I read a lot of articles on different sites — mainstream media and blogs — and one of the primary page elements that takes away from my reading experience is the varying fonts and distracting material surrounding the article. I recently stumbled upon Readability by arc 90 labs. As you’ll see in the video below, Readability quickly converts web content into a simple, easy-to-read format. You have several options to chose from for your view, and all you have to do is add Readability’s bookmark to your browser.
Now, I’m sure there are times when you’ll want to retain the material accompanying an article, but I find Readability useful when I want to focus on the article. Here’s an example.
Original NY Times Page View
You can easily switch back to the original view by clicking the back button on the top left of the page. The other buttons allow you to print the article or send it via e-mail Unfortunately, the e-mail option merely sends a link to the original article. I would have preferred that it sent the article in the Readability view. I’m sure copyright laws don’t allow that conversion, though. I chose the option to have hyperlinks converted to footnotes, although I noticed on link did not get converted on the page.
If you already use Readability, or give it a try, please let me know what you think.
If you have visited my blog before, you will notice that there is a new look and feel. I was talking with a friend yesterday about the previous layout, and commented that I thought it felt a little dark. He smiled and quickly agreed. FYI — I really appreciate candor.
This is not the best example because it’s using the ‘lights’ instead of the wood background I used. I should have grabbed a screen capture of the old layout before making the change.
So, this morning I scanned through a number of templates and installed the one you see now. It feels brighter and a bit more streamlined. It also has a nice feature — in the top right corner — that allows you to expand the blog to full screen width. Click the <> and the blog will expand. Click it again and it will return to a centered layout. I am still trying to figure out why the text enlargement feature is not working. (The AA ) in the top right, as well. I suspect it may have been “lost in translation” when the theme was converted from a WordPress format.
So, give me you feedback. What do you think of this new layout?