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.

New

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?