Zoe Bogner: What would you like to see more of on the web?

We follow up with Zoe Bogner about what she would like to see more of on the net

Just over a year ago I asked the question what would you like to see more of on the web to a couple of people who work with or on the web.

As it has been over a year I figured now would be a good time to follow up with the interviewees and see if they got more of what they wanted!

Zoe Bogner was one of the participants, she originally said:

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!

So with that in mind here is her new response!

2011 was a very exciting year for me as a web developer. Although Ethan Marcotte kindly gave us the term Responsive Web Design way back in 2010, and the HTML5 movement was already starting to pick up steam at that time, I think it took a good year before these ideas really gained the traction needed to be considered for too many big, serious projects. When I gave this interview in early 2011, I was in the process of trying to convince my colleagues to develop our first Flashless e-learning courses. I got most of my wish in that project (the assessments were still Flash), but just over a year later we're now wrapping up the sequel, which requires no Flash player if you're using a smart browser.

It seems like a no-brainer today, what with so many people now owning smartphones and iPads, but a year ago that idea was a tough sell. "Nobody is going to use this site on their phone" I was told. It was an ambitious project, I won't lie, but today mobile and tablet access is the most requested feature of our Flash-fueled courses.

Regarding codecs, I don't think we've seen the end of the format wars. I think it's now safe to say the battle has died down to a point where browser makers have agreed to disagree, and all efforts are now focused on refining their own <video> and <audio> implementations. It's bought us some much needed stability, even if it means we still have to produce and host multiple version of the same video, but at least we're no longer aiming at wildly moving targets. However, the <track> element for transcripts that I pine for still looks a long way off.

2011 was a pretty amazing and groundbreaking year for me. I saw a lot of processes towards an increasing device-agnostic and accessible web future, and I can't help but smile at the thought of what the next 12 months will bring!

Thanks so much to Zoe for taking part, and I am glad that it seems like she got what she wanted from the web in the past year!

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