Bubble Foundry

Is it possible to read on a news site?

by Peter.

Last week I had a rather good bon mot, if I may say so:

Not surprisingly, I’m not alone in thinking that it’s impossible to read text online.

While I’m not a designer, let alone one with his chops, let me try to pull a Dustin Curtis. Consider an article on the BBC site:

I find that I like to read farther away from the screen these days and like large type. So, I decided to read the article using the Instapaper Text bookmarklet.

Isn’t that better?

Well, yes of course, it’s streets ahead for me the reader. But you can barely tell that it’s from the BBC. The Corporation isn’t going to like that, yet alone that I, a non-license fee paying foreigner, am not seeing their ads. Maybe we can find a happy medium:

It’s a basic cut-and-paste hack job but I think it gets the job done. The key thing is that it gives the text the entire large center column, while the section links and ad units are relegated to the left and right columns that essentially look like a background layer behind the main, article layer. So yes, they’re de-emphasized but, unlike the Instpaper version, they’re still there. If you run the BBC wouldn’t you prefer that?