NewsBlur redesign should change the way toggle buttons work

First off, I’m one of the Google Reader diaspora, and I just bought a year’s subscription to NewsBlur because it fits right in with the way I used to use Reader, and it’s even slicker in many ways.

That said, I’ve been trying out the redesign currently at and I keep getting confused by the toggle buttons. I mean the buttons in the header like “Feed”/“Text” and inline/paned toggles, or the all/neutral/positive buttons at the bottom of the feed list.

I keep expecting that the currently-active button will be pushed-in and unclickable (clicking it would do nothing, because it’s already active!) and all the other options should be bright and pushed out and clickable (because they’re the other items I could potentially click on). You know, like an old car-radio with mechanical buttons.

Unfortunately, the current version of the redesign seems to do things exactly the opposite way: the button for the currently-active mode is highlighted and invites clicking, while the other buttons are darker grey and look disabled. In a three-way toggle like at the bottom of the feed list, it’s not too hard to figure things out from context (one button in state X, two buttons in state Y → state X must be active), but for two-way toggles like “Feed”/“Text” or the inline/paned toggle, I guess the wrong way and try to “activate” the already-active mode every time.


It would seem they are designed to look like the kind of on/off sliders you often see in for example settings on iOS and Android, thing is, unfortunately these are often designed in kind of odd ways. For starters they make a whole lot sense when you can’t actually slide the slider. The part that confuses the user here is that the toggle shows both options at the same time, making it worse is the fact that the slider and the inactive area are both the same size making it less obvious which side is active and which one is not.

You can’t slide it, so which side are you supposed to click? Inactive to switch there or the active side as that is where the slider currently is? Best solution is probably to allow both.

The view mode one works much better simply because there are four options.

This is a really good read on these kind of switches:…

Looking at the All/Unread toggle on DEV, I’m inclined to agree. Clicking on what appears to be a depressed button is jarring!

Same at the top of the window. The Original/Feed/Text/Story one is easy to figure out - because one selection looks very different from the others, it’s obvious that it’s selected. But top-right it’s completely unclear which option is currently selected.

Not a problem at all on regular/old NewsBlur - the selected button is depressed!

I was thinking the same thing yesterday! The selected option should definitely have a “pressed” state

These sort of buttons, while all “modern” and all, are an abomination. Perhaps they are clear to the designer of the button and six other like-minded people, but they are really just the latest sad fad in interface design. Like a proliferation of meaning-free icons that may have meant something to the designer, they obscure the function rather than enhance it.

Really, now, which button is currently pressed and which one is not? Why do you think so? If you ask 100 people, you will get a distinctly “mixed” answer." That, by itself, means the interface is wrong.

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You might want to create your own topic. This topic was actually to complain about the inverted buttons. The selected buttons were earlier in a “raised” setting, while the newer ones are pressed.