Reading Mode

Published on .

If you’ve been paying attention to this site, you’ve likely seen little incremental changes and updates here and there over the last week or so. Iterative design, as championed by 37signals, is all the rage these days and I’m embracing it as much as possible.

I love my new design, more than any I’ve done in the past (and I hope you enjoy it, too!). I swear up and down all day I’m not a designer (I’m not), so it’s rare that I’m pleased with something I’ve designed. I’m more interested in the markup being amazing.

Anyway, I just added a feature I’m rather fond of. At the top of this column, you’ll see a little box with two radio buttons, one labeled “Browsing mode,” the other “Reading mode.” Go ahead, click one. Or both.

Choosing “Reading mode” will fade out all the extraneous data to the top, right, bottom, and left of the content area, allowing you to focus on the important part – the content. I came upon this idea (I’m sure it’s not unique) after staring at the layout of this site and having a hard time focusing on the content (a likely side-effect of my non-designer-ness).

The effect isn’t persistent across pages (yet, anyway) and is built using the jQuery library. I’ll probably get berated by Mr. Chipman or Mr. Keith for relying on a library for something this simple, buuuuuuuuuut it was the quickest way for me to achieve what I was trying to achieve. I’ll break it out one of these days.

So enjoy the new reading mode, I hope you find it useful.