Interview: What would you like to see more of on the web

We ask Matt Johnson, Simon Staton, and Zoe Bogner what they would like to see more of on the web

Recently I asked for volunteers to be asked a question each month.  The response I received was humbling, with far more people than I assumed would taking part.

The first question I asked was:

We are already into our third month of 2011, what would you like to see more of on the web before the close of this year?

And here is a selection of some of the excellent answers I received.

Matt Johnston

I’d like to see a profusion of new e-Reader web apps that democratise eBooks and eMags and provide a consistent experience on all of the mobile web platforms as well as a fair deal to those providing content for them.

I hear stories of how HTML5 is the great leveller, how it will rid us of the tyranny of the various mobile app stores - but if the geniuses of the web world can’t produce a simple text and picture delivery and caching system (with the required protections but also a fair lending system), then there needs to be a heap of perspective added.

In essence, I’m asking for the web equivalent of the Gutenberg press. Build a web store. Make it work on iPad, iPhone, Tab, Xoom and even Kindle. And offer kick-ass deals to publishers and even better deals to authors. If someone came to me with this idea within the programme of StartVI, I’d personally work twice as hard to find them an investor.

2011 will be the year of the tablet computing platforms. There’s never been a better time to democratise text. Don’t leave the written word to Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos.

Simon Staton

From a Web Designers point of view in 2011 I would love to see more use of CSS3 and HTML5, designers often struggle coming out of their comfort zone to use new technologies however HTML5 has truly revolutionised the design world, bringing users away from flash and its incompatibility issues and allowing websites to be fully compatible with all platforms. From a Developers side I would like to see more use of industry developments such as Ipads, Smartphone’s and Netbooks I would also like to see people changing their websites to be compatible with these new platforms and thinking more about touch screen then mouse use. Another thing I’ve always is Passwords, I can see the day when all websites use one login such as Openid as unsafe as this may be it would make life so much easier. Last of all I would like the government to embrace the web and not be afraid of it or the people on it, just look at the whole wikileaks scandal.

Zoe Bogner

This year, I hope to see the web become a more accessible place. I think we’re over the dark days of inaccessible flash objects and poorly used tables, hope the fast uptake of mobile devices, combined with the huge push towards HTML5 as the standard for online video and audio will, perhaps almost inadvertently, greatly improve the ways we present information.

Already I’ve noticed a very different approach in the handling of Flash-less users; I’m seeing less ‘please install the latest flash player’ and more seamless alternative content (alas, I do not escape those flashing banner ads on my iPad). I’m chuffed to see an increase in the use of alternative delivery methods (e.g. transcripts) and the work being done on the WAI-ARIA spec, the WHATWG’s <track> element and the efforts of individual browser developers to bring us captioning.

Most of all, I’m hoping we will not relive the object-embed-satay-swfobject nightmare of previous years, and instead we will see the browser makers and spec writers come to some sort of codec consensus. Here’s hoping for a productive 2011!

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