I just spent an entire hour writing a post out on your platform, and you deleted it. It was a good [enter F*#% bomb here] post, too. But the world will never get to read it now, because you deleted it. Why? Because I tried to add a link into my post. A silly little link. Something as small as that made you go totally [enter second F*#% bomb here] haywire on me.
How many other bloggers’ thoughts do you suck up into your abyss of design flaws and general brokenness?
I’ve been trying really hard to like you. I really wanted us to be friends. But this isn’t the first time this has happened—which is why I’m so incredibly frustrated now. It’s making me feel as frustrated as this kid today:
Wasting my time. And to be honest, I’ve had enough.
If I were to keep you as my blogging platform, that would be akin to staying in an emotionally abusive relationship. It might be the easier thing to do, but I’d just be wasting valuable time, and would end up frustrated and crying in the end.
You’ve taught me something really important about user experience today: if you’re going to offer ANYTHING, you need to deliver on the promises you make.
The mission statement on your About page says this:
"Effortless" is the opposite of how I’d describe my experience of using Tumblr.
As an editor, I’d get fired if I didn’t edit and publish content. Thankfully, the content I have to publish for work is done via WordPress. Small miracles.
So, why should it be okay for you to have MAJOR design flaws that make for an extremely frustrating user experience, which goes almost directly against your mission statement?
I don’t know about you, but as a once-loyal user, that confuses the hell out of me.
If I would get fired for not doing my job, you should, too.
So this is your metaphorical pink slip. This is your two weeks’ notice.
P.S. I wrote this letter draft in WordPress because I knew you’d probably break on me and delete everything.
P.P.S. Thanks for giving me a reason to start happy hour early today.
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For anyone reading this post, you can hate Tumblr, love Tumblr…whatever. The takeaway has nothing to do with Tumblr.
The takeaway is this: If you’re out there building something—anything—make sure it works. Do your research. Figure out how people use and want to use your products and services. Understand the purpose. Stick to your mission. I’m not a big believer in saying “yes” to every product change or feature request, but you know what the litmus test is?
If a design flaw or gap is moving you further away from achieving your mission, you need to change the problem immediately. Create a fix for it. Apologize to your users. Show that there’s a sympathetic human behind whatever it is you’re selling people.
You’re not expected to be perfect. But, you are expected to apologize when you don’t live up to your promises. And then you’re expected to make quick changes so you don’t lose people. Otherwise, you’ll turn super loyal customers like me into really frustrated people who have no problem amplifying negative feedback about your brand.
If you’re thinking about cutting corners, breaking promises, and building shit that falls apart, please don’t.
Build shit that works.
Or don’t build anything at all.