Mozilla: Why do we care about the Reader View mode

Barbara Bermes
2 min readMar 17, 2016

It’s slim, fast, and offline available.

Google (AMP) and Facebook (Instant Articles) have started to work with publishers to fix the bloated website syndrome by applying their performance-focused frameworks to the Open Web. The goal of their movement is to optimize the heavy footprint that causes slow loading websites on mobile (mostly cloaked up scripts such as ads and tracking). Slow loading websites (see chart below) is one of the main reasons for users to abandon websites on their mobile devices.

Source: A recent study conducted by Google asked consumers about mobile web content, more specifically “What do you dislike the most when browsing the web on your mobile device?”

Besides encouraging the web developer community to adapt to this new way of fixing self-created performance issues, and follow best practices for web performance, we, as the window to the mobile Web, continue to provide even more ways to put our our user in control.

We know from our users that, once discovered, they like the concept of the Reader View. It allows the user to load pages faster, without any (third party) scripts, or other elements on the page that could cause delays in loading web content. In Reader View, users can change the font size as well as the background color to their preferred reading settings.

With this feature, users are in full control over making the content reading experience as friendly as possible to their liking.

Note: We are currently experimenting with an “Always Reader” add-on to allow all pages to open in Reader View (if available)

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Barbara Bermes

Product Director @Workleap | Formerly Product at @Deel, Head of Product @lever, product @Mozilla | Author of @lean_websites | bbinto.me