Current State of Bookmarklet Development

But first, What is a Bookmarklet?

A bookmarklet is a specialized bookmark stored in a web browser that contains JavaScript commands. These commands are designed to augment your browsing experience by automating specific tasks or modifying web page content. Unlike standard bookmarks that direct you to a specific webpage, bookmarklets execute the embedded code to perform functions such as assessing webpage accessibility, manipulating text sizes, or extracting resources.

How to Utilize a Bookmarklet

To use a bookmarklet, it must first be installed into the bookmarks bar of your web browser. Once installed, navigate to the webpage where you intend to execute the bookmarklet’s function. Click on the bookmarklet stored in your bookmarks bar, and it will automatically execute its pre-defined JavaScript commands on the current page. For optimal performance and to avoid unintended consequences, it is advisable to consult any associated documentation or guidelines prior to utilizing the bookmarklet.

Current trends in bookmark development

With the acceleration of technological progress, there’s been an uptick in the creation of bookmarklets. Unfortunately, this surge has led to an accumulation of bookmarklets that are either duplicative, poorly documented, or riddled with issues.

For example, you can use ChatGPT now to help you write a bookmarklet.

In this article

I’ll outline various challenges I’ve encountered while using bookmarklets, along with some pointers for those beginning to develop them. Think of this blog as your go-to checklist.

Problems and Quick Fixes

1. What Does This Thing Even Do?

  • Why Care: If no one knows what your bookmarklet does, no one’s gonna use it. Simple as that.
  • Quick Fix: Add a short guide or a ‘How-to’ right next to your bookmarklet.

2. What’s Gonna Happen Next?

  • Why Care: If your bookmarklet is a wild card, it’s more of a problem than a solution.
  • Quick Fix: Make sure it does what it says it will and test it out thoroughly before sharing.

3. Don’t Wreck the Place

  • Why Care: Your bookmarklet should make a website better, not mess it up.
  • Quick Fix: Make sure your code doesn’t mess with the website’s original layout or features. Keep the integrity of the page, try not to manipulate the current HTML of the webpage too much.

4. The Irony of Inaccessible Accessibility Tools

  • Why Care: It’s pretty silly if our accessibility bookmarklets aren’t accessible, right?
  • Quick Fix: Test your bookmarklet with screen readers and other assistive tech. Follow accessibility guidelines.

5. Make It Look Good

  • Why Care: If it looks like a mess, people will think it is a mess.
  • Quick Fix: Spend a little time on design. Make it user-friendly.


So, there you have it! Making bookmarklets isn’t just about cool code; it’s about making something useful and easy for everyone to use. Let’s build bookmarklets that we’d actually want to use ourselves, okay? Keep these points in mind and let’s make the web a better place for everyone!

As always, this is my opinion! Feel free to reach out below.


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One response to “The Bookmarklet Conundrum: A Guide for Accessibility Specialists”

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