Reducing Clutter on Websites

Reading content on the Internet sometimes feel like going through files in a messy office, like the ones in this image, doesn’t it?

A filing cabinet in an office that is a total mess

A filing cabinet in an office that is a total mess

One of the biggest obstacles for people with aphasia when using the Internet is the extensive amount of clutter on webpages. Unfortunately, as the Internet has evolved over the last 15 years, there has not been enough push to make it more accessible.

In our previous, post Linda Worrall talked about An Aphasia-Friendly World. Well, a couple of weeks ago I ran into an interesting tool, a tool that I hope is a small step towards a world that’s more aphasia friendly. That tool is called READABILITY!

Readability was developed by Arc90, a New York based consulting firm. It is a bookmarklet that can be easily added to your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome). And, it’s completely FREE!

Readability is simple to use:

  1. You will need to install it
  2. You visit the web page you would like to read
  3. You click on the Readability button in your browser to get the page without clutter
  4. You click another button to reload the original page

Note that Readability will not work on any web page. It works the best on pages which have longer sections of text; news websites or blogs, for example. It will not work well on home pages of many websites.

Installing Readability

If you are running a Macintosh computer and have Safari browser version 5.0, you don’t have to do anything. Apple has already included the Readability  in the latest version of Safari browser. You can just go to the webpage you would like to read, click on the View menu option, and choose the Safari Reader menu option (that is the name of Readability in Safari). If this option is grayed out, then the Reader is not functional on the webpage you are currently visiting.

If you are a PC user or you don’t use Safari on your Mac, it’s very easy to install Readability.

Just drag the above button to your Bookmarks Toolbar (the area below the URL, i.e. below the address of the website). In other words:

  1. Position the cursor over the Readability icon and click on the left mouse button
  2. While holding the left mouse button, drag the Readability icon to the Bookmarks Toolbar;
  3. Release the mouse button.

This short video showcases how to install readability:

Readability also has some advanced options (font-size, width, font-type, etc.). If you wish to experiment with non-default settings, you can do so on the Arc90 Readability web page.

Using Readability

Once you have installed the bookmarklet, you just visit the web page, click on the Readability button in your browser (in the Bookmarks Toolbar), and enjoy reading the page without the clutter. When you need to go back to the ‘cluttered’ world click on the icon in the top left corner of the webpage that says “Reload Original Webpage”.

Let us know how Readability is working for you, and if you have any suggestions to make it better.

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  1. oruspu  on December 3rd, 2016 @ 4:42 pm
  2. Electrical Design Services in India  on December 28th, 2016 @ 10:24 am
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