Resilience: Building a Robust Web that Lasts – Jeremy Keith

Lots of history of the DARPANET and ARPANET and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. I wrote a paper about this in grad school so it’s all sort of review for me, so I didn’t take any notes. I did enjoy, however, seeing Sir Tim’s paper about dealing with information management (aka the www), complete with notes from his supervisor:


html – originally 21 elements

html5 – now 121 elements. How do you add 100 elements to something and it still works?

Because browsers just ignore the elements that they can’t render – they’ll ignore the tags but still show the content. This is a declarative, more resilient tool.

Compare this with Javascript, a more fragile, imperative tool.

html works well on the web because of the web’s inherent variability. We don’t know and can’t predict what browsers, interfaces networks, & user situations will look like in the future.

What we can do, going forward:

  1. Identify core functionality of a site (i.e. help users complete a task)
  2. Make functionality available with simplest technology
  3. Enhance Enhance Enhance

examples: Provide news (any newspaper), send messages (Twitter), send images (Instagram).

A sad state of affairs – requires 3mb of javascript just to render text.

Adapting to Input – Jason Grigsby

Four truths about input

  1. Input is exploding – voice control, fingerprint sensors, etc etc.
  2. Input is a continuum – we’re device bending = and can no longer make assumptions based on screen size.
  3. Input is undetectable – we can’t tell within a browser what a user is going to do to input. Only can tell after the fact.
  4. Input is transient – just because I do one thing doesn’t mean I will do it again.

We need to adapt to input

  • Design to the largest audience, by default
  • Build it accessible – makes it easier for newer technologies to be adopted. See being resilient on the web!
  • Design for multiple concurrent inputs because inputs aren’t binary. And…be more input agnostic in vocabulary.

***It’s time to retire “click here”**** We’re entering the era of pointer events – abstract contact with inputs.

Progressively enhance inputs – do the new cool stuff. Warby parker using the gyroscope, beacons instead of apps to control stuff in the future.

Make inputs part of your test plan. Your testing lab is the local Apple, AT & T and Verizon store.

Unfortunately, I had to miss Designing Meaningful Animation. 

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