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Lots to learn


No special Valentines Day image here folks–we need to simplify.

Duh, I know it’s best to start with feature A, and forget B, C, and D. But I’m a feature junkie and I suck at staying simple. I always blurt out “If we can do A and B, then why not add C and D too? ” After all, it’s just software.

But alas, I need to re-learn the simplicity rule to make Assetbar a better experience for users.

In his first review of Assetbar, Marshall Kirkpatrick over at RWW says:

As for the RSS reader, it’s cool in its formative stages. Scalability, sharing, time sensitive metadata, super simple reviews and off-site integration with my feed reader are all part of my “dream come true feed reader” vision.

Hey, that’s great! I was really hoping that a professional feed junkie like Marshall would appreciate the features.

BUT, we need an “a major UI overhaul”. Or more damningly: “I’m not about to use Assetbar in its current state but the concepts here are fascinating.”

The thing is, I actually agree with Marshall. I agree 100%.

In fact, Louis Gray has been rooting for a UI overhaul since we first showed it to him, and last night I let him know that we are starting on that.

The surprise in our pre-relase isn’t our over-complicated-by-Israel UI, it’s that our SQL free, single stack architecture and scaling design is working like a champ. Despite a few niggles, it’s outperforming my best expectations. We’re adding 10’s of thousands of assets every few hours, all personally searchable and with an unprecedented amount of metadata on each. All on surprisingly few servers. Go DBfilesytems!

So the bottom line is that we are really excited to improve Assetbar UI so it’s simpler and easier. And kill all the JS cruft that makes rendering slow. Our team can make that happen, if I get out the way and don’t screw it up.

Thanks for the critiques, folks–we have our marching orders.

And I still have lots to learn.




  1. Posted February 15, 2008 at 6:28 am | Permalink


    Thanks for the comment on my blog and it’s really fantastic to know that you guys are continually working on improving AssetBar! I was just looking for an avenue to give you guys some feedback after playing around with the generous invites you gave out via Louis.

    First of all, I have to agree with the UI. It’s a little too complicated for me, but I DO love the fact that I can see other people and what they’re reading.

    Secondly, and this might be addressed but maybe I haven’t played around enough yet, maybe Google Reader has gotten me used to clicking on my feeds before they’re read, but seemingly for AssetBar once they’re open on my page they get read, which makes it hard for me to keep track of what I have and haven’t read.

    Looking forward to the continual improvements and AssetBar and I love being part of this community!


  2. Posted February 15, 2008 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    In our current UI, the post is marked “read” after it comes up a was up into the viewable window. This is almost the same behavior as GReader, but I think they wait a few ms, or until you press the Jkey. It’s easy enough for us to change. 🙂

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