when usability gets mistaken for desirablity

RSS, real simple  syndication is dying. Below is a call to action as well as diagnosis of the situation. It is amazing that such a beautiful advance has remained so nerdy and difficult to make sense of. 

…Mozilla’s mistake here is to associate low usage with user dis-interest. If people don’t use it, the feature must not be necessary…? This is wrong on so many levels; as I’ve said earlier, what regular user wouldn’t want this feature!? It would save them hours browsing every day!

The problem is the interface, not the technology. Let’s face it, RSS sucks and browser vendors care about it almost as little as they do about CSS printing (hello 10+ year old bugs!)

What does this symbol mean? How many regular users could name this symbol? None, I’d wager. If they know that this symbol means “RSS”, then what does “RSS” mean; how many users can explain that? Users are already adverse to clicking things they don’t understand so what do they think this symbol will do to their computer when it is not obvious a) what it is, and what it stands for, or b) what happens when it’s clicked? Will a dialogue box open? Will it ask questions? Will it print something? Will it ask for a name and password?

This symbol gives absolutely zero clue as to why it is present, what functionality it represents and how the user is supposed to use it.

The browser RSS button is the worst piece of UI since 2004.

via blog · RSS Is Dying, and You Should Be Very Worried.

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