Christian McCormick

Graphic Design Student

34

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Simple and Sortable RSS Reader

I began my ideation phase by trying to think of all of the things that I would like to see in an RSS reader. You can see the results in my first sketch. Features such as bookmarks, infinite scrolling, and sorting came to mind. I then asked myself, "How do I want to see/digest/sort/view content?" I decided that I wanted immediacy, an unobstructed view, relevant icons and imagery to accompany text, and clean & beautiful previews for articles both with & without accompanying pictures.

After deciding on some direction I began sketching some layout ideas. I began to focus on the idea of sorting content by feeds and lists. Feeds being individual RSS feeds and lists being user–compiled lists of articles. These lists could be themed and easily shared. For example, a user could create a list of articles detailing how to learn HTML, or a list filled with holiday inspired recipes and activities. Think Flipboard magazines or Pinterest boards, but more series based. My idea is that rather than becoming blogs or feeds of their own, lists would become concentrated sources of information on particular topics.

I also explored the idea of large article previews versus smaller Feedly–esque article previews. I tentatively decided that larger content oriented previews would be a better idea for browsing feeds while smaller previews would work better for lists.

After experimenting with mobile layouts and experiences I decided that my reader was starting to feel more like a native phone app than a responsive multi–platform experience. I felt that I would rather the transition from using the app on the desktop to the phone be fluid, natural, and predictable. I felt that making the phone layout look so much like your typical iOS app made it more difficult to design an equivalent desktop experience.

I began sketching ideas for desktop layouts and found that I liked the idea of a full–width navigation at the top of the screen with content centered below. At least for now I don't think that I would like full–width content. I think that centered content will allow for better line lengths and subsequently ledgiblity in individual article previews and articles. It will also remove the need for sidebars filled with potentially irrelevant and distracting content. Keeping content neatly centered with plenty of whitespace on the sides will keep things nice and easy to read (ala Medium). I also decided on the three primary navigation destinations of "Feeds", "Lists, and "Discover". Discover would present the user with unread content from a feeds relating to the user's interests. I will also add a "Topics" option as well, to sort through categories of information.

And that's about it for the ideation phase. I know that there are a few features in my sketches that I didn't discuss, but I will be sure to detail those in future updates. Feedback is appreciated!

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