During the golden age of freedom, as Sandijs Ruluks, recalls the nineties in retrospect from his view as a web and print designer, manufacturers everywhere pressured their ad agencies to build them a web presence of their own. Suddenly everyone needed a website.
Everyone wanted a website.
Until then it was not known and in the following likely ignored, that a website must do more than make promises, a website must immediately fulfil any promise made.
Pressuring their ad agencies, businesses were sold a static website as dynamic for their money. This is how it must have happened to nine million German businesses (an approximate count of websites ending with “.de”). An expenditure of between 45,000 and 300,000 Euro for each.
Advertising is a big promise. Can’t see anything wrong with that. On the web however, people expect instant solutions from businesses and results for their searches.
While people’s behavior changed, ad agencies insisted on their business model for good reason.
They had little to no competence in new technologies, competence that was (and still is) demonstrated by mommy bloggers.
Meanwhile what is happening is even more unbelievable.
The consumer returns to being a citizen.
Little by little people can no longer be satisfied with promises, it’s no longer suffice to protect appearances. The citizen who became a consumer now wants to return to being a citizen. People now wish to be citizens in charge for their responsibilities. They want results they can handle in everyday life.
Even though people currently are still willing to be made a product, this can be reversed as fast as it occurred in the first place. Have you never wondered when did citizens decide to become consumers?
Ello is a simple, beautiful & ad-free social network. The users won’t become the product.
Apple Safari browser now offers to choose DuckDuckGo instead of Google. DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy.
Reversal of values
Not values but interests is what we may prefer to be consumed by. It’s easier and less time consuming to settle issues based on interests than on values. Raw data exchange of interests is what keeps knowledge transfer going. Self-actualization is inherent and mandatory for survival.
At the Frankfurt book show, the philosopher Byung-Chul Han had made known, that from now on it won’t depend on the ownership of books, but on the accessibility of content. Accessibility not ownership.
In the analog world it’s all about values, about mental states, the digital world is about interests.
For digital it takes efficiency, for analog it’s effectiveness.
Exactly, the golden age of freedom was dominated by the effects Adobe Flash provided. Motion graphics and animation. Without such effect, it was no longer possible to sell a website to fortune 500 companies. Businesses mistook motion graphics as dynamic.
Today we know that dynamics are determined by participation. It’s not what you do, it’s what the people do. The level of participation on behalf of both visitors and developers account for traffic, pageviews and relentless, continuous updates of plug-ins and web components.
German content management systems are left behind, not neccessarily because they are of lesser quality but because they are meant for the developer, more advanced countries in digital build their stuff for the user not necessarily a developer.
Since a quarter of a century, the advantages and efficiencies of object oriented are known. The C programming language evolved into Objective-C and so forth.
From the beginning of the 21. century, milestones mark the adaption of universal usability in web design. CSS (1998) und HTML5.0, the rediscovery of liquid design allowing a one for all solution with mobile taking over, which now is referred to as responsive design and is practically essential to cover the different formats and screen resolutions spanning from desktop PCs to smartphones and tablet PCs.
Everything gets a redesign
In the US most major websites have already been redesigned for the 21. Century. See nyc.gov, In Germany, each of the 9 million websites ending in .de require a redesign, unless German businesses want to lose their traffic to their mobile ready competition. The begin of another golden age with a difference.
This time design tops marketing.
New units in CSS like vh, vw (viewport height and width) allow much greater flexibility to position elements. It will also solve the problem that has puzzled so many designers – why centering something vertically in CSS is such a pain. Flexbox is another cool concept which is a part of CSS. It allows to create layouts and modify them with a single property instead of writing lot of code. And finally web components is an even bigger take. It is a set of elements bundled together, i.e. a gallery, signup form etc. That introduces an easier workflow, where elements become building blocks that can be reused and updated separately.
Most encouraging for businesses, start-ups, artists, authors and self-employed people is that all this progress has been made with the the end user in mind. It is available at little or no cost right ofd-the-shelf.
Not what we think changes what we do, what we do changes our thinking. It enables the enslaved consumer to return to being a mature citizen and returns to her the bill of rights to speak up and being heard.
Start-ups and family businesses can now train their resilience in standing up against multi nationals. The early 21. century is demonstrating and has made obvious, that small can surpass big.
A license to kill.