Simplify, simplify, simplify the initial interface to a simple list of unread items

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  • Updated 6 years ago
Here is a layout suggestion. Direct entry to the application landing on a simple, naked list of unread feed summary items. That is my browser homepage and yes, it's Google Reader. This morning I opened the browser and was greeted by 31 items that came in overnight. I can glance down the page, opening the interesting ones. They each slide out into a reading panel, by the way. Boom, boom, boom ... and I am done. The page opens in about 1 second. See the attached picture.

I tried to set up NewsBlur to behave the same way. Couldn't make it happen. Ignoring the current speed problem, I still had to click around in various places to get any kind of list of unread items. Then I had to resize the preview pane ... again! That damned thing is never exactly the right size ... it really ought to size to the item you are viewing and disappear until you pick another item ... the magic of sliding divs.

Here is the Google Reader home page ...


Here is what Newsblur offered me this morning instead ...


And, no, I don't want you to BE Google Reader. I want something equally simple looking.
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Ken Hawley

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Posted 6 years ago

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Ragnar Karlsson

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I would suggest perhaps you bookmark the following:

https://dev.newsblur.com/folder/every...

That looks much closer to what you are looking for?
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Ken Hawley

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And by the way @Ragnar, I am already using the "dev" interface.
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Ragnar Karlsson

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I know but the /folder/everything link in particular is more like the Google Reader home page.
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uk

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Clicking on "All site stories" should give you a simple list of unread stories.

Edit: You could argue that this should be the default view on startup, but not everyone uses NewsBlur the same way and you can bookmark the page mentioned above and never face this problem again.
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Ken Hawley

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Except that what you say is not correct. That link in Ragnar's post gives the "bad" picture I already posted. Yes, the dev interface is much, much better, but it would be good to be able to land on a page with "All Site Stories" preselected and the preview pane minimized. Can't do it now. It's not part of the preferences.

That Google Reader view, by the way, is the one they call "Compact"
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uk

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Ok, I haven't used Google Reader for over a year and your screenshot was almost unreadable.
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Ken Hawley

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Not supposed to be readable, really. It's a gestalt. Simple list vs. a whole bunch of stuff ... that was the impression I was going for. I want to be able, on startup, to bypass all the social stuff, the blogs, and the news NewsBlur thinks is important and go directly to my feeds ... the things I think are important. Also, the entire left panel is completely useless until I need it. Put it on a slider.
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Ken Hawley

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Thanks. All Site Stories is almost right. See the attached. Perhaps my complaint is most focused on the size of the preview pane and its slider. It seems to have a mind of its own. I want to see the whole list of unread items by default .. or at least as much of it as will fit my browser window. The preview should only show up when I choose to read a particular item. Here is a picture of how the All Site Stories came up in my browser ...



I have marked the stuff that I don't care to see.
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sirshannon

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I don't like 3-panel readers. 2 panel view my way to read (left panel: list of feeds, right panel: expanding/expanded list of unread stories for selected feed[s] from left panel).

Is 2-panel view possible?
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sirshannon

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Sorry/SWEET! I just found the switch to give it the layout I want: 2-panel, unread only, oldest first.

Looks like my test drive is over, time to pony up for a membership.
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Ken Hawley

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Please explain how you coerced NewsBlur to behave like that. I have not found the necessary switches.
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sirshannon

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The icons at the top appear to be 3-panel and 2-panel views respectively. NOTE: the button on the right is active. These buttons are styled backwards, they appear "up" when active instead of "down" like they should.

There is an indicator under that that shows what you're seeing. It seems to default to "unread only, newest first". Clicking that shows the popup in the screenshot. NOTE: the "oldest" button is active. These buttons are styled backwards, they appear "up" when active instead of "down" like they should.
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Ken Hawley

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Thanks.
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richard4339

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As someone who just started using NewsBlur, essentially, I ran into the same thing. I think what you're wanting is the list only view
(right button)
with the feed selected. I had a hard time finding the right combination of settings too.
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Ken Hawley

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At the risk of seeming bitchy about this, I wondered what those two buttons did and activating tooltips in the preferences did not provide any help when using them.

Frankly, on my interface, the buttons seemed to change the available options at the left side of the header ... original, feed, etc.... but did not seem to affect the preview pane. I will have another look.

-- Later --
Nevermind! It works. Now, if I can only get it to show all my unread items instead of only the first 10 at a time, we would be in business.
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ardent

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It would be great if it opened with just a list of the stories, and not the first story already opened.
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Rob Farrell

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I see the list view only. I hit it and I get the nice two panel I have been wanting, but is there a away to expand all the stories while in this two panel, list view?
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Ken Hawley

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Thanks to everyone who replied here.

My remaining concerns about the thing all go back to responsiveness and how sluggish the updates are. A nice, obvious "Refresh" button would be good to have.

Until NewsBlur recovers from the tsunami of new users and finishes building out the server base, it is completely unfair to judge them on those concerns. Those things take time.
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Neal

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I'd like to be able to scroll down through the items in list view without opening each one up consecutively, e.g. go down through items, mark as read, delete, save or share stories that I'm interested in or not based on the headers, without the full story opening up, then use another shortcut to expand something I want to read fully. It seems like there should already be an option for this. Am I missing it? Arrow keys or j/k seem to open each story currently in focus.
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Rob Farrell

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Yes!!!! The only option I have found is to use the use the "Next Unread" button or the down arrow, but I am just so used to just being able to down scroll from story to story to story.