My initial reaction to Buzz was “Oh, it’s trying to be the new FriendFeed.” My mind is elsewhere at the moment (finalizing the Twitter book, grading, participating in a Poynter/NewsU course), but I’ve peered at my Buzz screen three or four times now. All I can say is “ugh.”
I’m not going to go into the privacy stuff and the mixing of public-private information. Those objections are a”doh.”
I’m appalled at the interface.
- How do I “tell” Google that I have read an entry (what are they supposed to be called? Buzzes?). I’ve tried the spacebar and tab – neither will let me “page through” these things. That leaves “mute” (nomenclature from Wave, btw).
- Why are you making me use a drop-down to mute? Isn’t mute going to be a popular choice, since there seems no way to let you know that we’ve read the damn things? Put it at the BOTTOM with the “comment-like-email” choices.
- What if I want to keep an entry visible, because there’s interesting discussion, but I’d like to minimize it right now. No visible way to do this. This is a major #fail and ignores basic interaction design principles that are OLD. Heck, you can collapse stuff in Wave (even if it’s kludgy and doesn’t stay collapsed; now that I think about it, maybe no option is better than false hope).
- Why, when I mute an entry that appears to be sitting on top of several others, do all of them disappear? But when I click on one that is “behind” the front one, suddenly they all expand into stand-alones? Sheesh. Muting the “top” one should reveal the “card” underneath it, not deep six all of them!
- When I stop following someone, why don’t you excise all of their entries – make them go “poof”? No, I still have to MUTE all of them. Which is painfully slow – I get to watch the screen redraw.
Here’s the round-up (note: I went searching for “buzz” after compiling my soapbox)
- 5 Tips for Power Users (filtering tips, GoogleWave syntax works here), PC World
- Anger Leads to Apology From Google About Buzz, NY Times
- Buzz: A Beta Too Soon (not unlike Wave), Jeff Jarvis
- Buzz and the Five Principles of Designing For Meaning, Umair Haque
- Google and Social: Like Nerds At The Dance, GigaOm
- Google Buzz Abandon’s Auto-Follow (something that should never have been the default), Chris Pirillo