Ever wonder what a website looks like without text? Ji Lee has made that possible with Wordless Web.
The Facebook designer created the Wordless Web bookmark in his spare time with the help of developer Cory Forsyth. When clicked, the tool strips all text from the current webpage, leaving only photos.
"The amount of content on the web is growing exponentially, but our time to consume the growing content is not increasing," Lee told Co.Design. "Images are lot quicker to register and process than words. So, I think it’s a natural trend for the web to become more visual."
The Wordless Web bookmark, which can be dragged and dropped to a browser's bookmark bar for easy use, may not be practical, but it certainly shows the web in a different light.
Lee describes the heavy visual point of view on his website:
No text also means no context. You're free to enjoy the images in their purest form, without names, labels, definitions, or purpose. It makes the pictures we see across the web more mysterious and open to interpretation of our own imaginations.
Whereas images are universal, Lee explained, "words are limited by different languages.” Wordless Web removes the impediments of text to give viewers a simple way to scan through content based on visual appeal.
"I spend hours online every day consuming huge amount of information. Sometimes it becomes too much and I start to feel overwhelmed. So I wondered if there were ways to turn my experience on the web little less overwhelming and more soothing. I wondered what would happen if all the words were gone."
While it's interesting to see Wordless Web's effect on websites that feature plenty of images, the tool is not as useful on text-heavy sites like Wikipedia.
Lee accrued some fame with the run of the Bubble Project, a gorilla campaign in which Lee printed and plastered 50,000 thought bubbles on street ads throughout New York City. Onlookers were encouraged to fill in the blank white bubbles with any expression in order to encourage open public dialogues. Debuted in 2002, the project gained notoriety and quickly spread to other countries.
You can try out the bookmark for yourself on your favorite websites. Lee enjoys using Wordless Web on Facebook.
"It’s like being in a silent party where everyone agreed not to speak, but to just walk around and smile at each other," Lee told Wired.
See how HuffPost Tech's page looks before and after the tool is used.
Check out the gallery below to see other ways to take a break from your normal tech routine.
Set an alarm on your smartphone or tablet to restrict computer time and induce offline breaks. Or, if you're using a Mac, try out TrackTime to monitor how long you've spent using certain programs or apps -- it even tracks your iTunes listening habits. RescueTime will also monitor how you're spending (or wasting) time online and help you get smart about how you browse the web, such as by highlighting inefficiencies in how you spend your day. If you are in need of something to keep occupied, try reading a book -- preferably not on an e-reader, but one of those paper thingies you remember from childhood. (Image via Flickr, Tim Lossen)
Do you really need to know the exact second you get a message? Turn off Gmail and Outlook pop-ups and instead check your emails in batches, intermittently throughout the day. For example, work for 45 minutes or an hour, then tend to your inbox (check out more Gmail tips here and here). Try doing the same for other apps that flash, bounce, or ding when you receive a message, such as AOL Instant Messenger, or TweetDeck. Instead of constantly having one eye on them, turn to them occasionally to catch up on what you missed. it can almost certainly wait. Apps and plug-ins such as Stay Focused, Nanny for Google Chrome, LeechBlock , Think, and FocusBooster can help you stop yourself from constantly refreshing your Facebook feed, checking on your inbox, or scrolling through your Twitter feed.
Spend some time organizing your email mailbox with color-coded labels and numerous filters. Send regular or daily emails updates that you do not need to read to a folder separate from your regular inbox. These emails are still there for you to peruse, but will not be starring you in the face in your inbox and tempting you to read every. Single. One. (Image via Flickr, Kristie Wells)
Instead of checking your phone every time it vibrates, disable your notifications. Then, check your phone intermittently throughout the day, reviewing your messages in batches. (Image via Flickr, Karn Sakulsak)
Log out of your social networking sites on your computer and close any and all social networking client apps, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite, in order to reduce the urge to do a quick check. If your Facebook addiction is unrelenting try a browser extension, such as Strict Pomodoro or Anti-Social, that will block the site, and others you check incessantly, while you're working.
They exist! There are several tools, such as Freedom and Self-Control, that block certain sites on your PC or Mac for a set period of time. The only way to break the lock while the program is running is to reboot the system, which, as we all know, is pretty annoying. For more ideas, check out the99percent's guide to "10 Online Tools for Better Attention & Focus."
Go one step further and disconnect your social networking sites from your phone or tablet in order to dissuade you from regularly checking them during the day. (Image via Flickr, Rob Enslin)