A better way to read the interwebs

Does the single column method of reading text online suck? Some would say yes.

Because of the short and wide appearance of the computer screen—the Danny DeVito, if you will—the reader is constantly forced to scroll, like a 12th century monk with an actual scroll. The answer, at least in the link above, is multiple columns across the screen.

I'm undecided on this. Curling up with my laptop and forgetting I'm on the internet doesn't really strike me as desirable or even feasible. I'd prefer a totally separate instrument for long form reading—an e-reader, perhaps. Or even one of those paper type books. Crazy? Maybe. But...no, that's it.


  1. It never even occurred to me to be bothered by the single column format... But then, often there are other things in side columns that I want to have available to me anyway.

    How hard is it really to scroll? Might as well criticize the e-reader for requiring you to click a button to turn the page. Or be irritated that you have to physically turn one in a book.

  2. I'm not sure switching to multiple columns would be an improvement. The author of the CS Monitor article dislikes scrolling, but he proposes a system where the reader will have to keep clicking a button to get to the columns further on the right. For a long article, that would be as tedious as scrolling.

    I have to admit, I prefer the single column format for web articles. I find multiple columns of text harder to read onscreen.

  3. I'm so with you on the paper-type books...they're my personal preference as well. They're so much more cuddly.

  4. I'm totally pro-innovation when it comes to the ways we present information, but like Amalia T., I just don't have a problem with scrolling.

    It also seems to be less about "how it ought to be done" and more about what options people have for customizing to their own preferences.