There are a whole lot of web-based feed readers which compete fiercely, but few desktop based applications. In fact FeedDemon and perhaps a couple others like RSS Bandit and RSS Owl represent the majority of desktop applications.
FeedDemon is the most popular program due to the whole set of services Newsgator has created for connecting feeds and devices. NewsGator Online is the web-based service which provides a central repositry for your feeds which can then be synced to various PCs, Outlook, Mobiles, iPhones and Macs.
Nick Bradbury has just released beta 1 of FeedDemon 2.8 which the object of simplifying the interface and improving social and sharing features:
Looking back at early versions of FeedDemon, it’s obvious that I was raised in the Microsoft Office school of user-interface design. Namely, fill your application with toolbuttons, the majority of which most people will never use
What on Earth was I thinking? There were so many toolbuttons showing that I had to stack toolbars on top of each other to fit them all. At the time I thought I was giving customers the features they wanted, but what I was really doing was scaring people away by overwhelming them with far too many choices.
Each version since then has been an exercise in killing toolbuttons.
Each article in a FeedDemon newspaper has a series of icons beneath it, and over time the number of icons has grown to the point that they’ve become a serious distraction. For example, with the addition of the sharing and tagging icons in the upcoming FeedDemon 2.8, each article would have 10 icons beneath it.
Most customers use only a few of these icons, so I’ve removed most them by default in FeedDemon 2.8.”
The reason so many people miss FeedDemon’s sharing feature isn’t due to “user error,” of course, but because I made it too geeky and too hard to find. In order to share an article in the current version of FeedDemon, you have to copy it to a “clippings folder” that has an RSS feed – and as you can see, it’s far from obvious how to do this:
- Create a clippings folder
- Choose to share it as an RSS feed
- Click an obscure icon under the article’s headline to display a menu of clippings folders
- Choose the clippings folder you want to copy the article to
Not exactly the simplest approach, huh?
So I decided to rectify this in the upcoming FeedDemon 2.8 by adding a single, obvious “Share” link – which is how I should’ve done it in the first place.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.