Google Reader : too user friendly?

I think of Google Reader as a very user friendly application. It clean and simple and only shows you things which you need to see.  Or does it any more?  Here are the options that I see for each RSS item:

Google Reader item options

Let’s see:

  • Add comment.  I can add comments to blogs posts and news and my friends can read those comments and reply and so on and so forth.
  • Add star.  Star is like a bookmark.  I can quickly find the starred articles with a single click.  And I can also share my starred articles by selecting so in the Settings.
  • Like.  I can “like” the article.  Other people can see that I liked it.
  • Share.  Share it with other people.
  • Share with note.  That’s like share and add comment in one.
  • Email.  This one is easy.
  • Keep unread.  So that I can easily find it and read later.
  • Add tags.  So that I can find it easily later and/or share it via Settings.

I am all for making sharing easy, but isn’t it too much?  I see it as a huge overlap in functionality.  Such huge that it gets confusing now.  What’s the difference between the “star” and “like”?  Do I “like” everything I “share”?  Do I “like” everything I comment?  Is it shared or “liked” if I just “Add comment”? How do I “star” or “share” everything I “like”? And so on and so forth.

I think this should be simplified in one action per option:  star, share, comment, email, tag.  If you want to bookmark, you “star” it.  If you want to share, you “share”.  If you want to comment, you “comment”.  If you want to star and share, then you actually click “star” and “share”.  If you want to comment and share, then add your comment and click “share”.  With boolean options everything comes back to the sane world – you either did it or not.

What do you think?

Leave a Comment