Are we artificially selecting the web?


Since the introduction of the first iPhone the amount of devices the web is accessible from has increased dramatically. We’ve changed our website building ways, but we’ve set something in motion by moving to a flexible and responsive web. Let’s explore what that something could be and how it might affect us.

The flexible web puts a lot of pressure on presentation and interaction patterns. I notice we are tuning down exotic design patterns and are aiming for simpler shapes in support of to-the-point functionality. The importance of content and writing semantic HTML is growing. Where presentation and interaction often differs per context, HTML stays mostly the same, or, as some would say, is responsive by default.

This newly found focus on content and HTML makes it easier for new types of devices to interpret and present information found on the web in different ways. This will in turn drive the growing importance of content, pushing us to write neater and more semantic HTML. Which newer devices can interpreted even better, and so on and so on.

Let’s keep that in mind while looking at the following developments:

We’re moving to simpler, content oriented, and more effective cross-context solutions.

This is what’s happening on the sideline:

Looking at all this from a distance, I wonder why in a couple more years, would we need screens at all? If we’d ducttape all these technologies together, they could interact with the web for us.

Why manually tap buttons, enter search queries, and slide sliders if you could interact with these agents by voice. Isn’t it easier and more natural to just ask your device what the best insurance policy is? An agent as described above could quickly compare data from around the world and literally tell you which one you need. If it requires additional data, it could just ask, and you might even tell it, not by sliding bars, but by speaking.

So I wonder, could this be the next disruptive technology, will future devices be browsing the web for us?

Rik Schennink

Web enthusiast