Jenifer Hanen – A Minimalist’s Guide to the Mobile Web – BDConf, April 2012 from Breaking Development on Vimeo.
Thurs 08.30.12 – The nice folks at Breaking Development have published the video with slides from my presentation at BDConf April 2012 in Orlando.
If you say to yourself “I must know more about designing and developing for the mobile web and beyond the desktop”, then get yourself on down to the Breaking Development Dallas coming up in a few weeks – September 24-26, 2012!
Today’s good news came at 1:16pm PDT when Marissa Mayer announced that she was leaving Google to join Yahoo as their new CEO.
I am greatly heartened by this.
I don’t think all cars should be designed and made in Detroit. I don’t think all movies should be written and filmed in Mumbai. I really don’t think all software and/or hardware should only be designed by Apple and Google (or in another era Microsoft & Apple, or IBM & …).
The more strong international and big national software, hardware, web, and mobile companies that there are, is for the better for everyone who uses said technologies.
The tech press loves to have a duopoly that they can pit against each other to the exclusion of all other companies, but as a user of technology I don’t want a binary either or choice. Life is richer when there is more than two choices, and it is much richer when there are more choices.
Yahoo, while it has been floundering in recent years, has been a company that still has great potential and many of non-tech folk I know use it every day. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Mayer will do, as her work and accomplishments preceed her, hopefully she will be able to refine Yahoo and help lead the company to focus on a place(s) of strength for the enrichment of all who use the web.
Mon 04.16.12 – Here are the slides from my presentation on “A Minimalist’s Guide to the Mobile Web” from Breaking Development Orlando.
A video the presentation will be available soon on the BDConf Vimeo channel.
If you are a mobile or web design and/or developer who really would love to attend a great one track, intimate conference on the mobile web, Breaking Development Dallas will held in September 2012.
This is after I shut off my computer and was on my way to bed, when I realized that maybe those of us in the web & mobile industries need to give more than lipservice to the idea of web education but is it time for all of us to consider that HTML should be apart of the canon of literacy.
Should HTML, in a basic form, be taught in primary school along with reading, writing, and arithmetic?
Yes, I do think it should. The internet, in all of its permutations, is in every aspect of our lives regardless if one lives in the developed or developing world(s). If we don’t teach the basics of the markup language of how to develop | create for the internet, then we are leaving literacy half-baked at best for the 21st Century, because if one does not understand the basic underpinnings of the internet, then one is illiterate to a major facet of 21st Century life.
The drive to increase literacy over the last 200 years has been more than making sure the most folks possible can read and write but it has also been the drive to give everyone the skills to participate on a more level playing field in society, as well as to open the opportunity for all of society to rise to the level of the educated. In every country where literacy has risen above 80%, poverty has decreased, self-sufficiency has increased, and the economy grows in proportion to the increase in literacy.
If you can learn to count to ten in another language, you can learn the 10 most used tags in HTML. If you can string to together a sentence or two in your native language, you can learn the semantics and grammar of HTML. With HTML, you are more than partially capable of creating simple pages and apps for the internet, be it mobile or desktop.
When one can create a page or alter a page in their care, then they are no longer audience, but a participant. No longer just a consumer, but a creator.
Ms. Jen’s DIY Programming Series:
DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed
DIY Programming: Should HTML be Required for Literacy in the 21st Century?
Rebecca Blood wrote on “The Slow Web” today:
The Slow Web would be more like a book, retaining many of the elements of the Popular Web, but unhurried, re-considered, additive. Research would no longer be restricted to rapid responders. Conclusions would be intentionally postponed until sufficiently noodled-with. Writers could budget sufficient dream-time before setting pixel to page. Fresh thinking would no longer have to happen in real time.
Go read her article and the cinema post that inspired it.
I am only occasionally interested in blog posts, be it writing them or reading them, that are apart of the hyper-fast web, what has happened right now – usually if it about an earthquake that just happened or a revolution (like Iran last June). I particularly dislike the echo chamber of tech/mobile blog posts that happen within 30 minutes of a press release or a keynote from a company executive.
But blog posts that are written after one has considered the subject, looked at various sides, actually held the device in one’s hand, mused on events & filtered them through experience, thought about the repercussions, and then write an informed opinion piece – now that is good slow web.
Developers and Designers need each other and need to work together. (duh.)
All of the super exciting internet / computer eco-systems of the last 15 years have had developers and designers involved together as a tight team: HTML/CSS – Web Standards, Ruby on Rails, Django, Mac OS X, the iPhone app world, etc.
By exciting eco-system, I mean that the platform, device, or system has grown beyond the company or small core group of folk who created/originated the system, a growing that goes beyond all the usual vendors for the company/core to take a life of its own in a wide range of design & development professionals and hobbyists who expand the ecosystem to a dynamic space that is much greater than any marketing budget could every afford or create.
This is definitely the case of the Open Source LAMP proponents, the HTML/CSS web standards folk, the Ruby on Rails & Django communities that have had designers working with developers from the very beginning. By dint of Apple’s penchant for design, designers have been on board fully with developers to expand the iPhone and Mac OS X applications and universe.
While I love using Android and Symbian mobile devices, it has recently become glaringly obvious to me that both of these communities don’t have the same co-working / symbiotic relationships with the design community that the above eco-systems have. Yes, Google and Nokia/Symbian can afford high end designers, but what about the community outside of Google, Nokia, Symbian, and their paid vendors?
The Google I/O conference while multiple thousands strong in developers, programmers, and business dev folk, was very poor in terms of designers and any integration thereof.
Android and Symbian dev folk, we need to get designers on board in teams working together from the very beginning of projects to get the eco-system more than just aesthetically pleasing but also to balance the platforms to think outside of the dev/programming box and to grow the eco-systems dynamically as well as spread the goodness.
Design is more than aesthetics, it is an essential part of of balancing the right & left brains as well as the needs of the creators with the consumers. By creating a space for both designers and developers in teams, at conferences, and getting the dialogue moving between both communities means that we build balance applications, devices, and web systems that are usable and delightful.
To grow our communities, to build great apps we need to think of the disciplines of design and development as feeding into each other – feeding ideas, cross polinating, cooperation, and coordination.
Design + Development = Developers <=> Desingers
Ok, Nokia / Symbian and Google / Android, let’s figure out how to get more designers and design thinkers involved in community based projects from the ground up. Let’s start with design tracks at your sponsored conferences and meet ups between developers and designers at the conferences, why don’t we?
Or even better, why don’t we all agree to meet up and have a Android / Symbian conference to cross-pollinate between platforms and invite designers of all stripes (web, mobile, interaction, and user experience) to join us?
Update: Sun 07.26.09 – To clarify, I wrote this post because there has been much talk amongst tech bloggers and early adopters that the reason that folks are buying the Apple iPhone is because of the App Store and not buying Nokias or Android phones due to the poor showings on their app stores. I think this point is debatable, as most of the folks I know who purchase phones find out about the App Stores after purchase, not as a point to purchase.
But I do think it is instructive for those of us who are tech folk/early adopters and|or professional developers|designers to examine the web and mobile communities that have been successful, of which my point was that the communities that are growing organically without millions of dollars of advertising & subsidies from the companies behind the technologies are the communities where both developers and designers are both excited about and actively participating in.
To this end, I think that it would benefit Nokia’s Symbian community and Google’s Android community to draw in more User Experience | User Interface | and good old school Designers. At this point, both of these communities are programmer|engineer heavy. As Mike M. states in the below comment, designers & design thinkers bring an equal set of different skills that are absolutely necessary to the web & mobile site|app|software development process.
To Answer a Few Folk on Twitter: I don’t think that Apple has their mental market share amongst designers due to their TV advertising. I know more top end designers who are working on Ruby on Rails and Django projects than Apple iPhone projects with developers. It is not just about big money, but where is it exciting and challenging to create. A place to create where one can make a difference, prototype quickly, and also make money as well.
Sat 07.11.09 – Today was an overly packed day with activities that ranged from West LA to Irvine and Westminster. Basically, a lot of driving, but it was well worth it.
I had the opportunity to attend the Mobile Camp LA held by the N97 24/7 challenge folk at UCLA’s Tom Bradley Int’l Hall. I have in the past been a bit fearful of Bar Camps, as what would I talk about? After thinking about it, I don’t find university teaching fearful, but instead a good joyful, challenge. I don’t have fear speaking at a conference where I have been invited, they why the mild trepidation about a Bar Camp?
While I did have some trepidation about the Mobile Camp today, we all ended up sitting around a large round table and discussing / debating a wide range of subjects in and around mobile, the internet, usage, user experience, mobile ideas, applications, etc., rather than having to present a topic or sit nicely while someone else presented on a topic.
The best part was that all people at the table who were actively participating in the discussion. Very much an iron sharpens iron, get your brain nice and tuned up type of afternoon. The Mobile Camp LA was well worth the drive and I am not the person who drove the longest, that goes to @rogerpodacter (twitter) who drove up from Temecula!
All in all, big thanks to all the attendees, their ideas & thoughts, and to Nokia & WOMWorld for hosting the event. It was like a mini Nokia Open Lab in LA.