Google Reader: making feeds unreadable

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Reader Revised

Today has been filled with people howling in protest at the changes to Google Reader – and I just didn’t notice the difference. But then, I rarely actually log into the interface; the majority of my consumption is done using the Reeder app, which is available on [Mac](, [iPad]( and [iPhone]( 
I’m not a great user of the sharing features, and while I do subscribe to some people’s shared items, that’s been more annoying than useful of late (which suggests I should have pruned my list a while agi, but still…) and so those changes weren’t of huge impact to me. But I did log in and have a look at how the new interface works. I had great hopes – I like the Google+ interface and the related Gmail revamp, as they feel clean, readable and pleasant. 
But, wow, have they botched the Reader interface. For some reason, they seem to have taken more design notes from GMail than Google+, and they’ve ended up creating a reading experience that is truly atrocious. A former Google product manager [articulates why rather nicely]( 
My “24 hours using the New Google Reader” experiment lasted all of an hour, before I scurried back to Reeder. The interface makes the main river of news so small and undifferentiated that reading becomes an effort rather than a fluid process. And keeping up with a large number of information sources is such an integral part of my workflow these days that I just can’t afford the extra time using the new-style Reader demands of me.
So I hope the new Google+ / +1 style of sharing makes its way into the API and into Reeder? I sure do. I like Google+, and I’m more than happy to share content there. That part’s fine. The interface revamp is a mess, and needs to be rethought, fast. 
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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.