In praise of web 1.0

Volume 9, Issue 37; 03 Apr 2006; last modified 08 Oct 2010

I'm as excited as the next web developer about the whiz-bang, AJAX, JavaScript magic of web 2.0 interfaces, but let's not forget that there's still value in designing workable interfaces for less powerful browsers.

A while back, I discovered the convenience of forwarding all my personal mail to my GMail account. It's not my primary interface for reading mail, that's now and forever going to be Emacs on my laptop, but it's handy to be able to get mail, or lookup mail, when I'm waiting in an airport or bored in the supermarket check-out line.

The key feature of GMail for me is that it works on my Sidekick which has some JavaScript capability, but nothing like what's needed to support a full web 2.0 interface. The beta version of Yahoo!’s mail client is fancy and whiz-bang, but doesn't work at all on my Sidekick so I very quickly gave up on it. (I'm also not a big fan of the three-panel mail reader paradigm, but that's not relevant here.)

Similarly, I occasionally fiddle with possible replacements for Bloglines which doesn't seem to be getting much maintenance these days. As with mail, the fact that I can read Bloglines on my Sidekick is critical: it's an even more appealing way to spend idle time in a check-out line. Most recently, FeedLounge showed promise until it turned out to be completely unusable in the less-capable browser that my Sidekick sports.

If you want to sell me a service that I'm going to really use (that is, rely on and use exclusive of your competition), don't forget to make it usable in web 1.0, without all the bells and whistles.

Comments works on pretty much anything.

—Posted by Robert Sayre on 04 Apr 2006 @ 12:22 UTC #


FeedLounge has a mobile, "web 1.0" version in development right now. It will be out soon.

—Posted by Scott Sanders on 05 Apr 2006 @ 04:00 UTC #