Reading Response: What I Learned About the Web in 2011

If you ignore the redundancy and irrelevant details, overall, the article brings up very good points in the scope of the project. Here are the general concepts I felt the article was getting at: audience, content,  context, flexibility, interaction, and experience.

While I agree with Jeff Croft's statement on how Apps have helped redefine the web, I feel he may have jumped the gun a bit. The introduction of touchscreen based devices has allowed for a new language of interacting with content. More and more I see web sites that are inspired or even speak in the same language as iPhone and iPad interactivity. If this trend continues, we may no longer see a need for Apps.

The web is moving beyond reproductions of physical pages. Many of the newspapers we examined in class have mostly just translated their magazines with splashes of new media.  Croft uses Wired Magazine as an example of this "evolution" in web design in regards to their magazine app. What makes Wired Magazine a great example is that they've thoughtfully layered and embedded the new media with the content therefore creating a richer experience from it's print counterpart. It seems most of the online newspapers consider the different types of media separately creating a disconnect in the experience.

I decided to discuss these concepts together because they relate a bit more directly in my reasoning. Anyways, there's a lot of talk about responsive layouts in this article, but they kind of failed in explaining why. There are multiple reasons to create a responsive site that is flexible in more than one sense.

Firstly, the internet contains an enormous amount of content that's somewhat continuously growing and changing like a small child. I believe we're moving away from this idea of pages and into a more organic space of related content  (I'm not sure if this makes sense) so we should consider its shifting boundaries.

Secondly, which the article focuses more on is the flexibility for multiple platforms. More people access the internet from smart phones and other non-desktop devices. Content shouldn't be sacrificed due to the context of a different device. The interface should be flexible enough to retain the content and visual look and feel in a different space.

Lastly (more like firstly), your audience. According to Aarron Walter emotion shapes behavior and by better understanding  emotion we can gain better insight into the user's behavior. He believes this knowledge will help us in designing better user interfaces. As I mentioned previously, the web has moved passed just a translation of print content, it's alive and interactive. Essentially, we should be thinking about how we can create an interface that caters to multiple users each with their own wants and needs. Whether it is allowing the user to add their own content or simply allowing the user to choose what is important.

Article Source: What I Learned About the Web in 2011

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