The story list pane doesn’t seem to get refreshed when new stories appear. When I leave newsblur open in a tab, I see that there new links in the site list for the site that I left open, but the story list pane doesn’t get refreshed with the new stories. For the feed list as well, it doesn’t get the new stories.
You mean you have a site open and you can tell that new stories are coming in? If that’s the case, I actually know that new stories have come in, but I am not refreshing the active site because it would be jarring for the site to randomly refresh as you’re reading it.
Ah, you’re right. I haven’t thought at that. It does make sense not to refresh the story list pane and the feed view. I got confused by the fact that I left a site completely read, come back later, saw that the site list had new stories for the site, but they didn’t appear in the story list pane, so I have to click on the site to get them.
Don’t know if it’s possible to have some kind of innactivity tracking and update the story list and feed view when the user hasn’t done anything for, let’s say, at least 30 mins.
I considered something along those lines. But what I used to do was not actually update the unread count on the active site until you click off of it. Then it would update to the correct unread count less than a minute later. I found this was inconvenient, although I’m starting to think that this might be worse.
I guess I mentioned this in another thread on this topic, but what about an indicator in the little grey bar at the bottom of the river offering to reload the feed because X new stories are available?
A shortcut would go along with this really nicely. I hate having to go back to the dashboard and then back into the feed to refresh. I suppose just clicking the feed again would also reload, but I prefer to do as much with the keyboard as I can in my feed reader.
Great idea with the keyboard shortcut to force a feed to display the stories that appeared in the meantime while reading it.
How about Shift+r for this?
Another thought, why can’t the story list simply get refreshed to include the new stories without changing the *selected* story and the reading pane?
That way when a new story comes in I can see it bolded in the story list and click it. As long as the selected story never changes there is nothing jarring to the user.
It will still push the current story down. And as images load, it will continually push what you’re reading down.
What if when a new story arrived for the feed currently being viewed, a notification banner would slide down and say “Hey, a new story came in, want to see it?”. Clicking a link in the notification would refresh the current feed.
For usability the notification banner should be small as to not interupt reading.
The banner should disappear if the user scrolls into a new story. That is, if I scroll down within the same story, the banner stays, but as soon as (or shortly after) focus changes to the next story the banner disappears. The logic here is that I may want to finish reading the current story before refreshing the feed but if I start reading the next story then I probably don’t want to refresh the feed right now and the banner should get out of my way.
What I like about this?
I don’t have to move my eyes to the side bar to check for new stories, instead NewsBlur helps me out and lets me know when they arrive.
It is a more intuitive way to refresh the view vs. clicking the already selected feed in the side bar.
The ‘disappear on scroll’ logic keeps me from having to click the banner to make it go away which would be very annoying. It intelligently stays around for the duration of time when it is applicable and when it detects I don’t care, it retreats.
I hate my own mockup but to help communicate the idea consider this screenshot.
Tweetbot does something well to this effect. They also hide on scroll. This wouldn’t be hard to build, but I have a feeling it might be prone to error. Sometimes the counts update but are off by 1 and don’t get corrected for 60 seconds, when the next refresh call is made.