Reading Status On Websites

Little details are not just the details. They are bits of crumbs that can delight. They add to our admiration for things that are refined and polished.

I enjoy reading long-form articles, especially so when they’re investigative, informative and opinionated. iA is one such outlet where I trust, and the insights they share are worthwhile to read carefully till the end. And it’s only through iA’s blog that I discovered many avenues of delight – such as plenty of whitespace, appropriate typography, the appreciation for a good writing environment and the lack of choices actually enable us to work better.

When scrolling through one of their many carefully written long articles, a fast scroll would revealed the estimated time required to finish reading it. If you read and scroll down the article like you normally would, it wouldn’t trigger this said pop-up on the right of the screen. It’s well-thought execution, where they anticipate readers scrolling through fast enough would want to know how much of the article they’d have to get through.



The above picture is an example of the old iA blog, courtesy of Signal v. Noise. The current iA blog has abolished this now, choosing to adopt a cleaner approach in line with their now (even cleaner) website.

Recently, Chris Bowler shared on Twitter regarding this subtle approach of implementing a reading progress status bar. It’s not distracting, definitely. It find it effective too. It anchors the reader to how much he has already read, and how much more of the article is to be completed.


Another one I like comes from The Daily Beast. I’m never a reader of this site but I chanced upon it somehow this morning. While browsing through of the articles, the right of the screen caught my eyes. It’s named “READ THIS.list”. It’s a nice and unintrusive way of introducing other articles to me and at the same time, it shows me how much progress I’ve made for the other articles on the list. This is something novel to me.

The Daily Beast

Whenever such subtle but forward-thinking, human-centric details are implemented, I smile. I love finding delight in little details. They are the emotional drivers in a generally emotionless tech industry, where algorithm and data prevail. We need more designs like them to enhance our reading experience, to provide us a sense of our whereabout in digital fragmentation, to also give us a sense of completion when we are done reading.