The app Instapaper‘s been around for a while. Its creator, Marco Arment, introduced it as the first read-it-later service back in 2008. As just a web product, users installed the Instapaper bookmarklet to save articles for reading in their browser. When the iPad came out in 2010, however, things changed and Instapaper became a product all about reading articles on the go. Eventually Arment’s many other projects became a hindrance to Instapaper, and he decided to sell it in hopes of keeping the product fresh.
That brings us to today. The company Arment sold it to, Betaworks, is fresh off their wonderful revamp of Digg; and has been steeping Instapaper in their labs for the past couple months. After a quick testing period, Betaworks released their redesigned web component to the public last week. Kind of like the service’s beginning, Instapaper‘s getting a fresh start in the browser. And taking a look at this redesign, it appears the future’s really shaping up well for the old favorite.
In a blog post explaining his process, designer Grant Custer named his focus of the redesign as simplicity. In contrast with the endless feeds of information on the Internet, Instapaper’s purpose is to reign it in. Therefore keeping the aesthetic simple reflects its function.
Aesthetically, Betaworks didn’t so much change Instapaper‘s look as they did upgrade it. Resembling basic tones of platforms like Medium, the design clearly emphasizes clarity and readability. The flat, neutral colors make the whole experience very comfortable; much like your favorite reading spot. And considering typography’s all-important role in the service, Betaworks’s choice of Adelle Sans certainly gives it the attention it deserves.
If you aren’t already an Instapaper user, now’s a great time to sign up. Especially with iOS 7 right around the corner, we can only assume an update to the mobile apps – the core of Instapaper‘s experience – can’t be far off.
Welcome back, Instapaper. It’s good to have you around again.