Episode #88
All websites now look boring

When the world wide web was first invented, websites were simple. Now, websites are getting simple again. But are they all just boring?

Music and links from this episode

  1. Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone
  2. Anchialine Pool by Jack Anderson
  3. Transcend by c4
  4. Gone by Theredhead76

Line-by-line notes

  2. Simplicity looks easy
  3. When somebody sees something that’s simple
  4. They think it means that it was simple to create it
  5. In fact the opposite is true
  6. Simplicity is hard
  7. Really hard
  8. As Leonardo Da Vinci said
  9. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
  10. I want to talk about simplicity in websites
  11. Has it gone too far?
  12. And are websites now just plain boring?
  13. This is Ask a Designer Anything, and I’m Craig Burgess
  15. In the bad old days, if you wanted a fancy website
  16. You got a Flash website
  17. Flash was, and still is, a way to make heavily animated websites
  18. And internet experiences
  19. In these days, the internet was full of interesting things
  20. Flash allowed people to make very creative things on the internet
  21. But on January the 9th, 2007, somebody started the beginning of the end for Flash
  23. Steve Jobs announced something very special.
  25. The iPhone shipped with a fully featured internet browser
  26. But it didn’t ship with the ability to view Flash websites
  27. This was completely intentional, and to the this day iPhones don’t support Flash
  28. That day, and the following years, have changed the entire internet
  29. Since the first iPhone, lots of other mobile devices have arrived
  30. More and more, the mobile device become people’s primary way of viewing websites
  31. And every web designer started to realise we needed to design experiences for these devices first
  32. As soon as that happened, we had to recalibrate how we designed websites
  33. A simpler, faster experience became more important than a flashy one
  34. The internet is available on SO many devices now
  35. mobile phones like iPhones and Android devices
  36. tablets like iPads
  37. laptops of all shapes and sizes
  38. internet enabled cars
  39. internet enabled toasters
  40. internet enabled kettles
  41. In some shape or form, the internet is weedling its way into nearly every device you can think of
  42. Because the internet is now available on every device you own from your phone to your tv to your gaming console
  43. By necessity, things have HAD to get simpler, and easier to understand
  44. Websites are beginning to be designed simpler
  45. As a direct result of needing to work on so many different devices
  46. Some designers are starting to cry that all websites look the same now
  47. And in some small way, I agree
  48. But I also believe it’s necessary
  49. To make sure that websites are more accessible to people on any device
  50. The technology has directly impacted how we design websites
  51. You’d think because websites are becoming simpler
  52. And look more simple
  53. That they’d be easier to design
  54. But that couldn’t be further from the truth
  55. I’ve been designing websites for a long time
  56. Over 10 years
  57. Right now, websites take me longer than ever to design
  58. And that’s because of 2 reasons
  59. 1 – designers now have to consider so many things when designing a website
  60. Like the 1 million devices I’ve just been talking about
  61. And all the future devices that haven’t even been invented yet
  62. And 2 – because your design has to work on so many different devices
  63. You have to design the website at least 3 times
  64. mobile
  65. tablet
  66. desktop
  67. Although that’s increasingly becoming outdated and not enough
  68. I envision a future where I’m designing the same website at least 10 times
  69. What does it look like in a car?
  70. On a fridge?
  71. In the headrest of an airplane?
  72. On somebody’s phone?
  73. On somebody’s tablet?
  74. On somebody’s watch?
  75. To be honest, most of these are already here.
  76. The role of a web designer has changed from knowing exactly what kind of device somebody might view it on
  77. To just plain GUESSING what device it could possibly be viewed on
  78. Some time in the future
  79. It’s fun, and really damn hard in equal measure
  80. I agree websites are starting to look the same
  81. And some people might call them boring
  82. But it’s necessary
  83. Because we now want the internet everywhere
  84. OUTRO
  85. This was Ask a Designer Anything. I’m Craig Burgess.
  86. Music featured in this episode was Anchialine Pool by Jack Anderson, Transcend by c4, and Gone by Theredhead76
  87. For a line-by-line run down of this episode, go to askadesigneranything.com/ep88
  88. I’m back tomorrow for another episode of Ask a Designer Anything

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