Future Friendly

Some very smart people got together, made, and shared their Future Friendly manifesto with the world. They said we should use their site and logo to spread the word. So this is my CC 3.0 remix, shouting out to South Africa, to Cape Town where I live.

Let’s get Future Friendly, and let’s do it together.

Shout back at [email protected].

The now now1

The quantity and variation of connected devices in the world today is bewildering: feature phones, smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, desktop. And they are just the beginning: people are connecting in more ways, with more devices, every day. The future will be filled with good, bad, and ugly devices. Designing and developing for the web on all of these will be difficult, and things will get worse before they get better.

The now

There is hope, though. Here’s what we can do:

How to be a Future Friendly Fundi2

Focus

The things we make will connect with more people, through more and mutiple channels. People’s time is becoming more precious: they have less time or attention to give. We should focus on providing relevant, high quality, content, and on delivering it fast.

Data

To make sure our data can be interacted with easily, we should provide robust APIs. By allowing for multiple ways of accessing data, and using standards where they exist, we ensure that the data is portable and interoperable. Supporting create, read, update and delete actions on data means that when we let people add things, we let them delete or export them too. Our user’s data is important to them and us, so it should be treated with the respect it deserves.

Content

We don’t know where our content is going to go, so we should build it so it can go anywhere. We can start with well-structured HTML that can go almost anywhere, and then build it into modules with strong metadata. Progressive Enhancement then lets us add layers of presentation and behaviour.

Devices

We can’t predict the future but we can make some best guesses. Using high-level, good-enough, classifications for devices will make our lives easier. We can play to the strengths and unique capabilities of devices, rather than straining against them.

It’s a Mission

Our existing ways and means won’t hold up to this onslaught of new stuff. Our techniques and approaches, methods and workflows, standards and infrastructure will deprecate. We shouldn’t hold on to them when they don’t fit the new challenges we face.

Reacting to the short term challenges of specific problems and devices will leave us constantly playing catch up. Instead, we need to take a long term approach and be guided by principles that will endure.

Making the web work in all the places it’s going to go won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding and exciting. It’s a chance to learn new things, and to share knowledge across disciplines, teams, and organisations.

Howzit3, my china

Say hello to the Future Friendly folk using @future_friendly and the #ffly hashtag on Twitter.

Check out their blogs and twitter accounts: