Well it’s about half past midnight right now and it looks like Bloglines just relaunched a few minutes ago with a spankin’ new design. It’s always weird catching redesigns as they happen. You’re at the old site one minute, then you click a link and it’s like the Wizard of Oz all of a sudden.
Although I’ve only played with the shiny new interface for about 20 minutes now, I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed so far. It feels like there is quite a bit of new functionality to enjoy, and yet I don’t feel disoriented or sick to my stomach as with some other recent redesigns. A huge part of the challenge in redesigning a major site is to inject freshness while not alienating loyal users. I salute thee, Bloglines, for succeeding in this regard.
Among the new features are:
- A simple point-and-click publishing system for creating your own blog
- A new Clippings metaphor to replace the existing Saved Items feature
- A skinnable blogroller
- A slightly retooled reading interface
- A more informative front page
- Enhanced searching and sharing capabilities
- Sliding-Doors style zoomable tabs (a la Douglas Bowman)
… and lots of other stuff I’m too tired to test out right now.
All in all, this looks like another successful improvement of what is already my most visited site on the ‘Net. Sure I’d like to see more interactivity, more out-of-browser functionality, and smarter aggregation routines, but in the meantime, I’m happy with these incremental improvements.
Content aggregation has not even entered its golden age yet, but Bloglines continues to show us the way when it comes to no-nonsense web-based information gathering.