Ji Lee, a Facebook designer and Google Creative Lab alum spends his days navigating the noisy internet, but off the clock he imagined a subdued internet full of empty white space.
Lee teamed up with developer Cory Forsyth to make his dream a reality and design what he calls the the Wordless Web, a free and easy to use application.
"I spend hours online every day consuming huge amount of information," he told Fast Company. "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."
The application works as an bookmark on your browser's toolbar. Head to any website and click the bookmark to wipe away all the letter on that site, leaving behind nothing but pictures and empty space.
"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. "So more and more we tend to scan through new content. 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. Images are also universal, whereas words are limited by different languages."
Worldess Web follows the recent trend towards images over text on the web in the style of Pinterest, Instagram and even Tumblr, where images tell a story in a way words never could. But Lee is the first to impose this style on the rest of the internet.
Of course, words are necessary for the communication of knowledge, and Lee isn't suggesting we get rid of them altogether.
"Tt wasn't designed to serve a practical purpose," he explained. "It's there to make us realize how our relationship with images on the web changes drastically when we remove the words."