An Event Apart: Next Generation of Web Applications

by August 20, 2008

Jeff Veen’s Next Generation of Web Applications described how a combination of information visualization techniques, individual participation, and passion can help create the future of the Web.

  • 1974 was the year things changed significantly (technically the end of the sixties). Counter-culture made it into the mainstream.
  • Cerf & Kahn white paper was the first to mention Internet and distributed systems in 1974.
  • We can control what’s on the screen –revelation when saw Pong the video game. Now we have many tools to help us participate.
  • In 1974, one hundred thousand dollars for gigabyte of storage. Today it is about 15 cents.
  • Tools of participation and scale of data point to the future of the Web. We have access to loads of data.
  • To make sense of information, can add metadata, visual hierarchy, and information visualization.
  • Use visual design techniques to illustrate a story.
  • Can use sense of perspective to illustrate concepts you can’t imagine.
  • Responsibility of designers is to tell the story in the data.
  • On the Web, designers have less control over end state designs.
  • Enable people to find their own stories through manipulation and exploration. Create tools to allow people to develop their own stories.
  • Data based on my behaviors can be used to change actions in the interface.
  • Use data as the means for manipulating data –make it part of the UI controls.
  • Provide filters so people can create their own insights.
  • Story-telling shifts to discovery
  • Visual cues shift to interactivity. Make data come alive
  • Editorial control shifts to filtering
  • The most important thing is to know yourself then consider the user.
  • In most cases people start with the user. Research is a proxy for things we don’t understand. Instead focus on building what you want and what you need.
  • Have to build things with passion.