Student Work

Foldable Phones

The e-life innovation coming out now that I am most excited about is the foldable phone. This invention will not necessarily radically change web design, because we are already doing responsive design based on screen size. But they will change how many people interact with online content, for two reasons.

Firstly, I want to note that there are two types of “foldable phone” that are coming onto the market. The first is exemplified by the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the upcoming Microsoft Surface Duo, and the second by the new Moto Razr and the the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Basically, the first category of foldable phones have a traditional post IPhone smartphone form factor in your pocket, and can be used as a traditional smartphone on the go. But they also fold out into a tablet for more extended use. The second category of device is a compact square or near square in your pocket that folds out for use as a traditional smartphone – it really can’t be interacted with when folded.

The first type of foldable phone is what I’m really interested in. The second type of phone is probably more comfortable in your pocket, and certainly the screen is less likely to get damaged by your keys. Though who knows what damage angrily hanging up by slamming the phone closed will do. But it wont change the way you interact with the web or your apps in a meaningful way.

On the other hand, the simple addition of a 7-9 inch tablet that folds into something you can put in your pocket means that you no longer need to switch devices to fill in an online form or read an eBook. I can say from experience that even a 7 inch tablet is more comfortable than a 6.5 inch phone, in part because 6.5 inch phablets are often long and narrow, harder to read than their official rated size would suggest. On the other hand, most small tablets have budget specs and are often WiFi only. The foldable phones are fast, with flagship specs, and even old eyes will find the folded out screen easy to read. The foldable phone replaces a standard smartphone and a tablet perfectly. It isn’t an ideal replacement for an ereader or computer proper, but for less tech savvy users it may be a good enough for them to do what they did with a computer or ereader.

Finally, app creators will realize the potential of a half folded foldable phone. Especially game developers.


Week 2 Research Assignment: E-Life, The Evolving Web

1. Today, do more people access the web using computers or mobile devices? Provide a resource that supports your answer. 

A small majority of all worldwide internet use is mobile. Asia(62%) and Africa (60%) are leading this trend, and are leading this trend. On our continent 52% of internet traffic is still from computers, 48% is mobile. South Americans are the least likely to use a smartphone or tablet – only 35% of traffic from South America is mobile

2 . Who controls the World Wide Web? What is it made up of?

No-one controls the World Wide Web, that’s the beauty of it. The internet is a interconnected network of billions of servers. The Internet Engineering Task Force sets voluntary web standards that make sure websites and browsers are compatible. That way things don’t go back to how they were when I was in high school and half the websites only worked with Internet Explorer. ICANN is the top level authority for registering domains and IP addresses, but they subcontract much of their work.

3. Who is Tim Berners Lee? What is he best known for?

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989.

He is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization founded in 1994 which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. He is a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation which was launched in 2009 to coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity.

A graduate of Oxford University, Sir Tim invented the Web while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread.

4. What is a blog? What is it used for?

This is a blog, it is used for sharing my thoughts about web design. My personal blog is used for my thoughts on politics, religion, food, and drink. More broadly, a blog, originally a contraction of “Web Log” is a public diary posted on the internet.

5. What is a “responsive” website design? 

Responsive web designs are designs that change depending on the device the person is using (ideally, on its screen size), so that they are good looking, or at least legible, on phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop.

6. Why are “responsive” website designs necessary? 

Because, no matter where you are in the world, a sizable percentage large amount of internet traffic is mobile, and a sizable percentage is not. Coding only for computer or only for mobile means that at least a third of your users will have an ugly and difficult experience.

7. What is SEO, and why should website owners/managers be concerned with SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and the better your SEO is the more people can find you using Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo. (Please, people, stop just using Google, they shouldn’t have a monopoly.)

8. What is dynamic content? 

Dynamic content (aka adaptive content) refers to web content that changes based on the behavior, preferences, and interests of the user. It refers to websites as well as e-mail content and is generated at the moment a user requests a page.

9. What is a content management system? You work with one, what is it’s name?

A content management system (CMS) is any program that lets you create a more-or-less fully featured website without being able to code HTML. This site is created in the WordPress CMS. Other CMSes are Google Sites, Joomala (more advanced, less user friendly), SharePoint, and Squarespace(more user friendly, less powerful). There are also specialized CMSes like Moodle for educational institutions or MailChimp for HTML emails.

10. What is a youtube channel? Who might want to start one?

A youtube channel comes free with any gmail account, you don’t need to do anything special to open one. It is an account that you can use to post videos or comments on YouTube. Anyone who wants to share videos of some kind with the public should use their YouTube channel actively. Trinity Episcopal Church has started an active YouTube account for posting services during the lockdown and will continue streaming our worship after we re-open.