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Today’s Web is a shopping mall.

It is populated by struggling creators, relentless advertisements, and dominated by large chains and fast-food services.

There isn’t much room for mid-sized businesses, and customers and workers alike barely interact with each other.

You don’t feel comfort at this mall, all you can feel is annoyance and despair.

Let’s instead imagine the Web as a fertile farmer’s market, full of countless vendors selling local produce.

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Independent Markets promote relationships and direct contributions to vendors.

When you make a purchase, you don’t just slide a card and wait for your product. …

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Fixing the web involves taking care of Creators.

Creators have three options for surviving online: closed marketplaces, recurring subscriptions and invasive advertising. It’s time for something new.

You’re in an arcade.

This arcade has a million machines.

Instead of coin slots, the games have different payment methods. Some are ad-supported, frequently pestering you with annoying pop-ups. Others won’t let you play until you enter your credit card. Some require a monthly subscription, and the rest have an up-front cost that is too much for casual use.

Some people will pick a few machines they like, and most will give up. Why can’t you just pay a quarter for a quick match against a friend? …

Have you ever found yourself turning on a light switch or opening a window without even realizing you were doing it? So much of the everyday technology in our lives has been simplified to the point where we hardly even notice it, even as it takes up larger portions of our daily lives.

Our culture has become so used to “Walk-By” interfaces that we accept them as part of everyday life. They’re stable, robust, and user-friendly. They have reached a certain kind of technological maturity, unlike newer web-based inventions which are still developing.

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Pass-through technologies like light switches get people to their goals without them needing to focus on the interface. Flickr: saaby

With COVID-19 driving us indoors and into isolation, our daily lives are happening almost entirely online. There’s a sudden need for new tools, as we see an increase in small groups finding innovative uses for pre-built technologies like social media and videoconferencing. …


Amber Case

Design advocate, speaker and author of Calm Technology + Designing With Sound. Research Fellow at Institute for the Future. Caseorganic.com

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