Readability: making the web easier to read

I am fortunate in the links that I get from so many different sources. The most interesting ones seem to come from Google Plus at the moment and it was from this source that I learnt about a very interesting bookmarking site called “Readability“.

The link above is to the page where the site describes its own history and aims. The main aim though seems to sum it all up:

It all started with the desire for a better, smarter, more readable web…

When you join up with Readability you get the ability to save any article that you are reading on the web and it will transform the article into a simple reading experience that cuts out ads, and other extraneous features. This allows you to concentrate on the text.

I decided to give it a try and created a readability  add-on for my Google Chrome browser. I was able to look at an article from the New Yorker  Magazine website called “Get Rich U.” about the very open relationship between Stanford University and Silicon Valley.

In the original web view there are advertisements and links right across the top of the screen and on the right hand side of the page.This squeezes the text into the left hand side of the page and makes it O.K. to read but nowhere near as good as when you introduce the “Readability” effect.

With one click of my add-on icon (which is a small comfy red sofa)  I got three options to Read Now, Read Later or Send to Kindle. I pressed “Read Now” and a small grey box appeared that said “Converting”. Within a few seconds the article had transformed itself so that I could read it across the whole page with no distractions. I found this much better.

I could see why this site has been so successful recently.It really does do what it sets out to do, which is to make the web a better reading experience. Articles can be saved for later perusal or reading and can be read on your computer, iPad, iPhone, Android phone or tablet.

What I like about all this is that it is taking the fact that more and more of our daily reading experiences will be from electronic media and trying to make that experience user-friendly.

The following is a really good video explaining the whole concept:

Give it a go.. it may well transform your enjoyment of reading on the web.

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