Google Reader: The Good and The Bad

2 Apr 2009 - 12:32am
5 years ago
4 replies
1213 reads
Johnny Wooder
2009

After playing around with Google Reader, yes it is my first time, I
found it to be an amazing web app. However, I also found some awkward
stuff going on, for example:

- Add a subscription button: Searching feeds and adding using one
text field? Doesn't really line up in my mind. The add label
indicates I'm adding not searching.

- Search field next to Google Reader: Search is search, when I search
CNN using this search field I expected Google Reader to find it.
Little did I know that this large search area was for "your stuff"
only.

- Starred items: Why not just call it favorites?

- Browse for stuff: The pre-packaged bundles are on top, while the
browsing for stuff...stuff is placed underneath. I wonder if Google
put the pre-packaged bundles up top thinking that it would allow
users to start using the app right away.

Can anyone else find weird stuff going on with Google Reader?

Comments

2 Apr 2009 - 1:39am
Alvin Woon
2007

>
> - Starred items: Why not just call it favorites?

For such favorite feature in the context of social web, it's unwise to name
it as 'favorite', 'like' or 'love' because it indicates emotional
attachment. You don't really want to 'favorite' or 'like' an article about
an airplane crash that just killed 1000 people in Amsterdam.

'Star' or 'Save' however are neutral.

- Alvin

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 6:32 AM, Johnny Wooder <johnnywooder at gmail.com>wrote:

> After playing around with Google Reader, yes it is my first time, I
> found it to be an amazing web app. However, I also found some awkward
> stuff going on, for example:
>
> - Add a subscription button: Searching feeds and adding using one
> text field? Doesn't really line up in my mind. The add label
> indicates I'm adding not searching.
>
> - Search field next to Google Reader: Search is search, when I search
> CNN using this search field I expected Google Reader to find it.
> Little did I know that this large search area was for "your stuff"
> only.
>
> - Starred items: Why not just call it favorites?
>
> - Browse for stuff: The pre-packaged bundles are on top, while the
> browsing for stuff...stuff is placed underneath. I wonder if Google
> put the pre-packaged bundles up top thinking that it would allow
> users to start using the app right away.
>
> Can anyone else find weird stuff going on with Google Reader?
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

2 Apr 2009 - 8:45am
James Haliburton
2008

I quite like the "star" concept.

Not only is it neutral in tone, it's somewhat neutral in purpose.

While most of the time this would sound awful, I think Google has
recognized that people star things for different reasons. While you
might use it for making something a "favorite", I might use it to
mark long articles I haven't had time to read yet. This
open-endedness supports a personalized feeling and edge use cases.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40935

2 Apr 2009 - 9:37am
ambroselittle
2008

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 2:45 AM, James Haliburton <james.haliburton at gmail.com
> wrote:

> I think Google has recognized that people star things for different
> reasons.

It's weird. I was just thinking about their choice of star a day or two
ago. I thought it strange at first, thinking star was maybe not neutral
enough. I think the core concept is that you just want to mark it, set it
aside for some kind of later review. Then I thought, what would be another
way to do that in the interface. Then I thought "flag," and thought that
maybe Outlook has a patent (I was thinking in terms of Gmail at the time) or
something that prevented Google from just using a flag, which seems more
neutral to me than a star (which has some positive connotations in many
contexts).

I think maybe dogear may be another option. Bookmark, though that's taken
on a whole load of connotations on the Web, too. Maybe just "mark" would be
good, but I couldn't think of a good iconic representation without falling
back to stars and such..

Oh well, too much thinking maybe about such a small thing. :) Star works,
IMO.

But as to the main thread, I love Reader. I use it on my iPhone and my
desktop/laptop. I agree adding subs is odd--I usually end up just using
Google to find what I want and copy and pasting the feed URL into the add
dialog. I would like to be able to rename my "folders" or more easily
tag/group my feeds. It didn't seem to work last time I tried, so I live
with an old scheme that doesn't really apply, but then I usually just read
All Items anyways..

I noticed they added tabs in the mobile view recently. I don't like that.
I have app shortcuts to Reader and Gmail, so it just adds noise for me.
Also, in Reader, you can go straight to the Gmail tab, but you have to use
the More tab drop down button to get back to Reader. Annoying (to me). I'm
sure they did testing that showed most people didn't want to get to Reader
most often from Gmail or something. :) But I don't use Calendar or Docs
much, so ...

But.. I love my Reader and my Gmail for the most part, so this isn't a
complaint.. just speaking to the thread..

-a

2 Apr 2009 - 9:18am
Tim Sherburne
2008

I've just picked Reader up in the last 30 days as I've become more
"mobile".

I find the stars quite handy, but for the purpose of flagging content
to deal with later. As the other posters noted, the user provides the
symbolism behind the "star" shape.

Rolling up sections of the left nav area is really handy for me. For
example, I don't care about 85% of the links in the first section,
so I roll it up. Now "All Items" (the one I needed) is a clickable
link as well as a header. Nice.

I hadn't even noticed that I can search for blogs in the "Add a
subscription" element. Thanks! Now if I could just keep up with all
the blog postings...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40935

Syndicate content Get the feed