BDConf: Stephanie Rieger presents Reset the Web

In Reset the Web, Stephanie Rieger (@stephanierieger) explains how mobile is just a glimpse into the very early stages of an entirely new digital ecosystem system.

  • The web is less than 8,000 days old.
  • What is the web actually for? Man as a tool maker has the ability to amplify our inherent ability. The computer amplifies memory, problem-solving, calculation, projection, analysis
  • The Internet amplifies knowledge. The true potential of the Internet was revealed only when it became ubiquitously available.
  • A smartphone is not a smartphone, it’s a device to simplify curiosity. It’s always connected to an open platform accessible by anyone with a browser
  • “Hold on, Let me look that up. I just happen to have to sum of human knowledge in my pocket.” “The magic is in the palm of my hands”
  • The internet is what brings these devices to life. Without connectivity, these devices could only perform a limited number of tasks.
  • Technological revolutions require a level of plumbing. The web requires cables and connections, and so invention, implementation and market adoption influence what’s possible. It takes a long time to evolve the necessary plumbing to drive innovation.
  • Internet “plumbing” is the scaffold on top of which we innovate.
  • Emerging economies are skipping the traditional computing model (desktops, fixed lines and infrastructure) and are instead jumping straight to mobile infrastructure.

Contexts will be varied and unpredictable.

  • Current products are still deeply rooted in the past, but new diverse platforms and interactions will emerge. Small, large, mobile, immobile, and everything in between.
  • Contexts may be diverse, but they still ‘fit’ our mental model of the web

In the future, everything will be connected.

  • Cotton Candy computer: plug a smart computer into any dumb computer Many unknown unknowns.
  • Google’s Project Glass and other speech-and-voice interfaces show us how not every connected device will rely on a screen.
  • Old “thing” + connectivity + software + UI = New smart “thing”
  • It now costs next to nothing to make something smart or connected. Emerging chips don’t require a traditional power supply, meaning they can be embedded in anything.

“Just in time” will replace “Just in case”

  • Right now, we have to go to the web , but in the future the web will come to us. In the future, things will tell us information rather than us having to seek out information about the thing.
  • “We don’t want the app. We want what the app does. We could care less if we have the app, we just want the functionality.”
  • In the future, our devices load applications opportunistically that are accessed seamlessly.
  • No new technology fully replaces the old, it simply augments it.
  • The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable

Content will need to flow like water.

  • Responsive design is just the beginning. It’s not just about flexible layouts, it’s about flexible content
  • The browser and web platform. It’s easy to forget how much infrastructure we’ve built into the web and browser. Things like forms serve an important purpose.
  • Things we add are often a response to change. Interface conventions change as technology becomes available. “We have a robust browser now, how do we navigate it?” Reader apps are a response to clutter
  • Proxy web browsers are giant polyfills. They add a lot of value as they bridge the gap between the capable and incapable.
  • Tools that bridge the gap to respond to change: “Reader” apps, UA switching on mobile browsers
  • The rise of more baked-in features, like HTML5 forms. They’re intelligent, responsive, platform-appropriate yet adaptable components. What if we applied this to other components?
  • Everything you add to the page is something you’re taking away from the latency profile of the page. Everything you add should have real value.
  • ‘Back to Top’ links are useful and easy to implement for long mobile pages. Why aren’t they baked this into all browsers?
  • Social media widgets are currently implemented client-side. These should eventually be offloaded to the platform. They should be considered plumbing. Mobile is the needle, social is the thread. -Pew
  • There are only so many ways to re-arrange complex navigation. Some sites are just complex, period. What about a native trigger that fires up a default browser “menu” component, similar to datepicker, or select menu, etc.
  • Media formats aren’t adaptive enough. We keep forgetting about user choice. They are the best ones to determine what quality of media they want.
  • Look to Quicktime wired media (used connection speed and screen size) as a reference. Drop in a self-contained package that allows you to not have to worry about the logic
  • Cultural change more dramatic, but we tend to focus on the technologies themselves.

I’ve now had the opportunity to hear Stephanie present on multiple occasions, and every time I am completely blown away. This time, I was honored to make it into Stephanie’s slides in the form of a tweeting smart toaster. I’m very happy about that!

@brad_frost tweets on web-enabled toaster

One Comment

  1. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    “Back to top”? You’re kidding me!