Continuing our "sneak peek" series into the next version of FeedBlitz - aka v4 - this post is about how v4 takes the opportunity to add more dashboards and metrics.
The "always on" navigation I mentioned last time enables more opportunities to provide meaningful insight into your subscribers at more opportunities. Beyond that, we've simplified the "in screen" navigation and replaced the cascading series of menus with clear, simple, task-centric buttons.
The Main Pane: Delivering the Goods
There are new site dashboards and multi-site summaries. We've added site thumbnails, audience metrics and Alexa rankings.
Within each site, you can see at a glance how your audience divides between the different social media channels, email and RSS. You can quickly see what's growing and what's not, essential data for the modern social media blogger and marketers.
Major task: The green button
At each level, the big green button upper right takes you to the main task for that screen or element. The green button always represents the most valuable sub screen at that point in the navigation. So, for example, at the site level the most important task is editing the settings for the site itself. At the mailing list level, it's sending a mailing.
Other tasks: Orange buttons
The orange buttons represent other significant tasks you can do. Yet more options are available in the rest of the screen or any displayed widgets.
At many places in v4 you will find screen elements called widgets, like this one from an RSS feed:
Text in the lower dark bar is clickable, taking you directly to the applicable option for that widget.
Also note that we've tried making the screens more useful. There are no intermediate menus any more; clicking on a feed or a list gets you real data right away.
Next time, I'll drill into the mailing list area, to talk about the new capabilities and ease of use changes there.
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A day later than promised, here's the first post in our countdown to the brand new FeedBlitz user web site. As I've mentioned before, we took on the challenge of making a great (but fairly complex) service more approachable by a wider group of people, bloggers and companies.
Put another way, the goal is to make it easier and faster for you to:
Find where you need to be;
Do what you need to get done.
The result? Well it's a lot different from the current user experience (not such a bad thing, in many ways, I know). It really, really meets these goals.
Finding Your Way Around
No more tabs. No more hunt and peck to find what you need. No more working through page after page to find where you need to go.
All your navigation is now in the left side bar, available all the time. Click the orange and green to open up each section; click on the titles for the relevant dashboard or the individual entry to work with that element.
All wrapped in a more contemporary look and feel with a dash of added drama.
Sites are the Key
Your content the way you think about it
When you think about your site or your blog, you think about your site or your blog. The "Site" is the intuitive way to arrange related subscriptions and social media, because that's how you think about them.
And that's how the new UI works. It organizes FeedBlitz elements the way you naturally think about them: By site. Open the site you want in the navigation and everything related to it is right there - nothing more (and nothing less). Easy to find, quick to use. There are dashboards at multiple levels (more on these in a later post), as well as site thumbnails and latest Alexa rankings.
Finally, we've also simplified some of the more complex individual pages. Mailing list settings, for example, are now presented in in english, with simple popups to change your settings right there. Fewer clicks, easier to understand what you're working on.
Existing features more readily available
The new "always-on" navigation also makes it possible for us to raise the profile of core features you may be under-utilizing or even unaware of. Custom fields and segments, for example (at the bottom of the sites area). Affiliates can jump directly to a client. You can manage your subscriptions much more easily here than before, too. There's also a new "breadcrumb" trail above the main pane and a new "utility bar" across the top.
Next up: Dashboards and Widgets
I'll cover these in the next update in a few days. Meanwhile, comments welcome!
The changes we have been making in private beta will be revealed starting Monday as part of our countdown to general availability. It's faster, cooler and generally full of social media and email marketing yumminess.
First the book, now the movie! Or, strictly speaking, movies, because I had to split the video of my recent session at Blog World NY into 4 uploads to keep the moving parts at YouTube happy (less than 15 minutes per video).
If you like, you can watch the videos and keep pace with the slides posted on SlideShare (linked to here). Although not the official conference recording the sound and the video itself came across really well, given I had to rely on an audience member for the camerawork! So enjoy -- and if you make it through to the fourth video you'll see how well I can hurl a t-shirt too (it was a *big* room!).