Is the Little Orange XML Button Really Helpful

2004 May 22
by Karen

Sometime last week I discovered this interesting post over at mezzoblue from November of 2003, entitled “Plugging the RSS Usability Hole“. This post discusses just how useful the little orange XML button is to our users and if we need to think about what our users do when they see it. Particularly the non-techie users. To quote

When I see an orange button, I wonder what it does. I push it. A bunch of garbage text fills my screen, so I assume the button is broken.

When I read this I thought “Oh duh! Why didn't I realize this before?” Such a simple thing, but what a difference. As a techie person I never even considered this. I know what the little orange button does and why you click it.

So what should we do with our weblogs to fix this problem. Well, the post at mezzoblue suggests a simple solution, create an explanatory page. This makes sense but I'm not sure it is a solution by itself. Yes, we need an explanatory page. However, we also need a better way to let people subscribe using their favorite newsreader. I have been trying to find a free moment to implement the QuickSub JavaScript on this site. So if we implement both an explanatory page and something like QuickSub on our weblogs we can significantly improve the experience for our users.

Comments are closed for this entry.