Took a trip down the river

Feedly has indeed added a slick feature called the river. There are also some other updates in the latest version.

The best upgrade is the more readable “latest” area of the What’s New pages. The spacing is much improved and digestible.

First I want to say that I am fast becoming a fan of Feedly. It is not Google Reader and I think that is perfectly OK. It gives me a different view of the same world. The What’s New feature in magazine mode could be 20 hours old at times, but that does not bother me. It is not for the buzz junky. I just love the fact that myriad sources could have such a clean and elegant presentation. I am very visual and the addition of the pictures has helped me make reading choices.

I look at the River feature from a very specific use-case. I am in a snacking mode looking for the latest from my favorite feeds. It is a very bouncy behavior that does not sound like a common use-case for this product.

I always thought of myself as a pretty casual RSS consumer. It was interesting to think of the target user for Feedly being more casual than I. Perhaps beginning a blog about my use of rss feeds is a sign that i am not the average Joe.

Features like the river make me a little greedy for more control over the posts.

  • I am partial to the picture and summary mode with the River feature
  • I enjoy the Summize-esque notification of more content. It helps me keep my place.
  • The feed treats read and unread posts differently, but the difference is very subtle. I imagine the page could get very busy if the change were more abrupt, but perhaps a black for read and the blue for not read would be enough of a contrast.
  • The grey bar to the left of one post is a bit of a mystery.
  • The need to scroll the entire page is cumbersome. I have to bounce up and down to select individual feeds.
  • I am not sure about the preview modes. I wanted to click the headline to preview inline and have a separate link for bouncing off into a dedicated page. It has the “preview” action, but that is too much of a commitment. I have to load of of the not relevant stuff on that blog’s page. I finally discovered that if i click the text it will open the inline-preview state. This is a little clunky since i have to click “minimize” to close it back up.
  • Something about the titles only mode makes it very difficult to scan. It may be the boldness of the text combined with the blue. My eyes see a whole lot of blue.

I dove into the feature after I upgraded to the latest version of Feedly (that’s where the new stuff lives). It already helped me discover some cool stuff.

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2 thoughts on “Took a trip down the river

  1. Awesome feedback: you are pointing to a lot of the right rough edges. I create a bug here http://getsatisfaction.com/feedly/topics/some_rough_edges so that we can track these issues and address them.

    Re: read and unread colors, there is a preference knob in more > preferences to customize the colors. If you end up finding something you like, let us know and we will integrate it into one of the skins we are working on.

    Thank you for taking the time you share your detailed feedback. It is much appreciated!

  2. Had the chance to talk more about it with the rest of the team.

    “The feed treats read and unread posts differently, but the difference is very subtle. I imagine the page could get very busy if the change were more abrupt, but perhaps a black for read and the blue for not read would be enough of a contrast”
    answer: The color of read and unread links can be changed in the more > preferences section.

    “The grey bar to the left of one post is a bit of a mystery.”
    answer: The grey bar determines which element is selected. If an element stays selected more than 0.5s (configurable in more > preferences) it will be marked as read.

    “I have to bounce up and down to select individual feeds.”
    answer: If you have a lot of feeds, I can see how this can become annoying. We will look into this problem and see what we can do.

    “I finally discovered that if i click the text it will open the inline-preview state. This is a little clunky since i have to click “minimize” to close it back up.”
    answer: Good point: we are going to add an explicit ‘inline content’ icon. Regarding minimize, you actually do not have to minimize: the next time you inline an entry the previous one will be automtically minimized. What action would have made the minimize more intuitive?

    “Something about the titles only mode makes it very difficult to scan. It may be the boldness of the text combined with the blue. My eyes see a whole lot of blue.”
    answer: tried removing the bolding. You are right that it feels a little lighter but it does not match the conventions we use in the latest and the wall sections so it did not work out. We will keep the “too much blue” issue in mind and see what we can do to address it.

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