Bloglines, the web-based tool I use to manage my RSS feeds redesigned this week, to good effect. Frankly, although it was (and is) a great tool, it was crying out for a visual overhaul, and the site now sports a much cleaner, professional look.
It also has a number of new features, including the ability to create your own blog. The blogging features are pretty basic in terms of functionality, but it's enough to get you started, and you're not drowned in advertising for Bloglines as you are on some some other free hosted blogging sites.
It also has a "clippings" feature, which enables you to save particular posts or articles and organize them for future reference. You can save clippings to your blog, creating what they call a "clip blog", kind of like Anil Dash's Daily Links, I guess.
Although I don't use it, you can get a Bloglines email address, which you can use to subscribe to email newsletters - each issue shows up in your feeds list.
If you lose interest a newsletter you can just turn it off with no worries about opting out or unsubscribing and no danger of filling up your regular inbox with spam. Nice.
I was a little surprised that they didn't go for an all-CSS site, given how straight forward the layout of the site is - it sure looks like it is at first glance. The home page has some interesting design flaws, such as words that look like clickable links but are not:
I was also totally fooled by the images on the home page, which look like they can be clicked on to learn more about that particular feature:
It's too bad that they don't make these graphics links through to more information, because with this many features it would certainly help to be able to easily learn more about what Bloglines offers before taking the plunge in signing up.
Lastly, I don't know why the default font is so small on the home page, but at least you can resize it in IE. I'm surprised about these small issues being present as I would imagine they would have been highlighted after about 5 minutes of user testing - do you think they didn't...? No. Surely not. No. That would be silly. On the other hand...
Posted on: July 8, 2004 | No comments
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