Tags: url

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sparkline

Friday, May 7th, 2021

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David’n’Debbie’n’Nick.

On the beach.

On the beach.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Checked in at Queen's Park. Spring is springing — with Jessica map

Checked in at Queen’s Park. Spring is springing — with Jessica

Friday, April 30th, 2021

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Beer and fish tacos on the beach. 🍺 🐟 🌮

Checked in at Bison Beach Bar. Beer on the beach — with Jessica map

Checked in at Bison Beach Bar. Beer on the beach — with Jessica

Saturday, April 24th, 2021

map

Checked in at Casa Azul Taqueria. Taco time! — with Jessica

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Mirror project.

Mirror project.

A beer and a book apart.

A beer and a book apart.

Having a drink on the beach with @wordridden. 🍹

Having a drink on the beach with @wordridden. 🍹

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

In a beer garden. With beer (and a book). 🍺 📖

In a beer garden. With beer (and a book). 🍺 📖

map

Checked in at The Hartington. Having a pint and a read. 🍺 📖

The State of the Web — the links

An Event Apart Spring Summit is happening right now. I opened the show yesterday with a talk called The State Of The Web:

The World Wide Web has come a long way in its three decades of existence. There’s so much we can do now with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: animation, layout, powerful APIs… we can even make websites that work offline! And yet the web isn’t exactly looking rosy right now. The problems we face aren’t technical in nature. We’re facing a crisis of expectations: we’ve convinced people that the web is slow, buggy, and inaccessible. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no fate but what we make. In this perspective-setting talk, we’ll go on a journey to the past, present, and future of web design and development. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and by the end, you’ll be ready to make the web better.

I wrote about preparing this talk and you can see the outline on Kinopio. I thought it turned out well, but I never actually know until people see it. So I’m very gratified and relieved that it went down very well indeed. Phew!

Eric and the gang at An Event Apart asked for a round-up of links related to this talk and I was more than happy to oblige. I’ve separated them into some of the same categories that the talk covers.

I know that these look like a completely disconnected grab-bag of concepts—you’d have to see the talk to get the connections. But even without context, these are some rabbit holes you can dive down…

Apollo 8

Hypertext

The World Wide Web

NASA

This (somewhat epic) slidedeck is done.

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Checked in at Queen's Park. with Jessica map

Checked in at Queen’s Park. with Jessica

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

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Cider’s big day out in Brighton.

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Sunday brunch shakshuka.

Sunday brunch shakshuka.

Checked in at Queen's Park. Watching the dogtectives. — with Jessica map

Checked in at Queen’s Park. Watching the dogtectives. — with Jessica

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

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Freshly shorn, thanks to @wordridden.

Saturday, March 27th, 2021

Vaccinators are go!

Vaccinators are go!

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Got the lovely first issue of @RobWeychert’s new algorithmic art zine, Plus Equals! https://plusequals.art

Got the lovely first issue of @RobWeychert’s new algorithmic art zine, Plus Equals!

https://plusequals.art

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Good form

I got a text this morning at 9:40am. It was from the National Health Service, NHS. It said:

You are now eligible for your free NHS coronavirus vaccination. Please book online at https://www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119. You will need to provide your name, date of birth and postcode. Your phone number has been obtained from your GP records.

Well, it looks like I timed turning fifty just right!

I typed that URL in on my laptop. It redirected to a somewhat longer URL. There’s a very clear call-to-action to “Book or manage your coronavirus vaccination.” On that page there’s very clear copy about who qualifies for vaccination. I clicked on the “Book my appointments” button.

From there, it’s a sequence of short forms, clearly labelled. Semantic accessible HTML, some CSS, and nothing more. If your browser doesn’t support JavaScript (or you’ve disabled it for privacy reasons), that won’t make any difference to your experience. This is the design system in action and it’s an absolute pleasure to experience.

I consider myself relatively tech-savvy so I’m probably not the best judge of the complexity of the booking system, but it certainly seemed to be as simple as possible (but no simpler). It feels like the principle of least power in action.

SMS to HTML (with a URL as the connective tissue between the two). And if those technologies aren’t available, there’s still a telephone number, and finally, a letter by post.

This experience reminded me of where the web really excels. It felt a bit like the web-driven outdoor dining I enjoyed last summer:

Telling people “You have to go to this website” …that seems reasonable. But telling people “You have to download this app” …that’s too much friction.

A native app would’ve been complete overkill. That may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how often the overkill option is the default.

Give me a URL—either by SMS or QR code or written down—and make sure that when I arrive at that URL, the barrier to entry is as low as possible.

Maybe I’ll never need to visit that URL again. In the case of the NHS, I hope I won’t need to visit again. I just need to get in, accomplish my task, and get out again. This is where the World Wide Web shines.

In five days time, I will get my first vaccine jab. I’m very thankful. Thank you to the NHS. Thank you to everyone who helped build the booking process. It’s beautiful.