I’ve been using Bloglines for at least 18 months now, which probably makes me one of their earliest “customers”. I thought their service was so amazing after a few days that I emailed support and said, “hey can I donate a few bucks, you guys rock!” and they thanked me, but declined. I’ve been using Bloglines as my primary RSS reader ever since.
As I do every morning, I loaded up Bloglines in a tab but noticed a few things that were different:
- Font-size in the left panel was decreased from 12px to 11px, still keeping Verdana as the typeface. This allows a few more sites to be listed above the fold. The “new article” count was decreased to 9px, a good call as well.
- Selected site names on the left now have a nice background and border applied to their row, letting the user keep mental note of what site they’re reading.
- The side panel now refreshes automatically after a set amount of time, with a transparent visual clue popping up to show how many new items were found. The side panel refreshed before, but the visual clueing is a new feature, and now it’s doing it without a refresh via Ajax.
- The ‘R’ key that normally refreshed the side panel now does so via Ajax instead of a page refresh, very nifty.
There are many online feedreaders out now, but in my opinion none of them do the core job of “reading RSS feeds” better than Bloglines. The simple two-pane interface using frames instead of Ajax, is cleaner and quicker than every other implementation I’ve seen. In the hustle and bustle of “Web 2.0” and buzzword/feature pumping, it’s nice to see a company refining the user’s experience the way Bloglines is doing.