Musings from Mike Atkinson on Internet strategy, usability, and more...

Stripping down web pages

Further proof that your average web user could care less about all the time & effort we put into the branding side of websites, such as the site frame or template, ads, etc.:

The single best tech idea of 2009, though, the real life-changer, has got to be Readability. It’s a free button for your Web browser’s toolbar (get it at When you click it, Readability eliminates everything from the Web page you’re reading except the text and photos. No ads, blinking, links, banners, promos or anything else. Times Square just goes away.

You wind up with a simple, magazine-like layout, presented in a beautiful font and size (your choice) against a white or off-white background with none of this red-text-against-black business.

You occasionally run into a Web page that Readability doesn’t handle right — no big deal, just refresh the page to see the original. But most of the time, Readability makes the world online a calmer, cleaner, more beautiful place.

Go forth and install it.

The Pogie Awards for the Year’s Best Tech Ideas, New York Times, 12/30/09


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