When beta is a bad thing

I have been using Feedburner for a long time. According to the ‘all time’ data section my first hook-up of my blog’s RSS feed to my account was October 10, 2004. Which in internet years makes my feed an elder statesmen of the web a Sir Trevor McDonald of feeds. Feedburner did a good job with the interface, providing something that was friendly to read and easy to use.

So it was with considerable trepidation that I clicked on the ‘Try out the NEW (beta) version‘ link at the top of the page.  I was taken through to the new version where all my worst fears came true. Google had taken a perfectly good user experience, ignored it and came up with something that uses the flawed visual language of Google Analytics.

A quick cursory look around left me befuddled. Gone was my ability to tweak the Feedburner settings instead I am confronted by a tool that doesn’t allow me to do anything and presents me with marginally more information in a vastly inferior way – it is un-Googly in nature; at odds with the minimalist simplicity of the search box that the internet leviathan is most famous for.

It is clear that this beta is here to stay and I am sure the new design will be popular with people who feel spiritually at home on the planet Vulcan, but I could also see Feedburner users migrating if someone comes up with a more human-friendly solution than this Google makeover.