Google Reader No Longer Reader Friendly

Google Reader No Longer Reader Friendly

User friendly is a key term in keep users, customers and getting students interested. In K12IT we use all kinds of user friendly tech tools like Angel Web and Safari Montage for delivering data to the students. We have textbooks online, we have virtual classrooms, but we also have real hardback textbooks. Not all users are tech savy, not all people learn well using a computer. They need an alternative choice to learn. Hardcover books is one way, but we can also find other tech ways to deliver the text or video or whatever to the students that they can learn. You just have to work at finding it.

It’s the same in the real world, but that is where it is most over looked. Take the Bank of America $5 debit card fee. They caused an uproar when they said it was going to start at the beginning of next year without any public trials. Today they backed off while in the process they lost customers and a lot of goodwill.

Another great example is the way Google is integrating the minimal look of G+ into its other products. But, they are doing so at putting a square peg in a round hole. It might work to a degree, but just shoving it down an end users throat in not the proper approach. You need to have alternatives, something not quite just white, off black and gray. Oh, lest I not forget the big red “Subscribe” button that is rarely used at the top of the Reader window. A stepped approach makes change a lot easier on people, especially when it is a known fact that people resist change. Little by little and take user feedback. By doing that you don’t leave yourself open to major revolt and media exposure of the negative variety.

If Google hadn’t went to just the bland current new Google Reader look they would have found out that end users need color on a white background. Tip: Gray and Black are not color! Hyperlinks have always been blue on the Web, and if Google had made the links blue, given some color to other buttons on the page they wouldn’t have gotten the negative response from long time users and the media.

Lesson? Listen to your end users, beta test it with actual users, beta test it with a larger group of actual users and don’t just jump to the opposite extreme from your current settings. That is a sure way to piss people off.

I’m personally now testing Feedly and I have imported all my feeds into My Yahoo. I like the Feedly web interface, but it isn’t perfect and will take some time to check out all the features.

from Ray Ebersole – Google+ Post Feed