Bloglines Listening to its Users?

Message from Bloglines announcing accessibility fixesI little while back I posted on my personal site how a recent update to Bloglines had caused it to stop working for me at my place of work. The title was Bloglines Is Broken (for me, at least), but it turns out I wasn’t the only one having issues. In doing the update the ‘wizard behind the curtains’ had also managed to break access to the service for screen reader users, as noted on Blind Access Journal. I wasn’t alone!

The good news is that the people at Bloglines (or, depending on how you view it) do listen to its audience, and the navigation tree in the left pain - I mean ‘pane’, sorry, Freudian slip! - is now working properly for screen reader users.

I have to say that I am encouraged by Bloglines’ approach to this. It’s not taken them long to address this, really. Many other companies would sit on it for months or even years by which time its affected users would have long gone. I’ve also been impressed with the proactive approach taken by the software engineers at Bloglines who have got in touch with me to keep me informed of progress on my issue (and they’ve assured me that there will be a non JS-reliant version of the subscriptions tree forthcoming).

A little victory for accessibility, but the larger battle continues - I am sure that this won’t be the last ‘improvement’ to a web-based service that inadvertantly breaks access to key functionality to some of its audience but if a few other companies would take a leaf out of Bloglines’ book, it’d be a good thing indeed.

Filed under: Accessibility
Posted by Ian on Tuesday, October 17, 2006


  1. So says Jason

    Bloglines is still broken for me. That latest wizard behind the curtains thing is nothing but a hassle for me. Bloglines is now EXTREMELY slow compared to before that update. Takes forever to load. Hangs frequently. Updates whenever it feels like it and causes you to lose your reading place. I’ve got a laundry list I could give you. Before they did this wizard thing, I thought bloglines was awesome. Looks to me like they got some software guy who said, ‘we have to do something ajaxy! making a little yellow light go off whenver it wants to would be so cool!’ The fact of the matter is I want to be the one to control the updates. Before, I just typed r and it was lightning fast to update. Now my machine hangs every time bloglines updates without notice. They improved absolutely nothing with this update, and ruined many things. They need to give users a way to opt-out and go back to the old system where the user had control.

    Added October 19, 2006 at 2:55 am

  2. So says Chabrell Igan

    God dag! Kan jag ladda ner en bild fran din blogg. Av sak med hanvisning till din webbplats!

    Added March 31, 2009 at 9:46 am

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