without having to click Show More Notes a million times and scroll through a million likes to see all of the tangible responses.
4. I know that Tumblr blue is important to the brand, but why must the dashboard look exactly the same for everyone? I’m not saying you have to give us the option to upload custom backgrounds for the dashboard, since that would eat up a lot of server space without any improved functionality, but why not allow a color wheel to let us set the dashboard background to whatever color we choose?
5. Analytics! Why is it that the only stats we can see are our number of followers, posts, likes, and following? What about the total number of likes and reblogs on all of our posts? Or a list of our most popular posts? Or the total number of questions we’ve answered? Or graphs showing large influxes of followers and which posts they clicked Follow from? Or charts showing how many notes our text posts average compared to our photo posts and audio posts? The graphics on Tumblr are very well-designed already, and an in-depth analytics page in the same style could just be gorgeous.
So Tumblr, I hope you consider this constructive criticism. I really do like you, but making some of these changes would only make me want to cry out my love to you from the tallest rooftops. If you want to follow up with any of my suggestions, I’m always here at email@example.com. Happy designing, and I can’t wait to see the next changes you come out with.