Many years ago, I discovered one of the least publicised Google products, Google Reader was nothing short of a God send. Through it I was able to follow all the blogs I thought were interesting. One site, one dashboard that aggregated everything with a minimalistic UI approach, It even predicted and highlighted blogs I may like, Half the blogs I’m following came that way. Over these years I think I used it more than any other site – even facebook or gmail- day after all day I started my day with logging into google ready to check what’s new, even better, due to how google reader was built it managed to provide me with blog content that were otherwise blocked by my company’s proxy (they blocked all blogs for some reason). Me and Google Reader were a match made in heaven, my experience with it was nothing short of that clip where some Disney princess sings and blue birds gather around and everybody is really happy, that is until Google decided to “fix” it.
My experience with Google Reader before Google’s Fix
The light switch had minimal changes over the years, same goes for news papers, some designs simply work so good there is no way to change that wouldn’t drastically reduce its quality of experience, and usually less is more. Google Reader was one of these products with its clean interface that allowed for the content (that they scrapped from other blogs) to take the front seat, However and after Google decided to integrate everything into their new flag ship Google+, which I believe is sinking, the result was a new UI for most of there Google products. Google Reader didn’t escape that, instead of the elegent UI, they chose an IN YOUR FACE, approach that used large icons, and almost no framing for the content you are reading, in a way the content was pushed backwards just a bit to accent Google+ controls, perhaps in an attempt to promote it. As a side note, for all the other products they change the UI for, there was a video from google telling you about the “Exciting new interface” that wasn’t the case with Google Reader though, as a matter of fact I believe they just ported the interface from gmail and they didnt even care enough to design something specifically for the reader, also I don’t believe the person who built it ever used google reader to begin with. Luckily they still haven’t fixed the mobile interface and so I’m currently using my iPhone to follow my news/blogs.
Thank you google for ruining my favourite online tool, as for now I have to start looking for some other tool to read my blogs/news through it. By the way thats an x-google manager who thinks the same thing