10 Humble Suggestions from a Reeder User


Great job so far! While I am a big fan of Reeder, I have a deep appreciation for the concept of NewsBlur. While I would love to switch over to NewsBlur fully as my dedicated RSS reader, there are a few features from Reeder that are making it difficult for me to leave behind. I know NewsBlur is not trying to, and should not, be a Reeder clone. But here are ten humble suggestions that, I believe, can greatly improve the user experience of NewsBlur:

  1. The default view on the app should be a simple list of unread articles, and not a list of feeds. Since the intelligence trainer is already there to filter unwanted articles, the user should be able to go the “focus” or “unread” tab and start reading immediately.

  2. Swipe left/right gestures are immensely useful for saving articles to read later and marking them as read.

  3. The touch targets on the app needs to be bigger. For example, it is somewhat difficult to tap on “all stories” when I am reading and walking. Also, I was playing around with the app and I just miss tapped “all stories” multiple times when I was trying to tap “saved stories”.

  4. It would be help if the user can share (e.g. email) the entire body (i.e. picture and text) of the article and not just the link.

  5. By the same token, the sharing buttons could be more prominently displayed to provide easier access. Furthermore, it should be closer to the articles themselves on the website. Sharing is an important feature, the user shouldn’t need to click three times (e.g. gear icon, “send to”, “email”) just to email an interesting article to a friend.

  6. The “focus” and “saved stories” button should not disappear when no relevant articles are present. I understand why making them disappear could be a useful indicator. However, experienced users typically remember the physical location of buttons without looking, making the “focus” button disappear and shifting the other buttons slightly could reduce user friendliness. If you need an indicator that no relevant articles are present, the buttons can simply be grayed out or something of that sort.

  7. A simple indication that there is no news unread on the website would greatly improve the aesthetics over a blank page, which inherently feels like an error has occurred. Nothing fancy, perhaps a simple line of text or the NewsBlur icon (like the way it is on the app) will do.

  8. This could be a bug, but there are duplicate feeds appearing in my app. Moreover, it doesn’t seem like there is a way to sort the feeds (at least alphabetically) on the app.

  9. I feel that it is unnecessary for the text within “saved stories” to be grayed out to indicate that they have been read. These are stories that the user decide to save, so there must be a reason why the user would want to refer back to them again. This is not to mention the fact that the user will have to click on the article (thus marking them as read) before they can save the story anyways. Graying them out under “saved stories” just makes everything harder to read.

  10. It seems like there isn’t a way to update my profile picture, even though it has been updated on Twitter.

Ok, that’s it for now. Again, you have done a great job so far, and I truly appreciate the effort you have put in. Thanks for a great app!


  1. I prefer to allow users to choose what they want to read. If you want that screen, you are one tap away – just tap the All Stories folder (or a specific folder).

  2. I may build swiping to mark as read/unread or saving a story, but I don’t know if that’s worthwhile, as it takes time away from other things.

  3. Increased the touch targets in the latest release a few days ago. Thanks for this!

  4. Yeah, email on the web works that way. I could build that into the iOS app, but again, takes time. Not sure if that’s the best use of time, since Sharing the story on NewsBlur works quite well.

  5. I added a Share button to the top menu as well, so you can now get to the share view easily.

  6. Went through both designs and I now prefer hiding entirely.

  7. Yup, this will be part of the new design refresh coming up soon.

  8. If you imported from Google Reader, it’s possible that some feeds were de-duped into the same feed, resulting in dupes. That’s been fixed, but if it’s still happening, just delete the dupe.

  9. Yeah, I agree. I may change saved stories to look like unread stories.

  10. Right, not yet. If you *really* want to update it, just disconnect and reconnect to Twitter.

Thanks for the great feedback! I’ve already integrated some of it and will integrate a few other pieces over the next few months.