24 September 2009

Google Reader suggestions

The Google Reader team just launched a new tool for sharing and voting ideas from the users. It’s called “Product Ideas for Google Reader” and it takes feedback to a whole new level! I distinctly remember trying it on a while back, probably last year, when it most likely was just a new Google experiment.

Product Ideas for Google Reader voting My first impression hasn’t changed: it’s a very simple and efficient design, very “Google-like”. It has a clean blue-on-white look that presents you with previously shared ideas and lets you vote them by choosing between three buttons: “Yes”/“No”/“meh…”. After you clicked one, the next idea fades into view. This flow of suggestions is very addictive, but still extremely fast. You can still change your mind after voting by changing from “Yes” to “No” or vice versa. The tool tracks the votes publicly with two horizontals bars that show the number of likes/dislikes when hovering over them with the mouse.

The feedback is limited, in a twitter-like fashion, to 250 characters. Not a lot of space if you have more complex ideas but this helps keep them to the point. Of course, after sending in your thoughts, you can also track them and see if they are popular with other fans.

Product Ideas for Google Reader statisticsThere are lots of interesting ideas there already, totaling nearly 40.000 votes. For now, I have submitted three suggestions I consider important for my Google Reader experience:

- allowing us to expand partial feeds so that we may read the whole article inside Reader. Inline comments from the original article would be a bonus. It would be a big improvement for the user experience not having to load another page, most likely loaded with heavy Flash ads.

- a way to merge several subscriptions in a single feed, for example when you subscribe to several feeds from the same site and want to read them all together. Also Reader should remove the duplicate articles from the resulting feed.

- turn off the bottom bar that hosts only two buttons for navigating to the previous/next article. It takes up space, especially in list view, and for me it has absolutely no use, since there are keyboard shortcuts for that.

I have also added several ideas for custom ‘Send-To’ links. They were also presented previously on this blog. I'm curious if they will be added to the standard Google Reader sometime in the future...

1 comment:

  1. And let's not forget a way to tell Google Reader how ofter it should refresh your feeds!