Web Design

On Readability

I made a note to self on yesterday’s blog because I KNEW I was going to forget to blog this- AGAIN. So, my rant on readability!

I read almost all of my news via RSS. I enjoy reading news this way not just because it’s is convenient but because I can read content without struggling with obnoxious ads, small font, and three to four different columns of information jumping out of the screen at me. Even websites that I find to be tolerable, such as NPR and BBC News, have a lot of content to sift through. I prefer multiple columns when I’m browsing around for something to read but when I’m focusing on a specific article, I don’t want flashing ads and extraneous content to distract me.

A few months ago I learned about Readability, developed by arc90. Go to this website, configure how you’d like to read content and then drag the box that says ‘Readability’ to your browser’s bookmark toolbar. Then whenever you’re browsing the web and come across something you’d rather not strain your eyes to read, you can click on the Readability link you’ve saved in your bookmarks toolbar. Doing so gives you a text-only version of the web page you are viewing, formatted the way you want. The Readability folks have added reload (to restore the web page to it’s original display), print and email buttons to the left for a bit more functionality. I use this quite often when I’m browsing the web these days.

I recommend all of you sighted folks giving it a try, especially if you find yourself doing a lot of reading online. Reduce eye strain! Limit headaches! Watch it do your laundry!

Well, OK, that last bit was a lie. Still waiting for the laundry iPhone app.

Speaking of iPhone apps, I did a quick check for birdwatching and/or bird call apps and there are TONS. I will have to research this more. In the meantime, I may install a few free ones to get me started.

Off to enjoy SUN and NATURE and good company.

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