I've decided to start a new series analyzing issues with popular software; whether it be themes, CMS or otherwise; to help point out potential issues people may not be thinking about before purchasing. This is the first edition of what I will call, “What Were They Thinking?”
Today, I've got a few gripes to point out about popular themes that, once I do, will have you asking yourself, what were they thinking?
In the world of WordPress Themes, StudioPress is one of the most popular and profitable of the premium theme design houses out there. In the last few years, they began to accept third party themes into their store which has increased their available themes by quite a lot. Sadly, they don't seem to be doing much in the way of vetting out poor design before they do so and as such, some sloppy themes have made it into the mix.
One thing that has always driven me crazy about their themes, however, is the lack of an accessible search box in mobile view. As far as I'm concerned, there should be no instance where a search box is not placed within a reasonable location at the top of the theme; whether within the dropdown hamburger menu or otherwise; in a mobile theme. From someone who runs two successful blogs, trust me, people get pretty irked when there's no search box readily available and this happens in a TON of StudioPress themes.
Take Foodie Pro for example.
This is probably one of the most used themes by food bloggers that I know of. There are literally TONS of food blogs out there running it yet they don't realize that they are degrading their reader's experience by not making it easily accessible. In Foodie Pro, for instance, it's there as a widget but ends up almost at the bottom of the theme in mobile view; something that is sure to get missed by readers.
The quick addition of a search box within the mobile menu is the easiest way to fix these issues without taking up valuable screen real estate but seems to be missed over and over. Maybe it's just me, but I think this is a poor design choice and when we ran Foodie Pro on my wife's site, The Kitchen Magpie for a while, our readers were quick to point out the missing search; believe me.
I've noticed this within a ton of themes lately and I don't quite understand the logic. What are your thoughts?