Many website operators rely on advertising for a portion (if not all) of their income, and rightly so; it isn’t easy making [honest] money online these days. But the seemingly inevitable side-effect of ad sponsored websites is increasingly cluttered up pages, often to the point where the original content becomes obscured. And this is the dilemma that the folks at Arc90 Labs, and others, have identified – that website operators need to find a balance between ad-driven revenue and user friendly web pages. For those websites that can’t seem to find that sweet spot Arc90 has come up with a marvelous solution. Readability isn’t so much a website or web page unto itself. Rather, it’s a ‘bookmarklet’ that alters web pages you’re already viewing…when you choose to use it that is. The development team has already done a great job explaining how it works so I’ll cut right to what it does. Let’s assume you’ve already taken one or two minutes to set up the bookmarklet (trust me, it’s very easy) and you’re trying to read an article on a particularly busy web page. Click on the Readability bookmarklet and within a few seconds the entire web article reappears, cleanly formatted, with nice large font, soothing background and altogether much more readable. The beautiful thing is you never have to leave the webpage, and by simply clicking a button (nestled right within the page itself) you’ll be quickly returned to the original page. It’s really something that has to be seen to be fully appreciated. And a wonderful side effect of Readability is that printing out text articles now makes them look just as good on paper, while probably saving a good deal of ink and paper in the process. A huge thanks to the Arc90 team for this outstanding solution to one of the web’s great annoyances.
If you’d like to find out more about how Readibility came to be, you can visit the official experiment page.