An example of interactive UI design, the future of web design

HTML5 is a name we give the next level of web technology, it's just simpler to remember. All the web is built using HTML, CSS and Javascript and with HTML5 new and better ways of using these languages are being made available everywhere.

The revolution started with the iPhone.

With the launch of their breakthrough device they didn't intend for developers to be making Apps. Apple instead believed that developers would make web apps using HTML5 and save the web app as an icon of their phone. Surprisingly open by Apple's standards the strategy soon changed to native apps because web apps simply didn't feel quick enough.

Web technology is getting better

However, as HTML5 becomes a standard on PCs everywhere web apps are approaching the same sophistication as native applications. The hardest step now is for developers to take the plunge and create these great new interfaces and not get stuck in the old way of thinking and just pushing out another blog.

One of my favorite designers, Dustin Curtis, is leading the way with this new UI element on his site; the Kudos button.

It looks great. It's fun to use and it's a really simple way to add some life to a site. It doesn't work on touch interfaces for obvious reasons. Sadly Dustin hasn't made the code available yet, but most programmers could probably copy the concept. It's that easy. We just have to make sure we starting thinking less about static web and more about user interaction.

What is HTML5? A short explanation

Everyone seems to know everything about HTML5. But there is just so much information out there I thought I'd make a shorthand for everyone not already up to speed. HTML5 is a common term for the upgrade of all the basic web technologies. That tech that let's you build web sites (HTML, CSS and JS to be exact).

HTML5 logo

HTML5 can be used live today, but it won't become really wide spread until Internet Explorer 9 takes over the leading browser marketshare from IE 8. All modern browsers, including IE 9, handle almost everything that makes HTML5 so cool.

HTML5 was created to take the internet to the next level. Basically from Information sites to Functional Services more like apps. Basically people don't just want information these days but they want simple functions that give them access to the rightinformation. This is what apps do; give users the function and the bite sized chunk of information needed to use that function. In the same easy to use interface.

There is a huge difference between this paradigm and the earlier paradigm of the web. The change won't be very fast but it will come. The reason is that Mobile Web use is on the rise and the old paradigm of information heavy sites is simply really bad for that use. Already HTML5 is the norm for Mobile Devices, PCs are actually lagging behind.

I've listed some of my favorite examples of HTML5 apps below, please be aware that you'll need Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or at least IE 9 to use them:

http://www.html5rocks.com/

http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

http://www.apple.com/html5/

http://mugtug.com/sketchpad/

http://www.web3mantra.com/2011/04/20/best-html5-applications/

http://data-arts.appspot.com/globe-search

 

User Experience Design terms - Resistance

All fields of technology and design needs terms to define complex meaning regarding their subject. This is my attempt to create a few such terms for user experience design. Please help out through the comments or DM me on twitter! Resistance refers to the resistance of experiencing the design. This can encompass the macro experience of, for example, music:

  • Find a song you like (resistance)
  • Purchase the song (resistance)
  • Listen to the song

But resistance can also mean the micro experience of the music:

  • BPM might not match the listeners mood (resistance)
  • Singers voice might hit strange notes (ever listened to death metal or opera and hated it despite a catchy tune? resistance)

So resistance can build both from the users cognitive or psychological experience of the product as well as the practical obstacles the user has in order to experience the intended design.

Since all negative values are experienced as twice as important compared to a positive value, resistance is important to reduce.

Reducing resistance as much as possible is in fact the process of making something accessible but the term is a lot more exact. Defining what we're really intending to do.

Reduce resistance of user experience, make the user experience flow in using your experience!

The perpetual generation

A lot of people are talking about the changes that the web and new media are bringing to society at large, while at the same time fashion and all types of designers are digging in our past to find the good points in 30's and 50's design. But let me present a tidbit that guaranteed will haunt you. This generation, this fashion, this snapshot of society in history, will be available in all it's cultural glory for coming generations until the end of man. Facebook, Google, Youtube and Flickr are making sure that the culture of the early second millennium will be saved in witnesses description (blogs, twitter and articles) video (youtube) and high resolution pictures (flickr) until we stop using digital media.

50's culture is amazingly alive today because of the availability of pictures and video from the decade. But when the digital material of decades is available on google for searching (possibly filtered by years, or sorted maybe? What do you think?) the game changes. The trends of today might haunt us, but there is no question that whatever we are captured doing or saying will stay with us until we are forgotten by our grand children's children.

A happy thought no? Our legacy will live for a very long time, we will all achieve that which our forefathers struggled to do. Makes forming our lives the way we want them a bit more important don't you think?

How fast do you want your data?

Media is becoming snippets of entertainment. Don't believe me? Check out a few Ted talks or simply watch something good on youtube. The reason I can say this is because the Internet is letting people choose their entertainment on demand. They watch, read and play what they want when they want it.

But since there is a lot more media available then you can ever consume in a lifetime people are choosing to experience what they want now. We see short funny clips, but we might spend hours watching such clips. We also watch high quality TV-series or a new blockbuster movie but not nearly as much as we check blogs or mail.

The point is, media is getting smaller, quicker, more effectively made for individuals. We can either use that knowledge to create content that will appeal to the new customer behaviour or we can fight it and say that the people using content this way are just tech freak pirates anyway.

The early adopters are not copies of the next generation of media consumers, but they do show the trend. It has been that way for the past hundred years with Radio, Cinema and TV. Why would this trend be different?

Anyone having problems with chrome?

I'm having some problems with google chrome:

  • Some javascript web applications freeze for a second or two now and again.
  • CSS color updates (for backgrounds) are really slow in some web applications (www.rememberthemilk.com)
  • I can't use blogger, it tells me that javascript in my browser has been disabled... LoL! :)

Anyone else having problems? Sure this is a beta, but with regards to their launch information that stated that they had better QA then any other browser application it's really weird that these simple problems should trickle through. Or are they extremely advanced problems with simple symptoms?