Future of Web Apps – Tom Coates

Tom Coates: Designing Web 2.0-native Products for Fun and Profit

Update: The Presentation can be found on plasticbag.org – which sort of makes these notes redundant.

This was one of the most enjoyable presentations of the day. Despite Tom commenting on the URC channel through the previous 2 that all his ideas had gone, the concepts were presented in a fun and confident manner.

Live Notes: (which ‘;ve now tidied up a little)

the key characteristic of web2.0: 2 things – rounded corners and graded fills
cool font! – it’s Alega light as he states at the end (running joke of the day…who had what font)

What is the web changing into?

Web2.0: is a buzzword, a conference, a marketing challenge, a new bubble – they attempt to apply order to chaos – we lable things. We want to structure it. The web is chaos. Lots of layers in what is happening. Tech/business models/design/behaviour. We2.0 is not big enough – the church is too broad and the term will fragment.

We are moving from web pages linked to data connected by APIs It was siloed, CMS, published pages; Links, linearish….

to ‘a huge accumulation of testicles’ – the data is aggregated and joined, not the pages. data sources, services exploring and manipulating and ways that users can connect them together. to mashups – to a web of data. Eg Astronewsology – what happened to people by starsigns..and what should have happened based on their horoscopes!! (this was a mashup created by Tom of news and horoscope information) So by adding data together, they enhance each other. You get a network effect.

Every service you create can build on top of all the previous services..and the new service enhances everything that is already out there. (on the shoulders of giants….)

Consequences: massive creative possibilities, increased innovation, more competition, increased componentised and specialised services

Money to be made?????: APIs to drive people to stuff; development can be done by others – more attractive with less centralised development. Syndicated content as a platform. Turn the API into pay for services – thinks there will be an explosion in this.

If you don’t open – you’ll end up in a backwater and things will just go on around you. Open and do things faster, betterm simpler.

So what to build?

So how can I add value to the aggregate web? – Data, service to use and connection – 3 areas of focus

Data sources are in a land grab race…info and data is key to success. Owning and using data is core service.

Architectural Principles

Recommended reading – Matt Biddulph: The application of weblike design to data

Components: sources, representations, ids, distribution, interaction and rights framework

1. Look to add value to aggregate data – combine, recut, add things
2. Build for users, developers and machines. People who just want to use, who need a service; people who design and develop, how do you get them intererested; keep it consistent so machines can read
3. Start design with data and not with pages. Get data right..they feed on each other. Data right allows expansion. Design data in web like ways that can be manifested in pages
4. Identify first order objects and make them addressable. What are the core things that people will reference. like: events, people, programmes,
5. use readable, reliable and hackable URLS. be permament, 1-1 relationship with concepts; use heirarchies if ness, do no reflect the underlying technology; reflect strcuture of data, be human readable, be – or expose-identifiers (but this conflicts with previous presenters who cautioned against too much identifiers). Good URLS are beautiful and a mark of design quality! The URL love was so enthusiastic that it inspired Patrick to make this picture!
6. Correlate with external identifier schemes…or coin a new standard.
7. Build list views and batch manipulation interfaces. Three core types of pages first order (a flickr photo) slice of data to navigate btw core – photos from contacts – interface for batch manipulation – the organising pages on Flickr
8. Create parallel data services using standards All the views can be queried via APIS. eg microformats, XML, RSS, etc
9. Make your data as discoverable as possible

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