Via Fark, I was just reading this article about some Norwegian paying his hotel bill 24 years late. I was distracted, however, by this super-nifty toolbar that the SacBee has on the left side of their articles, right around the headline.
They call it their ‘story toolbar’, and it’s a centralized location for a bunch of the functionality one associates with this sort of page: change text size and typeface, email or print the story, view other stories by the same writer (a great and all-too-rare feature) and sign up for newsletters. Importantly, the first button in the toolbar is a help button, that displays a graphic showing what all the buttons do. The mouseover works very gracefully as well (and perfectly in Mozilla, I might add).
It’s not going to change the world, and there are probably lots of reasons (accessibility no doubt being one of them) to criticize this approach. However, I wanted to give the SacBee credit for trying. It’s very rare that I see a newspaper site do anything remotely innovative.