Ages ago a Head of Internet (or something like that) from a big high street retail brand asked me why a website looked smaller on my computer than it did on his.
"Well, my screen resolution is different" I answered. Obviously. There was a small silence. "Explain to me about screen resolution again..."
This wasn't the first time this had happened. Someone very high up in an organisation and in charge of an internet didn't know what srceen res was. Now, I'm not being facetious you can't expect everyone to know everything. But I thought it might be a nice idea to get everyone to describe 'their internet' at the first meeting of any new client. Like they do at school when the new kids arrive mid term. Get everyone up to the same level. That way, everyone would know the 'level' of everyone else and there would be no clangers later on.
Here's My Internet, it's not finished so feel free to add your own in the comments.
1. My Internet doesn't use flash, evahhh. Unless it's a video, and then only for video.
2. My Internet prefers html text wherever possible.
3. My Internet lets me use my email address or my usual username as a username. It doesn't give me one or make me create a new one.
4. My Internet lets me use a password entirely of my own choosing. It doesn't make me add numbers or Capitals wH3re I don't want them.
5. My Internet values simplicity and clarity over almost everything else.
6. My Internet prefers tools that I'm familiar with like Flickr, YouTube, iTunes, Google etc. It doesn't reinvent convention for the sake of it.
7. My Internet has a screen resolution of 1024x768. Today. As I write this. That will change sooner than you think.
8. My Internet has absolute urls for everything.
9. My Internet may not have exactly the same colours as My Printed Matter.
10. If My Internet was forced to choose between speed and visual lushness, speed would win easily.
11. My Internet has no back, forward or print buttons. That's what My Browser is for.
12. My Internet has contact details clearly accessible right from the word go.
13. My Internet will not work for everyone, everywhere, always, at the same time, all the time. It will especially not work for CEO's Aunties.
your internet is the same as my internet! actually, not quite same - my screen res is 1440 x 900.
Posted by: lauren | Oct 17, 2008 at 10:00
Mine's the same, with the addition that my internet makes it obvious where you're supposed to click. Guess that's the same as number 5.
Posted by: Tom Harle | Oct 17, 2008 at 11:15
What's 'internet' ?
Posted by: Tom | Oct 17, 2008 at 12:34
My internet is accessible to all.
My internet is fast and efficient and can be viewed on mobile and portable devices as easily as it can on a desktop or a laptop.
My internet has naked ladies all over it!
I love the internet!
Posted by: Russell | Oct 17, 2008 at 13:06
My internet does not ever, ever, EVER try to resize my window... thankfully this is less common nowadays.
Posted by: Bruno | Oct 17, 2008 at 13:19
My internet lets me look at porn.
Posted by: James griffin | Oct 17, 2008 at 14:36
My internet never opens a link in a new window.
Posted by: Tim Kjær Lange | Oct 17, 2008 at 14:50
cheers ben, this is wonderful stuff.
here´s my grain of sand:
My Internet is there for ME. not my computer.
Posted by: facu | Oct 17, 2008 at 15:22
I hope The Gills bang some internet tomorrow.
Posted by: Tom | Oct 17, 2008 at 15:49
My Internet never uses more than a line or two of white text on a dark background.
Re #1: Once in a blue moon my Internet uses Flash for a web-based arcade game. It also uses it for file uploads, with a nice progress bar (eg Vimeo or drop.io).
Re #3: My Internet lets me log into everywhere with my OpenID. This also renders #4 unnecessary.
Re #7: In my head, my Internet is still at a resolution of something like 800x600 even though my monitor displays 2560x1600. I should probably do some mental reconfiguring on that one. (In practise the resolution of my Internet is probably closer to 1600x1200.)
Re #11: My idealised Internet has properly configured style sheets for screen and print display. Short of that, the Print button (or at least Format for Print button) is still occasionally useful.
I agree with Bruno, my Internet does not ever resize my browser window. Furthermore, my Internet only opens a link in a new window when this makes conceptual sense (ie providing additional information that I need to fill out a form), or when I tell it to with a keyboard-modified click.
Posted by: Bean | Oct 17, 2008 at 15:50
My internet is what your "Head of Internet (or something like that)" probably would call a LAN or maybe just a network. The Internet is not mine in the sense that my internet is. The Internet is mine in the sense that my God is mine to a monotheist.
A "Head of Internet (...)" should know the difference between the Internet and the Web, and also what a screen resolution is and why it matters.
A "Head of Internet" should probably be called a "Head of Web services" - oh hang on, no - let's not go there .... :-)
I'm aiming for giving context here, and hopefully not falling into pedantry. Whatever - my point is that if someone accepts a job as Head of Internet, and doesn't immediately get the job title changed, then either he or she is a megalomaniac, or you shouldn't be surprised to find them ignorant.
[Me? I build Internet(!) sites for a living (and intranets). Everything except the graphical stuff - I'll leave that to those with a talent for it.]
Posted by: Dominic Cronin | Oct 17, 2008 at 20:09
Say like Homer Simpson.
Posted by: willie | Oct 20, 2008 at 15:05
My internet doesnt suddenly stop working properly because the browser has stopped being supported and updated.
My internet is filled with software that is backwards compatible.
Posted by: John Dodds | Oct 20, 2008 at 22:14
My internet isn't prejudiced against appropriate Flash. When I want to read something, it's easily accessible, standards compliant text. When I want entertainment, and interactivity, it's Flash-y.
And because MY internet wants to leave the browser, it wants to stop being defined by what a web "page" is.
Posted by: Nate | Oct 21, 2008 at 18:48
A little outside, but still related: My Internet does not share collected client information with other companies.
My Internet does not have embedded audio, video, or other media that begins playing as soon as the page is loaded.
Posted by: Bob Sawyer | Oct 21, 2008 at 21:05
My Internet does not open Adobe Reader without asking me!
Clarity, peace, serenity... (Big Girls don't cry)
Posted by: tess | Oct 22, 2008 at 08:15
My Internet never ever makes unrequested sounds.
My internet keep me logged in as long as i want to.
Posted by: Guillaume Thoreau | Oct 22, 2008 at 13:09
If your internet's colours aren't the same, why do you insist that it's 1024x768? My browser is 850 pixels wide, and it's as high as the content demands. (My screen doesn't fold.)
I wish it was still 700 pixels wide, but ex-screen designers, ex-print designers, and Windows users who can't cope with actual windows (and thus insist on everything being maximised) don't seem to have let me do that. For that matter, I come across plenty of websites that think it's a 4x3 box, just because they're trying to put TV in it. Stop it.
Posted by: Paul Mison | Oct 22, 2008 at 13:41
All browsers to work in the same manner!
It's quite simple really
Posted by: Lawrence Garwood | Oct 22, 2008 at 13:58
My internet exists under 'view source'. Your internet exists above it. Hopefully my internet and your internet get on most of the time.
Posted by: Pete | Oct 22, 2008 at 16:48
My internet doesn't keep pestering me to remember password on this computer. Unless it's having a very bad day.
Posted by: rebecca | Oct 23, 2008 at 13:38
i FWD'd this to my coworkers. one of them responded:
"1. My Internet doesn’t use flash, evahhh. Unless it’s a video, and then only for video."
What an idiotic dinosaur! He condemns animation but embraces video? This outmoded old codger needs to see the internet for what it is: a means to transmit all kinds and types of information and media. If animation has no place in his internet, then type reversed out of orange highlights has no place in mine!
care to comment?
Posted by: Chris | Oct 23, 2008 at 16:50
The point of this list is to get everyone to the same base level, that's the bit where it says, "Get everyone up to the same level." above. We should use this list a series of basic points we can agree on. We then add on top of that, should the brief require it.
I hate flash and I hate just about every animation on the web. Show me a good, useful, helpful piece of animation? Show me a piece of flash that has made the experience better for the user. Show me a piece of flash that got you to the information in a quicker, clearer or more elegant way.
Where flash is brilliant is at delivering video is an easy accessible way. And in a way where, if you can't see the flash, it doesn't deflect from the rest of the information on the page.
As for transmitting all kinds and types of information and media, see point 5.
Posted by: Ben | Oct 23, 2008 at 18:01
My clients internet doesn't have flash, but they want us to make cool stuff for flash.
What flash can do that html can't is give people a richer experience, and by richer I don't mean what the IT-crowd from 2000 meant, I mean a seamless experience where they don't actually think about what technology has been used.
Flash isn't good for everything, neither is html, but you seem to be stuck back there in 2000 with the bouncing balls and unnerving flash-intros.
People complaining about new technology are always the people not understanding it.
Posted by: Peter Sjöberg | Oct 23, 2008 at 18:37
Rebuttal to an obviously over the hill "website designer" who wishes he could output sites from Quark:
My internet could care less about the proportions of my screen.
My internet uses the best form of displaying content. Regardless of the medium. Period.
My internet can go anywhere, and I mean anywhere.
My internet won't work where fear-gripped IT personnel clutch to their last threads of control over what their minions install, mainly because Dells are cheaper.
My internet replaced my tv.
My internet is an ever evolving beast of an organic nature and to try and pigeon-hold it will only make you look old and tired.
My internet gets me paid.
Posted by: Developsigner | Oct 23, 2008 at 19:41
Guys, shall I say it one more time.
The point of this list is to get everyone to the same base level, that's the bit where it says, "Get everyone up to the same level." above.
Give one example of Flash where it gives a richer (and better) experience.
"My internet can go anywhere, and I mean anywhere." With Flash I presume. Your Flash goes everywhere, right?
Posted by: Ben | Oct 23, 2008 at 19:45
My internet works on IE ;-)
Posted by: predo | Oct 29, 2008 at 10:54
My Internet sleeps with prostitutes and lets down the tyres on the CEO's car.
Posted by: Kadams | Nov 03, 2008 at 15:22
My Internet is a series of tubes.
Posted by: Corey | Jan 02, 2009 at 18:24
Well, that's amazing. "My internet does not have Flash". I rolled my sleeves up and visited The Design Conspiracy website determined to prove that Ben was guilty by association (having visited TDC site a while back I was 100% certain it was using flash).
And behold! The Design Conspiracy site is flash free! Incredible.
Further, it's a much better site without it. I can access the portfolio of work much faster than with flash.
Garn, now i need to unlearn actionscript and relearn CSS and HTML etc. *cries in beer. *orders another beer.
A site that uses flash in a perfect way is http://www.thisisrealart.com/
The Really Interesting Group site looks really interesting.
Posted by: James | Jan 10, 2009 at 20:14
Time to proof-read.
Posted by: Megan | Nov 16, 2009 at 05:12
My internet lets my upload more than one file at a time
Posted by: Tony | Nov 17, 2009 at 00:48
My internet does not specify font size in pixels.
Your internet has been h4x0r3d because your password is your cat's name. All your credit card number is belong to us.
Posted by: sgt renfrew | Jan 01, 2010 at 20:51
My internet requires that all updates be proofread. By the customer.
My internet includes many computers, run by different companies. On company, call it "the host" has a computer on it with the files that make up a web site. Another company, call it the "service" provider, lets your computer connect to my internet. Another company, call it a "domain name server", has a computer with lists of names of hosts, including the one with the files that make up your web site. My computer asks my service provider to ask the domain name server for the address of the computer with your site (the URL), then my computer can ask your host for the files that the browser on my computer will build into a picture we call "your web site."
On my internet graphics don't move. Videos move, if they really have a story to tell that a simple description (words) or a picture won't tell.
My internet links to other sites with similar products and information because that is polite to the visitors. I cannot control where their needs take them, and I won't play keep away with what might serve a visitor.
Posted by: Brad K. | May 25, 2011 at 00:46