I don’t want web designers redesigning the “experience” of using the web. The unification of the user experience of using computers is a positive thing. If you use old software from the early days of computing, everything had a different user experience. If you use Windows or OS X, you’ll know of software that behaves differently from the norm. If you are a reasonably perceptive user, you’ll see it, and then you’ll be annoyed by it. The reason I prefer Pixelmator to Photoshop is that it more closely adheres to the way OS X apps are supposed to be designed. When I use Pixelmator, things like file opening, window management, document navigation and so on are consistent with other applications I use. This makes things more predictable and thus usable.
With the triumph of client-side scripting—of “web.js”, in this specific way, we’re going back to the bad old days of computing but for the most trivial pieces of software. Why does every newspaper or blog have to behave differently, to modify the experience of using a simple system for the retrieval of rich text documents. It doesn’t. There’s no valid justification for it. It’s a cargo cult: people do it because everyone else is doing it.
This is apparently a good thing for user experience: you change the user experience arbitrarily on different websites, and have it so the content doesn’t degrade gracefully.
What UI innovations does this give us?
- How about infinite scroll? Because continuing to malloc without ever getting around to free-ing is an awesome idea. Especially on low memory devices.
Turning that shit off is the first step towards sanity.
Perhaps we could go a step further and share the whitelists and blacklists. A web of trust for client-side code, where the default is “off”.
If we build a community of people keen on having the old web back before it started getting ruined by overenthusiastic client side developers, we might be able to save the web from sliding any further down the ruinous path of “every website a web app (even though we’re not quite sure what one of those is)” and other similar follies.
Do I expect you all to do likewise? No, I’m perfectly well aware that I’m probably likely to be something of a pariah in my crusade. I’m a gay vegetarian: I’m okay with being in the minority. Whatever.