Brian Shih on the new gR UI:

Reader redesign: Terrible decision, or worst decision?

Google released the previously announced set of changes around G+ integration and UI updates today, and boy is it a disaster.

…it’s as if whoever made the update did so without ever actually using the product to, you know, read something.

When you log into Reader, what the hell do you think your primary objective is? Did you answer “stare at a giant header bar with no real estate saved for actual reading”?

Anyway, yeah, what he said. When I dropped into Reader via browser this afternoon I was, uh, disconcerted to see only the first ten or fifteen unread items in my list. I poked around looking for a way to invoke a higher-density screen view but there was no obvious way to do so. With the navigation elements showing a displayed article occupied less than a quarter of my screen real estate, and any articles which included inline graphics were cropped mid-image.

Hitting “F” zapped all the chrome and presented the selected article, one at a time. There was no reasonable way to view the article content in conjuction with a generous list of other article headers

I strongly suspect this implies similar inbound downgrades of information density in gmail’s default view, which would be shitty as hell.