Conveniences of Reading Time Indicator

2 min read

Everyone has a limited amount of time they want or can spend on content online. Not every website has an indication of how long it will take to read through a blogpost or an article. From a visual users perspective it is very straightforward. You can see how long page is and approximately calculate amount of minutes it will take you to get through.

I guess not everyone understands that when it’s says how many minutes you need to invest to finish reading this piece, it’s a huge accessibility feature also. In fact many features can be associated with accessibility. Therefore some users get confused when Apple puts various features behind accessibility category.

Few Ways to Enhance

More sites are starting to adapt this helpful feature in their articles, but many still do not offer this possibility, even some don’t have a headings index in their html code, but that is a topic for another time. For this purpose it could be great if this type of feature was built in to the browsers, which would calculate reading time by scanning the body of the article you currently viewing. Of course you can manually copy text of article, paste in application which supports reading time feature, but this method is tricky and requires additional steps.

More complex solution could be that before you run this action, you could choose from list a few speech rate options of VoiceOver 1, to get more correct calculation.

Browsers don’t get big features anymore. You can argue that it’s for browsing, it’s partly correct, but web sites and web in general grows both feature and size wise. It’s time for major vendors to catch up with other technologies in this area.


  1. You can adjust speech rate of VoiceOver and therefore some people prefer increase speech rate of VoiceOver or other screen reader software on their devices.  ↩