Google Reader design frustration

There’s been discussion about the changes to Google Reader (some of which was – wow, people are still using Google Reader…) and how it was going to have its social sharing features moved to Google+. I honestly didn’t have a strong opinion, because I have never used the social features of Google Reader and so long as I would still be able to keep my RSS feeds organized. In fact, I was fairly puzzled that Google+ and Google Reader played so poorly with each other so figured the move would be positive.

However, now I am seeing comments about how nice and sleek the new design is and I have to say, I hate it. It has rendered Google Reader almost unusable under my usual practice of having it up in a browser window sized to let me easily tab between it and a few other windows on my laptop. I used to be able to easily hide and expand the navigation structure on the left hand side, allowing me to have maximum reading space within my window. But with this new, sleeker, less crowded looking design, I essentially have to maximize my browser to use Google Reader on my laptop. And I loathe maximized windows – my applications shouldn’t get to dictate by design that I must give them my undivided attention.

There you go Google Reader – it’s a sign of how much I have liked you that I’m more upset about this than any of the Facebook interface changes over the years. So do me a favor and stop assuming everybody sits around doing their computing in front of massive displays all the time.

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