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The Wordless Web: An experiment of Imagery

By Kelly Craig

Ji Lee of Facebook, and previously Google, has created an online world mimicking societies without a written language, freeing webpages of text. Lee says the point is for readers to enjoy “a little more calmer experience, a more tranquil experience.”

Together with coder Cory Forsyth, Lee achieved his solution to the “information overload,” bringing users an experience celebrating imagery and eschewing the distraction of language.

Wordless Web has simple instructions: Go to WordlessWeb.com, click then drag the brainy blue button onto your browser’s bar, then go to any site you would like to see without text and click the Wordless Web button to convert the site.

Being left with only pictures, the web becomes a question generator as the reader is left unsure of the significance or context of the images they are viewing. 

Wordless Web is not meant for all websites. Some simply look empty and off, while others reveal how many advertisements remain inundating a reader's visual field. Lee says the trick works best for “sites with lots of images: Facebook, YouTube, Huffington Post, Pintrest.

“Captions and headlines also construe us. Everything is controlled. It reflects the agenda of the news media.”

If looking for a more “surreal” Internet experience, Lee promises Wordless Web will help “you see pictures in a much more abstract way.”

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429magazine
429magazine
Wed, May 16, 2012

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