Posted December 4, 2008 7:38 pm by with 20 comments

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Less than a month after Google released Gmail themes, the Google Reader team released a new design for Google Reader. Why the change? According to Jenna Bilotta from the Google Reader team, it is an attempt to speed up Google Reader.

Google is all about speed, both under the hood as well as in the user experience. So, in order to make Reader act and feel more speedy and responsive, we’ve removed some visual clutter, simplified some features and given everything a bit more breathing room.

A bit more breathing room is right. Reader has lost some of the clutter that was found at the top of the old reader design, creating a larger viewing area to read your feeds.


Other new features include:

  • Collapsible navigation
  • Shared items from your friends have their own section
  • The ability to hide unread counts (now I won’t cringe everytime I open Reader!)
  • More feed bundles (feeds related to a topic that you can subscribe to all at once)

I’m a big fan of change, so I’m happy to see Reader get a facelift. I’d still like to see Reader incorporate more of the features from Better GReader so I can enjoy them in Chrome.

What do you think of the new Google Reader design?

  • Blog Expert

    I love the collapsible navigation. That is one thing I always thought they were missing before. It was the first thing I noticed. I guess that a lot of people must have been saying it to them or they actually tried it out themselves.

    Blog Expert’s last blog post..Blog Headlines That Kick Ass

  • Mike

    I am so looking forward to using the collapsible navigation on my Asus Eee PC. It was always hard to scroll through the little box on the lower left before the change.

    Mike’s last blog post..Dressing In The Dark

  • Andy Beal

    I agree the collapsible navigation was long overdue. I wish they also would let me drag the width of the nav bar too–make it thinner for my netbook screen.

  • Matt Helphrey

    I wasnt a big user before but definitely notice the difference. Ill have to check it out. The feed bundles is the thing I would use most.

    Matt Helphrey’s last blog post..A Little Article Marketing Research

  • Matt

    Definitely an improvement, just an overall slicker look and feel. Good functionality.


    Matt’s last blog post..Don’t Stress, It’s Bad For Business

  • SeoBrain

    Iam big fan of speed too since my internet connection here not so fast, so usually i will leave the site who have lot of pictures and have many javascript. Good to google who always care about speed.

  • Busby SEO

    I only like their collapsible navigation.

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  • Jacques Seoman

    I don’t really use Google Reader myself, however the constant evolution of Google’s products serves to confirm their intent to dominate the internet world by offering the best services and interfaces.

  • Web Design Beach

    Well it’s a bit brighter for my taste, but now it follows the design of Google docs, so i am fine with that. It would be great if they could allow applying themes like ones from Gmail to Docs and the Reader. But i guess that will be implemented in future.

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  • George Nobles

    Google always inventing something new.

  • Patrick

    In my opinion, simple is always better. I love a clean simple design and it makes the experience much better. Maybe Microsoft needs to learn some lessons from Google.

    Patrick’s last blog post..Make Your Own Homeade Pesticides and Repellants

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  • Super Affiliate Traffic

    I was actually a bit surprised to see Google getting themes for their mail. However, the readeris an improvement. I am sure many people will find it easier to access. It also looks better I think. Mind you, I am not a real reader user. But, since I checked it out before and after , I am able to compare.

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  • Goran Web Design

    No matter what you might have to say about Google, you can’t accuse them of resting on their laurels! They’re constantly considering new ways to improve the user experience.. This is why I don’t see them falling from their top dog position anytime soon

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  • Kenney and Kim

    Navigation is way better. I think this update is awesome. And speed and clean is extremely important.

  • JT

    The new navigation is nice.

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