An experiment in improving the reading interface of the world’s best news magazine. Very early days. Check it out at elzr.com/reader.
Right now it’s just a glorified table of contents but even that I think helpful. It includes the abstract of every article or it’s first line ) — in my experience The Economist’s pithy, playful titles can be under-descriptive. And there are also backbars behind every title, giving you an ambient, non-verbal hint to the article’s size. Both features are there to fix something that got lost in the transition from print to web.
I’ve read The Economist for many years now, almost since the beginning from the web (I subscribed for a year when it was behind a paywall, the only time I’ve paid for content). And almost as long, I’ve been struggling with it’s interface. I guess it’s not that bad for casual readers, but for longtime junkies it can be much improved. Which is what I’ll try to do in the coming days.
Changelog: .3 version, 16 June 2009: BIG changes. See http://elzr.com/posts/03-release-of-the-economist-reader for full details. Read the whole magazine in a single page, columns, much better design (sections separators!), and… flags!
.12 version, 14 June 2009: Fixed .11 version, 13 June 2009: Prettier version.
.1 version, 8 June 2009: Kicking it off.