In Ux design we always take care of the quality applied to the content in terms of legibility. The heart of the web is text, and we should take care of it a the most precious value in any design.
I read a lot of digital content, news sites, blogs and books. And it is really difficult to get good online comfortable text. Here is where projects like readability, or the reader functionality on safari comes to fill this void. and they’re good at it.
Most of my reading was done in NetNewsWire with a theme I make myself that fills all my reading needs. Sometimes I read on my iPhone on Reeder app. I even read a couple of books on the mobile Kindle app.
But all these thing don’t quiet cut it. The best tools and the most ad-hoc design wasn’t still comfortable enough to get the experience I was looking for.
Until I decided to buy a 6 inch 3rd generation kindle. It is a truly magical digital reading device. You really have to see one in person to fully understand it.
I must agree that it hasn’t got the most sexy interface, or that the font selection could be better, but these complains are overshadowed by the incredible screen, and the ultra light weight. With the kindle, you get the best digital reading experience, and this is the ironic part, it is because it looks almost like paper. You get the right portable size and weight, the convenience of load it with any content coupled with a not eye straying screen and long lasting battery. It is like you have an infinite page book with the magical ability of keeping its size and weight constant.
And it get even better, if you read a lot of different blogs you can send the articles you want to the kindle, almost as magical as the device, with Instapaper.
You just have to click on a bookmarklet on your browser (or the icon on netnewswire) and the entire article with it images, and without the ads, are sent to instapaper, who everyday or week, as you prefer, send you a compilation of all your unread articles specially formatted for your kindle. This gives you the choice of font family or font size on any content. And don’t forget you can read txt doc and even pdf.
You can say the ipad is a better device with the ability to become anything with the help of the vast software available, and you are right, is a better device, but not for reading. The weight is really a problem for long period use and the light emitting screen is not good on the eyes.
Speaking of light, the other day I was relaxing at direct sunlight and decided to do some reading. When I approach to my comfortable seat, my family screamed: “what are you doing? You wont be able to read anything at direct sunlight!”. They couldn’t be more wrong. More light the better, that’s the beauty of this screen technology. When they saw with their own eyes they were just amazed, even one of them told me to get one for him as soon as possible. And he was more amazed when I told him that this little wonder can give him a month worth of use with just one charge.
And there are more good things to say, it has wifi and a webkit browser, where you can do a good but slow online reading, twitter or mail check. You can even go to your google reader and see all your feeds. It has a mp3 player, but I don’t even bother to try it because I make all my music and posdcast listening on my iPhone, but if you don’t like to carry a lot of devices and enjoy reading with a little background music, this come in handy.
So, this little and almost weightless screen can become the window to all the written content you want, anytime, anywhere, giving you the best digital reading experience you can get.