Opera’s Epic Proposal To Remake The Web

Opera proposal brings a book look to the Web

At the company’s Up North Web press event here, [Opera] CTO Haakon Wium Lie showed off a new standard he proposed that could give Web pages more of the feel of printed pages. A document too big for a single screen, instead of getting a scroll bar, would be split across several pages, and people can navigate among them with gestures–swiping left and right to go forward and backward or swiping up to return to an earlier page.

Yes! Finally!

I’ve been saying this since 2009!

Starting in October 2009:

How To Do Touch Right And Wrong

And in January 2010, before we even knew it would be called the iPad:

The INEVITABLE Changes The iSlate Will Create

The Internet as we have been experiencing it is over.

A new Internet that is entirely touch-based and defers to the screen is ahead of us.

This is a bigger change than moving writing from hand-scrawled rolled-up manuscripts to bound pages in books with type.

This is a bigger change than moving from ASCII-based Bulletin-Board Systems to the graphic and video and audio Internet we have known.

The fine print of the iSlate is going to overthrow the current Internet. Everyone will design for it as the minimum hardware platform. Stop to think about websites — they’ll no longer chug along and make us steam in frustration. They’ll act as smoothly and as quickly as an app (setting aside 3G FAILs of the sort AT&T engages in).

And:

Touch Will Change Everything

For software, you can look forward to the stupid vertical-scroll UI disappearing. We will scroll horizontally, like moving from photo to photo on an iPhone.

This will be a boon to web design, where designers finally have something resembling a page that can actually be designed.

And:

Web Designers: Wake Up And Smell The Touchscreen Coffee!

Touchscreens are coming to the Mac.

There will be one later this year.

What are you going to do about that?

Are you going to keep designing sites that look like Microsoft-inspired abominations, with long scrolls, multiple columns, and continue to use Search as a crutch?

Scrolling is an outdated legacy method from the time of CRTs and character-based interfaces. Scrolling has no place on a touchscreen when it pertains to reading, period.

And:

From Internet To Touchnet

So finally someone else is thinking along these lines.

But is there a video demo? No:

People need to see it to believe it!

Come back after Apple has introduced the first touchscreen iMac. People will suddenly think all of this is a new idea.

3 Comments

Filed under Digital Overthrow

3 responses to “Opera’s Epic Proposal To Remake The Web

  1. Thanks for the article, it is very interesting and definitely the way I can see the web heading. I’ve used this post as a comment in this other post (http://forum.boagworld.com/discussion/6552/responsive-design-actually-useful-or-nerdgasmic-gust-of-hot-air#Item_62) about responsive web design which kind of lends itself nicely to this, where browsers should be able to detect the method of interaction with a website and as such, tailor its design to suit.

  2. Yaay for Haakon Wium Lie! I remember when you wrote that; I was also convinced it would happen. Then… nothing. It seemed as if everyone had forgotten. Until now.

    This is very exciting, but it’s going be a challenge for web designers to get it right, and I suspect it will be a big mess in the beginning while everyone is learning (or UNlearning) how to navigate in that way. Even now, I notice that when I go back and forth frequently between the iPad and MacBook, I get mixed up because the scrolling is backwards between them. It will be a much more complicated situation when each website has several different navigation paradigms.

    • mikecane

      When will it happen?

      1) When Apple introduces the first touchscreen Mac and
      2) Apple’s own site is designed that way

      Then all the lemmings will follow.

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