By Richard Wallis
It's hard to read on the web.
Your favorite newspaper or magazine probably lets you read
articles on its website. It's convenient but there are a couple of
draw backs. Compared with print, you're less likely to finish the
article, you'll read it slower, you'll skip over sentences and your
comprehension will go down.
There are a couple of common sense explanations for this. You've
probably been told it's because Facebook is only a click away, your
email client is open or your screen has a backlight.
The common sense explanations are wrong. Distractions and
backlighting don't help but they're insignificant compared with the
real problem which you haven't noticed. You haven't noticed it for the
same reason you wouldn't notice that a particular swan is white if
you'd never seen a black one.
The problem is scrolling. Scrolling is a brilliant way to
display a map or an Excel spreadsheet on a computer. But it's a
terrible way to display text.
That's because scrolling moves the text on a page. And moving
text, even if it's under your control, will break your reading rythym.
That's why this page scrolls differently. The way it scrolls
will probably be new to you. It might take you a second or two to get
used to it but it is better.
I'd like the web to scroll like this but that's probably a lot
to ask. So I've built a browser extension and a bookmarklet that'll
let you scroll existing websites without moving the text.
It's easy and simple and free to use.
Don't have Chrome? Just drag the following link to your
Then visit an article on the web that you want to read and click
the book button or the bookmark to read it with MagicScroll.