Web design

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Consistent, boring and wonderful

Out there in the multiverse is a reality where the web is a complete borefest. Information is the only driving factor to visit a “web page” and PWAs have never come to exist. Custom styling, fancy interactive animations and single-page functionality isn’t even something that can be implemented. The web is just a system of HTML/plaintext documents sharing information and data. Users browse the web in quick bursts to satisfy their queries or read something interesting. Then, they return to real life.

My goodness what a beautiful reality that would be. Consistent, boring and wonderful.

Matt Webb’s “Social Attention” prototype

Right now the web is either fully social, like when you’re collaborating in Google Docs, or it’s a solitary experience. There’s very little between. Yes you do sometimes get moments that are almost social, like when you read a product review on Amazon or a comment on a blog post, but it’s like walking into a room that somebody’s just left: there’s a note on the table, and the door on the far end is closing shut.

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And yes, I know that Medium and Amazon Kindle share text highlights, but that happens only once it has been highlighted – I want something that lets you see life on the other side of the screen. Especially because it becomes suddenly more useful when you’re coordinating with someone else in a different channel. And, yes, of course there are more fully transparent systems like live cursors or annotations… but this is a blog and not a chatroom. I want the patina of fingerprints, the quiet and comfortable background hum of a library.